Peak oil’s message is rather simple once all of the fluff and distractions are set aside. It’s about a recognition that we are dealing with a finite resource used extensively for decades upon decades by ever-increasing numbers for ever-increasing needs.
As a lead-in to discussing the main theme of this series: the role System Justification plays in the climate change/peak oil denial strategy, it would be useful to provide a brief summary of some of the more pressing and critical facts suggesting an issue or two in Fossil Fuel Production Land….
Our infrastructure (roads, bridges, train tracks, water and sewer pipes, power lines, etc.) does not exist in current form without the ready availability of inexpensive conventional crude oil. Our modern society with all of its technological marvels and the wide ranging conveniences was made possible and sustained in large part because we have had the boundless opportunities this fossil fuel resource provided.
But production of that finite resource peaked a decade ago.
I began last week’s post with a variation of these questions:
How do optimistic projections from ExxonMobil’s “The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040” report—which I highlighted in that post—square themselves in the face of the oil production challenges suggested by the news excerpts which were also included in that piece? How long do those opposed to climate change and peak oil implications dance away from the unpleasant truths?
What is the benefit beyond avoiding painful discussions today? At what point do those contrarian viewpoints give way to a recognition that there is more than enough evidence already in play to make those challenges both very real and quite formidable now?
How does postponing not just acknowledgment but any and all efforts to come to mutual understandings and a commitment to work cooperatively in addressing these matters make it any easier or better for anyone?
Who among us—proponents, deniers, or those with no opinion or knowledge about the issue of peak oil—doesn’t want our marvelous capitalist system to continue uninterrupted, taking us to higher and higher levels of technological achievements? Who is willing to voluntarily give up any opportunity to share in the enormous wealth such progress is sure to create?
[O]ne thing is clear: Oil production is getting much more costly as easy-to-access fields are drilled dry, and new production is reliant on more difficult and costly extraction for the fossil fuel. continue reading…