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corporate dominance | sustainability

Peak Oil and Extinction of the Global Economy

The age we live in is like no other before it. We command the planet with almost god-like powers. Since the beginning of industrial revolution, our ability to recover the resources of the world has become more and more efficient.
This ability to recover and use the fossil fuels of our world has accelerated both the rate and the scope of industrial expansion. The burning of fossil fuels has been the enabling force that has literally fueled the world as we know it. Oil byproduct materials are an essential part of our culture and infrastructure. For nearly 50 years now, our civilization has been awash in an every increasing supply of oil. This seemly unending supply of petroleum, combined with corporate greed has shielded most of our civilization from the reality of finite oil supplies. A large number of the worlds most respected geologists have come to the conclusion that, all the large oil fields have already been discovered. This means that all the large deposits of oil are already in production. There is significant amount of research, which also points to the fact that, we may have already reached the peak of the bell curve for planetary oil production. As worldwide oil production peaks and we slowly descend down the backside of the supply bell curve, oil prices will reach every increasing heights. As production descends to pre-1930s levels, there will be all kinds of economic and then social repercussions. One could only imagine just the economic disruption that will be associated with this upcoming scenario. Only by beginning now, to develop alternative and renewable energy resources, can we hope to have what has be called a "soft landing" during the upcoming end of the Age of Oil. The growth the global economic system that seems to be engulfing even the most distant points of the world is fueled by cheap oil. As oil becomes more expensive and shortages begin to occur, the global transportation will break down. Without an efficient global transportation and distribution system, the global economy will cease to exit. So the question here is: With the massive shift of production resources, to places in the world that will, at some point, be "too far away", what should be our strategy for the development of what will evidently have to be regional production and distribution systems?

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Thanks for the reminder 02.Jan.2006 18:51

and the good question

What do we do to address the lack of initiative in developing production techonologies for local use.
First off, there are only a few things essential for survival: food shelter and water.
Now, food production requires certain rudimentary tools and arable land. Not much energy use there except for human labor which will be in no short supply.
Second, shelter will be the most challenging in terms of energy use. The idea is to be able to create high-density structures with low energy use. Well, now presently, I see plenty of real estate currently used to manage the global capitalist economy. Lots of banks and other institutions. I wonder to what degree or in what capacity those buildings will be occupied in the future.
In other words, I think the physical structures to house lots of people will be reused or recycled. For new homesteads in the country, I think sod or strawbale construction will do nicely.
Water purification is one thing that will require electric power much of which can be generated by solar PV cells which brings us to the question of production capacity. My hope is that certain kindred folk are researching ways to democratically own and operate sustainable raw material harvesting and production techniques in building solar arrays and wind turbines. We should also look toward environmentally benign ocean or tidal wave power generation which is being researched in places along each Western state coast.
The dilemma truely is, how do the people acquire and maintain democratic control over these resources? It seems like the focus should be in political party reorganization. Activists are supposed to be reknown for organizing. We know people are disaffected by the Democratic party and the Republican party alike. How can we find common ground? Create community groups that can rally behind greater control by the people. Libertarians and Anarchists can unite under this goal. If the people have greater ability to decide their representatives, then they would be more active. Ever wonder why there's so much apathy, "politicians are all corrupt anyway." Monkey on the left or the monkey on the right...
Now it's time to focus on neighborhood cohesion. Which candidate does Kerns neighborhood endorse - find out at the meeting where you can vote and participate in debate. This is the civics that needs to happen.
I'm thrilled to hear folks at the Peak Oil meeting saying that they are their neighborhood association's liaison to Portland Peak Oil. This is true grassroots organizing and it just needs the yeast to grow its potency.

what should our strategy be? 03.Jan.2006 17:18

this thing here

if the government can fund research into fighting aids, sending a man to the moon, sending satellites to distant planets, or bombing and then trying to rebuild an entire country, THEN WHY THE FUCK CAN'T IT FUND RESEARCH INTO ALTERNATIVE, RENEWABLE AND/OR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY?

yes, energy is a hugely social and political topic. it is also a hugely technical one. so while we as a society still have the means to provide cheap energy by using finite fossil fuels, it would be prudent it seems to me to begin tackling the technical and engineering challenges of providing cheap energy AFTER fossil fuels become unusable.

why involve the government? because funding this type of research is not in the interest of the private sector. just like sending a man to the moon wasn't, or firing a probe into the atmosphere of jupitor. so, because gm didn't want to spend the billions back in the 60's trying to pull off a moon landing, does that mean it should never have happened? so, if microsoft or bp doesn't want to spend their billions giving grants to innovative energy ideas, does that mean those ideas aren't innovative and shouldn't be given help in development?

look, something, somebody somewhere is going to have to take the lead on the issue of energy after fossil fuels. and sooner rather than later. if, in 30 years we are still sitting on our asses like this entire society is doing now, an apocolyptic energy collapse is 100% guaranteed. so who is going to pick up the ball? i refuse to accept the idea that it is "too hard" a challenge, that we do not have the collective brainpower in this country to figure out a multitude of solutions. it's a matter putting the right heads together, in a timely way...

. 04.Jan.2006 01:25


There is no technical solution. The solution is simple. USE LESS

It is fantasy to think we are going to continue our ever expanding use of energy for our ever expanding 'growth' economy. Use Less must be our new mantra if we wish to find a long term sustainable culture