If you want to ensure that Vladimir Putin can finance his war in Ukraine by selling every barrel of oil he can pump, please continue to drive a big internal combustion vehicle on as many unnecessary trips as you can think of. Gas demand will go up and prices will skyrocket and Putin will be easily able to afford all of those bombs and rockets he so dearly loves to use against uncooperative civilian populations.
On the other hand, if you want to decouple yourself from the unstable world of international oil prices and all of the dirty deals that make that industry work, drive less, buy an EV (smaller than what you drive now) and put solar panels on your roof. Your costs will stabilize and go down, your energy independence will go up, and you will earn the antipathy of every corrupt oil mogul on the planet.
The world is now a very interconnected place and both the pandemic and the European land war have illuminated just how fragile our maximum-consumption, just-in-time, globalized system has become.
Currently, we are highly dependent on fossil fuels but oil prices will continue to soar and crash as the opposing factors of climate change mitigation, declining reserves and adoption of EVs roil the demand for oil. Electrification and reduced consumption will buffer us from inevitable supply and cost shocks.
Crises do boost energy prices but the fundamental fact is that it now simply costs more to produce oil. In the early days of virgin oil fields, oil gushed out of the ground when the reservoir was first drilled. Today, those rich fields are either shuttered or in steep decline and we have been reduced to boiling the oil out of sand and sucking it out of the crack in the rock strata we fracture.
We can improve the stability of our economy and the cohesiveness of our society by weaning ourselves off oil and transitioning to renewables and an electricity-based economy. Let’s stop setting ourselves up for failure and think in terms of a sustainable society.
You hold the solution to our energy dependence in your hands.
Get it done!