An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Michael T. Klare.
In energy terms, we are now entering a world whose grim nature has yet to be fully grasped. This pivotal shift has been brought about by the disappearance of relatively accessible and inexpensive petroleum — ‘easy oil,’ in the parlance of industry analysts; in other words, the kind of oil that powered a staggering expansion of global wealth over the past 65 years and the creation of endless car-oriented suburban communities. This oil is now nearly gone….
Those who claim that the world remains ‘awash’ in oil are technically correct: The planet still harbors vast reserves of petroleum. But propagandists for the oil industry usually fail to emphasize that not all oil reservoirs are alike: Some are located close to the surface or near to shore, and are contained in soft, porous rock; others are located deep underground, far offshore or trapped in unyielding rock formations….
The simple truth of the matter is this: Most of the world’s easy reserves have already been depleted — except for those in war-torn countries like Iraq. Virtually all of the oil that’s left is contained in harder-to-reach, tougher reserves. These include deep-offshore oil, Arctic oil and shale oil, along with Canadian ‘oil sands’ — which are not composed of oil at all, but of mud, sand and tar-like bitumen. So-called unconventional reserves of these types can be exploited, but often at a staggering price, not just in dollars but also in damage to the environment.
Not good, but this is where we are now.
Pleasant? Hardly. No one—not the most ardent of Peak Oil advocates—enjoys any of this. Knowing what we know, dealing with the facts and the realities of the current and future state of oil production rather than the misleading and disingenuous offerings by those unwilling or unable to deal with the truths, leaves us with more than a few concerns.
What kind of a nation will we be? What are doing now, and what will we bequeath to our children if we fail to make it abundantly clear to the public that “awash” is good PR but bad truth? Those of us committed to sharing information and encouraging both our leaders and the public to recognize what’s ahead and to begin planning remain convinced that there will be some semblance of reasonable adaptation if we make the collective effort.
We’re all in this together, and difficult and harsh as it is, the only way we reach those levels of successful adaptation is to start the process of critical thinking courage demands. Happy Talk has a short shelf life; facts remain. This is not rocket science or even model rocket science. The facts are telling us that our energy supplies are going to impose changes on us all.
Crisis, or opportunity? We have a say … if we choose.
~ My Photo: Gray Whale Cove, South Coastside, CA – 09.15.04
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