Past Life: Shetland’s future as seen by a schoolboy

From Shetland Life, February 1986, No.64

by C. Williamson

Just now we have plenty of oil and coal but these two important resources won’t last for ever. In 20 or 30 years’ time the crude oil wells will run dry and thousands of jobs will be lost and if the oil runs out there will be no plastics, petrol or diesel. So there will be a healthier atmosphere. And if there is no crude oil flowing through the Ninian pipeline, Sullom Voe will be closed down and thousands of people will leave Shetland in search of jobs, back where they came from.

I can see there will be a mass of scrap for all the Shetland people in the Sullom Voe oil terminal. Probably the big diameter pipe will be used for dog kennels and all the wire and Portakabins will be put to use.

All man-made materials, like plastic, nylon and terylene, all come from oil. If there is no plastic there will be a greater demand on leather, and cattle numbers will increase by the millions and the farmer and shepherd will come back. In the shops things like vegetables, beef, mutton, chicken, goose, duck and turkey, all types of game, like rabbit and hare and all types of game birds will be in great demand. Wheat and barley can still be grown so there will still be bread – all of these things are eternal and will never run out.

Electricity will be made by either wave turbines or wind mills to drive important things like deep freezes, heaters and lights. Cars, tractors, trucks and trains will run on a type of solar power stored to drive an electric engine. Ships may be powered by wind using sail.

I can see in Shetland that everything will be back to what it was a hundred years back with the exception of electricity. I can also see people getting their dinner from places like the craig stone and young boys making their pocket money by ferreting rabbits and selling them.

I would also think that nuclear power will be used for heat and power instead of firing bombs to blow up Russia. So the world would live as one.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.