I had an email exchange over the weekend with a long-time friend. I stated that it was my belief that we had officially hit the top of Hubbert's Peak last fall. He's up in Vancouver and responded with, "No need to take it seriously here in Canada - we have the oilsands, so Canada is set regarding energy." Then he switched the topic to his new camera.
Today I found this post by "Richard" on James Kunstler's blog. Since I can't link to a specific reply, which within a few hours will be one of hundreds, I am posting it here in its entirety because it sums up nicely what is happening between the minority who believe Peak Oil is real and the vast majority who shrug it off and switch the topic to television or something else less stressful. The post also includes some very good links which is another reason I'm posting it in its entirety.
I agree with Dave - I have decided not to even bother telling anyone about Peak Oil any more, save scheduling showings of The End of Suburbia.
I lent my copy of The Long Emergency to a neighbor last week. After reading it, he returned it to me yesterday, along with several books and lots of articles and web links - all by reputable authors about Y2K. Remember that, everyone?
He told me that while he agreed that industrial civilization cannot go on as it is for much longer, and that major changes will have to be made in the U.S., he was also quite convinced that Peak Oil was no more real than, say, all the computers in the world crashing on Jan 1, 2000, a 9/11 conspiracy, or the world coming to an end in a nuclear war.
"Remember that other oil shortage in the 70's?" he asked. That was the end of cheap oil, too" - and showed me a couple of newspaper articles he had collected.
"Doomsday predictions sell a lot of books, and some of the things they predict actually happen.Some things, but not many. Peak Oil is just another doomsday scenario.
Hurricane Katrina and Rita, the war in Iraq,terrorism, the outsourcing of U.S. jobs..those are real problems, and we should focus on those. Not the things in this book."
My friend is a well-educated man, genuinely concerned about the problems he sees around him. He buys organic food and grows a lot of his own vegetables and fruit at home. He and his family recycle religiously, are active in their community, and consciously try to minimize their 'ecological footprint' on the earth. For them, it's a matter of principle.
And like the overwhelming majority of Americans, when the effects of global oil peak finally manifest themselves for all to see, my friend will be genuinely shocked and surprised.
I've often wondered if its all "madness" as Kunstler tries to describe the current situation, or the simple inability of the overwhelming majority of people to see the underlying causes that link the worlds current crises together. Whatever, I no longer think it worth the effort to tell anyone about Peak Oil.
What I am doing is to follow the recommendations of John Michael Greer as outlined in several outstanding articles on living through the coming decades:
The Long Road Down: Decline and the Deindustrial Future
Facing the New Dark Age: A Grassroots Approach
The Coming of Deindustrial Society: A Practical Response
Druidry and the Future: An Open Letter to the Druid Community
1. Learn to proficiency an effective, sustainable permaculture and be ready to teach it to others.
2. Learn, practice and teach at least one system of natural healing (one not dependent upon current technology.).
3. Learn at least one low tech skill that has trade value, or that is useful to a future lower-tech society
4. Learn the essentials of environmental science and natural history, focusing particularly on restoring and maintaining natural ecosystems.
None of this will in any guarantee anything like easy passage through the years to come, but it does seem like a far better use of my time.
End of quote.
I am tempted as well to just zip my lip these days.