If we agree that peak production of oil is happening now, give or take a decade, then we can conclude that the consumption of oil will taper off gradually, just as any commodity does as it runs out. So, instead of having used up all of the oil on a Tuesday and having Wednesday be like The Day After, we will begin the slow arch downwards with a long tapering off period where the oil never technically runs out. Of course, as the oil supply decreases (most scientifically, non-partisan backed studies suggest that we have exhausted 50% of the available oil in the world), the prices go up, thus forcing the need for a cheaper alternative. An alternative will then take the place of oil. Now, industries have an incredible opportunity to create sustainable energy solutions (solar, wind, methane, geo-thermal, etc) to replace oil as a sole provider of energy. Instead, we have been accepting coal as that alternative.
Last night, Mr. Mazria shed light on this fact: Oil and gas consumption can not get us to the tipping point of having fully destroyed our planet through carbon emmisions, because we don’t have enough of it left to produce that imbalance. Instead, coal is the culprit. As the dirtiest source of energy, it will also provide us an accelerated one-way ticket to global warming catastrophies. The ONLY way to reverse global warming and save ourselves is to ban the inception of new coal powered plants and phase out older ones, retiring them once they are no longer operating efficiently. That, paired with the continued efforts to reduce our energy consumption, is the answer.
The beauty of this information is that it offers a solution and gives us all a clear goal of where to begin. As the Building Sector accounts for almost half of the energy consumption in the US and 76% of all power plant-generated electricity is used just to operate our buildings, we have the power, as building dwellers and workers within the building industry, to affect the greatest amount of change.