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PeakOil is You

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

Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Thunderbolt » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 08:37:44

socrates1fan wrote: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.


I agree. I go through my way of life, not knowing if this will be the last movie I see, if this will be the last sports game I watch on tv, etc. It depresses/scares the heck out of me.
...and somewhere, right now, Jimmy Carter is laughing.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Nano » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 08:45:42

Cashmere wrote:Buggy - welcome aboard. Do not panic. Get yourself together, and think about how you will prep.
That's right. There is no need to panic. You don't have to outrun the wolf. You only have to outrun the other sheep. These other 'sheep' live mostly in third world countries earning less than 2 dollars per day, so you don't have to do much to outrun them. In fact that is the reason nobody gives a shit about peak oil.

Are people outside peak oil dumb? No, I think perhaps people 'in' peak oil are dumb. Dumb for scaring themselves shitless in the face of inescapable destiny. And for what reason?

Remember: even if you don't know anything about peak oil, simply leading a thrifty and hard-working existence will get you through it all without much trouble. I don't bother telling anybody about peak oil anymore. What's the point? So the world's coming to an end? Well, hasn't it been doing that since time began? Sheesh.

The only consequence of peak oil that we need to address in the coming decades is the new chapter in the class war that it heralds. The class war has been buried alive in proletarian luxury these last 50 odd years, but it will be back with a vengeance. For the rest there are myriad details that have little or no practical meaning and serve only to befuddle and confuse.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Jenab6 » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 10:03:47

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?
Nope. Stupidity isn't the major reason for why public concern over Peak Oil isn't as great as it should be. It may be a factor in some cases - the average human IQ of 100 isn't sufficient for dealing effectively with the sort of social/economic factors that humans live with. But even among smarter folks, you will find a decided lack of careful attention toward subjects that merit it.

The major reason for that is conditioning. Most people have ingrained "blind spots" that, to mix metaphors, prevents them from seeing the box that they habitually think inside of.

Joseph Sobran is a very smart man. Read these two essays by him.
1. http://www.sobran.com/columns/2008/080304.shtml
2. http://www.sobran.com/columns/2008/080205.shtml

How is it that a man capable of writing the first essay, about Marxism, could commit the sort of perceptual, logical and/or mental blunders implicit in the second? Why would a man who can analyze Marxism so adroitly become so inept when confronted with evolution that he must resort to argument by mockery? It's a blind spot.

Sobran's reasoning probably occurs in either, or both, of two invalid forms. First, he may be thinking that since the Marxists were wrong about Marxism, they were wrong about evolution, too. Second, he might be thinking, since he's Catholic, that his religious creed has trump cards over scientific evidence; i.e., Galileo has nothing to teach him.

(Actually, the Marxists do make a mistake in their thinking on evolution. They erroneously concluded that the component parts of our species were essentially "equals," that any two hominids, given the same environments and opportunities, would do equally well, and that biological inheritance does not broadly favor one race more than another. But insofar as the Marxists believe that humans evolved from more primitive species conflicts with Joseph Sobran's belief in divine creation, I think that the Marxists are right and that Sobran is wrong.)

Atheists frequently have blind spots, too. Not about religion: I'm reasonably sure that the atheists are right there. (I'm an atheist myself.) But many leftist atheists are also racial egalitarians, despite the copious scientific evidence and published official statistics that ought to undermine everyone's belief in racial egalitarianism.

They say that all taboos seem ludicrous... except the ones you were raised with. And in our media saturated culture, the media bosses have had the biggest say in which taboos will be indoctrinated among us, the American public, and which taboos will be exposed and reduced, whether by reason or by mockery.

I'd go ahead and identify which ethnic group comprises nearly all of the media bosses, but, if I did, I'd invoke yet another taboo which the media bosses have had a major part in creating and promulgating, and the result would be, on the part of some of you here, an irrational opposition based mostly on the discomfort of cognitive dissonance.

So, no, lots of the people who ought to be raising an outcry over the significance of Peak Oil, but who are not doing so, are not stupid. They are behaving in accordance with their conditioning. As do most people, most of the time.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Jenab6 » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 11:33:15

some_math_guy wrote: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 hom{o}geneity' 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.

