So what? Why should America get over oil?
Energy security, for one thing. Noble noted that the proportion of oil we use that's imported has grown steadily over the years - to the point where we now import more than we produce. And of the countries with the top 10 oil reserves in the world, only one is a stable democracy friendly to the U.S.
Supply, for another. "There really is a finite amount of oil in the world," Noble said. "And at some point - like now - the production of oil will begin to decline."
Holding up a just-off-the-press National Resources Defense Council report on the topic, Noble raise serious concerns about tapping the tar sands in Canada to slake our thirst for oil, citing questions the safety of transporting the diluted bitumen drawn from them in existing pipelines.
"If deep-sea drilling and digging up northern Alberta is the very best oil that technology and human beings can provide, it's the very best we can do, doesn't that lend the obvious, that it's time to get off of oil?" he asked.
What might America do to get over our dependence on oil? Top on Noble's list:
* Electrify transportation
* Increase efficiency of oil-based transportation
* Design communities to be less dependent on oil
* Create better policies for bicycling.
Want to learn more? Watch Noble's archived talk here.