Before we start, the title isn’t a motivational effort to begin an uprising against governments. It’s actually a very serious suggestion about how the steampunk genre could be the foundation for the future of mankind.
As it stands today, we have around 50 years of natural gas left in the world. There’s around the same in oil but around 300 years of coal left. What a great deal of people are overlooking is what running out of oil will mean. Many of us just think that it means our cars will no longer be able to use petrol, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
There are literally thousands of items that are made out of oil. After all, if you were to have three grams (3g) of new plastic, oil would make up around 1.6 grams of it. Of course a lot of plastic is recycled and a ton of it saves around 685 gallons of oil. But that still won’t prevent oil running out altogether.
So what will we do when it runs out completely? The main problem is that the oil companies aren’t going to loosen their stranglehold on the market. They will make sure that people remain dependent on their product for as long as they can.
I see two possible outcomes:
- Mankind develops a new renewable energy that can be used to power everything and a new material to make everything from
- Mankind reverts to the past and relies on steam for power and materials such as metal, leather and stone to make things from
Unless there’s some scientists in a secret facility developing this new energy, it’s a possibility that we will go back to the old ways. We’ll need to use ancient building techniques. The amusing side is that architecture will likely reflect the past as well, which would see a rise in buildings designed in the gothic style. Fuel will temporarily change to coal which will see a rise in steam power. Electricity could continue, but with no way to replace plastic cable shielding, it won’t last long. Also, when televisions, remote controls, computers and their peripherals can’t be manufactured, the way forward will be metal or nothing. But the problem with metal is that it’s conductive.
So while the future is bleak, there is a ray of sunshine in the form of steampunk and the way we make things. Not only do we not rely on fancy inventions, such as electricity, we recycle many old items and invent new ones using already existing technology.
So keeping the movement alive has never been more important, Ladies and Gentlemen. In 50 years, Britain – nay, the WORLD – will need us!