Frank wrote:I've been a member for quite a few years also (late-2004) and although I've been following "energy" trends for 30 years I always think of Devil's position (remember him?). This was that although Peak Oil is captivating, the substantive issue in front of us is global warming/climate change. Mankind is rapidly and irreversibly changing the planet we live on. This is the real issue, not whether or not a few more years of liquid hydrocarbon production will extend the ride or not.
In the context of history, 10 or 20 years or a few generations is NOTHING!
Frank, I too remember Devil and I agree completely that this is the issue - mankind's voracious appetite for the earth's resources. Capitalism has clearly brought many good things to us, and clearly its been the best way to motivate people, but not having it incorporate the true costs of what nature gives us will be the most glaring mistake of the model. PeakOil is a side issue, although a large economic one at that. It's a multi-year or even decade long undulating plateau - look how oil and gas production are currently way up in the US significantly... alas, my poor, poor NG stocks!
It's now obvious (to me at least) that there are other energy sources that would be available enough in ample supply that they can significantly help the downward slide down the slope of oil. Yes, yes, scale out and all that - I'm familiar with the re-torts. Clearly we'll be scaling out during a time of economic upheaval etc. It's going to be painful.
The thing is, after all these years, after that initial freak out, my opinion remains the same - the best thing you can do is try to reduce your footprint, put yourself in the best economic position you can, and work for positive change towards a wholesale cultural change. My 2 girls are older now, we talk about the environment and I try to give them as even handed an explanation as I can. It is encouraging going to their school assemblies and seeing the heavy focus on the environment as it is setting a very good foundation for them - fortunately they are still young enough that they aren't yet aware of the scope of the problems that confront us. But these are the cards we've all been dealt in these lifetimes of ours, the question remains how are we going to play the game out. I for one hope that the positive approach is the one we most adopt.