An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins:

In his piece, ‘What if we never run out of oil?’ Charles Mann examines the possibility that new technologies and new sources of petroleum, like methane hydrate, could mean that we never run out of oil. The conclusion? As long as there is some kind of oil, somewhere, we will never make the transition to clean energy–and as a result, we won’t be able to do anything about climate change….
The question Mann raises– when, or if, we will run out of oil–is the wrong question. The real question is: What has the pursuit of oil cost us? Who pays the highest cost? Who reaps the benefits? How far are we willing to go? And what is the upside of continuing to rely on carbon-based fuels–whether it’s methane hydrate, shale gas, or tar sands oil–when we have alternatives? The only question we don’t have to ask is whether we should transition to carbon-free energy.
The consequences of relying on oil are becoming impossible to ignore. And that makes it more difficult to justify the lengths we’ll go to in order to get to it.

We continue to have choices. While again duly acknowledging how full our plates are as is, learning the facts about the costs of and consequences from the continued balls-to-the-wall approach to fossil fuel production is not a major undertaking for anyone. Recognizing that there is another side to the Happy Talk story is a good first step.

An equally pressing issue: How can we get more citizens to appreciate the reality of our energy supply, and minimize the harm caused by the disingenuous arguments raised by industry officials who clearly have a strong incentive to maintain oil exploration business-as-usual?

Appreciating the facts of oil exploration, supply, and production while discounting the context-free, cherry-picked-so-it-sounds-plausible-facts cheerleading offered up regularly will take us all a long way down the path of planning for and implementing the transitions away from fossil-fuel dependency. Notwithstanding our legitimately marvelous technological advances, that’s a task we’ll have to face sooner or later. The energy supply and climate change denial nonsense needs to come to an end.

If those who continue to deny don’t understand the reality, then they need to either educate themselves first, or find another less harmful hobby. And if they do appreciate the facts but have chosen to bow down to the great fossil fuel god to the detriment of … well, everyone, then someone needs to steer them to the nearest integrity dispensary.

Unpleasant though it may be—and is—we need to start having adult conversations about our energy supply. We actually need to start having those conversations about ten years ago, so let’s not waste too much more time.

~ My Photo: Point Reyes National Seashore, CA – 09.02.04

– I invite you to read my other blogs at richardturcotte.com

New features will debut soon at that website:


This new column began on February 3, 2014. It’s a slightly skewed look at life for those of us on the north side of 50.

            * THE TRETIAK AGENDA

A political thriller filled with unexpected plot twists and drawn from real world historical events, this eBook was Published on February 5, 2014.

You can find it here and here. Enjoy!

TretiakAgendaEbookCoverFinal copy

Excerpts are being posted as of January 6th.

            * LIFE WILL ANSWER

(The inspiration for the second blog at that website). This eBook is [re]-scheduled for Publication on March 5, 2014

Excerpts are being posted as of January 15th.

Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows

Peak Oil Matters is dedicated to informing others about the significance and impact of Peak Oil—while adding observations about politics, ideology, transportation, and smart growth.