The Great Oil Dilemma

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Petrol Pump
CC BY 2.0 Dan DeChiaro/Flickr

I have a real problem with oil.  No, not the stuff that I lube my chain with but the the black gold that we drill, frack and squeeze out of our planet.  Living in the oil capital of Europe I am intrinsically linked to the industry and rely on it indirectly to pay the bills, put food on the table etc, etc.  We need the stuff (for the moment) but for all the good it has done us we have, and are paying the price.  What has this to do with cycling?  The availability of cheap fuel, and it is relatively cheap, has held back innovation and progress in so many areas.  When it is cheaper to run a car than it is to provide sustainable and clean transport infrastructure we may never see cities that have decent, safe and purposeful cycling, walking and public transport systems until it is too late.  Too late?  Too late in terms of public health as we are killing thousands of people with pollution on a daily basis.  Too late in that our children risk a life of poor health and limited potential due to inactivity.  Too late in that we risk environmental catastrophes due to our over reliance on fossil fuel.

We will need oil for the foreseeable future and I am not advocating the wholesale destruction of an industry that supports millions of families throughout the world but it must not stop us chasing the dream of sustainability, clean air and healthy people.  A recent Bloomberg report says that the rise of the electric vehicle may make peak oil look like a distant dream.  Should we scared?  I don’t think so as long as we adapt and change.  Here’s the video and it makes interesting comment…

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