Oil – Crisis In America Or Hoax?

Sunday evening was a boring night on the tube, so I decided to watch the movie ‘A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash.’ Twenty minutes into the flick the wife informed me that this documentary was too depressing and that she didn’t want to watch it anymore. Besides, what can we do about it anyway? It is beyond our control. OK. So after she retired I plopped back to watching the DVD. I’m tough. I can handle the truth. I have read many articles about the looming oil crash on the Net and even several articles here at LG. I personally find the subject of interest and basically have the opinion that it is only a matter of time before we find ourselves behind the eight ball.

What I find of interest is not the numbers of how much oil is left, or when we will run out, or even the facts about alternative fuels. It is our attitude about oil. I’m talking about the attitude of the American people and what we expect and want. We want to own our own cars and expect gas to flow at the pumps when we pull into a gasoline station. We do not want to hear any excuses, nor be bugged about conserving or any of the other rhetoric that may be presented to us. When we flip the AC unit on we want to be cooled and couldn’t care less where the energy comes from. That is someone else’s problem, not ours. When an oil refinery goes offline for what ever reason we all know that it is just the oil companies trying to run up the costs to increase their profit margins. Just because our oil refineries are getting old and no new ones have been built in more than 30 years is no excuse.

There is no oil shortage and it is just a giant hoax to increase prices. Those folks in the middle east are hoarding all of the good stuff and don’t want to give us our fair share. Oh, and they want to charge us for it as well. Talk about being unreasonable. Oil is just squished dinosaurs compressed over the years and you just need to poke the Earth’s crust and it comes belching out at the top. How much easier could it be? Plus, if there was a real, real oil crisis, our politicians would be on top of this and working feverishly to prevent a crisis and protect us.

We all know that technology will save us. We all heard about the guy back during WWII who invented a pill that would change water into gasoline. That the car and oil companies bought his secret and we won’t get it until the oil companies want us to have it. Water is cheap. It must be because it falls out of the sky for free, doesn’t it? Which just goes to show how those people who sell bottled water are taking advantage of us as well! How do cities get away with charging us for water anyway if it’s free?

If you believe any of the above statements, then I highly recommend you see this documentary. Not to be a doom and gloom advocate, but we do have a problem. One that is going to be a lot harder for us to handle and one from which technology may not be able to bail us out. I found the film enlightening and informative. Though I don’t agree 100% with some of the facts that were presented, there was one fact I do agree with that the film addressed.

Ever since the oil embargo in 1973, when we were sitting in line for hours waiting our turns at the pump, I always wondered why, after 30+ years, we are still so dependent on oil? Why our government has never sought a firm conservation policy, why restrictions were not placed on the behemoths that American auto makers continue to produce, and why we seem to ignore the fact that at any moment our economy could be shut down if someone in the world decided to shut off the oil spigot?

The why, it turns out, is us. We want cheap gas, big SUVs, and we want it now! We may scream at gas prices increasing but we will scream even louder when it hits $10 or more a gallon. But we don’t care. We want it. What Mikey wants, Mikey gets. If any politician running for office stated that they want Americans to conserve, that Detroit needs to build smaller cars, and that a higher gas would be needed for alternative fuel research, they wouldn’t get elected. We want the politician who lies to us, tells us they will increase gasoline production, reduce the price of gas, and tax the oil companies more. Yeah! Got my vote. :-)

Are we spoiled or what?

Side note: The wife changed her mind and decided to watch the film after all. :-)

Comments welcome.

[tags]gas, crisis, america, hoax, government[/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.


  1. marc klink says:

    I haven’t seen that movie. I believe that the idea that we can have anything we want, when we want it, is a natural extension of the concept of manifest destiny.

    As for running out of oil, we are, just not yet. That IS the problem. As long as no one can quantify the WHEN, some idiots will be able to say it’s all a big lie.

    As you can probably guess, I lean toward Democratic ideas, but I really feel that I’m a Libertarian. This is one of the issues I don’t take the Democrat party line on. I firmly believe we NEED to move quickly and decisively to both renewable energy, and nuclear energy. For energy of non-mobile things, nuclear is proven technology. To those who say we can’t take care of wastes, I say look at what other parts of the world do, especially France. They have the cheapest electricity in all Europe, and the lion’s share is from nuclear energy. Using breeder reactors to renew spent fuel is as close to perpetual motion as we’ll ever get. With enough reactors, built in secure locations, we could use cars that run on electricity. Not everyone would want this, but those who did would enable those who didn’t, to keep their ‘Red Barchettas’. Solar generation can be a big part of it, as can wind.

    If we used nuclear, solar, and wind to generate electricity, oil would be around much longer for the cars we love. Besides, who cares how we run the appliances at home? If we can do what we want to, it really doesn’t matter how they work.

    If no more coal was used for electricity production, it would also be available to make fuel for internal combustion vehicles.The principles set forth in the movie The Formula, from the 1980’s, really exist. The most important one is called coal gassification. During this time, hydrogen research could be taking place, to eventually run cars on that ‘water’ you speak of.

