If you look at the Amish Culture in Pennsylvania that is likely the most secure sustainable culture in the U.S. present day. The reason for this is that their culture is NOT based upon oil. So, a lot can be learned from an ongoing culture like this one. It is not the religious nature of this culture we are looking at, it is how their lives are conducted without oil or electricity that we are looking at. So, this culture is what a sustainable culture might look like without any oil.
When you look at how the U.S. , Europe and most of the rest of the world got to where they are today, you have to look back to the beginning of Automobiles and Gasoline powered flight. Then you look forward to World War II and that mess. However, as a result of World War I and World War II many innovations technical in nature took place. As a result of these innovations 5 billion more people were added to the 2 billion left after World War II. However, the extra 5 billion could ONLY be sustained if there were unlimited oil which there is NOT.
Now we are going through the reverse of everything since World War II. We are winding down the last bits of oil reserves while trying desperately to develop alternative energy sources. Will we succeed in time? The answer likely is "Yes" and "No". Though the U.S. and Europe have reduced their daily consumption of gasoline(the U.S. has gone from about 3 gallons of gas per day per person in 1980 to 2.25 in March 2010), The BRIC nations(Brazil, Russia, India and China) have increased their consumption dramatically. So, even though the U.S. , Canada and Europe and some of the rest of the world are preparing for the end of oil, it doesn't appear that the BRIC nations are except for Brazil which grows sugar cane fuel ethanol and likely will be okay because of this. So, the only country now on earth that is actually prepared for the end of oil is Brazil.
So, the question, "Will we succeed in developing alternative energy sources in Time?" comes the unfortunate answer which is, "Likely 50% of the world will succeed to a greater or lesser degree and in the other 50% of the world there will be more or less varying degrees of chaos."
So, in places where there are enough educated people and resources like there is in the U.S. ,Canada, Europe and Australia and Brazil, everything will likely be relatively okay except for natural disasters caused by Global Climate change. And in China and Russia and India things might or might not be okay because of variety of factors including natural resources. But in the rest of the world it might be a real mess because without oil it is very likely that up to 5 billion people won't be able to be sustained. And beyond that the 50% that do survive okay will likely be so very very busy just surviving themselves through all the changes that trying to help the 50% in distress might be beyond their means during the latter half of this Century. But I think things might settle down somewhat by the year 2100, IF Global Climate Change doesn't get much worse than it already is. If Global Climate Change stays on the progression it presently is on then likely people will start to move towards higher altitudes to live and closer to the poles. So, this century likely won't have another world war but it likely will have an amazing amount of unhappy people rioting for food over at least 50% of the planet.
People will tend to move towards higher altitudes because of water pollution, heat and winds over 100 miles per hour in all forms coming more regularly. Also, even if there is wind at higher altitudes the air is less dense and tends to do less damage than at lower altitudes. People will primarily move towards the poles because of heat and disease bearing insects as the flat lands nearer to the Equator heat up.
Also, what I'm writing about will all change relatively slowly. I'm writing about this only to raise the awareness of everyone as to where all this tends to be going. As the prices of Oil, gasoline and Diesel raise over the next 10 to 25 years until likely there will be very little or no oil left, if we haven't prepared for this ultimate eventuality then Earth's civilizations will be screwed by ignorance and by not preparing in time to survive as world cultures. So, the old Boy Scout motto becomes ultimately important, "Be Prepared!"
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