Independent Study for Students
Get Into the Game
A global oil crisis has begun. Oil usage worldwide has increased to where the oil supply can only meet 95 percent of the demand. Begin the inquiry into the effects of less oil in our lives.
How Bad Can It Get?
Fuel prices rise in anticipation of when actual supplies start to run short. It's clear that there is no quick fix to the shortage. Tensions start to rise.
Life Is Starting to Change
Widespread changes are starting. Goods and services that depended on cheap oil are failing.
Elasticity and Collapse
This lesson investigates the factors that define elasticity in relation to oil—factors such as lifestyle, geography, setting and community.
The oil crisis has caused some nations to reconsider their foreign policy objectives—and to aggressively seek to acquire oil.
Food Without Oil
The impact of oil on our food supply is one of the most serious aspects of the oil crisis. Shortages are forcing many people to look for locally grown food.
Governments have been hit as hard as anyone by the crisis, leading to the existence of red and green zones in cities and refugee camps in rural areas.
Preparation and Community
With problems piling up and the government unable to help, many communities across the nation are turning inward for solutions.
Now that the crisis has stabilized, how do we go forward? How do we balance our desire for energy's benefits with the risks and costs of procuring it?
Your World Without Oil
Help out the World Without Oil team. Script and deliver your own citizen report that communicates what is happening to you in the crisis.
STUDENTS: LESSON ONE
Get Into the Game
A global oil crisis has begun. Oil usage worldwide has increased to where the oil supply can only meet 95 percent of the demand. We're asking you to envision how your life would be affected and how you would react as you go through the various stages of this oil shock. Lesson One imagines the day when this reality first hits the news; get into the game by playing as if it were really happening in your life.
Today you start looking at the effects of less oil in the world around you and begin to search for ways to live well while consuming less energy.
Part 1: Set the Stage
1. Did you hear? Oil prices increased dramatically today. They say there is going to be a shortage! Here, watch this video. Watch Kal's first video - "Oil Spike!" and read Anda's webcomic about college students.
2. Now here's the challenge: can you immerse yourself in this new reality and figure out how the coming shortage will affect you? What can you and your families do to avoid the worst of its impacts? What risks to quality of life do you see? What will you do in response to these risks? Get "in game" throughout the WWO lessons.
3. Introduce yourself to "collective intelligence," "crowdsourcing" and "citizen journalism" as they relate to this idea: "Oil is such a pervasive part of modern life that it will take all of us working together to plot out and chronicle the impact of an oil shortage."
Part 2: Take Action
1. Group discussion questions:
What are your initial reactions to a spike in fuel prices and the coming oil shortage?
How might your life have to change? How serious are those changes? How ready are you to make them?
How do you think life might change for other people? Will this affect you?
Why did oil prices rise so fast? Why did the announcement "an oil shortage is coming" cause fuel prices to rise immediately?
Some say that in the United States we are "addicted to oil." Do you see truth in that statement? Why or why not?
2. Compare your reactions with those presented here:
Part 3: Lesson Activity
How well did you do in discerning the pervasive effects of oil in our culture? Did you realize that petroleum is necessary for many products besides fuel? See Petroleum Products in our Daily Lives (PDF).
Did you discern that oil is indirectly necessary for almost all products and services today?
- Oil moved the tractor that grew my food.
- Oil moved the truck that brought iPods to my store.
- Oil mined the coal that generated the power that pumped water to my city.
- Oil moved the ambulance that took my Aunt Martha to the hospital so that my cousin Samantha could be safely born.
Take the Oil Quiz from Our Finite World.
Part 4: Reflection
Now that you have a better understanding of the current oil crisis, it is time to immerse yourself into the situation. Use the following question to guide your reflection.
- How are you personally connected to oil and what does this crisis mean to you? Your reflection should incorporate your new understanding of oil and the changes that you personally may have to make if the situation worsens.
Part 5: Take It Further
You've learned a lot today about oil and its role in modern society. To take it further today, get into the game:
- Read the Week 1 news report at World Without Oil.
- Prepare your own "in-game" reaction to the events unfolding in World Without Oil. How will an oil shortage affect you personally? Looking ahead, what most worries you? What actions are you taking in response? What can the common people do to make things better?
Post your findings on your blog and if you can, add photographs, drawings, audio files or video.
View lesson two >>
World Without Oil Classroom Home >>