I’ve had enough!
I’m sick of hearing people whinge about the rising cost of fuel, food and a variety of other products and then laying the blame on the government, expecting them to do something. As much as some like to believe it, the truth is, in this case anyway, the government do not have us by the bollocks.
In fact, more than anybody else, the blame belong with us.
We’ve long been warned that oil supplies won’t last forever yet far too few did anything to curb their usage. Now that we’re close to using peak supplies, we’re fast heading up the creek without the proverbial paddle.
What really gets my goat, though, is that EVEN THOUGH WE’VE BEEN TOLD CLEARLY WHAT THE PROBLEM IS, people are still consuming far too much oil. Just yesterday, as I drove around town doing some necessary errands, I passed several huge 4x4s that guzzle fuel at a horrendous rate. Talk about “sod you, Jack”. While many of us are switching to smaller, more energy efficient cars and driving less, these people are adding to the problem by using more than their fair share. They’re contributing to the coming oil crisis and polluting the atmosphere but they just don’t seem to care. How you can need a car like that in a town like Crewe is beyond me.
Then there was the person who complained about the price of food these days and wondered how on earth she’d ever manage to survive on her meagre income and yet she’ll happily admit that she prefers plastic articles (bowls, buckets, garden pots etc) over more traditional materials because they’re cheap and lightweight. I tried to explain that oil is used in the production of polymers and that the more oil we use the more food and fuel costs will rise, but she wasn’t having any of it. “The government ought to step in and do something about it then”.
And, of course, there are those who simply don’t or won’t ‘get it’. Those who just can’t see how the price of food, that isn’t made from oil, can be affected by this. Do they think that food just magically appears on the supermarket shelves? Or that it’s transported by air fuelled trailers, airplanes etc? Buying local produce and supporting local traders will help more than any amount of whinging.
Surely now is the time for everyone to start realising that this IS a problem and it isn’t going to go away. If the only way to encourage people to use less oil so as to give researchers more time to develop viable alternatives is by increasing the price, then so be it. We have to learn to start tightening the belt and become more self-sufficient because soon, there probably won’t be any choice in the matter. Simple living will be something everybody but the very rich will be forced into.
The trouble is, we humans are generally very ignorant, even to our own needs. Even though we know that our actions are harmful, as long as they’re not actually affecting us too much, we just carry on as usual because that’s the most comfortable way. And then when the roof falls in, we wonder why. It must be somebody else’s fault, though - couldn’t possibly be our own. It’s the government, the oil producing nations, the oil refineries, the Chinese and Indians for wanting their share of oil too… anybody but US.
Of course, other knock on effects of the oil crisis are also affecting us now. Small businesses, from the local grocer to haulage companies, are starting to struggle as prices increase and their chances of competing with the market giants are even further reduced; interest rates are increasing as lenders fear our inability to repay loans; property prices are falling as general spending power decreases and an increasing number of potential buyers fear even higher increases in interest so are keeping their backsides firmly on the fence; the demand for social housing is rising as more and more homeowners realise they can no longer afford their mortgages and associated outgoings; the cost of public transport is increasing; and that’s just the start of things. If we don’t curb our usage on a global basis, things are only going to get worse.
Isn’t it about time we stopped laying the blame at somebody else’s doorstep, expecting them to sort it out and accept that we have responsibilities ourselves?
- Buy British to avoid unnecessary transportation, preferably locally produced goods.
- Grow your own food as much as possible.
- Avoid oil based packaging & products (plastic and polystyrene are the main offenders).
- Switch to a smaller, more fuel efficient car and drive less.
- Cook double portions when the oven’s in use.
- Turn the heating down by a couple of degrees.
- Mend and make do.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle.
- Spend within your means to avoid becoming yet another victim of the credit crunch.
It’s no more than 50 years ago that all of the above were the norm. My grandparents grew fruit and veg in their garden (organic and they didn’t even know it), used very little plastic, had no car while my dad, who was from the same generation, always studied fuel efficiency before replacing his car, they were thrifty with the heating, used the cooker sensibly, mended and made do, and had no idea what a credit card was. If they could do it then, surely we can do it now?