Running on Empty

Every time I stop at a petrol station I ask myself the same question; how can an entire modern civilisation be built on a finite, flammable liquid that relatively few people control and that’s in short supply?

Photo by the author

5 thoughts on “Running on Empty

  1. It’s how capitalism works. However, the petro-dollar is in decline and is no longer the the go-to standard world currency. Crypto currencies and renewable energy are changing the balance, or rather reducing the imbalance which industrial oil and the US military have created and exploited up to now. The next big tension will be when the US tries to control things like bit-coin, which it already is trying to do, and making it illegal to produce your own energy via wind, tide or hydro. There is much half baked discussion about energy transition, but what we need, and what will happen, is energy revolution. Small countries like Scotland are actually in a prime position to both lead and benefit from the energy revolution as we are potentially energy rich, out with the hydro carbon reserves of the North Sea. We also have 90% of all the fresh water on the island of Britain. For other countries the future is not so bright, so we have to be generous and co-operate them in order to reduce the possibility of conflict.

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    1. I agree with you George. Scotland has plenty of natural resources for generating energy but we are still bound to the global capitalist machine. The other problem is capitalism has turned us into non-stop consumers, Excess, greed and dissatisfaction underpin our lifestyle choices. So it’s difficult to make real change as it involves a certain amount of sacrifice. We must use and waste less energy.


    1. Glad you enjoyed those photos Steve. It’s a few years now since I took them and most of those old pumps have vanished. Now you might need to drive fifty miles to fill up your car in Northern Scotland. I feel guiltily nostalgic for those innocent petrol days when we were unaware of the long term damage of petrochemical culture.

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