So I finally got around to seeing the documentary The End of Suburbia this weekend. I was surprised how it got to the issue of peak oil and land use. Basically it argues that these two things have created a pattern of living that Americans can not sustain.
Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness.
But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.
While many people always point to suburbia as a problem of our current land use patterns, this film takes the next step and talks about how we are going to be able to live, or not, in the future. It paints a bleak future since North America has taken no steps to reverse our dependence on cheap oil. Here is a preview of the film and an article discussing some possible solutions.