Worldview Two: Living with limits, creating opportunities
by Richard Vodra

Americans are completing an era of solid growth, cheap and plentiful energy, and a friendly climate. Since society and the economy are based on the tangible use of real resources, not on money, limits to those resources change our future. Worldview Two lays out a framework to understand the limits we face, and to explore how we can change things for the better.  There is an urgent need to do reasonable things to get ready.  I am writing a series of chapters or essays around this theme, based on this outline.  As this develops, there will first be a few paragraphs on each point, and then longer pieces.  Check back to see how this is being developed, and offer any comments or suggestions as you have them.

1.    Oil Drives the Economy

a.    How energy works
b.    There are two energy systems

i.    Oil for transportation
ii.    Coal, gas, nuclear, and others for electricity, heat, and power

c.    Nothing happens without using energy
d.    Energy and other resources, not money, are the key factors

2.    How much oil there is for us

a.    The oil “funnel”

i.    Total production – and what counts as oil
ii.    Net energy – using energy to create energy
iii.    Net exports – exporting countries use more of their own oil

b.    Where it comes from

i.    Geographically
ii.    Geologically

c.    Where it goes

i.    US and Europe
ii.    China and India

d.    Price, value, and production

3.    How much we can use in the future

a.    Production trends, and economic and political factors
b.    Out of cheap oil, running out of affordable oil
c.    Climate change and burning coal and oil
d.    Save some for the future
e.    Alternatives to oil

4.    Economics and values

a.    Is GDP the right measure of progress and success
b.    What do we really value
c.    What choices do we have

5.    How we can prepare for the world of limits

a.    Responses, not solutions
b.    Lifestyle changes
c.    Using what we have now to create a more secure future
d.    Community, food systems
e.    Finance and investment

6.    But what about….

a.    Shale oil
b.    Natural gas
c.    Electric cars
d.    Exotic new technologies

7.    This is not easy to deal with or think about

a.    We are losing the future we expected
b.    We are not used to confronting limits
c.    The “free market system” did not, and will not, deal with this effectively
d.    No society has successfully negotiated a crisis like this in advance
e.    The problems affect everyone, and some responses require global action
f.    We have dealt cooperatively to address major challenges in the past


[This is the outline for an introduction and overview to peak oil and related resource constraint issues.]