Peak Oil & Our Own Tragedy of the Commons

Hubbert’s Peak oil theory is really interesting to think about. I mean, think about all of the things that require oil that we rely on so heavily these days! What is so thought-provoking about the “Hubbert curve” is all of the consequences and events that will occur once we know that we have reached the peak of our oil extraction. I got the image below from that lists several products that come from oil. I know that there is a lot of research going on for alternative fuel, but will our society finally get the hint that this is a serious issue once we reach the peak? Because literally it is all downhill from there…. And we know how dependent we are. Just think about how many people commute to work in Los Angeles every day. Our economy will be hit so hard and prices on everything will increase, affecting almost all, if not all, income groups. It would be nice to think that the precautionary principle could be applied in this situation, but in reality I don’t think that there is enough accessible public transportation.

ImageThe section that we read on the Tragedy of the Commons discussed what will happen to our national parks if they continue to be looked at as a common shared area. It is hard to think that maybe one day these parks will not be open to all without limit (especially for me because I haven’t been to Yosemite yet!..guess I better go asap). It will be a sad day when only the wealthy can afford to see what we label as “nature” and the “wilderness”. The rest of the world who cannot afford it will just live a life knowing only industrial areas and city parks. The other huge problem is pollution because as the section says, we can’t fence off our own clean air; everyone’s emissions affect everyone else. I wanted to make sure to note that businesses do have an emission trading system..if you would like to read a brief summary about how this system works you can search emissions trading or cap and trade on the internet. I think it is a good way to deal with big businesses, but if any of you read about it, do you think that there is anything that the government could do to improve this system? Because, after all, the actions of these businesses affect the air that we all breathe.

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