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Peak Oil: Great Question. The Answer Is _ ?

General Ideas

The real question for the United States is not about optimal trade policy or economic theory, but whether we want to extract the last drops of our oil endowment as quickly as possible by enabling the debt-fueled land rush that has brought us a gratifying, but temporary, bump in production, or whether we want to make it last as long as possible, knowing that two or three decades from now the world will be absolutely desperate for the stuff, with scarce exports and unimaginably high prices. [1]

So what will it be?

But before the question can be answered meaningfully, information about what’s at stake; where we stand now; what the future energy supplies prospects hold; together with an assortment of related but just as important considerations need to be fully disclosed. And there’s the rub.

There are two strong camps with just as strong opinions about energy supplies going forward. One group has made a collective career out of carefully extracting those tidbits of information which suggest all is well, and energy supply concerns can be taken off the Big Board of concerns. I’ve written about this extensively, as have others.

But the Happy Talkers have a big microphone and a big bankroll behind them. Certainly no one would expect the fossil fuel industry to fund any efforts to bring about its quicker demise, right? Squeezing out every bit of profit they can today is not exactly a new approach to business.

But the problem is that single-minded pursuit, and the massaging of facts so that only the happiest of Happy Talk is disseminated to the public, carries a set of costs. The more the public is denied the full scope of information about the quality, quantity, efficiency, expenses, and consequences, the more blindly we all stumble into a future which will find us all desperate for this vital resource with no plans in place to shield us from those consequences.

We rely on fossil fuels for just about every material product or service in existence. What happens when the most fundamental component needed is no longer available in the manner in which it has been for decades? What excuse will be offered then as to why the education and planning processes weren’t extended to us when it might have made an important difference?

A headlong scramble to extract and sell as much as we can as quickly as we can may be a strategy, but the fall from the ample supply perch will then be a longer and much more painful one. Our best option?

peak oil matters

5 Comments on "Peak Oil: Great Question. The Answer Is _ ?"

  1. J-Gav on Sat, 29th Mar 2014 12:23 am 

    Our best option is to get more local as soon and as fast as possible. But of course that’s impossible for the vast majority of human beings on the planet, as the urbanizing trend continues to continue …

  2. Nony on Sat, 29th Mar 2014 12:31 am 

    I think being urban is being local. I walk or bike everywhere. Love it. Roller blading in park even. Almost never see a car except for consulting trips.

  3. Bor on Sat, 29th Mar 2014 12:48 am 


    Being local is much more than rollerblading and biking. Your naivete is so charming…

  4. Nony on Sat, 29th Mar 2014 1:08 am 

    I bike to the Y instead of driving. Bike, lift, bike back. You really feel it. And you haven’t put the miles on the car. It’s my greenie environmental contribution. Plus don’t want to be like this dude:

  5. Davy, Hermann, MO on Sat, 29th Mar 2014 1:53 am 

    I would be a bit nervous in a mega city or mega region. Yet, this is where the power and control is so some of these areas may take what they want from the surrounding areas. I would definitely not want to be in a Las Vegas setting. Personally I feel comfortable being in a rural setting. At least initially I can feel removed from the upheaval and turmoil that will surely strike the urban areas first. Yet, I am not naïve to think I can hide from the worst of what is coming.

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