It turns out the first oil crisis was in the 1970's, less than a hundred years after oil had begun to be widely used as a source of energy for cars. It's interesting to learn that the Netherlands used this shortage and an accompanying economic crisis as an opportunity to challenge the growing assumption that the car was the ideal mode of transport.
In the years since the second world war, cycling had become marginalised and the car had become King, with the demands for ever increasing roads, parking lots and infrastructure. Traffic deaths, including those of cyclists had increased massively and cities were becoming choked with traffic.
Does the above sound familiar?
And yet, the Government of the Netherlands and local communities were proactive and turned a negative into a positive.
They were keenly aware of the costs associated with increasing motor traffic: that it kills people, the cities and the environment and that continued dependence was unhealthy. They encouraged people to enjoy "car free Sundays", and over time they adapted their transport planning to integrate cycle paths quite naturally. Cycling and cyclists were no longer marginalised with the benefit of improved health, lower transport costs and safer cycling.
It's looking more and more like an addict who is completely unable to think clearly, rationally, wisely or thoughtfully - only able to focus on the immediate and next fix. The future and others who may yet come after us appear to be an irrelevant inconvenience.
Too often bullying countries and corporate leaders act like a drug dealer who will commit any amount of crimes to get what he wants, and justify it as well with arrogant, dismissive, wide eyed "honesty". Those pushing the drug of fossil fuel energy addiction are complicit in encouraging total dependence.
Are we able to pause, assess and choose to incorporate cycling in to the transport mix as wisely as the Netherlands did over 40 years ago. Or like the addict, will we pretend we "can't" and continue to make excuses?