The American way of life has been shaped by the abundance of cheap oil — cheap gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Post World War II America was defined by fast cars and cheap gas. But in a future that is dependent on expensive transportation fuels, America’s culture will be redefined, perhaps as radically as it was by the 60’s Cultural Revolution.
When World War II ended, U.S. soldiers returned home from the war and America got pregnant — 75 million babies were born between 1946 and 1964 — by 1965 forty percent of the American population was under the age of twenty. These millions of Americans are called the “Baby Boomers”. Their parents were the Americans who came of age during the Great Depression, the men, and women who sacrificed and fought to help liberate the world from tyranny.
Americans love their cars when gas is cheap…but when gasoline is expensive, Americans still need their cars.
The Boomers relished and fully indulged in the freedom their parents had won.
For over a half-century, the Boomers have been driving the American Economy. Through every phase of life, the economic impact of the Boomers has changed the face of America, creating demand for new products and services and giving birth to new industries. But now, the Economy is about to run out of gas — metaphorically speaking.
Did the Boomers squander the freedom their parents sacrificed so much for? What will the Boomers leave for their children — for future generations of Americans? Will the Boomers’ grandchildren and great-grandchildren rename the Boomers, calling them the Selfish Generation?
Today the Boomers are the largest voting block in the USA. And as if by providence, the Boomers are positioned once again to change the future — if they are willing to accept the challenge that destiny has lain before them, by answering the call to help liberate the world from the tyranny of oil dependence.
The Boomers have an opportunity to help give future generations a sustainable world — a concept that the Boomers and their parents did not need to be concerned with but now stands looming as the single most important challenge facing humanity today. The Boomers will have to sacrifice and fight for this new future, and it will be harder than what their parents were called to do because their parents had no choice — they were drafted, if they didn’t volunteer. The Boomers have a choice — they can do nothing: inaction is a choice.
Will the Boomers make the right choice? The Boomers’ parents will always be remembered for the sacrifice they made during World War II. Will the Boomers leave something behind that will be worth remembering them for?
Energy Independence will be attained when petroleum is no longer used for energy — for transportation fuels. Today, American cars and trucks are designed to run on petroleum fuels. Although Diesel engines can use synthetic diesel, if it is available, gasoline engines perform poorly with synthetic alcohol and bio-alcohol. An all-out effort, on the scale of the World War II civilian work force is needed to manufacture new cars and trucks that do not require gasoline — it is time to perfect the Alcohol Engine and mandate that all vehicles capable of using gasoline be optimized for Alcohol.