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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: System Justification Theory

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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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[W]e have no replacement energy source that is as calorically dense as oil. It is simply not practical to replace oil as an energy source and maintain current energy demands.

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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.

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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….

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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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By 2035, the global population is expected to reach nearly 8.8 billion, meaning an additional 1.5 billion people will need energy, according to BP’s annual world energy forecasts, and based on current forecasts it won’t be sourced from renewables.

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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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