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Summary – The Nightmare Life Without Fuel | Magic of Words

Unit – 3: Ecology and Environment
Chapter 2: The Nightmare Life Without Fuel [Isaac Asimov]

Summary

“The nightmare life without fuel” depicts the American situation of the 1990s. Through this essay, Isaac Asimov shows the destructive effect of the fuel crisis. He says that life has been using natural resources haphazardly and in the recent future, the limit amount of fuel will end. So we will face multiple problems such as starvation, famine, crime, disaster, and death.

Asimov says that it is 1997. Because of the lack of fuel, a few buses and trains are overcrowded. It is impossible to go to work by bicycle because of the heavy rain. So, walking is the only solution. The single work available still today is breaking the building. Coal is difficult to dig up and nuclear fission is dangerous and nuclear fusion is impossible to run. Solar batteries are not effective and they are very expensive also. In such a situation, only the rich can ride a car for a short time. Finally, the car will change into hardware materials.

Asimov discusses various advantages of the lack of fuel. He says that there will a clean environment. In pollution, fewer environment people will not suffer from the common cold. The crime rate will decrease and police will be back at beats. The street will be full of people and there will be equality and mutual cooperation. In winter people will take sunlight in the park and wear woolen clothes. In summer people will sit under the shadow.

More than merits, lack of fuel has multiple demerits. People can’t go from one place to another place. The people in the suburbs will suffer a lot because they can’t sell their products. The remaining fuel will be used for agriculture purpose but at last, it will be finished. In the first poor countries will suffer from starvation. Lack of food and energy will cause high infant mortality.

Asimov says that the population will be decreased from 5.5 billion to 2 billion. Living people will have brain damage. The army will be just a burden for the nation as it demands more fuel consumption, so, they will be useless. Because of starvation, disease, high infant mortality violence, the world population will decrease to less than one billion. The machine will be replaced by human muscles. So, people have to work hard for survival. Work, sleep and eating will be a great achievement. Finally, Asimov says that it is impossible to stop this problem. If we had begun 50 years back, it would have some solution. But at present, we can do nothing.

Short Answer Questions

What does “The Nightmare Life Without Fuel” particularly deal with?

The essay “The Nightmare Life Without Fuel” is written by the Russian writer Issac Asimov. He deals with the disadvantages and advantages of the fuel crisis in the essay. His concerns are about the fuel shortage in the present world. He has given us the instances from America about how the fuel storage directly or indirectly relates to human life and its adverse impacts. The shortage of fuel resources will result in the preindustrial age of hunger, darkness, and cold. People might die with hunger and starvation. Life will be a trilogy of eating, sleeping, and working. The writer kindly advises us to preserve the existing natural resources that give us the enormous fuel to sustain life.

The essay “The Nightmare Life Without Fuel” originally published in Time magazine in 1977, portrays America in the late 1990s, where the existing fuel resources have reduced this developed and rich nation to the miserable conditions of the dark and dirty replica of the pre-industrial 1800s. America is just a small example to show how dwindling fuel resources have been reducing. The central essence of this essay is considerable that the worst condition may come if we do not preserve the natural resources of the world. Thus, the essay beautifully deals with the problems brought about by reducing fuel resources.

2. What does the author mean when he says the suburbs were born with the auto, lived with the auto, and are dying with the auto?

“The Nightmare Life Without Fuel” depicts the American situation of the 1990s. Through this essay, Issac Asimov shows the destructive effect of the fuel crisis. He says that people have been using natural resources haphazardly and in the recent future, the limited amount of fuel will end. So, we will face multiple problems such as starvation, famine, crimes, diseases, and death.

One of the areas so affected will be suburban areas according to Asimov. He says the existence of the suburban areas is because of the movement of automobiles. They survive because of the automobile as the only means of transportation for the movement of goods and services are automobiles. Asimov is serious to envision the death of the suburbs. When the fuel resources of the world disappear, the suburbs also disappear because there will no more be the movement of automobiles. The pushcarts will be the realities of the suburban areas and they will die sooner or later.

Long Answer Questions

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of fuel crisis? Who will be affected much by the shortage of fuel?

