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PeakOil is You

Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Are people dumb for not getting peak oil?

Poll ended at Wed 23 Jul 2008, 05:02:54

Yes, they are ignoring the most important issue of our time.
44
54%
No, the people have enough to deal with in their lives
19
23%
I'm too busy shopping to deal with this poll.
2
2%
Peak Oil I'm just trying live from day to day!
4
5%
Its the oil companies they have plenty of oil!
0
No votes
I'm too busy stockpiling weapons, food and ammo.
7
9%
Don't you watch TV everyone says oil prices will come down.
6
7%
It's the liberals we have plenty of oil in Alaska!
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 82

Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby mefistofeles » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 05:02:54

Maybe this isn't a very kind thing to say but I was looking at a website called politico.com and utter shocked that they didn't have a single story about oil.

Who knows maybe I just come here often. People on other sites just didn't "get it" and were content to view the current run up in fuel and commodities prices as some sort of anomaly.

I think Peak Oil is the story of the early 21st century, it provides an investment roadmap. In my opinion how we chose to address or ignore Peakoil will determine our success and failure as a society. I believe Peak Oil is the #1 political/economic/cultural/military issue. Peak Oil is more important than EVERY other issue that we are talking about today.

So is everybody else out there just dumb for not getting Peak Oil?
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby americandream » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 05:08:09

mefistofeles wrote:Maybe this isn't a very kind thing to say but I was looking at a website called politico.com and utter shocked that they didn't have a single story about oil. --snip-- Peak Oil is more important than EVERY other issue that we are talking about today.
So is everybody else out there just dumb for not getting Peak Oil?
No, I suspect they're terrified and in denial. In fact, I would caution you against trying to press the point home...you may be risking life and limb.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Cashmere » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 05:20:48

Story of the 21st century? It's the greatest story ever.

So you walk up to somebody. You say, "your life is an illusion, the structure around you is all a temporary blip in time, and you are about to reenter the dark ages after a small dieoff of about 5 billion people."

People aren't computers. They're basically emotional and basically improvident. What can you expect?
Massive Human Dieoff <b>must</b> occur as a result of Peak Oil. Many more than half will die. It will occur everywhere, including where <b>you</b> live. If you fail to recognize this, then your odds of living move toward the "going to die" group.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby cube » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 05:43:33

Cashmere wrote:So you walk up to somebody. You say, "your life is an illusion, the structure around you is all a temporary blip in time, and you are about to reenter the dark ages after a small dieoff of about 5 billion people."

Image
I agree, people are not dumb. It's not easy waking up one day only to learn that your entire belief system is a farce. Some people can't handle it and never will.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby yull » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 06:00:38

People are intelligent, relative to the animals, but they are not wise. Despite our high cognitive abilities most people are driven by emotion which allows otherwise intelligent people to have ridiculous illogical views.

Quite, this is the biggest story ever, the biggest event the human race will ever face. The fact that almost everyone is completely oblivious to it I think shows the massive human capacity for ignorance, denial and irrationality like nothing else.

So despite our high intelligence relative to every other species, we are still severely lacking in many areas and are not nearly as smart or wise as society collectively thinks.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby kjmclark » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 06:07:27

I wouldn't say they're dumb; they basically assume things are going to stay the same until the "authorities" tell them otherwise. Most people don't pay much attention to news, don't get their information from internet blogs, and aren't happy about gas prices, but don't think it's earth-shattering.

Really, they'll just stumble into whatever's coming without having much idea what's happening. The MSM is working perfectly to confuse them, too. First it was middle-east terrorists, then it was greedy companies and record profits, then the falling dollar, then it was the threat of war with Iran, then African terrorists, now it's down to the damn Chinese buying it out from under us and the damn Arabs saving their oil to raise prices. It's only in the past month or two that the MSM has started to ignore Yergin and crew and consider the real story.

Has anyone else noticed how many places are halting sales of Mountain House freeze dried food? Someone's figuring things out.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby graham » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 06:30:06

Most people i've spoken to about it haven't quite got the implications of it straight away- I tend to get lots of 'we'll just use coal/nuclear/electric cars ect. Then I have to go into long winded explanations of EROEI, scalability and the implications for farming (they don't get the fact that oil isn't just fuel for cars) which usually ends with either 'OH F**K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' or 'they'll find something.' Fortunately the mainstream media seems to be waking up to whats going on, but i've yet to hear the words 'peak oil' apart from a few snippits on newsnight (a rather obscure current affairs program- equivalent to nightline?). Judging by current statments it seems Gordon Brown finally has 'got it', we just need the goverment to come clean about it and say whats really going on. Hopefully it'll bring out the 'dunkirk spirit' as Brits tend to be very good in a crisis. My only other hope then, is that we don't get a conservative goverment at the next election. They will have to reject most of their economic principals to tackle this and I don't see that happening.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Oil_be_alroit » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 06:38:08

I'm sure a lot of the problem is that people just don't want to countenance the idea of there being a fundamental supply/demand issue with oil.

