Independent Study for Students

Oil Crisis:
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.

Oil Dependency Among Nations
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.

Lessons Learned
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.


Food Without Oil


In a crisis, we can live without many things, but food is not one of them. The impact on our food supply is one of the most serious aspects of the oil crisis. Most of the big chain grocery stores are filled with foodstuffs grown in a very oil-intensive way, as well as products trucked and shipped from around the world. Food shortages, plus sharp increases in production and transportation costs, have forced many people to look to locally produced food or to attempt to grow their own.

Part 1: Set the Stage

1. Watch Kal's "Grocery Shopping Without Oil" video.

2. Read Cid Yama's "A Grocery Nightmare".

Part 2: Take Action

1. List the food items that will most likely be the first to disappear from the local grocery store or become too expensive to purchase. Are these items necessities? Can they be replaced with other goods?

Part 3: Lesson Activity

1. Read the How Far Does Your Food Travel? chart.

2. With the decreasing availability of some products and the increase in cost for others, many people are looking at relocalization—the idea of bringing sustainability back to the local community. Review the following resources and then develop an individual and a community plan to make it through the winter months.

Part 4: Reflection

Without proper planning, food shortages pose a significant problem in a World Without Oil. In this reflection you should consider the following questions:

  • How has the oil crisis limited the supply of food in your community?
  • What is the long-term prognosis for food production in your region? Are you concerned?
  • What solutions do you want to implement to counter the problems currently being faced in the oil crisis?

Part 5: Take It Further

Over the last 100 years, our food network has experienced delocalization. Most people no longer rely upon their immediate area for most of their food. To take it further today, your challenge is to find that local food.

This WWO mission asks you to find a farmer, visit your local farmer's market, or pick something from your own garden. Take pictures or video of the whole experience (including cooking and eating it!) and then post it on your blog. Good luck and enjoy that fresh local produce.

Additional Resources

View lesson seven >>

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