I am surrounded by approximate numbers and they differ but they are all as if they are fuzzy fences to a giant playing field. I see the field. It's where I must play the life game. I know we are as other plants and animals, dependent on solar radiation and that energy has been captured as fossil fuel. It's in the oi, natural gas, and coal. Those energy units got there, very, very slowly. I also know that modern societies are energy users, very, very fast. Some comes from nuclear energy , wind, and solar sources but most comes from fossil energy. The world, somehow, gets and uses 87 million barrels of oil every day. That use is increasing at about 1.5% or 1.3 million barrels a day. It's a fixed resource. We are using it up! and speeding up the use! By 2012... not too far away ... the producers won't be getting out more than 1 million barrels a day. Oil is used for everything, it seems, but the small amounts needed for precision instruments, for medicines, for critical plastics, and for crop growth and human food production can be essential but overlooked within the statistic that 50% of all of that oil is used in transportation ... and it is increasing to about 67% because of all of the new vehicles world wide.
We cannot win in this game. Even if it were not rigged, we must play "because there is no other game in town" as the old joke goes. We have to tend the last oil reserves for they will be priceless, life-saving, economic sources of greatness. We have to use remaining energy for restructuring and preparing for an energy-short future. We will probably do that poorly, inadequately, (distracted by wars over the residuals) for few can or will comprehend what profound shortages in profoundly important core elements of society really mean to a society. Changes are now essential in re-thinking small communities with minimally-essential linkages; new cropping potentials concentrating on solar, water, phosphorus, and nitrogen demands; new forest and watershed management; minimal essential housing; and a theology for survivors.