As everyone knows, oil is a non-renewable resource. It had replaced coal as the dominant fossil fuel in the 20th century, yet it's not as abundant as its dirty counterpart. Since the oil crisis of the 1970's, the future of this resource had been a matter of debate. It was then that we came to realize just how critical oil had become to our economy, as well as what would happen if it were denied to us. Yet demand for oil has since continued to climb all over the world. Despite importing roughly 66% of its oil from foreign sources, almost 90% of all transportation in the US depends upon petroleum-based fuel. That has only made the US more and more vulnerable to the effects of global oil prices. Of course, that's nothing new. Peak oil is the point when the maximum rate of global oil production has been reached, entering a state of terminal decline. That, in addition to an ever-increasing demand, will cause the price of oil to skyrocket beyond the likes of which we've ever seen before. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil I'm focusing this debate primarily on the United States because it's the only nation in the world that is almost completely dependent on oil and the automobile for transportation. Rather than focusing on alternate forms of energy, such as hydrogen and ethanol, I believe there are much simpler and effective solutions to handling the inevitable oil crisis once global oil production peaks. Rather than changing the fuel used for cars, a more effective solution would be to reduce the demand for cars altogether by providing alternate means of transportation. The biggest obstacle in the way of providing public mass transit is the extremely low population density in American cities. Public transportation depends heavily on high population density, or it can't generate enough revenue to pay for itself. It is for that reason it isn't provided in the vast majority of American suburbs. When oil prices spiked in 2008, the majority of Americans had no choice but to pay the high gas prices, given as they had no alternative for getting to work each day. If the United States really is to prepare itself for the upcoming oil crisis, it must focus its attention more on providing mass transit than in the promotion of alternate fuels or more efficient vehicles. This would require that Americans be willing to live in locations with higher population densities, as well as providing mass transit to as many as possible. With mass transit comes a more efficient method of moving people about, as well as using electricity instead of petroleum. This wouldn't mean Americans would have to give up their cars, but it would at least allow them an alternative to the automobile. Thoughts/suggestions/ideas?