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[Infographic] What will happen to us when the oil runs out?

What would a world without fossil fuels look like?

In 2009, Margaret Atwood wrote a piece for German newspaper Die Zeit called "The Future Without Oil." Today, her piece is just as relevant as ever, and presents to us two possible futures for an Earth when fossil fuels run out.

The first picture Atwood presents to us is optimistic and assumes that the world heeds the warnings of climate change. As she describes, "It's comforting. Under certain conditions, it might even come true. Sort of. More or less."

The second is more frightening: "Suppose the future without oil arrives very quickly. Suppose a bad fairy waves his wand, and poof! Suddenly there's no oil, anywhere, at all."

These pictures prompt us to stop and ask ourselves, "What is the future that we wish to create for ourselves?"

As Atwood writes, "Picture Two is extreme, and also unlikely, but it exposes the truth: we're hooked on oil, and without it we can't do much of anything. And since it's bound to run out eventually, and since cheap oil is already a thing of the past, we ought to be investing a lot of time, effort, and money in ways to replace it."

Unless there are laws mandating conservation of energy, most won’t do it, because why make sacrifices if others don’t?
- Margaret Atwood

What can you do?

Start by joining 1 Million Women's Carbon Challenge and taking direct action to reduce your carbon footprint.

READ THIS NEXT: It's time to take global action to save the planet

Banner image: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images


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