Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Comparing the Scenarios about Peak Oil

I've had this link in my "future blog topics" file for a while. presents the range of assumptions about our oil situation and their corresponding predictions about our future.
This site provides a general introduction to the peak oil debate by providing an overview of five general scenarios for the future of oil and, in the minds of many, scenarios for the future of our society!
The author divides the continuum into five categories: Pollyanna, Optimistic, Plateau, Pessimistic, and Head for the Hills. As I read through them, I realized that I fell into the Pessimistic category, and should probably disclose that somewhere on my blog. If I examined my fears, they would fall into the Head for the Hills category, but I don't have the energy or stamina for that, so I am just crossing my fingers and hoping that a Pessimistic attitude is realistic enough.

Actually if I look at my behavior in terms of preparedness, I am acting like a Pollyannist. Hmm. I guess that is a question for everybody: are you congruent between your point of view and your actions? And if you are not, what kind of support do you need to get yourself where you want to be?


baloghblog said...

I think that this is the "next frontier" in the peak oil world. The first step is gathering all the information that you can about it, the second, digesting it all and the 3rd being - starting to act.

I think that this is the most difficult gap to bridge. Like many things in life that seem overwhelming, peak oil feels like it is an all or nothing gamble - sometimes.

While I have made true changes in my lifestyle, and encouraged my wife to do the same (she now "encourages" me to take out the compost scraps, heh heh), we are still lacking in some of the most basic preparations that we could be making in a time of plenty.

We've installed new windows, insulated a basement - and plan a wood stove install, have joined a CSA, and have pared down vehicles to one from two. Not small steps too be sure. However, food production, storage, acquiring tools, rainwater catchment, obtaining knowledge (or at least reference books...), etc. The "to-do" list goes on and on. This doesn't even mention solar or alternative power sources for the home.

Anyways, my point is, that making the leap into the true preparation is a difficult one, and in my opinion to be taken like they say "one step at a time..."

etbnc said...

It seems to me that a practical way to bring about the best possible outcome is to take seriously the worst possible outcome and work to prevent it.

In my experience, talking about a worst case tends to build that case, however. So, publicly, I try to emphasize striving for the best outcome. I try not to dwell on the bad outcomes, at least not in front of unknown audiences.

One of the things I've learned from George Lakoff's work is that repeating an idea reinforces that idea. I don't want to reinforce the bad ideas, so I only talk about them in private with trusted audiences.