Do you smell something? Smells like... cheese? Or maybe it smells like a metaphor. This post is about a book out there called "Who Moved My Cheese", that has apparently helped (and is still helping) many Americans swallow simple conceptual pills to help to deal with changes in their work and life.
One thing I keep trying to get across in my communications is that the massive societal challenges we are facing right now are equivalent the biggest friggen block of cheese on earth, and it's quickly turning into that nasty leftover charred stuff stuck to the bottom of the pizza pan. You know what I mean... the hard cheese that is stuck like a barnacle to the pan you have to sit there and *scrape* *scrape* *scrape* at to clean it off.
Well, that's the cheese we're talking about here. And in our present world, that nasty burnt barnacle cheese is made from a whole lotta ingredients, including:
- Oil supply not able to meet oil demand
- War over remaining oil
- Soil destruction caused by monocrop farming
- Earth's thermostat cranking up
- Water shortages
- (and ton of other assorted things, such as nuclear missiles on hair-trigger alert, etc.)
You know, this is all that really LIGHT cheese that's nice and good for us, according to the political packaging it comes in. And forces greater than you and me aren't just MOVING your cheese... they are hiding it from you. But it's starting to stink, isn't it? You may not be able to see all the cheese, but the stench of rotting limburger is starting to permeate in many Americans' nostrils. For different people, it may be in the form of:
- The men behind the curtain (or confessional) no longer able to hide their sordid 'above the law' lifestyles
- The US Dollar losing its value as other countries begin trading oil in multiple different currencies
- Prices for everything from gas to food climbing up, up, up
- Guiness World Record breaking years for Pink slips
- Stress building, people losing tempers easily, causing conflict
- Anger building as you realize our leaders aren't making decisions with your well being in mind
These are symptoms to the overall problem that everything we rely on for modern society in America is tied to money, and money is tied to oil. Without access to or control of cheap oil, our American Dream is quickly turning into a shocking blunt force trauma to people's egos, dreams, and world view.
But I write this blog because I believe in you, and we have reason to hope for a very cool future if you make the right choices. A fun, exciting future based on realizing that really, there is no cheese (Think of the Matrix... "There is no spoon"). There is only your PERCEPTION of Cheese.
Oh sure, when all of the effects of modern living gone haywire effect you personally, you're going to be pissed off. You won't feel ready. You'll deny it's really happening. You'll feel duped, swindled, and blindsided. You'll want to blame someone else. You'll swear a lot, and kick into self-preservation mode. Then you'll get depressed, which will turn to anger.
At some point, you may return to denial and try to figure out if there are ways you can continue living the way you once did. Really, there is no set formula, the revolving door of emotions is different for everyone. The most important part is how fast you make the critical realization that we are all in this together. You can't survive forever on canned beans, some bottled water and a few extra rolls of toilet paper. Sorry, it's just not gonna happen.
Some of you might think I'm beating a gloom and doom drum. I tend to think I'm playing it with a 5/4 jazz beat we can all dance to. But yes, the drum is very real, and you may very well be faced with a lot more pain and suffering unless we all act together starting RIGHT NOW to plan for modern life without oil.
There will be an article coming out in about a week, following up on my Peak Oil story from February 2006. I would love to hear from you on this... because there is also a city-comissioned Peak Oil report due out soon with valid suggestions and recommendations for positive change that promises a managable and potentially joyous future, but it certainly depends on everyone's participation.
The first step is to get to know your neighbors. You'll need to know them sooner than you think, because soon we are all going to be scraping at that barnacle like cheese. Just remember it helps to whistle while you work.