Monday, June 11, 2007

World without oil

I've taken advantage of my recent wide-open schedule to catch up on my favorite podcasts, which was a frequent pastime of mine last summer. My curiosity was piqued by a recent Future Tense podcast that describes World Without Oil -- an alternate reality game (or ARG) in which participants collectively imagine how we'd all cope with a major spike in oil prices.

Participants describe how a significant oil shortage would prompt them to work closer to home, and how proximity would play an important role in relationships: you spend more time with friends in your immediate neighborhood.

It's true; that's what car-free living is like. I should know, as I haven't owned a car for a full decade. I've always worked at jobs that are easily accessible via walking or public transit. And I tend to spend most of my social time with friends who are within walking distance. Not owning a vehicle: the thought is anathema to so many Americans. But I can say from experience that it's really not that big of a deal, particularly in a city with a functional public transit system, like Seattle.


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