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Without a serious revisiting of the questionable optimism that dominates any dialogue related to longer-term world oil supplies, without a harshly realistic scrub of the facts, we face unnecessarily large energy policy risks.

 

RECONSIDERING STRATEGIES?

 

Still trying to understand why those adhering to an ideology which has an aversion to change and an inclination to short-cut their way to prompt decisions and solutions believe that strategy is the wisest one no matter what the issue; no matter how complex it might be; and no matter how great the potential for harm and disruption.

Is the cognitive dissonance associated with one’s questioning of their beliefs, their relationships to the members of their own “tribes” who share those same beliefs, and the possibility that others might actually have valid points, facts, and evidence inconsistent with and contradicting those same beliefs worth risking so much more to so many others? Does it really make sense to simply extend blanket rejections to any and all points raised by others with legitimate knowledge and expertise to preserve that bubble of comfort?

What benefits can any of us expect if the rationale for disputing even the possibility that peak oil advocates know a little bit about what they are discussing is that forecasts in the past have been incorrect and/or that the sky has not yet fallen? Convenient to ignore the failed predictions from their own side of the fence as well.

 

TEMPERED OPTIMISM

 

To pretend that the realities of current and future oil production can be overcome with a magical blend of wishful thinking, hope, possibly, potentials, and ingenuity while somehow arranging for the suspension of ongoing finite resource depletion is certainly a neat trick!

Despite the claims the deniers seem to delight in sharing with their own faithful, we peak oil advocates aren’t even a little bit enthused about the prospects of our future remaining a peaceful and prosperous one if no steps are taken to even recognize that what we’ve achieved and enjoyed to date has been built on the back of that same finite, depleting resource. We’ve carved out no special immunities from the consequences in our own lives.

We’re as optimistic as anyone, and for a variety of sound, fact-based considerations we urge consideration of what will happen over the course of the next several years and beyond as production challenges increase because we remain convinced that our society has the capabilities and talents to prepare for and adapt to a transition away from fossil fuel reliance. In time that will become mandatory. We just don’t see the value of ignoring those challenges because they aren’t smacking us all in the face today.

 

DISHEARTENING ISN’T THE WORST OF IT

 

The impact of both peak oil and climate change as those matters evolve will be so extensive and affect all of us in so many ways that it’s insane to think that intelligent individuals and groups—who must understand what’s going on despite public indications to the contrary—are nonetheless willing to mislead others, content with taking their chances that energy and climate advocates are completely wrong in every way about every issue and every consideration.

If it were just disheartening, that would be one thing. Everyday life is filled with disappointments. But the reality of peak oil’s impact—and climate change—zoomed right past disheartening and disappointing a while back. The responses left to us if we do nothing are not pleasant to consider. We’d gladly settle for disheartening and disappointing if we could.

We can’t, and neither can or should anyone else.

 

~ My Photo: The Boston, MA Waterfront – 06.12.16  ©

 

 

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