Friday, 24 September 2010

Five years - if we’re lucky

Don’t even bother planning for what you’ll do “when the recession ends” - or totting up the temporary green shoots. The time is later than you think.

When the world wakes up to the peaking and decline of oil, gigantic economic and social forces will be unleashed.
A stunning two part interview with
Robert L. Hirsch on Peak Oil – brace yourselves for 2-5 years tops 
Part 1
Part 2

This "future news" is not from just one credible source either. There are many. Here’s a selection: a pdf from Lloyds of London about future energy security issues and also a Der Spiegel article about a report from a German military think tank - this particular study is a product of the Future Analysis department of the Bundeswehr Transformation Center, a think tank tasked with fixing a direction for the German military.

And yet few "leaders" are mentioning this in public. Why?  Maybe their personal reality filters have tuned out this inconvenient truth from their perceptions. Maybe they are scared by it. Maybe they think the public will be scared by it and lose what little confidence in the economy we have left. This fragile "green shoots" pseudo-recovery would falter and fail if people knew what was coming yet what we need to do to avoid the worst and re-engineer civilisation to cope with sustainability issues is so all encompassing that the sooner we start, the better.

If you like stretched metaphors, we could dredge up the Titanic once again. Our leaders lack of acknowledgement of the peak oil issues could be seen as like captains on a Titanic. Letting the passengers know about the possibility of danger from icebergs would send the wrong message to their well-heeled clients who would lose faith in the White Star line - the "unsinkability"of the ship - the navigation of the crew etc. Some captains, unconvinced of the iceberg reports, or overconfident in the ability of their ship to survive anything unscathed, would turn a blind eye, or a deaf ear, to the dangers because they would consider alarmism to be commercially damaging - far better for the company to let the passengers continue planning the valuable business they would be doing when they reached New York...


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