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Inconveniences

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An observation worth pondering from Chris Martenson:

There has been a very strong and concerted public-relations effort to spin the recent shale energy plays of the U.S. as complete game-changers for the world energy outlook. These efforts do not square with the data and are creating a vast misperception about the current risks and future opportunities among the general populace and energy organizations alike. The world remains quite hopelessly addicted to petroleum, and the future will be shaped by scarcity -- not abundance, as some have claimed.
What galls me at this stage is that all of the pronouncements of additional oil being squeezed, fractured, and otherwise expensively coaxed out of the ground are being delivered with the message that there's so much available, there's nothing to worry about (at least, not yet.) The message seems to be that we can just leave those challenges for future people, who we expect to be at least as clever as we are, so they'll surely manage just fine....
The real question is not Will it run out? but Where would we like to be, and what should the future look like when it finally runs out? The former question suggests that 'maintain the status quo' is the correct response, while the latter question suggests that we had better be investing this once-in-a-species bequest very judiciously and wisely.


Chris Martenson wrote that back in January of 2013, and if he decided to share a similar observation today--some twenty months later--he wouldn't have to change much. That the industry cheerleaders have been successful in telling their tall tales should be of comfort only to a few. The rest of us will be paying a price for the nonsense kicking up enough dust to blur reality.

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So what kind of a nation do we want to be? Just how much better off will we (and our children) be in the years to come if every day we continue to decide that "Business As Usual, Ignore Inconvenient Facts" is the best strategy?

Facts can certainly be inconvenient, at the very least. Pleasing narratives skirting the truth don't mesh well with unpleasant truths. But given what's at stake, to scoff at concerns about a peak in the rate of oil production based on those facts because they don't fit nicely into ideological narratives is beyond foolish!

Few will deny the appeal of ignoring inconveniences, of course. How much of a bother is it to just not deal with a challenge which isn't all that obvious to most citizens? Who wants to heap another Big Issue on their plate? Duh!

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But the problem is that the problem isn't going away. For all the Happy Talk about our massive this or that, reality and the annoying facts accompanying it tell us that endless horizons of energy bounty are not much more than wishful thinking. Most of us at least recognize that that strategy won't take us very far when it counts.

Planning is--at least most of the time, especially for big events--a reasonably sound idea. A diminished supply of our primary energy source in the years to come should easily fall within anyone's definition of a "Big Event."

Unless someone figures out how we travel back in time, planning now would actually be the best time....We'll have more than enough to keep us busy, but we'll all be happier that we chose Chris's second option instead of the "easier" first choice.

Adapted from a blog post of mine

 

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Looking Left and Right: Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows I remain a firm believer in late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's observation that "We all do better when we all do better." That objective might be worth pursuing (more...)
 

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