Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Line Between Fiction and Reality

A year ago, I took part in an ARG (alternative reality game) called World Without Oil. In it, I and nearly 2000 other people imagined what life would be like if oil suddenly shot up in price--a world where Peak Oil is manifest.

The funny thing? The game starts with oil at $4.12/gal. A year ago, this honestly seemed a little over-the-top; I was paying $2.58 at the Wawa on Dekalb Pike & Welsh Road (if you, reading this, know Montgomery County). But one year, and here we are, where the game began. Of course, they got one thing "wrong", for in the game diesel was $3-something a gallon, and today it's around $5.

I don't claim to know what's going on; but I turn on NPR, turn on CNN, and now they talk about the end of oil--or at the very least, cheap oil.

In the real world, I do live with my husband in Lansdale; I have a marginal garden I'm hoping produces at least one tomato (which would be better than last year). We don't work at home, we still drive the ten miles to Horsham--and for that relatively short distance I'm grateful. It costs four dollars a day to commute, which is still cheaper than the train (and there's no easy way to go those ten miles without a car).

At any rate, a year later and people seem to be waking up to the reality that oil isn't going to be cheap anymore. It's not like the 1990s, when I learned to drive, and I could buy a gallon of gas for 90¢ and spend Friday and Saturday night driving around with my friends and not even think about it.

The world is moving on; some days I wonder what relics we'll leave, what they'll think of us. And if we'll ever see a day when walking on the moon sounds more like a myth than a historical fact.

EDIT:*For some reason, links to my posts are missing from their archive.


WriTerGuy said...

I think (I hope) your links are still there and valid on World Without Oil - they work when I click on them, anyway, on this page.

Tlachtga said...

Huh! For whatever reason, my name was there when I looked at it yesterday, but the links weren't, which seemed odd because they'd been there any other time I looked in the past year. Anyway, that's a relief. :)