Thanks to Martin for pointing me toward this article in the Washington Post this morning.
James Howard Kunstler points out that much of what people are thinking about the changes and pressure on society due to rising energy prices are too simplistic by half:
“The public, and especially the mainstream media, misunderstands the ‘peak oil’ story. It’s not about running out of oil. It’s about the instabilities that will shake the complex systems of daily life as soon as the global demand for oil exceeds the global supply. These systems can be listed concisely:
- The way we produce food
- The way we conduct commerce and trade
- The way we travel
- The way we occupy the land
- The way we acquire and spend capital
And there are others: governance, health care, education and more.
As the world passes the all-time oil production high and watches as the price of a barrel of oil busts another record, as it did last week, these systems will run into trouble. Instability in one sector will bleed into another. Shocks to the oil markets will hurt trucking, which will slow commerce and food distribution, manufacturing and the tourist industry in a chain of cascading effects. Problems in finance will squeeze any enterprise that requires capital, including oil exploration and production, as well as government spending. These systems are all interrelated. They all face a crisis. What’s more, the stress induced by the failure of these systems will only increase the wishful thinking across our nation.
And that’s the worst part of our quandary: the American public’s narrow focus on keeping all our cars running at any cost. Even the environmental community is hung up on this. The Rocky Mountain Institute has been pushing for the development of a ‘Hypercar’ for years — inadvertently promoting the idea that we really don’t need to change.”
Read the full article here.
And I’d add to this article, the simplistic thinking about energy costs that’s happening in church circles these days as well…