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Peak Oil: Where To Go From Here? Pt 4

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We remain free as always to choose to fear the consequences of a permanent decline in the availability of affordable and accessible fossil-fuel supplies. The enduring impact on our society and our ways of life as a result of a diminished supply of our primary energy supply is no small matter. So fear is certainly an option.

We can also rely on those disinclined to examine the majority of production realities, offering instead a steady diet of optimistic statements and light-on-fact assurances. No need to worry if the important, relevant facts are carefully massaged first, right?

After all, it's much easier to deliver the all-is-well message while taking the requisite swipe at those of us who actually concern ourselves with those important considerations. Labeling us as doom-and-gloomers obviates the need to actually have a discussion, and that's so much easier ... today.

Very few of us who are concerned with the full range of oil-production issues and challenges find anything about the widespread future impact of peak oil to be other than a somber realization on our best days.

But so too do we have the choice to view the challenges we'll face [sooner than we're likely to be fully prepared for, unfortunately], as opportunities to fashion new successes for ourselves, new definitions of prosperity, new ideals of community, and new ways of projecting humanity into a future of hope and progress. Completely idealistic in this moment to be sure.

But it strikes me as a better attitude to have as we approach the urgency of addressing our concerns before available options start getting crossed off the list. Panic managing must have a certain appeal, given how many alleged leaders are apparently opting for that approach in dealing with climate change and a host of other national/international challenges. Some of us, however, just prefer the notions of disclosing all of the relevant factors and giving the option of planning and preparation to those others who don't have ready access to the facts. Idealism at its best!

The opportunities to plan and prepare will surely be different than those crafted as a result of the many benefits of readily available crude oil and its countless products. We may not have much choice in that regard, depending on what plans and adaptations take shape in the years to come--and this process of transition/adaptation is not going to be measured in any shorter time frame.

But there is no reason to lament out of fear that those descriptions will be less worthy or satisfying. We own the choice of assessing what needs to be done and what will be done, too.

How do we get there? What must we do now?

For starters, we ought to be asking ourselves--individually and community-wide--what we believe are the best opportunities for growth and prosperity going forward. With that must be sufficient understanding that while peak oil's various impacts may not be obvious today or even soon, we're on our way to that point. Given the scope of adaptations and the time frames needed, wasting more days is not our wisest course of action. All of this can only happen once the public is provided far more accurate and honest information than has been presented to date, and it must originate in large part from those who know but have chosen instead to distract or deny.

We're all going to need their expertise, knowledge, and cooperation. The sooner they realize that, the better for all of us--the dissonance and issues arising from their change in assessments about peak oil duly acknowledged.

Finite resources are bound by the rules and laws of finite resources, and no amount of denials and misleading irrelevancies will prevent the outcomes such rules mandate. That recognition and acceptance must happen sooner than later. We need to recognize that every advantage must be considered and utilized, so there isn't much room for the tactics of obstruction and confusion.

With sufficient information, confirmation, and support from all corners, the task then is for all of us to recognize and proceed nonetheless, with full knowledge and awareness that we will be approaching a future very different from the past and the present we will soon leave behind. In the years to come, the energy source that empowered and enabled us to rise to our lofty perch atop the world of technological marvel and progress will gradually but steadily fail to meet our expectations of ongoing, ready availability; ease of access, and affordability.

A problem? Most likely. A challenge? Definitely! Easy? No! Achievable?

That answer is up to us.

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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