21 April 2006

Five Stages of Peak Oil

Looks like the public is starting to move from stage 1 to stage 2!:
  1. DENIAL --- Driving from suburbia to your downtown job every day in your Chevy Tahoe.
  2. ANGER --- "%$@^##& Exxon!, gouging me at the pump. I demand you lower your prices or I will boycott you!"
  3. BARGAINING --- "The Chinese need to stop using so much oil. My, they're burning
    six million barrels every day." "We need to get corn farmers to make more ethanol, a 5 % blend would really help." "Maybe we can invade Iran and take control of their oil reserves."
  4. DEPRESSION --- "Oh God, civilization as we know it is going to be destroyed. What are we going to do without oil? How can farmers possibly grow any food? Think about the big box retail industry! Oh the calamity!"
  5. ACCEPTANCE -- "You know what, my ten minute commute by bicycle is far nicer than my hour long commute from my old place."
I'm somewhere around Stage 8.) Investing in the new reality -- getting an education that will give me valuable skills for a new 'cleantech'-age.


Big Gav said...

Nice post.

I walk to work these days - its a nice change from the train, let alone driving - plus the price of petrol doesn't annoy me unless I'm heading away for the weekend somewhere...

I doubt people in many far flung suburbs can say the same thing though - if you have no choice other than a long drive to get anywhere things might seem a bit bleaker.

Robert McLeod said...

Uh, thanks Mr. Doombat.

Mel. Hauser said...

God. That guy must spend half his day finding new PO sites to smear with that freaking post.

Or he's got a good network going.

Robert McLeod said...

Normally I would delete such comment spam, but given the context with my post, the irony is all too hilarious.

Servant said...

Bo knows empire! There's no denial.

Anonymous said...

Re. Bo Chen’s lengthy and somewhat hate ridden discourse,
WOW!!! Don’t get me wrong, as I am as appalled at US policy as anyone, but do you realise that it is the system, not the people, who are perpetrating these atrocities? Most of the evidence you cite was collected by citizens of the USA, who, like you and I, are fundamentally against the current chapter being played out on the world stage. It is not the people you should hate. In fact, I would suggest that hate will be not in the least productive, unless your goal is to self-induce an aneurysm, or possibly cancer.

First, I want to tell you that you have some well thought out ideas, and you are obviously well educated on current affairs, but let me point out to you a few points that you might want to consider, hopefully before that hate burns you up, Bro.

Ok, so the US has performed some of the most inauspicious crimes in it’s short but sin-laden history. But take a look at the rest of the world. Our world is the playground of what some call a “mega-culture” that has existed for 10,000 years and spread out of Mesopotamia. What is culture? It is the collective mythological understanding of ourselves, the universe and our place in it. And what does our mythology say? It says we were made to conquer the planet, put nature (as something outside ourselves) in its place. It says, basically, that it’s our way or the highway. It says that land ownership, a previously alien concept, is the way to go. It says that we are the apex, the alpha and omega. We have the right to play God!

It all started with a single tribe and a control complex. The world wasn’t good enough. We demanded better, and ultimately it didn’t matter what eco-system, tribe, culture or individual we had to annihilate; if it stood in our way, and refused to join us, we had to destroy it. Sounds a little melodramatic, I know. But there it is. That is the history of our culture in a nutshell. We started with agriculture, and of course this resulted in a surplus of food. Which meant a proportionate increase in population. Which meant more food requirements. Which meant more land requirements. Which meant that those hunter-gatherers over there would have to go. So we killed them, took their land, grew more crops, maintained a surplus of food, and our population grew accordingly. And so on, and so on, and now here we are, 10,000 years after Cain watered his fields with the blood of his hunter-gatherer brother Able, nothing’s changed.

So you can talk about the American injustices on the First Nations, but while you’re at it, don’t forget the Canadians. Or how about the French? The Texans stole Texas from the Mexicans? How about the Spanish? What about all of Central and South America? The African continent with its British, Dutch and French occupations? The overtly violent occupation of Palestine by the Zionists? The Ottoman Empire? The Roman Empire? The Greeks? The Egyptians? All the way back to Babylon and beyond. It is still about resources, it is still about us versus them, it is still separate identity peoples in a separate particle universe.

But of course, we know better now. We know on the sub-atomic level that the entire universe is really one great big stew of energy; that everything we perceive as separate is, in fact, fundamentally joined at the proverbial hip. We know that at an atomic level the carbon in this tree or that squirrel might very well be part of my atomic make up next year, or yours the year after that. In fact, the same applies on every level, for as above, so below. As such, it seems pointless to try to distinguish between us and them because there really is no us and them. There is only us, and no matter which side of the coin you align yourself with, we all will suffer the consequences of our collective actions. So I would suggest it doesn’t matter if you’re capitalist or communist, East or West, Christian, Muslim or Jew. Because the same fundamentally wrong ideologies are prevalent in all but a fraction of the world’s peoples today. This culture, with it’s control complex has successfully circumnavigated the globe, and only a fraction of aboriginals in Australia and South America have yet to be assimilated.

I would like to point out that I agree with you, if I’ve understood you correctly, that if people think that by riding their bicycles to work we can diffuse the problems of peak oil, the imminent destabilization of the global economy, and probable world war than they are living in a fairy land. But what else is new? Don’t rock the ideological boat, dude! Are the German people a fundamentally evil people? Of course not. But they did allow the atrocities of their nation in the Second World War. Why? Because they were adhering to their belief system, which was set up for them by the powers that be. They were told what to believe, and like the vast majority of the world today, they, for the most part, could not, or maybe would not, think for themselves. Americans, or for that matter, Canadians, are no different than the Russians, Iraqi, or Germans. All subject to propaganda, with too much invested in their little realities to want to comprehend the realities of the policies they condone.

The fact is our culture is not sustainable; it, like our economic ideologies, is based on perpetual growth. We live in an enclosed biosphere, with limited resources and limited space. There is only so much bio-mass on the planet, and that is in fact decreasing due to the fact that besides ourselves, our food, and perhaps our foods food, all other species are competitive and therefore expendable. Our culture tells us so, so it must be true.And now our culture has spawned the marvles of the GLOBAL ECONOMY (actually, not for the first time). But this economy is based on hydro-carbon technology, and surprise, surprise, oil is running out. And so whether we like it or not, we will, as a species, be forced out into the wild again. And will we rebuild? Will we make the same mistakes all over again? That is up to us. That is why I feel it is highly relevant that people understand the underlining beliefs of our culture before we set out to build a new one. Are we going to start from a position of hate, or one of acceptance.

Jonathan said...

Hey, I found your site from the PriceOfOil.org site. Great job! I think I'm entering stage 4.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's giving people enough credit to say they are only on stage 2. I think for the most part people are on step 3. Some people are still sadly on step 1 though. I had an argument with someone and he called global warming "democratic propaganda".

By the way Bo, I would like to point out that if you're so long winded no one is going to pay any attention. How long did it take you to write that?