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Given what’s been happening with oil production in the past 18 months or so [duly acknowledging the impressive production gains leading up to that period], I find myself thinking that the near-total lack of preparation for a major energy upheaval is beyond surreal. It’s no different than reading the climate change assessments from scientists worldwide and then observing a collection of fact-averse “leaders” contorting reason and common sense into ideological fluff to avoid the psychological disruption of cognitive dissonance.

 

LIMITING OPTIONS

 

Does it really make sense to wait until full-fledged panic and listening to loud mea culpas admitting that ignoring reality has actually, finally brought society to that point are our only viable options to address these fact-based, ever-developing problems? Wouldn’t a little more truth-telling from those who aren’t offering that now, and some actual leadership tossed in for good measure help at least a little?

Waiting until … when exactly? is not a rational first choice. It’s soon to be well past irrational, also. Let’s not get there before those who know are at last willing to publicly admit that peak oil advocates and an overwhelming majority among countless thousands of actual climate experts may actually be telling more of the truth than the lies or wild exaggerations deniers were busy promoting instead.

We’ll concede and have admitted that we may not bear the brunt of the disruptions to our lifestyles and commercial endeavors for the simple reason that climate change’s impact and/or the declining rates of fossil fuel production are more of a gradual creep than the catastrophes opponents claim. They’ll be catastrophes if we do nothing, but we have a lot of options to at least consider between doing nothing and ‘What the hell just happened to everything and everyone!?

 

NEAR-TERM vs LONG-TERM

 

Impacts on the periphery now [and I’m being overly cautious and generous in minimizing what climate change is already doing and how oil production/supply issues are already real-life factors] admittedly aren’t all that noticeable to most of us now or in our near-term future. But the only outcome we can assure ourselves of having to deal with by ongoing avoidance is that the problems for our children could be much more severe than they ought to be.

Should that even be the remotest of possibilities … ever?

The widespread impact of a diminishing yet absolutely essential resource required for preserving and expanding modern society, and the great unknowns of how Earth’s weather patterns will be altered by the steady development and expansion of climate change are no one’s idea of a fun topic of conversation. Accepting the facts and then reflecting for even a moment on how adaptation might take place and what would be required in advance is beyond daunting to the wisest and most optimistic among us. There’s nothing easy, simple, quick, or inexpensive about preparation and creating possible ways to address the impacts.

It will not be easier, simpler, quick, or even cheaper if we focus too many of our efforts on disproving the other’s side talking points rather than starting broad, ambitious discussions about adaptation and all of the preliminaries. The bigger picture is bigger than that.

 

~ My Photo: Boston Sunset – 06.04.16  ©

 

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. [With apologies for prior incorrect attribution: 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

 

* I invite you to enjoy my two books [here and here], and to view my other writings at richardturcotte.com