Thursday, December 01, 2005

Couple take reins in world oil crisis

The Grand Rapids Press

By Julie Makarewicz
December 1, 2005

WAYLAND -- One couple is taking it upon themselves to find out more about the world oil situation and what can be done about it.

Aaron Wissner, a Wayland Middle School teacher, and his wife, Kimberly Sager, are worried about world oil production and the impact it is having here.

So, the Barry County couple decided to get involved.

For starters, they attended the World Oil Conference, sponsored by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, in Denver.

At their home, Wissner and his wife have installed new window treatments and new lights and are planning to add solar panels.

"My feeling coming away from this is one of urgency," Wissner said.

"This is a very real situation and real issue that will affect everyone. We all need to realize there are going to be changes."

Wissner is sharing his sense of urgency in a discussion at 7 p.m. today at the Wayland Union High School auditorium and at noon Friday to the West Michigan Environmental Action Council.
While experts differ on many issues, they all seemed to agree at the conference that world oil production will peak within two to 10 years.

"Mainly, we need to start reducing per capita energy use," said. "That means making changes.
"And we need to start looking at finding ways to use renewable resources for our needs."

As oil production peaks, if demand doesn't decrease, prices will increase. That eventually will lead to price increases for all goods transported throughout the nation, Wissner said.

Individuals can do their part by reducing oil consumption.

That means sharing rides, combining trips and considering working closer to home. It also means energy reduction at home, including installing energy-saving curtains or blinds, turning down the thermostat, turning off lights and appliances when not using and switching to higher-efficiency lighting and items.

Wissner is certain the oil situation is going to cause changes in the world.

"It's real. It's going to happen, and it's going to affect the way we all live and work," he said.
"People need to start looking at this seriously and doing what they can now. There's no way around it. ... We are all going to be in this together, and we are going to have to find ways to deal with it."


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