For example, I just read the BBC's explanation of why the oil price was so high and another FAQ page on oil pricing (Why high oil prices are here to stay, Q&A: Record oil prices) and there was no mention of PO not even as some way off, wacky theory being put about by cranks and miscreants. How's that for balanced reporting?
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Oil_be_alroit » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 06:55:45

graham wrote:Most people i've spoken to about it haven't quite got the implications of it straight away- I tend to get lots of 'we'll just use coal/nuclear/electric cars ect. Then I have to go into long winded explanations of EROEI, scalability and the implications for farming (they don't get the fact that oil isn't just fuel for cars) which usually ends with either 'OH F**K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' or 'they'll find something.' Fortunately the mainstream media seems to be waking up to whats going on, but i've yet to hear the words 'peak oil' apart from a few snippits on newsnight (a rather obscure current affairs program- equivalent to nightline?). Judging by current statments it seems Gordon Brown finally has 'got it', we just need the goverment to come clean about it and say whats really going on. Hopefully it'll bring out the 'dunkirk spirit' as Brits tend to be very good in a crisis. My only other hope then, is that we don't get a conservative goverment at the next election. They will have to reject most of their economic principals to tackle this and I don't see that happening.


Not convinced that anyone in power has 'got it' in the UK yet. Every time I go there I am more and more amazed by the rapid 'Americanization' of the place. By that I mean the colossal out-of-town shopping projects leading to the destruction of the town centres, the ubiquitous Pizza Huts, McDs, Domino's etc, senior proms, stretched limos and so the list goes on. If any European country has been setting itself up for a very hard time in a post peak world then it is the UK.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby coyotl » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 06:56:02

Aren't there after all SOME things that might be done about it?
I read somewhere that if Americans would switch to fuel-efficient cars US's use of oil could be cut by half.
And a Scottish oilman I know says the all-time high demand for oil in China and India f.ex still is 'chickenshit compared to what the US uses'.
Is it such a tragedy if there is no longer cheap fuel for zillions of SUVs and 4WDs standing in traffic gridlock?
The oil that is left must eventually be earmarked for agriculture and essential transport etc.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Micki » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 07:00:20

People operate within their own belief systems.
Secondly it is hard to be a prophet in your own town.

By those things I mean that people find it hard to take advise from people around them and with something as big as PO, it requires a rethink of pretty much the fundamentals that we have been brought up with.
Combine this with the silence of the media (or even ridicule).
Top it off with peoples preference to pick a positive outcome/scenario over a negative one if those two choises are presented. (Bloomberg debates etc normally has one whistleblower and one optimist who ridicules the whistleblower).
Suddenly it is not so hard to understand why the coin hasn't dropped.

My guess is that most people here discovered PO by themselves and could take the time to further research, rather than just take a neighbours word for it.

Rather than saying dumb, I would say most people are spoilt.
They assume that governments will fix things (as the governments tell them) and that if it was a serious issue it would be all over the news. Until then it is not worth getting worked up over.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby zberry » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 07:13:23

And a Scottish oilman I know says the all-time high demand for oil in China and India f.ex still is 'chickenshit compared to what the US uses'.

Your oilman friend needs to check the numbers more frequently.
Five years ago, yes, chickenshit. Today, no.
China has averaged over 500,000 new car sales each month.
When Korea and Japan industrialized, they went from using 1-2 barrels per person per year to 15-17 barrels per person per year.
That's what China is moving to. Do the math. 1.2 billion times 15.
And China could actually make the case that they should be able to use a lot more, based on their percentage of overall world population.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby graham » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 07:27:27

Oil_be_alroit wrote:Not convinced that anyone in power has 'got it' in the UK yet. Every time I go there I am more and more amazed by the rapid 'Americanization' of the place. By that I mean the colossal out-of-town shopping projects leading to the destruction of the town centres, the ubiquitous Pizza Huts, McDs, Domino's etc, senior proms, stretched limos and so the list goes on. If any European country has been setting itself up for a very hard time in a post peak world then it is the UK.
We're only talking about the last few days mind- Brown seems to realise we can no longer run our economy on oil and has made countless statements to this effect. Also Michael Meacher MP (former enviroment minister) is very knowlegable about the subject - there is a video on youtube of him admitting the Iraq war was about securing oil supply in preperation for peak oil. The reporters on dateline london last night (bbc news 24) all seem very clued up about it, though none uttered the words 'peak oil'
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby mark » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 07:30:58

There is no better illustration of what has to happen than the red pill - blue pill metaphor. That 1999 movie was so prescient. You can better understand people if you can appreciate that one member of the Nebuchadnezzar wanted back in the matrix.

