An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Sara Robinson.

The bottom line in Homer-Dixon’s theory* is this: Everything that Americans understand as “wealth” under the current paradigm comes from oil. It’s the foundation of our entire economy, and the ground our superpower status stands on. Our cities are built on the assumption of cheap, plentiful oil. Our consuming patterns are made possible by a fleet of oil-burning trucks, ships, and planes that bring us goods made in oil-driven factories. Our warmaking machine, which is largely tasked with protecting our oil interests around the world, is the single largest consumer of energy on the planet. Even our food is created with vast oil-based inputs of fertilizer and pesticides; and we enjoy a year-round variety of foods (bananas! chocolate! coffee!) that is unprecedented in human history because oil makes cheap transport and refrigeration possible….
We are so deeply invested in oil, in so many ways, that it’s almost impossible for us to envision a world beyond it. We stand to lose so much that it’s hard to fathom it all….
The decline of oil as the energy reality of the world has deep implications for every aspect of American life in the coming century. It’s a phase shift at the deepest level.
* Thomas Homer-Dixon, a Canadian economist who wrote The Upside of Down. Homer-Dixon marshals evidence that all great empires rise and fall by controlling the dominant energy supply of their age.

Is it too much to ask or expect that industry and political leaders start telling the truth to the American public … the kind of truth that relies on facts and evidence and reality instead of a lot of “could possibly” and “might happen if” or “has the potential to?”

Is it wrong to start preparing Americans for the years-long transitions needed in practically every facet of our ways of living?

There’s no doubt that keeping the masses uninformed is an effective and useful strategy. Peak Oil production is certainly not the only issue of significance where disingenuous arguments and half-truths provide great “benefits”—at least for a few individuals and companies.

Unfortunately, Americans and America itself aren’t the beneficiaries of these clever strategies. Perhaps it’s time our leaders give that some thought instead of making certain that the 1% continues to be well-served?

Good to have dreams….

* My Photo: Eastern Point, Gloucester MA 08.04.11