Lately I’ve been blogging a lot about environment friendly programming, and on this week’s Wednesday I started a free giveaway to send my copy of “An Inconvenient Truth” to one lucky commenter (the giveaway is still on, so go ahead and leave a comment – it won’t cost you a thing). So it’s not new for me to be talking about climate change and environmental crises in this blog. This time I’m pointing out a different kind of crisis which I am slowly starting to take seriously too: an energy crisis caused by running out of oil.
My brother has been talking about this for a few years already. For most of the time I have dismissed his thoughts as just some new conspiracy theories, but lately I’ve been starting to take him seriously. If he’s right, there are some pretty rough times ahead of us.
Let’s start with the facts:
- Our economy and wealth is largely based on a supply of cheap oil. Just take a look around yourself: there is plastic everywhere, your car is running with oil, your electricity is created by burning oil, and so on.
- Sooner or later we’re going to run out of oil. There is no denying this part of the story, oil takes millions of years to form, so we can fairly say that it’s not a renewable form of energy.
- What people disagree on is how soon this will happen. The Peak Oil proponents say that it’s more likely that we run out of energy sooner than later. There have even been reports saying that we’ll be in trouble in less than three years, as early as 2010.
- If this estimate is correct, we’re in deep trouble. The new forms of energy supplies that we’d like to use instead of oil just aren’t mature enough to support our ever growing energy needs.
For a while, let’s assume the theory is correct.
What it means is that in less than a decade we’ll be practically out of oil and that will in turn cause big shortages in electricity. As programmers we’re dependent of electricity, and personally I could even go as far as to say that I’m addicted to electricity. So, a world without (or with limited) electricity is something new and scary to me.
And here comes the big question: What would you do in a world without electricity?
In hopes of starting an interesting discussion and getting some new insight and ideas regarding the energy crisis, I’m asking you: what do you think of all of this?
What would you do if the world ran out of electricity, or if your electricity usage would be limited to only a few hours per day? Would you still try to make software or is there something else you’d do instead?
The floor is all yours. Clean the dust off your crystal ball, and take a deep look into our future!