For more than a century it has been cheaper than coffee and as constant as ocean waves.
Getting it is simple. You select the grade, insert the nozzle, squeeze the handle and gasoline comes out. There seems no end to it. Until now.
On top of the other problems plaguing the world, such as global warming and the current financial meltdown, there's a third pressing issue that threatens to bring the good life to an end: The world is fast running out of oil.
Given that crude oil makes up 36.4% of the world's energy consumption, the seriousness of shortages cannot be underplayed. Our reliance on oil is almost total. It fuels 100% of air and sea transport and most of our land transport.
Most petroleum sources are on the downward slide
Without oil there is no petrochemical industry. Agriculture, manufacturing, building materials, the clothes we wear, the food we eat and the medicines we take depend on oil.
Running out of oil is a question of when -- not if.
Normand Mousseau, a physics professor at Universite de Montreal who has written a book on the end of oil, says the beginning of the end struck last summer. "This is why the prices jumped to $147 a barrel," he said. "As soon as the economy comes back, they will be right back up."
More at the Vancuver Sun here.