A few days ago, a new president was inaugurated for the USA. As I witnessed the event and listened to President Obama's words, I felt hope rising within me. Could this be a turning point, a point from which we can say, "This is where we made the turn that prevented us from spiraling into oblivion."
Obama's words encouraged me, particularly this one passage:
Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet. [Emphasis added]
The ways we use energy. The ways, that we use energy. The irresponsible ways. The wasteful ways. The shortsighted ways. The ways that cause pollution. The ways that cause destruction. The ways that cause suffering.
It is the ways that we use energy that put us in a critical, malodorous, risky, unfortunate, and uncertain situation.
Can the USA survive peak oil?
Will this country remain one nation as the volatility in both the prices of oil, the supply of oil, and the demand for oil gyrate in unpredictable but quickly explainable ways?
What will be done to hold this one nation together as these seeming outside forces begin to rip and tear at the fabric of society, culture, civilization, humanity?
Will families survive?
There are some certainties.
It is certainly wise to be prepared for the difficult, the trying, and the unexpected. We are on the pinnacle and all around us is fog. Being ready. Being aware and tuned in. Being here, now. These are our tools for a challenging new age.
It is certain that we will see failures, not only of others, but of ourselves. Even our best decisions will be exposed as made in ignorance. Even our best actions will be revealed as counterproductive. This will sting, and for some, it will shatter.
The ways we use energy defines us as a global culture.
Will the USA survive the energy driven culture change that is now at hand?