Why is death by violence more dangerous than death by privation? It seems to me that a violent death, a warrior's death, is swift and merciful in comparison with the sort of death in which you chew your fingers off before succumbing to starvation. To be sure, I find the hostility that is often concomitant to violence to be annoying and vulgar, offensive to my aesthetic sentiments, and "ugly." But the lack of composed professionalism among most killers is a secondary consideration. Since people must die, then the attitudes of what kills them should be the least of our concerns.

some_math_guy wrote: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...

Five years.

some_math_guy wrote:...sufficient seed, land and tools to plant another year's worth of food...

An orchard for apples and nuts, potatoes, and I'm on the way to becoming a competent forager.

some_math_guy wrote:...no debt...

That's correct. I have no debts that will result in any forfeiture of property for non-payment, except taxes. And I have reserves enough to pay my taxes longer than most other people in the county I live in. So by the time I'm in trouble for that reason, the county officials will be, or will soon be, either in retirement or swinging from ropes.

some_math_guy wrote:...a recession/depression-resistant job...

Why does anyone need to work for someone else? To get money to buy food with, mostly. And if you happen to be able to eat without money, if you have no debts that require money to pay off? Who "paid" the first pioneers to migrate West? Mother Nature did. She's generous if you're nice to Her. Her investment plans typically pay upwards of ten thousand percent interest over the course of a growing season, and you won't find a market portfolio that can match that.

some_math_guy wrote:...a home that requires no fossil fuels to heat and light...

Wood stove. Lots of trees around my house.

some_math_guy wrote:...guns and ammunition...

You bet.

some_math_guy wrote:...their life savings in hard assets like precious metals etc?

I have some silver. But the real money is energy, and always has been. I can get my hands on food energy, and that's good enough.

some_math_guy wrote: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.

That might be true for some of the posters here. It isn't true of me.

some_math_guy wrote: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!

Too many folks use glittering generalities, too. Not that generalities are always inappropriate.

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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Ayoob » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 12:24:22

A lot of peakniks think of themselves as superior because they picked up on the topic early or recognized its significance early. I think a much better indication of how dumb you are would be how you're fairing after the second halving time. How much use of this information have you made? How have you adapted? What challenges have you overcome? What value do you bring to the table now that you've been sooooo ahead of the game for years and years?

The only utility Ive gotten out of being peak-oil-aware AND connecting with other peakniks is that I don't feel quite so crazy preparing the way I have been. That's pretty much it. Other than that, I don't see a whole lot of value in polishing my merit badges.

I'd MUCH rather learn how to sharpen a knife than do an online simulation of regression analysis of mark-to-market oil reserves blah blah blah. Who cares? All I need to know is that the peak is maybe very soon, possibly past us, but in all likelihood the balloon's up in five years or less. Maybe a LOT less. What else do you need to know? Now... it's time to DO.

Now that I'm done with school for my post-peak profession, my backup education is my next priority. Welding. We'll see how it works out. I think I'll get out of it what I want.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby kernull » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 15:10:02

mefistofeles wrote:So is everybody else out there just dumb for not getting Peak Oil


even in this forum where everybody knows about peak oil there are a lot of people who are just talking or use the forum for entertainment. Dumb or not dumb is not the question the question is, does the people WANT or does NOT want to do something about it.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby some_math_guy » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 15:11:46

Jerry, sounds like you have things well in hand in your neck of the woods. That's great. I would hazard a guess that you are in your 50's, have either no kids or grown-up kids, right? Possibly single?

Virtually every student of the modern education system has left college/university with a huge debt, under the assumption that there will be 10 good working years to pay it back and then 25 more years of making substantially more income than an uneducated person. As Colin Campbell has put it so elequently, the basis of our society for the past 50 years has been that tomorrow's assumed growth and prosperity is adequate collateral for today's debt, and in that climate things like 30-year mortgages (or 40, or 50) and student loans that hang around your neck for a third of your working life are normal and ok, and therefore most people have bought into them. My guess is that many people in the western world could not substantially change their personal circumstances now given even 5 years advance notice of peak oil - and if they did en masse, the economy would have collapsed long ago because it assumes high and constantly increasing levels of consumption.

