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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/22/16

Peak Oil: Start With Reality Pt 2

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The painful truth is that with a decline in oil production in the years to come--coupled with increased demand once/if it does in fact increase again, as we'd like to think [hope?]--with the realities of reduced investment and research in alternatives tossed into the mix, we're rendering any prospects for growth and improved well-being nothing but delusional aspirations.

Is that the best option to rely upon?

When will there be a pause in denial and the flow of misleading half-truths so that all of us can begin the complex, years-in-the-making processes of adaptation to a world where fossil fuels are not the immediately available source of energy? The inevitable challenges of dealing with a depleting, finite resource are not limited in impact to those on the left side of the great political divide. Is the maintenance of iron-clad ideology that important?

Actions taken or not taken based on the facts we all must contend with here on Planet Earth carry consequences. What we decide and accept today will determine what kind of a future we live in, and what kind of a life we bestow on our children. While it tends not to be in our nature to dwell upon issues likely to confront us long into the future, problems that promise to have such wide-ranging impact on all of us [climate change and limits on the availability of our tried-and-true energy supply] deserve a more critical examination now.

And therein lies a big part of the problem. Those who dispute the imminent onset of Peak Oil production seem entirely incapable of appreciating not only how much we rely on fossil fuels for just about everything we do; rather, they seem to have no concept of how much of our personal, commercial, and cultural lifestyles will have to transition from conventional fossil-fuel reliance to the various Plan Bs we eventually decide upon. If in fact they do recognize the daunting task [and I assume most do], then they are obviously quite content to keep the public ill-informed just enough to protect their own interests and those of their benefactors.

Quite the system....

For anyone to think that we can just ramp up our efforts and transition our entire industrial/commercial/transportation/production/manufacturing/travel/cultural foundations away from fossil-fuel dependence to "other" in a matter of a few weeks is beyond delusional. The fact that it may not be painfully obvious to everyone that at this moment we are not confronted with the challenges of a peak in oil production is no excuse not to start having more meaningful conversations and a broader disclosure of all of the facts--those supporting the prospects for future production as well as the concerns over continued ample and affordable supply.

Planning has advantages. Limiting options by failing to plan is probably not the best option. Just saying....

The unwillingness of most Republican officials to even consider the issue of public transportation is only one indicator of how unnecessarily difficult the planning and preparation aspects will be. Narrow-minded and shortsighted fealty to ideology above all else will in time prove to be nothing but an entirely avoidable and ignorant decision that created a host of unnecessary difficulties and hardships.

Taking solace and thinking that poor forecasting skills on the part of some is sufficient refutation of the concept of peak oil is an indicator that intransigence and irrational/disingenuous commentary will also be an unnecessary and unwise component of the transition. For those abiding by a political and personal ideology that will do all it can to avoid the uncertainties of change and an intolerance for ambiguity, they sure do have an interesting way of handling things!

If the harms resulting were limited to those leaders and related public officials singing the official fossil-fuel anthem, this might not be such a concern.

If only....

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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