Carpooling with Doom


Looking at incidents such as the American TV network NBC's current 'Green Week' and Al Gore's recent Nobel Peace Prize win, the issue of climate change seems to be receiving unprecedented attention and long overdue legitimization. However, instead of Al Gore, post-apocalypse historians may well focus on the 1956 predications of geophysicist Marion King Hubbert as the true prophecy of this civilization's end. Widely dismissed at the time, it was he who predicted that the world's oil reserves would peak and then quickly decline in the early 21st century. While the timeline changes daily, few argue that global oil's peak is impending if not already past. Despite this grim assessment, one need only look at the 1973 oil crisis to see that even minor technological innovations drastically change our destiny. The Canadian Centre for Architecture's (CCA) new exhibition 1973: Sorry, Out of Gas, which focuses on how architecture and urbanism responded to that new (though brief) reality of finite resources could not be more timely. The exhibition and accompanying publication cover a broad range of materials, from architectural projects for sustainable housing to the original solar panels Jimmy Carter installed on the White House roof--later inauspiciously removed by Ronald Reagan.