I guess my point is that one needs to be not only a revolutionary thinker and a very strong, self-motivated person, but also fortunate enough to have favorable personal circumstances in order to break out of the mold of modern life in the face of peak oil. I think many folks (in fact most people under 40 that I know) simply do not have that luxury at this time. Most of their cards were laid on the table years ago (kids, houses, debts) and now there are just a few cards left to be played.

Boomers, who enjoyed most of the world's oil endowment and consequently now own the bulk of society's assets, ironically now have fewer financial obligations and more personal freedom to navigate the peak oil maelstrom. The 'Generation-Xer's' who came on-stream later in the oil story have far fewer assets, higher debt levels, significant familial obligations, and little time to improve their situations before things become very difficult. They are undoubtably going to have a much more difficult time of it. As for the Millennium generation, with no assets besides electronics and clothes, little apparent work ethic, and poor prospects of enjoying future prosperity in the face of permanently falling standards of living....take a look at the typical 15-25 year old Saudi Arabian for a reflection of that reality.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Jenab6 » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 15:55:20

some_math_guy wrote:Jerry, sounds like you have things well in hand in your neck of the woods. That's great. I would hazard a guess that you are in your 50's, have either no kids or grown-up kids, right? Possibly single?

Pretty good guesses. I'm 48, divorced, one daughter age 24, two grandsons (4 and 2). I live in WV, her family lives in GA. I've been sending them advice and preps that I ordered from eBay for them.

some_math_guy wrote:Virtually every student of the modern education system has left college/university with a huge debt, under the assumption that there will be 10 good working years to pay it back and then 25 more years of making substantially more income than an uneducated person.

For me, it was an AFROTC scholarship. I graduated from college with an obligation to serve four years, which I did (1982-1986) at Foreign Technology Division, Wright Patterson AFB, OH. Otherwise, though, no school debts.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 16:20:55

mefistofeles wrote:So is everybody else out there just dumb for not getting Peak Oil?


No, just ignorant of science and ecology. 216 million Americans by last survey. 20% think the sun revolves around the earth.
A Saudi saying, "My father rode a camel. I drive a car. My son flies a jet-plane. His son will ride a camel."
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby VMarcHart » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 16:45:26

mefistofeles wrote:So is everybody else out there just dumb for not getting Peak Oil?

No.

There's too much going on. Kids, family, vacation, school, credit card debt, reality TV, etc. To call our mothers dumb because they're too busy raising us properly, all while our fathers have corporate jobs in town, it's just unfair.

Or similarly, to call you dumb because you have a lousy teacher, it's also unfair.

Think of PO like a joke. It's no fun if you're the only one laughing at it. You look like a retard. A good joke is when everyboby gets it. So let's change our delivery, before we call people dumb.

My 2 cents.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby vetusfirma » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 17:28:23

some_math_guy wrote:Jerry, sounds like you have things well in hand in your neck of the woods. That's great. I would hazard a guess that you are in your 50's, have either no kids or grown-up kids, right? Possibly single? --snip-- As for the Millennium generation, with no assets besides electronics and clothes, little apparent work ethic, and poor prospects of enjoying future prosperity in the face of permanently falling standards of living....take a look at the typical 15-25 year old Saudi Arabian for a reflection of that reality.
Interesting analysis. I would think that the 'boomer's' would have more of responsibility for their Xer's than you credit. I am making plans and preparations for all my kids and grandkids. What is the point if you don't. Why would anyone want to 'make it through' if their kids and grandkids didn't. Give us boomer's a little more credit.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby zakkapoor » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 18:25:15

I agree with some_math_guy.

Individuals, because of their financial situation (loans / mortgage), have very limited options to make an impact. The best I could do as an individual is to trade my SUV for a Prius and make some other similar lifestyle changes. Most people don't even have this liberty. They are still paying for the SUV they are driving. More then being dumb they are being squeezed.