When is illusion preferably to reality? Almost always.
Who is John Galt?
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Buggy » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 07:58:09

Kinda silly poll but I took it anyway. Everybody here had their John Bulushi, "I see the light" moment. I just had mine. I don't believe that makes me dumb, just uninformed or ignorant. The mainstream media is not putting this out there. I just happened across the reality online searching for something else. So, thanks for nothing, I am now out of the matrix and shell shocked.
Last edited by Buggy on Mon 23 Jun 2008, 08:01:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Oil_be_alroit » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 07:59:47

graham wrote:Most people i've spoken to about it haven't quite got the implications of We're only talking about the last few days mind- Brown seems to realise we can no longer run our economy on oil and has made countless statements to this effect. Also Michael Meacher MP (former enviroment minister) is very knowlegable about the subject - there is a video on youtube of him admitting the Iraq war was about securing oil supply in preperation for peak oil. The reporters on dateline london last night (bbc news 24) all seem very clued up about it, though none uttered the words 'peak oil'


Glad to hear it - better late than never. Mind you he's got a very tough job on his hands if (when) the "service industry" goes down the swanny, as the manufacturing sector has been decimated and farming all but wrecked.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Cashmere » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 08:24:20

Buggy - welcome aboard.

Do not panic.

Get yourself together, and think about how you will prep.
Massive Human Dieoff <b>must</b> occur as a result of Peak Oil. Many more than half will die. It will occur everywhere, including where <b>you</b> live. If you fail to recognize this, then your odds of living move toward the "going to die" group.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Thunderbolt » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 08:31:26

I don't think people who don't get Peak Oil are dumb, I just think that they aren't willing to believe that their whole existence has been a falsehood. I've known about Peak Oil for about 3 years (since Katrina) and it took me until early this year to truly believe that it was going to happen soon. I would not say that this makes me dumb, I would just say that, like much of the American population, I was in denial about the way I have been living my life.
...and somewhere, right now, Jimmy Carter is laughing.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby socrates1fan » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 08:33:09

A lot of people just don't like to talk about it.
I don't think we are going to have mass starvation in this country like many people here.
However, rough economic, social, and political times are ahead.
People don't like to think about it. Personally I think we are in the direction of a second depression(except harder to get out of) but not the end of civilization.
Many people don't like to think of that, especially having lived in a fairly prosperous era.
I don't think that people deny it, as much as they don't like talking about it. A second depression scares the sh*t out of people, and even worse circumstances scares them more.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby some_math_guy » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 08:34:51

I don't think everyone who doesn't know/care about peak oil should be thought of as 'dumb'. Thinking like this only serves to promote 'outgroup homegeneity' groupthink....an 'us vs. them' mentality which is a very dangerous mindset given the tough times ahead. The only thing worse than widespread suffering and depression would be the same with widespread violence as well - and I do NOT want to see that happen. I think most people are basically well-intentioned, and this is a strength that we should look to build on during the difficult times ahead. It's unfortunate that somewhere between getting the kids off to school, getting to work, rushing home to get supper on the table, taking kids to evening activities, getting kids to bed, etc, the opportunity for reflection about even the near-term future is lost - but folks can hardly be blamed for functioning this way in a society which practically demands faster, bigger, more as a requirement for continued success (economic growth anyone?).

I also want to say that I would guess 90% of the regular posters on this board can not say with certainty that they are totally prepared for peak oil, even though we are probably among the best-informed folks in the world about it. Many of us have undoubtably made some preparations, but does anyone on here have a 1 year supply of food for their family, sufficient seed, land and tools to plant another year's worth of food, no debt, a recession/depression-resistant job, a home that requires no fossil fuels to heat and light, guns and ammunition, their life savings in hard assets like precious metals etc? I think it's a tough notion to accept on this board, but I suspect that many of us here are more interested in the ideas and implications of peak oil than actually changing our lifestyles dramatically right now to deal with it. I know I have certainly struggled with this personally (unplugging from our oil society), but I haven't seen much candid discussion about the pain and sacrifice required to do so on here...it's more the idea of the 'righteous homesteader' doing the right thing while the ignorant 'sheeple' set themselves up for disaster. I think we need to move towards promoting real mitigation strategies and positive education instead of a 'screw them, they knew but didn't listen' attitude. Peak oil is scary enough without that kind of thinking!

If anything good can come out of peak oil, I think it might be that human beings may begin to discover more personal meaning in their own lives. The struggle to find personal, family, and community-level solutions to the permanent oil crisis will force people to work together and focus less on material things and more on providing for the basics of life and developing personal relationships with family, neighbours, and the larger community. Almost nobody provides directly for ourselves or our families anymore - many of us work for money at jobs we either outright hate or just tolerate, which we then use to buy the necessities of life. I'm looking forward (with real fear nonetheless!) to a future where the 'rat race' wheel is either greatly slowed down or is non-existent. Numerous studies have shown that happiness does not increase once a certain base level of physical comfort has been met, and our western societies are among the most alienated, unhappiest societies that ever existed. We have a long way down to go in terms of superfluous comforts and luxuries to rediscover the real meaning in each of our lives. I wonder if peak oil is our ticket there?
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