Friday, July 14, 2006

Oil, Be Seeing You

I debated with myself over about fifty different titles for my blog before settling on "Oil, Be seeing you". It is, of course, a parody on "I'll be Seeing you", a vocal of which (by Rosemary Clooney) I have included a link to on the blog. I have been actively involved in peak-oil-related Yahoo groups for years. So many of the messages posted to those groups characterize the current North American and European society as the high-point of human development and premoan the losses they/we will suffer as we slide down the back-slope of Hubbert's Peak. I admit to not being one who views it that way but that is the subject of a future article.

This blog is going to be, in part, a tracking of our journey past peak oil and through the inevitable decline in oil and other fossil fuels. It struck me that, even as we are dealing with the beginning effects of peak oil, people will increasingly have to deal with the wildly escalating cost and then the loss of more and more things which we derive from oil. There are, after all, over 300,000 products in our everyday lives derived from oil. As oil supplies decline something will have to give. How will people react as that happens?

I remember, when I was living in Australia an American friend I had acquired whilst there (I am Canadian) began waxing melancholy one day about how he would love a pack of Good-N-Plenty. So many of his memories of home in the U.S. seemed to centre around them. Not long afterward my wife and I had a powerful hankering for pancakes and maple syrup. It wasn't easy but even in Sydney Australia we found a specialty shop that had Aunt Jamima pancake mix and Log Cabin maple syrup. It was the best meal of pancakes and maple syrup we had ever had.

Which leads me to the name for the blog. "I'll be Seeing You" has always been, to me, my favourite song that expresses the melancholoy and sentimentality of lost love. Our relationship with oil is, in my mind, a love affair. And it seems to me, just like those two experiences in Australia, that as we lose more and more things because of the decline in oil, people will react very much the same way. They will, occassionally rather than constantly (that would get us into the argument about being addicted to oil), have one of those fond, melancholy, reflective experiences about those things they have lost. But like most of those pining over a lost love, those melancholy feelings will eventually fade and they will move on into a new world that has only fleeting but not overly melancholy memories of the past.

Welcome to "Oil, be seeing you".

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