The time for Government to make an impact was 8 years ago. Those policies would have shown results today. It is too late for the current administration to do anything and too early for the new one. Hence the beaurocrats are looking the other ways. They are also cornered.

The only people who can make a difference are big corporations such a Ford and GM. Seems like they would rather go out of business than make a sane business decision. I believe their decisions were driven by greed (huge profit margins on SUVs). My guess is thatthey behavior was driven by the shareholders.

In other words it is a flaw in the economic structure to expect exponential growth in a world with limited resources.

I am personally impressed by people like Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh. He has made a difference by choosing an economic model which focussed on human prosperity as opposed to corporate profits. What the society needs is more people like him who have a vision and willing to dedicate thier lives to a cause.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Ludi » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 18:31:44

zakkapoor wrote: Individuals, because of their financial situation (loans / mortgage), have very limited options to make an impact. The best I could do as an individual is to trade my SUV for a Prius and make some other similar lifestyle changes.
Here's a website about what some individuals can do: link

or you can work with other people: link and link and link

In my personal opinion, buying a Prius is silly unless you have extra wads of money to throw around or you just like to show off how "green" you are. :)
zakkapoor wrote:The only people who can make a difference are big corporations such a Ford and GM.
In my opinion, that's a cop-out.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby VMarcHart » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 20:56:56

Ayoob wrote:A lot of peakniks think of themselves as superior because they picked up on the topic early or recognized its significance early. I think a much better indication of how dumb you are would be how you're fairing after the second halving time. How much use of this information have you made? How have you adapted? What challenges have you overcome? What value do you bring to the table now that you've been sooooo ahead of the game for years and years?
I wonder what the self-entitled elite have to say. Most of what I read is "there is nothing you can do. Quit your obsession with fixing it. We're doomed."
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby VMarcHart » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 21:00:49

zakkapoor wrote:The best I could do as an individual is to trade my SUV for a Prius and make some other similar lifestyle changes.
Hang on, zak. Don't under estimate the power of a good brain storming. You can move to within bicycle distance to work, you can pay your debts, you can help a sibling get it, etc. Just let me know.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Ludi » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 21:01:45

VMarcHart wrote: Most of what I read is "there is nothing you can do. Quit your obsession with fixing it. We're doomed."
Really? We have entire forums devoted to "what to do:" Conservation and Planning aka Doing

Not to mention specific threads: A solution
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby mos6507 » Mon 23 Jun 2008, 21:38:38

Ludi wrote:Here's a website about what some individuals can do: link
Glad you like that also. It's surely inspirational. I need to take a trip down to Pasadena and see it for real before I leave SoCal. The GardenGirl who's been posting here lives in the Boston area and I'd like to visit her place too after I move--if she didn't mind.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby stepka » Tue 24 Jun 2008, 00:00:44

Well there's another type of group that doesn't get it. They are the ones I hear saying that there is enough oil in Alaska to last us for the next 200 years if only the environmentalists would ease up and let them pump it. They "know" it's there because they know someone who's an engineer or something. Of they claim that it is getting drilled but sold to the Chinese. These guys are even harder to get thru to because they want so much to believe it.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Golgo13 » Wed 25 Jun 2008, 05:18:47

You'd do well not to even bother with those types of people. They're the types of people that will be rioting in the streets and protesting the government all the way up until the bitter end under the notion that everything that is happening is all deliberately engineered.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby hiperhiper » Wed 25 Jun 2008, 07:02:51

Jenab6 wrote:Maybe this isn't a very I'd go ahead and identify which ethnic group comprises nearly all of the media bosses, but, if I did, I'd invoke yet another taboo which the media bosses have had a major part in creating and promulgating, and the result would be, on the part of some of you here, an irrational opposition based mostly on the discomfort of cognitive dissonance.
--snip--
Ok we get by now you are racist that was molested in office politics and plans to survive Peak oil by trading your apples with other peasants once when mad max scenario kicks in while reading all the best sci-fi novells ( probably the ones written by Ron Hubbard ) :)
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