Young Adult Book Reading Challenges discussion

Uglies (Uglies, #1)
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Uglies > Possible Spoiler Discussion Question

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message 1: by Nick (new)

Nick (nickqueen) | 20 comments The Rusty civilization collapsed because of its dependence on oil. In what ways is your lifestyle dependent on oil and gasoline? How easily would you survive if it all disappeared one day?


lionlady | 32 comments Getting to work is a 45 min. drive. I'd be sunk.


Ms. Hicks | 25 comments Ditto. I take public transportation - but it takes me an hour on a good day to get into the office. If this really did happen I would be able to telecommute every day - that would be nice ;). I'd certainly get more exercise.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Hmm, well, as a student, I suppose it would indirectly effect me, but I know for sure my parents would go down the drain-my father commutes an hour to work and an hour back, and my mother drives all over the place irregularly.


Diane (dianes) I drive a half-hour to get to work, so it would have a big effect on me. However, my husband is close enough to his work that he could ride his bicycle to work if he had to.


message 6: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I think if as a society we had to give up oil we could. Gas right now in the US is hitting near $4.00. People are kinda upset but not really yet. I wonder how it will be when it hits $6.00? Will people start having to have to take public transportation? I think Kirsty can give us an insight on the UK. I hear their public transportation system is excellent.
I myself would have a hard time with it. Where I live it is a big city but the public transportation isn't all that great. So i have to drive everywhere myself. We use oil to mow our lawns... so I would have to have a xeroscape yard. I thought the book was good at pointing out our dependence on oil.


message 7: by Meghan (last edited May 24, 2008 03:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Meghan But it's not just your gas to get you to your job. We depend on trucking companies to move our food and goods across this country. Think the price of gas is bad, just think what the price of basic foods and necessities are going to cost? Milk, bread, fruits, veggies, meat, toliet paper, laundry detergent, soap--they're all dependent on some kind of gas/oil.

But seriously, most people in the US are far too dependent on their vehicles. Living in Beijing, you walk everywhere. If it's far enough away, you bike there. Then there are buses and the subway. Finally cars and taxis. But what made me aware of how bad things are here, I live maybe a mile from the grocery store and my husband (who's from Beijing) asked why we were driving there? (Wouldn't we just walk?) And then Kohl's is "next door" but in a separate building. So we drove over there. He laughed the whole time because he thought it was just crazy we didn't walk.

So while all communities rely on gas/oil, I think there are some who would be hurt much harder than others.


Meghan Oh and a lot of communities are not built for public transportation. Unless you are in the inner city portion of Detroit, there is no way to get from place to place via public transportation. You must own a car in order to get around. That's one of the fabulous downsides of living in a auto-industry-dependent state.


stephanie (furies) | 12 comments Unless you are in the inner city portion of Detroit, there is no way to get from place to place via public transportation.

or new york! i have to say, the "greening" of the city is going quite well this year, with the congestion tax added, all the increases on the cost of cabs and gas and tolls. someone i know lives over an hour away from the city, but these days she takes the train into grand central and switches to the subway because it doesn't save as much time as it saves money. (plus she can multi-task on the metro-north in.)

also, i commuted two hours every day to get to school from manhattan to new brunswick, nj - and took public transportation the whole way. (subway, train, bus). of course, if i had had a car, it would have only taken roughly 45 minutes. so.

i think it's that we (americans) love the concept of independence (not having to wait for a train or transfer five times to get to a different line) and we are also impatient. we want things NOW.

also, it's interesting, because my roommate has a house in puerto rico. viequas uses like, NO oil. they don't have anything to use it for, really. i mean, my roommate is also vegan=everything and his moped down there runs on corn oil, but. they use solar panels for a lot of electricity, and are thinking about wind power. running water is this super complicated out-house thing and the shower is a bag you fill with water that goes to a hose that has a shower head on the end, and the water is heated either by the sun itself, or by the solar panels.

alternative energy, man! let's get on it! ;)


Ashley (readerandwriter) It would suck if we didn't have gas or oil. I mean we use that stuff for cars, buses, heaters, stoves, etc. But we are human beings and we are always adjusting to evolution.


lionlady | 32 comments I wonder if we really have a grasp on what it would mean to live w/o gas or oil. We're so used to our creature comforts - I know I am. How would we adjust to a sudden, drastic change in lifestyle? I think initially society would crash, anarchy would rule. But I would like to think that at some point, however slowly, we would adjust and hopefully learn from our mistakes. Alternative energy is the way to go, for sure, but I know there are so many out there that give it lip service but still want to cling to conveniences.


message 12: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 2 stars

Angie | 2687 comments Mod
I do think it is hard to go to other resources.. and to recycle to save our resources. I save cans, plastic, boxes... but I have to use oil to drive my car to Walmart and drop it off!


message 13: by PandaRanda (last edited Jun 23, 2008 02:41AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

PandaRanda If the petrol ran out, there would be major power shortages over here, as we mostly rely on the burning of fossil fuels to produce energy.

The majority wouldn't be able to get to their jobs so the economy would likely start to fall apart because of the lack of workers.

Everyone will be frantically trying to replace the lack of oil with biofuel and other substitutes, therefore they will create very large corn fields, but in the process all the essential wheat fields and other grain fields would not be cultivated. People would starve because there would be not bread and grains to buy.

Factories and companies that rely on fuel would stop working and the industry would fall apart, stopping the manufacturing of many vital resources we use.

But even if they could still produce such products they wouldn't be able to transport them anyway because there will be no fuel to fuel the trucks and other transport vehicles. That means food and other vital resources won't be transported around the country either, so even if we had money most people would be starving because of the lack of food, therefore crime rates would probably heighten as the survival instincts of humans would kick in and everyone will be frantically looking for food. Without any energy, food or money, people will die.

Pretty much we would be screwed because everyone relies so heavily on oil that's why everyone is trying to horde together all the oil left in the world in an attempt to save themselves when it runs out. People are already rioting like crazy because of the increased fuel prices. But expensive fuel is at least manageable, no fuel would be hell. That's what I think.Probably that's why the rusties in the Uglies series were wiped out. And only a few people will survive.


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