Asimov presents both the advantages and disadvantages of the fuel crisis in his essay The Nightmare Life Without Fuel”. The advantages thus provided by him are too ignored and little in comparison to the serious disadvantages of death and destruction. Quite surprisingly, Isaac Asimov has listed some advantages of the fuel crisis. But the writer says that there are certain advantages to the fuel crisis. he says that people can get fresh air. If a man feels cold, he will get the opportunity for sitting in the sun. People can walk freely at night. Local parks can be fulfilled. The crime rate will be decreased.

Roads will be full of people and there will natural understanding in the crowd. There will be pollution of noise. Military forces will be controlled. If there is no smoke, the people will not use the smell of sent. The police of security service will not be necessary and the population growth rate also will be decreased. Focusing on the disadvantages of the fuel crisis, Asimov writes life will be full of struggle without fuel resources. This world will slowly go dark, as fewer lighting bulbs will be there in the streets. electrical appliances will be used less as there will also be a scarcity of electricity.

Even luxurious provisions and equipment will be impossible. More time will be taken to do simple work also as there won’t be any vehicle running in the streets. there will be difficulty in transportation and accumulation of required foodstuffs. Due to the shortage of food, people will die due to starvation and malnutrition. Due to a lack of a properly balanced diet, there will be a problem in human brains. The child death rate will increase, as children will be deprived of proper nutrition and bodybuilding food. Especially, simple towns, suburbs will be affected much. These areas depend upon transportation for all kinds of things. They will be in danger of extinction. Every human activity will be minimized due to less light, heat and less comfort.

Security forces will also be affected badly. Without the use of weapons, military forces will be purposeless. Their work will end because they can’t work without fuel. They use science weapons, which are operated with fuel and are very expensive. Only the technically strong countries will be able to exercise their military power if fuel is saved in time. factory workers will be jobless as industries and factories will be closed. So, it will be very difficult for them to provide basic needs for their family.

Finally, the world’s population will decrease into a billion and we have to live the industrialized life of darkness, coldness, and hunger. Obviously, the shortage of fuel resources will affect human beings mostly. Children, soldiers, workers, common public and business persons will largely be affected by the shortage of fuel resources. The people of third world countries and another part of the world will be affected. But the American people will be most affected, according to Asimov.

2. Comparing the advantages and disadvantages and disadvantages caused by the shortage of fuel, the disadvantages are powerful and long-lasting. Explain this statement in the context of NIghtmare Life Without Fuel.

Isaac Asimov focuses on the specific problem of the fuel crisis in the context of America in his article, “The Nightmare Life Without Fuel”. Asimov focuses on the decreasing resources of fuel in the world. Life will be full of struggle without fuel resources. This world will slowly go dark as less lighting bulbs will be there in the streets. Electrical appliances will be used less as there will also be a scarcity of electricity. Even luxurious provisions and equipment will be impossible. More time will be taken to do simple work also as there won’t be any vehicle running in the streets.

There will be difficulty in transportation and the accumulation of required foodstuffs. due to the shortage of food, people will die due to starvation and malnutrition. Due to a lack of a properly balanced diet, there will be a problem in human brains. The child death rate will increase, as children will be deprived of proper nutrition and bodybuilding food. Especially, simple towns, suburbs will be affected much. These areas depend upon transportation for all kinds of things. They will be in danger of extinction. Every human activity will be minimized due to less light, heat, and less comfort.

Security forces will also be affected badly. Without the use of weapons, military forces will be purposeless. Their work will end because they cannot work without fuel. They use scientific weapons, which are operated with fuel and are very expensive. Only the technically strong countries will be able to exercise their military power if fuel is saved in time. Factory workers will be jobless as industries and factories will be closed. So it will be very difficult for them to provide basic needs to their family also.

By focusing on this specific problem, he says that it is indeed a serious issue to preserve the dwindling natural resources and if we do not think positively, it will devastate our society, and nation which are completely dependent on fuel. the condition of the poor nations will be perilous and the women and children’s mortality rate will increase and those who remain alive also suffer from bad health. Therefore Asimov strongly recommends us to preserve the fuel resources so as to secure our future. We don’t have any option except maximizing the minimum. Since fuel is the no-renewal natural resource we must be serious on its protection.

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