On one of the online peak oil forums in which I actively participate there are several members who rejoice as they enthusiastically bring to the group every new pronouncement from the secret land of the energy fairies. This is done with the drive and verve of a snake oil salesman who has just received a new shipment of bottle corks. One could be kind and assume that this is done to bring balance to the discussion in the face of such an overwhelming mass of doom-n-gloom pessimism. And their certainly is a reasonable amount of that around. But, in my mind, that is wholly reasonable. Most of the forum members who are posting messages are relatively new to the concept of peak oil. As such they are overwhelmed by the implications of peak oil and, when they understand the deepest of these implications, quite frankly most of them are frightened, desperate, and find little solace as they look at the geopolitical world around them.
As each of these new whiz-bang energy alternatives is discussed it becomes increasingly clear that none of them is going to be able to offer any serious mitigation to the problems global society will face on the downside of Hubbert's Peak when the global oil supply can no longer keep pace with global demand. The simple reality that we all sooner or later come to terms with is that oil has been the most energy intensive fuel source this planet and our species has ever seen or will ever see. And when peak oil newbies, as they are affectionately called, fully understand the depth of our total societal reliance on oil despair often replaces former denial, even if only temporarilly. The constant reaching out for salvation from the energy fairies is largely seen as just another form of denial. The constant expression of relief at every new alternative energy development project or every new piece of new technology that promises unprecedented energy efficiency is generally viewed as the cruelest of false hopes.