(First written 2/15/07)
We’ve travelled (so far) on our Mexican birding trip a total of 1,193 miles in Clemmie since we first convened with the group on January 6. About average for our land cruising experience. One or other (sometimes both) of us have also hitched rides in the tow car or truck of another birder for an additional 850 miles. Clearly, this kind of birding trip could not be done without a car. Unlike the birding activities we’re accustomed to (we go on foot or on our bikes) it’s heavily car-dependent. Having done without a car for so many years, they’ve begun to feel more like a trap than a convenience. It seems that if you have a car, you use it. It’s a doing machine and kills the being time.
World-wide oil production is known to have passed it’s peak. The easy part is clearly over. The USA’s entire way of life (not just its car dependency) is predicated on a continued flow of oil and it has no Plan B for a future without it. With rumblings of global climate change finally beginning to percolate through the consciousness of the populace, there’s still no indication that the general public has a clue about the massive social and economic disruptions heading our way as the supply of oil disappears. Uninformed thinking assumes a magical fix based on coal, solar, hydrogen, wind, nuclear energy (or something else) that will allow us to continue our way of life, entitled to endless motoring and suburban ambience.
Believe me, it can’t happen. There are too many technical hurdles to overcome. We’re sleepwalking into a very difficult future. For sure, it won’t include using cars as we now do or living in the suburban enclaves that are so dependent on them.