    We know how to do most of this. What is needed is not money, or the spirit of austerity, what is needed is the WILL to do this. This is just another challenge for man to ‘subdue the planet’ while not destroying it in the process.

  2. I agree that the problem stems from this “consumerist” lifestyle most of us think is normal. I live in a city of 2.5 million with a public transit system that, despite government funding, has trouble staying in business. I actually think most of us would be happier if we spent less money and gave more away.

    Here’s an idea that will probably depress your wife even more: next time you’re stuck in traffic, start adding up the total value of all the vehicles you can see. Pretty soon you will realize how much money we spend on private transportation that could have been spent on a couple of public buses that would have eliminated the traffic jam and allowed the riders to relax and be chauffeured home, or close to it. Which raises another issue: we should walk more…

  3. Ron Schenone says:

    Hi Marc,
    Good point about having the WILL to do it. As you may recall in a previous comment I made to one of your posts, I think Brazil not only had the WILL but also the foresight to free themselves from oil. When I saw Chevy’s being built for the Brazalians running on ethanol from sugar beets, it really made me wonder why we can’t do it here.

  4. Ron Schenone says:

    Hi Tim,
    Good points. Mass transit in most cities usually run in the red. Traveling by car shows our independent spirit. :-)

  5. Bluestocking says:

    Your wife found “Crude Awakening” depressing? Um, no disrespect intended…but last time I checked, for a majority of the people in this world, real life actually isn’t all that pleasant a lot of the time! There are even some people who’d say that it *shouldn’t* always be pleasant, because human beings (unfortunately) seem to grow and learn more readily from their setbacks than they do from their successes and comforts. I can only hope for her sake that the naysayers are right and that the potential for a global petroleum crisis is not as great as some say it is — because if she thinks she’s depressed NOW…

    I’m inclined to agree with the opinion that the majority of Americans act much like spoiled children — and not only with regard to energy, but with regard to other things such as food and fresh water and even simply space as well. As an example, how many people leave the water running when they brush their teeth? Quite a few, I imagine. How many people ever bother to wonder just what percentage of the perishable items in the grocery store (meat, dairy, fruit, etc.) actually gets sold and eaten — and what is done with what isn’t? Not many, I would guess. How much square footage do you really need per person in one house, if it comes to that? The fact is that even more than a few American families who technically live below the poverty line enjoy a rather luxurious lifestyle compared to that which their great-grandparents or even grandparents experienced — or for that matter, compared with that which many people around the world still experience today. Time was (and not as long ago as all that) when an American family that had a car and a color television was considered well-off. I think a lot of Americans have become too accustomed to a disposable world and a culture of instant gratification to the point that we consider to be necessities or even entitlements what the rest of the world considers a luxury — and as a result, I think many of us are too inclined to focus on what we don’t have and take our blessings for granted. All too often, it’s only when we don’t have the good things we once used to anymore that we learn how to appreciate them — but all too late.

    I’m not yet 40, but I remember at least a few things about what life was like during the oil crisis in 70’s and it surprises me as well that many people seem to have either forgotten the lessons they learned then or failed to learn them altogether — and you know what they say about those who fail to learn from the past! I can’t recall whether I’ve specifically seen “Crude Awakening”, but I have seen several other documentaries and read several articles about the Peak Oil phenomena over the last couple of years. I can’t deny that there are times when I find it depressing — especially considering the fact that there is reason to believe our elected officials are aware of the problem to at least some degree and yet to all appearances doing little if anything about it. There are times when I feel like hiding my head in the sand and hoping that it will all go away by itself so that I won’t have to make any changes in my lifestyle and don’t have to give up on any of my own little avaricious dreams — but that’s when I make an effort to give myself a reality check and stay aware of the fact that this is a very unproductive and rather self-absorbed attitude. I know only too well that there isn’t much I as one person can do about the problem — but that’s why they tell people to think globally and act locally. One or two trees isn’t enough to be a forest, it’s true — but many trees all together in one place are. My only worry is that so many Americans have become so dependent on their comforts and so apathetic that they’re refusing to acknowledge that there might be a problem and won’t be willing to make any substantial changes until it reaches the point where they have to choose between their comforts and their survival — and at that point, it might no longer easy or even feasible for us to make substantial progress toward developing alternative and/or sustainable fuel sources.

  6. Ron Schenone says:

    Hello Bluestocking,
    “My only worry is that so many Americans have become so dependent on their comforts and so apathetic that they’re refusing to acknowledge that there might be a problem and won’t be willing to make any substantial changes until it reaches the point where they have to choose between their comforts and their survival — and at that point, it might no longer easy or even feasible for us to make substantial progress toward developing alternative and/or sustainable fuel sources.”

    Well stated and I share your concerns. When I mention this to my adult children who are in their late 20’s they look at Dad like he has two heads. :-)

    Thanks for the comment and for sharing your opinion.
    Regards, Ron

  7. David Howard says:

    For now, think about this: the people dying of radiation-induced cancers …