Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm Not Ready for This

Not to worry . . . this one is in shallow water. Right.
Another oil rig is on fire in the Gulf of Mexico and has already produced a sizable slick on the water. Off the Louisiana coast. West of the mouth of the Mississippi. I suppose this one is not as alarming to some since it's in "shallow" water, 320 feet. All the heartburn I had about the last disastrous spill still is with me with this one. As a displaced Louisianian, I take these oil spills personally. And even if they get this fire out quickly and contain the spill quickly too, I'm still pissed off. I think these kinds of events--that are happening all the time all over the world--are just more warnings, insistent warnings, that we're trashing the Earth as if there is no tomorrow. When in fact the tomorrows we're headed for are not all that encouraging.

Along with this story about the latest spill is this one from a German military document reported in the magazine Der Spiegel about what the arrival at peak oil will mean for all of us. In short, it will not be a  good thing. Not one of the consequences of shrinking oil supplies are going to be good. In fact, they could lead to "mass-scale upheaval" with the next 15-30 years as the world's economic foundations are increasingly eroded. International trade would be crippled by transportation costs. So shortages everywhere and collapse of the industrial supply chain. "In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse." The worldwide economic crisis would in turn call into question the political institutions that created the economic systems. Another way of saying that democracy could not survive a crisis like this. The situation would be made to order for totalitarian, repressive governments and grave internal and external political crises all over the globe.

James Kuntsler, who I talked about the other day, has been warning about peak oil and lamenting our blindness to its consequences for a long, long time. I have absolutely no reason to believe that this latest evidence of a national government getting extremely nervous about peak oil is going to have the slightest effect the U.S. We have far more important things to worry about--NFL season opens Sunday! Besides, say many, peak oil is just a hoax. There's plenty of oil.

Seems to me this is just a variation on the biggest hoax of all: Tomorrow is going to be just like today.
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