We face a possible choice between fresh water and oil.
I discovered two springs in a wood in Hilly Fields, Colchester. “Safe to drink?” my first reaction to the discovery, a sad reaction to the reality the human race has polluted most fresh water sources in our world. The springs are far from agriculture, housing and industry, thus likely safe from contamination. I shall dig the springs out for my own and wild animal use.
People dispute climate change, but all are in agreement that people need safe food and water to survive. People can survive with no oil. If oil threatens to contaminate water and food, will people still choose to support fracking and tar sands as a source of their oil?
USA claims a new oil boom with discoveries of oil in North Dakota, California and Texas to secure the oil future of USA for one hundred years. With new processes to extract oil from tar sands and through fracking the experts dismiss fears of an oil crisis, as there are 50 years of oil from these alternative sources to meet global needs. Behind the positive smiles of politician, journalist and expert is a darker reality, where US citizen and Canadian will enjoy the possibilities of eating their oil, washing in their oil and drinking oil in their water.
Oil corporations extract oil from tar sands and through fracking using vast amounts of fresh water, which becomes polluted beyond recovery with toxic heavy metals and chemicals. The processes of oil extraction from tar sands and fracking, and the storage of the toxic waste water, releases toxic pollutants into soil, rivers and lakes which fish, crops and cattle absorb into the food chain.
The US oil future is at a price of destruction of fresh water and contamination of food. The new oil discoveries in North Dakota, California and Texas require fracking to extract the oil; these three States suffer a water crisis, where available water is insufficient to meet the long-term needs of the population. Oil companies care about profit, they buy politicians, the people of North Dakota, California, and Texas will sacrifice their water and food security for oil profits.
Modern civilisation uses oil as its foundation. It is thanks to oil I pick up discarded broken plastic toys made in China that chokes rabbits to death in Hilly Fields in Colchester, UK. There is no cheap easy alternative to oil, civilisation would suffer a dramatic decline in living standards with no oil. We live in the tail-end of sixty years of ease, luxury and decadence thanks to oil. To enjoy continued decadence people face hard choices to use oil from fracking and tar sands, which will pollute their water, food and air, or live in a society where they will suffer limits on travel, choice and consumer products made possible due to oil.