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Re: SC53

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November 18, 2007 01:25PM
http://resourceinsights.blogspot.com/2007/11/peak-fun-and-inevitable-hangover.html

Peak fun (and the inevitable hangover)

Peak oil. Peak gas. Peak food. Peak energy. Peak climate. And now, peak everything!

While the Internet is abuzz with the latest pessimistic forecast about our resource future, the public by and large is busily enjoying the peak. Isn't that what one would expect at the peak? SUVs continue to leave the showrooms, airlines are jammed with vacationing passengers, the cruise lines are still cruising, and the theme parks are still amusing people with their themes. It's no wonder that Americans and many others in the wealthy countries of the world have little time to notice all the bad news.

The truth is that the world has now lost touch with its pre-petroleum memory. The vast majority of people alive now only know the continual ascent of fossil fuel power. Today's fun seekers have experienced only increasing abundance (except in a few places such as sub-Saharan Africa). This state of affairs flummoxed one attendee at a recent peak oil conference.

"Why don't people get it?" he wondered.

"They're too busy enjoying the peak," I responded.

"We're at peak fun," another conference goer added.

"But, the facts are all there on the Internet," the first conference goer insisted.

In order to comprehend the idea that we are at peak fun, however, one must have the background to see that we are also at or near a number of other peaks, I explained. Otherwise, what people are experiencing seems merely the extension of a trend that they have come to rely on. And besides, when you are at the peak of the biggest party ever thrown in history, the fossil-fuel party, who worries about the hangover?

So, the task for peak oil activists is two-fold. First, educate the public. This is no small task given the complexity of all the peak issues confronting us. Second, get the public to care now rather than later when severe consequences start rolling in.

Peak oil activists are inevitably cast (rather unfairly I think) as a bunch of killjoys. The activists are not really trying to take pleasure away from life; rather, they would really like to redirect us to different forms of pleasure that will be appropriate within the constraints of an energy-starved world. Unfortunately, the message that often emerges focuses on the expected terrible hangover from our fossil-fuel splurge. And, any attentive listener to the peak oil story during this final fossil-fuel party would quickly (and correctly) conclude that it's too late to avoid that hangover completely. Do we activists offer a cure? Alas, no. We only offer ways of coping with the inevitable pain...........
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