OK, its a tenuous link but stick with me. Last week President Bush announced that the US is ‘addicted to oil’. He unveiled his version of what is going to be done about it, which doesn’t really come close to what actually needs to be done, and seems to amount to letting his friends build lots more nuclear power stations to produce hydrogen to keep the cars on the road, but I suppose we should see it as some kind of a start. It did however raise for me the question as to what we ‘peakniks’ are supposed to do once everyone cops on as to the reality of peak oil. If George Bush feels compelled to ‘fess up’, then we must be pretty close.
In Richard Heinberg’s book ‘Powerdown’, he identifies 4 options we can choose in the face of peak oil. they are Last Man Standing, which is the fight to the end for the last remaining resources (Dick Cheney’s “war that won’t end in our lifetimes”), Waiting for the Magic Elixir, that is the belief that ‘they’ will invent a new power source as versatile as oil and capable of being scaled up and rolled out to the world in a few years), Powerdown, a national government-led process of reorienting the economy for contraction and self-reliance, and Building Lifeboats, which is a ground-up process of communities building their own self reliance.
Bush’s speech comes closer to Waiting for the Magic Elixir than Powerdown. The thing that struck me about it, was that, as I have discussed in previous posts, peak oil is one of those things that people will ignore and deny until it has already happened, and then, once it has happened, all talk about as if they had always known about it. The other morning on Radio 5 Live a Liberal politician was talking and just dropping in the term peak oil as if he had been saying it since primary school.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Rob Hopkins--Peak Oil, the Loch Ness Monster and Energy Descent
via the Energy Bulletin here