This complex, broken fossil fuel system is a web of connections. All must be examined and adapted.
We might make a choice to not buy a car but a bicycle instead. It is much less resource intensive to make and utilise, we think we have done our bit. We have helped, but we haven’t solved the problem of a fossil fuel system.
The bike will have been made from metals, plastics and fibres that use oil and gas in their source materials and in their construction. If not, the material might be processed using a machine made from metals and plastics, transported by a complex lorry that has fossil fuel materials, is diesel, and has plastic tyres, the driver might wear polyester, go to work in a car, drive on asphalt roads, use shampoo made from and contained in oil products….
Consider the organic carrot. Can’t go wrong there, huh? But the seed was transported by diesel truck, sown and harvested by diesel tractor with all its plastic and metal parts, collected and processed using similarly compromised machines, transported to shops, perhaps wrapped in plastic before being put in a wooden display box for us to pay extra for in the supermarket. At every part of its life that carrot is reliant on fossil fuels. As are we. We would starve without fossil fuels, millions would have to return to agriculture to farm by hand and with animals. If we must stop using oil and gas now, and we must, we need to rediscover better farming practices, redesign farming and design out oil and gas.
The connections are scary and complex and almost beyond mapping and comprehension. But it must be done.