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Peak Oil Matters

A fresh perspective on the concept of peak oil and the challenges we face

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Tag: consequences

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According to system justification theory, our evaluations of social systems and institutions are influenced by epistemic needs to maintain a sense of certainty and stability, existential needs to feel safety and reassurance, and relational needs to affiliate with others who are part of the same social systems (_). These needs give rise to a motivation to perceive the system as fair, legitimate, beneficial, and stable, as well as the desire to maintain and protect the status quo (Citations in original).

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Of course it’s threatening to think that our lifestyles, systems of governing, and capitalist processes themselves may all face drastic changes in the not-too-distant future because of the facts and reality of Peak Oil and climate change! I’m certainly not the poster-child for Peak Oil advocacy and lifestyles. I have a very nice, capitalist, well-to-do lifestyle. To hell with all of you, I don’t want MY life to change!

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What is actually important is not the date of peak global oil production, but the decades of decline that follow

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I ended last week’s post with this observation: “We could do so much worse than taking some time now to find just enough courage to acknowledge that we face some fact-based challenges in the years to come.

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This was included as part of a more extensive quote in last week’s post:

The present research finds that system justification tendencies are associated with greater denial of environmental realities and less commitment to pro-environmental action.

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Research has powerfully illustrated that a lack of knowledge in domains such as energy and the environment can lead to bad decisions and erroneous beliefs that hinder a society’s ability to create change in domains that require it

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We remain free as always to choose to fear the consequences of a permanent decline in the availability of affordable and accessible fossil fuel supplies. The enduring impact on our society and our ways of life as a result of a diminished supply of our primary energy supply is no small matter. So fear is certainly an option.

We can also rely on those disinclined to examine the majority of production realities, offering instead a steady diet of optimistic statements and light-on-fact assurances.

Very few of us who are concerned with the full range of oil production issues and challenges find anything about the widespread future impact of peak oil to be other than a somber realization on our best days.

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I suggested at the outset of this series that I did not want it to turn into yet another exercise in mocking those who do not accept the implications of peak oil. A legitimate argument could be made that I’ve failed in that objective.

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[T]he West’s energy security is assured to a degree that has not existed in the past.
That’s good news for the American people and for the world, even if it is not news that Obama wants to hear.

He doesn’t? I wonder how that author knows this? Any chance it’s instead just a variation of the same let’s-not-consider-facts-and-instead-just-make-stuff-up-to-“prove”-our-point-and-keep-the-followers-properly-agitated strategy?

With a century’s worth of cheap, practical energy in hand, the global economy has a good chance of expanding.

A “good chance”?! And that would be based on … what?

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In Part 1 of this series, I confessed at the outset that I had mixed feelings about posting this series. More of the same tiresome pieces [1. 2.] of fact-light energy abundance Happy Talk designed to do anything and everything but start a meaningful conversation [at least from this peak oil advocate’s perspective] was instead an invitation to just jump on the More Nonsense train and have at it once again. There was nothing remarkable about either article alluded to, nor from the comments offered by readers dutifully following guidelines from the Denial Playbook.

Both were easy targets in that regard, but the articles and ensuing comments were just the vehicles to serve as the jumping off point for a broader discussion. As this series progresses I will actually discuss the content of each as they bear upon that purpose. But for now, laying the foundation is more important.

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