By 2035, the global population is expected to reach nearly 8.8 billion, meaning an additional 1.5 billion people will need energy, according to BP’s annual world energy forecasts, and based on current forecasts it won’t be sourced from renewables.
There are two ways to respond to that observation:  No worries; or,  If we’re dealing with finite resources to supply those needs, then that’s a problem.
Another observation from that same article:
The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not. Rex Tillerson, Chairman, President, CEO – ExxonMobil.
There are two similar ways to respond to that observation, also:  Great! No worries; or,  If we’re dealing with finite resources to supply the world’s needs, then that’s a problem.
Those of us concerned about the implications of peak oil have opted for the latter responses to both sets of commentary. Finite—as best we can determine—is still finite. What remains [and there is certainly an impressive amount of fossil fuel resources left on planet Earth], is no longer as easily accessible, affordable, or energy dense, among other drawbacks.
So while sheer resource numbers might suggest “No worries” is the wiser response, all of the facts regarding fossil fuel production and supply have convinced us that while that may be an easier and more tolerable choice, it’s usefulness has a short half-life. The facts, the challenges, and the realities about current and future energy production and supply—the full range of information, not the carefully massaged versions offered up by too many whose self-interests diverge from those of the public—suggest a very different story.
Aside from financial motivations and the benefits accruing to those in positions of authority and influence which make the Happy Talk about abundance forever a logical extension of efforts to preserve those advantages, there are other reasons and explanations as to why those not in similar positions nonetheless accept the cherry-picked, sort-of-factual versions.
NOT THAT SIMPLE….
That those on the conservative side of our political, cultural, economic, and social divide tend to be those both offering a No Worries approach and accepting same without questioning should come as no surprise. This series will explore those contributing factors in greater detail. More information is always a good thing….
… environmental attitudes are influenced by general ideological stances that are protective of the societal status quo.
The authors of that same study quoted above also made this observation:
Despite extensive evidence of climate change and environmental destruction, polls continue to reveal widespread denial and resistance to helping the environment. It is posited here that these responses are linked to the motivational tendency to defend and justify the societal status quo in the face of the threat posed by environmental problems.The present research finds that system justification tendencies are associated with greater denial of environmental realities and less commitment to pro-environmental action. Moreover, the effects of political conservatism, national identification, and gender on denial of environmental problems are explained by variability in system justification tendencies.
Human nature being what it is, and preferences for supporting one’s beliefs rather than challenging them being what they are, there are more than a few obstacles standing in the way of the general public’s acceptance and understanding of the potential and certainly widespread impact of peak oil and climate change.
Giving up that fight is an option, of course, but then everyone loses.
~ ~ ~
Note to readers: In addition to my other blogs and writings at richardturcotte.com, I invite you to enjoy some brief excepts from my eBook political thriller:
The Tretiak Agenda
They began [here] on June 15, and will continue weekly throughout the summer
~ My Photo: Overlooking Good Harbor Beach, MA – 08.12.15
We face a choice going forward. There’s a kind of false dichotomy, a false choice that we’re being presented between policies on the left or policies on the right. It’s not left or right, it’s forward or backward. It’s a choice between investing in the future, leaving a better future for the next generation just like parents and grandparents did for us, or ignoring these hard choices and sentencing the next generation to a lower standard of living, to fewer opportunities, and a future that we could do better by. Former USDOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari
Looking Left and Right:
Inspiring Different Ideas,
Envisioning Better Tomorrows
Peak Oil Matters offers observations and insights about the realities of declining fossil fuel production, and its impact on our future well-being