Several weeks ago Patty Crump wrote to tell me of her class and their recent discovery of the issues surrounding energy depletion. The students watched Real Oil Crisis and researched topics related to peak oil and energy scarcity. She borrowed a copy of The End of Suburbia and they watched it in class. I offered to come and speak to the class and Mrs. Crump extended an invitation. There are many who criticize the most recent generation for spending too much time sitting in front of the television; ipod in one hand and Gameboy in the other. I have done it in the past and I don’t shrink from my disapproval of the over emphasis on time-wasting technology in the lives of our adolescences. I think a youthful afternoon spent in the woods is more informative, more relevant and more enjoyable than a week’s worth of TV but I digress. There are advantages to being young. What we often forget as we age is just how malleable young people are. They have spent less time in life and are therefore less likely to be stuck in a specific way of thinking. They also have more to lose if the American dream takes a turn for the worst. You can sense that as they ask questions about the future of our way of life. While some older Americans shrug and then dismiss the idea that the near future might not resemble the recent past, these students were willing to listen and consider peak oil and its implications. I found this to be refreshing and hopeful.
I prepared an overview of the topic of peak oil including a PowerPoint presentation. This was for me as much as for the students. What a wonderful exercise to create a comprehensive description of peak oil, its history and its possible implications on our culture. I've read or listened to many such descriptions authored by others but to make one myself was enriching. We covered Dr. M. King Hubbert and his curve, the state of production in various countries (the class already knew the
I enjoyed the experience of sharing information with young people about what I believe will be the most influential issue of our time. I was happy to see pertinent topics being discussed by young adults even before they graduate high school. I am deeply concerned about how the
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