Shuck and Jive

Friday, April 15, 2011

Kunstler and Peak Oil

You may have noticed that gasoline prices have gone up again. Many reasons are offered except the one we are less inclined to hear even though it is likely the true reason.

The rate of global oil extraction has peaked.

It is Peak Oil.

Earthlings have been extracting and consuming about 85 million barrels per day for the past six years or so. That is likely all we are going to get. We are not going to increase that rate of extraction no matter the demand. We are not running out of oil. It is not the size of the tank but the spigot. We cannot get cheap, sweet crude out of the ground as fast as we need it. That is what collapses economies.

The Nation Magazine has been running a series of videos on Peak Oil. The series is called Peak Oil and a Changing Planet.

I started posting these in January then lost track of them. I will catch you up with the ones I have already posted and post the new ones as your midnight movie.

And tonight, we feature James Howard Kunstler, who blogs at Clusterfuck Nation.

He is the author of
The Long Emergency and two well-written novels about our post-peak future, World Made By Hand and The Witch of Hebron.

Your midnight movie is Peak Oil and Our Financial Decline:

In this fourth video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth Productions, author, blogger and social critic James Howard Kunstler opens up on two circumstances he sees running neck and neck “that are going to put us out of business as an advanced industrial civilization”—the “fiasco” in banking, money and finance and the unfolding “energy predicament.” He explains that the crises are really all about "capital" and that we need to look at how wealth has been accumulated and deployed for productive purposes.

Kunstler suggests that “cheap abundant energy” has facilitated ever-increasing industrialization for centuries. But now that society is in a period of self-destructive capital accumulation, he expects debt to increase as abundance in energy drops. The tremendous amount of accumulated debt, “a by-product of cheap abundant energy,” will mean that in the future governments will be less able to make investments in socially-beneficial programs.

He also criticizes the US environmental movement for shying away from the problem of energy. The movement is unable to talk about walkable neighborhoods, smaller cities or investing in rail or water transit, an “intellectual failure of the culture to have a coherent conversation from people who ought to be leading” such a conversation.
Get your popcorn.

1 comment:

  1. Which is why when the Jeep died we bought a Prius. Went from 15 mpg to an average of about 45. I love running it on just the electricity. It sounds so cool to have a car that makes no sound.