This piece is written in response to the video below.
“Can you imagine life without oil?” asks the video by GWI “Ground Wealth Incorporated”, an oil company.
Well, “Ground Wealth Incorporated”, let me tell you about what the concept of the wealth of the ground below us used to mean to humankind.
People have “imagined” life without oil for tens of thousands of years. They lived that life deeply and soundly, and they were just fine with what they had –and they had a hell of a lot more resources in their original lives than you are even aware we are now lacking.
Yes, a sudden change would be disruptive and traumatic to our current way of living, and the plenty of good this lifestyle surely provides us. Yes, there is empathy and affirmation for this concern. The anxiety is understandable, especially when people become, by no fault of their own circumstance, dependent on this industrial way of life. I, too, appreciate the abundance of readily available food and materials. I hope that any change would not have to happen traumatically.
But to ignorantly think that most humans alive haven’t imagined a world without oil is stupid, unacceptable and malignant. Many people alive right now are not directly dependent on oil-based products, and their lives and cultures might recover greatly if our extremely recent (roughly century-old) oil-based way of life changed to leave more space and resources for theirs.
In addition, there is no reason to think our own Western cultures (in plural) will not eventually change to be either newly agrarian or even hunter-gatherer once more, with whatever mix of good and ill accompanies that. Or, we may harness the sun and continue to “advance” technologically. But the oil will not last. It is finite. You must understand this.
And I say “advance” in mock quotes – how advanced are you? How very unaware are you? Can you, with your own hands, create fire by friction with a bow-drill or hand-drill? Can you identify a single medicinal plant in your neighborhood? Can you find your way by the sun or the stars? No? What a shame. Can you imagine –if only you could imagine– the life of humanity grotesquely mutilated by the lack of these.