On seeing the ‘elephant in the room’

 The World is sinking into a pit of despond. We are obsessing about our symptoms and a dead paradigm of economic thought.

This is preventing us shifting to a new paradigm that has the ‘One Planet Equation’ and its underlying first law, that ‘in a resource constrained environment, goods and services can only grow at the rate at which they can be materialized’ at its core.

We cannot avoid this, the Earth will define its bounds for us, in spite of what we want, or try to achieve.

Meanwhile the Media and the ‘Establishment’ is drowning in a sea of what could have been, what should have been and who is to blame.

No one, except this Blog apparently, is saying what has to be, and that it has the possibility to be the most uplifting experience the human species has yet faced, but we have to grasp the nettle and let our eyes see the ‘elephant in the room’.

The future will not be the same as the past, we may not be jetting around the world without thought for the consequences, but our quality of life can be better in many ways if we value the true ‘quality’ of what we produce and consume, whilst working to continually reduce its  ‘resource intensity’ on society.

We also have to understand that it not just the physical, explicit, resources we have to consider but the energy, other resources and concomitant creativity and ingenuity we squander in the organization of our societies.

A good index of this ‘loss to society’and its unsustainability is the number of lawyers per capita a society has, and we have to recognise there are no ‘green’ jobs or organizations, only those that increase or decrease society’s resource intensity.






Peak oil – what do we do now?

by Robert Hirsch

……………………We’venow in a period of major human disorientation, but geology does not become disoriented on the human timescale. The impending peak oil problem may now be generally absent from the media and the public consciousness, but it has not gone away. We would do well to continue meaningful studies of peak oil production and mitigation during this period of peak oil quiet. More studies of practical physical and administrative mitigation options are needed. Totally remaking our cities and transportation systems are wonderful goals but will require an extremely long time. In the meantime, we have relatively little in-depth thinking about what we can do when the will-to-act suddenly appears. We need better analyses on such options as rationing (how to do it), carpooling (how to force and police it), telecommuting (how to make it happen), rapidly switching to more fuel efficient vehicles during a deepening recession, rapidly implementing EOR, CTL, shale oil, etc (business-as-usual won’t do), etc. Between now and the wakeup, we can develop carefully thought-out mitigation options for when people are ready to begin to seriously mitigate peak oil. Working on practical solutions represents a high calling.


Robert L. Hirsch is Senior Energy Advisor at MISI. Previously he was Assistant Administrator of U.S. ERDA; EPRI VP; ARCO VP; and Chairman of the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems at the National Academies. He was lead author of “Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management” (Feb 2005).

read all at http://www.energybulletin.net/node/48095


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