Thursday, July 13, 2006

I must be crazy! There are so many blogs out there, even just blogs about peak oil which, lest there be any confusion, will be the focus of this blog. What the hell do people need with another one? Well..... it is my hope that through my wierd, eclectic group of interests and passions and my ability to bring together from those interests information that relate in ways others may not see, that this will allow me insights and interpretations you will not find in other peak oil blogs. It is my hope, therefore, that through reading this blog you will achieve a rare and different understanding of peak oil, of its impact on your future and those of your children and grandchildren, and of the increasingly desperate preparation measures we are going to be forced into the longer we wait.

I am, I will admit, not optimistic that we will do anything meaningful to head off the crisis coming at us. We humans, despite our supposed intellect, seem to be prone to responding to crises as they occur rather than using our awareness of that impending crisis to head it off. We are so accustomed to wanting solutions that, partly out of fear of being wrong, we are very hesitant to identify a problem as a problem. We tend to label those who identify problems, especially those who do not outline a solution for that problem, as doom-n-gloomers.

But, my friends, there really are problems too big for any one person to solve or even propose solutions. One of the main reasons for this is that some problems are not solvable within the social framework in which we live. Especially when that social framework is, itself, a major part of the problem. A problem cannot be its own solution!

Peak oil is one such problem. It is extremely complex. It is global. And oil, and the peaking of oil (and the eventual depletion of oil) are critical to the very foundation of our modern global society. Our global society is built on oil. Our everyday lives are filled with over 300,000 products made from oil or derivatives of oil. Our global society, as it is currently constituted, simply will not run without oil

The key factor, of course, is that our global society has evolved over the past couple hundred years, since the inception of the industrial revolution primarilly. The bricks and mortar within which that society operates have evolved over a much longer period than that. If we are facing a future devoid of the benefits of oil, and ultimately devoid of the benefits of other hydrocarbons as well, whether that future is twenty years away, thirty, fifty, or a hundred, it is going to take more money, effort and energy than we can today imagine to re-create that society that can function without those hydrocarbons. To continue to frivolously waste what hydrocarbons we have left in pursuit of a lifestyle that is completely unsustainable and unsupportable without those hydrocarbons is....... dare I say criminal. If it took over two hundred years to build and evolve our current global society, and we have multiplied our human numbers by 6.75 times in those ten generations, it is going to take at least several decades to rebuild society into a post-carbon model. And if we used half our global oil allocation getting this far then it is reasonable to assume that it is going to take at least the half that remains building and evolving the global society that will replace it.

This is the first entry in my blog, a blog that I hope will last as long the internet, or until I kick out, whichever comes first. It will, I assume, take me some time to build up a body of articles in the blog. Some of these early entries will be extracts from my current (Oilephant Down) and future (Midstream Horses, The Tinker's Light) books. Some will be articles I have had "published" on various web sites. Some will be messages I have posted on the various Yahoo message groups to which I belong, some of which I also moderate, one of which (RunningOnEmptyCA) I also own. But I do write every day, in addition to my web activity, and will continue to add new pieces as I write them.


Teddy said...

Richard, I am very glad you have started this blog. Your take on peak oil, and your understanding of the possible post-peak world were the catalysts which assisted in us being able to make our own informed decisions about leaving the city and moving to our little farm. I am very pessimistic about the ability of governments anywhere to make the necessary changes to the structure of society as it is today. It seems that no one in a government job, and no one running the big multinational corporations have any families - kids or grand kids - whose lives are going to be so terribly badly effected by a post peak world. Or am I missing something? There is SO MUCH information out there, and so many reports and recommendations, but it seems that the powers that be just MUST ignore them. This is beyond my understanding. Am I missing something?

Richard Embleton said...

Sorry I can't allay your pessimism. I see no reason to expect government or TPTB to do anything in time. Action is going to have to come from the grass roots. I believe TPTB believe they can somehow make themselves immune from the downside of what's ahead. We can only hope they get caught with their pants down. So, no, you're not missing something. Ut is what it is. You are taking the one path that should be workable.