academic environmental studies   macalester college

The Beat of the Oil Drum

Introduction

History

Conversations   

Final thoughts

References and Links

















Introduction


Every day throughout the country newspapers report on what each of us sees wherever we look: energy prices are rising. It does not take much research to find countless stories of local pizza shops and restaurants anxious over the effects of energy prices reflected in higher food prices, or people watching with dread as their wallets shrink every time they fill up their gas tanks. We are seeing, reading, and hearing clear indications of cheap oil supplies becoming depleted. Fossil fuels are a finite resource. That means that the supply of fossil fuels is nonrenewable, and will diminish over time. This is the underlying principle behind the Peak Oil theory.

People are getting restless as they watch ever-rising fuel costs on the one hand, and perceive inaction on the part of government on the other hand. People want to talk about what is going on, and where we are headed. Small groups of the most concerned citizens are congregating in cafes, in schools, in libraries, and on the web in cities around the country hoping to connect with others like themselves who share their concern and want to become engaged in the movement.

This purpose of this web page is to help concerned citizens learn how they can fit into this ever-growing movement. In the following pages I will discuss how citizens are becoming engaged in the Peak Oil movement, and to what level we can each get involved. I will do this by describing the conversations and discussions I had in a Peak Oil Meetup and in two interviews in the Twin Cities. The Peak Oil Meetup and interviews will help to illustrate what concerned citizens are doing in and around the country. These examples illustrate the different levels of involvement each of us can choose to be a part of.

The beat of the empty oil drum is getting louder each day with a resonance that is becoming hard to ignore.
















Figure 1: Artist's portrayal of Peak Oil http://blogs.salon.com/0002255/2005/08/15.html




 


Macalester College 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105  USA  651-696-6000
Comments and questions to rdonihue@macalester.edu

   Last updated: 5/7/2008