So I caught wind of peak oil and the possible impacts (everything from anarchy to authoritarianism, chaos to utopia) and have been reading and learning as much as I can.
I've even brought it into my work, making a case that its something we need to be aware of and planning for. I don't yet have a full green light to study it in detail, but I've been given the go-ahead to prepare a problematique type document that outlines the issue and its strategic interest to our work.
In the course of this, I've tried to explain it to my girlfriend and friends, and the family will be coming up next. In each case so far its been the same response of smirking and eye-rolling, or faith in technology. I hate being characterized as soom doomsayer shouting that the sky is falling, but its been really hard to get anyone to take me seriously. A few can see the simple logic that oil is finite and the price will go up long before we've tapped the last drop, and can sort of see the effect a doubling or quadrupling of the price of oil could have. Despite that, most still have this faith in alternative energies being able to preserve our current way of life, and don't believe that there is anything to prepare for other than swapping their gasoline engines for hydrogen engines, and plunking a solar panel on the roof of their house.
When I told my girlfriend I intend to learn as much as I can about basic agriculture, and to take up hunting (a past-time in my family that I skipped out on in my youth) she looked at me with some cross between fear and incredulity. She asked what we can do about it, and I said "nothing, just prepare for what might happen".
I don't believe we are helpless, but much like global warming we're at a stage that we cannot turn back what is coming, we can only prepare to handle a new reality.
But on the whole I've found so far that people:
a) don't believe there is a problem period.
b) have such unyielding faith in technology that they believe a solution will arrive without them doing anything differently.
c) Can see the problem but find it too terrifying or difficult to think about, so choose not to.
I know for my part everything I see looks different. I go to the 7/11 and buy a jug of milk and think to myself "this won't be here before long". The cars, the houses, everything just looks so temporary and doomed. The TV, the internet, the radio, video games - what will survive? It's tough, and the only consolation I really have is that we don't know the timeline exactly - altho from what I've read our best case scenario is 5 years till peak oil, altho we may manage to avoid the price shocks for some time after that. That's our window for setting up a transition strategy.
I'm dealing with it, but conveying the problem to others isn't going so hot.
Last edited by Ferretlover
on Fri 13 Mar 2009, 21:28:02, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Merged with THE Telling Others about PO Thread.