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Peak Oil: : Can We Begin? Pt 5

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Without a serious revisiting of the questionable optimism that dominates any dialogue related to longer-term world oil supplies, without a harshly realistic scrub of the facts, we face unnecessarily large energy policy risks.

Still trying to understand why those adhering to an ideology which has an aversion to change and an inclination to short-cut their way to prompt decisions and solutions believe that strategy is the wisest one no matter what the issue; no matter how complex it might be; and no matter how great the potential for harm and disruption. It's okay to think things through a bit before the urgency of decision-making takes over. Just sayin'....

Is the cognitive dissonance associated with one's questioning of their beliefs, their relationships to the members of their own "tribes" who share those same beliefs, and the possibility that others might actually have valid points, facts, and evidence inconsistent with and contradicting those same beliefs worth risking so much more to so many others? Does it really make sense to simply extend blanket rejections to any and all points raised by others with legitimate knowledge and expertise to preserve that bubble of comfort?

How valuable will ideology above all prove to be when realities such as climate change and energy supply challenges make their appearance known to even the most ardent deniers?

What benefits can any of us expect if the rationale for disputing even the possibility that peak oil advocates and climate change experts [remember when that mattered?] know a little bit about what they are discussing is that forecasts in the past have been incorrect and/or that the sky has not yet fallen? [Convenient to ignore the failed predictions from their own side of the fence as well, but that tends not to get mentioned much.]

To pretend that the realities of current and future oil production can be overcome with a magical blend of wishful thinking, hope, possibly, potentials, and ingenuity while somehow arranging for the suspension of ongoing finite resource depletion is certainly a neat trick! Avoiding the discomfort and anxiety which consideration and planning create is actually not all that beneficial.

Despite the claims the deniers seem to delight in sharing with their own faithful, we peak oil advocates aren't even a little bit enthused about the prospects of our future remaining a peaceful and prosperous one if no steps are taken to even recognize that what we've achieved and enjoyed to date has been built on the back of that same finite, depleting resource. We've carved out no special immunities from the consequences in our own lives.

We're as optimistic as anyone, and for a variety of sound, fact-based considerations we urge consideration of what will happen over the course of the next several years and beyond as production challenges increase because we remain convinced that our society has the capabilities and talents to prepare for and adapt to a transition away from fossil fuel reliance. In time that will become mandatory. We just don't see the value of ignoring those challenges because they aren't smacking us all in the face today.

The impact of both peak oil and climate change as those matters evolve will be so extensive and affect all of us in so many ways that it's insane to think that intelligent individuals and groups--who must understand what's going on despite public indications to the contrary--are nonetheless willing to mislead others, content with taking their chances that energy and climate advocates are completely wrong in every way about every issue and every consideration.

If it were just disheartening, that would be one thing. Everyday life is filled with disappointments. But the reality of peak oil's impact--and climate change--zoomed right past disheartening and disappointing a while back. The responses left to us if we do nothing are not pleasant to consider. We'd gladly settle for disheartening and disappointing if we could.

We can't, and neither can or should anyone else.

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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