free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 102. PEW POLL: ENERGY MORE IMPORTANT THAN ENVIRONMENT

Friday, September 16, 2005

102. PEW POLL: ENERGY MORE IMPORTANT THAN ENVIRONMENT

A new Pew poll came out a couple of days ago (Sept. 15), and the verdict is in; 57% of the public now believes that energy is more important than the environment: Thanks to the unflagging efforts of environmentalists like Richard Heinberg, great strides have been made in increasing awareness of peak oil. The public is now aware that we're running out of oil, and the solution is (yep, you guessed it): stamping out environmentalism. The gloves are going to come off, and from the standpoint of the Earth Firsters, it's going to look like full scale war on mother nature: ANWR, Florida, Yellowstone, drilling every remaining pristine refuge, strip mining the ocean floor, well-shooting, massive coal and uranium mine tailing ponds, nuking the tar sands, whatever it takes to get those damn gasoline prices under control.

I think there's going to be a lot of disappointment and rage in the "peak oil community". Peak oil was supposed to usher in the new age, but it just ushered in a new age of even more crass exploitation.

16 Comments:

At Friday, September 16, 2005 at 11:07:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, you show your ass to the world jd. Have you read anything written by Richard Heinberg? Like anything??? The guy is a huge proponent of the environment. If anything, he could be criticized for being one of those "enviro whackos." You criticise Simmons for being a banker, Savinar for being a lawyer, Heinberg for being a musician, etc. . . Do you have some tyep of mental disorder that you aren't getting the proper treatment for? You seem unable to make your points (some of which are monumentally inane, others which actually are good points) without making yourself look like a middle aged housewife who didn't get her prescription for prozac refilled.

 
At Friday, September 16, 2005 at 11:46:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Never the less I think the environment is ultimately going to be hit the hardest by peak oil, before we move to any sort of renewables as a primary form of energy the planet may suffer irreversable damage from coal liquification and other environmentally unsound methods of meeting our energy desires (not requirements, we certainly don't NEED to use this much)

The message of the peak oil community to avoid conservation because it won't help does way more harm than good - we won't accept collapse and death, we'll rip every bit of this planet apart for every last drop of anything burnable before we do that, when there is no NEED for us to consume as much as we do!

 
At Friday, September 16, 2005 at 11:57:00 PM PDT, Blogger Dukat- said...

JD did say "we should suck the earth resources dry".

 
At Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 7:49:00 AM PDT, Anonymous EnergySpin said...

John interesting piece of data here but I'm afraid that your explanation and the role of the "environmentalists" is only partially correct.
It is not Heinberg's fault for bringing PO to the attention of the public at large. It is his vision of the future as the past that scares the hell out of people. Irrespective of what critics of modern civilization think (and Heinberg is an outspoken critic not only of our sprawl-based civilization but our technical civilization in general) , the public sees the immense benefits of having a technical layer between us and "nature". After all, before modern sanitation and preventive health (all set in place before oil) and antibiotics and modern agriculture people used to harbour quite an impressive ecology of worms in their guts, went to bed hungry and died of pneumonia. People are responding to an agrarian "vision" with the only reaction they know; if the question is framed as "technical civilization vs an 18th century civilization" and the consequent pseudo-dilemna "us against nature" the average person will reply : "us"/"screw nature".
But as a I said, this is a pseudo-dilemna. Modern technologies i.e. TGVs, tele-commuting, computer networks, rapid prototypers, nuclear power plants, massive wind farms, thin layer solar and biofuels (in moderation) can maintain and even promote the development (I'm not using the word "growth") of modern civilization to the next phase.
But for many of the people involved in the Peak Oil movement, all these are techno-fixes which delay the only real solution (at least to them). And the solution is to shed technology and return to primitivism and other eco-utopias.
It is interesting for "seasoned POilers" to re-read "The end of Oil" after they have spend hundreds of hours on Energy issues and spot the fallacies about renewables (especially wind, solar to a smaller extent), biofuels, and nuclear energy. All are presented as unsuitable for maintaing civilization and quite an impressive array of outdated and irrelevant data about EROEIs are used to support this claim.
I guess Heinberg does not bother himself with Life Cycle Analysis of modern wind turbines (which they do take into account everything except the burgers that the workers in Vestas's plants eat during their break) , but why should he?
LCA is a technical tool which is a product of an inherently faulty civilization.
And in terms of what the first anonymous said, I would not call Heinberg "an environmentalist". He is a neo-primitivist (after all it was JJ Rousseau who kicked started primitivism in the 18th century) ; for them living in "harmony" with the environment is a side-effect of a particular non-technical way of life.
It is instructive to re-read a piece that Heinberg wrote in 1995 (reproduced here:
http://www.insurgentdesire.org.uk/civilization.htm)
The conclusions are particularly revealing:

"In any discussion of primitivism we must keep in mind civilization's "good" face--the one characterized (in Lewis Mumford's words) by the invention and keeping of the written record, the growth of visual and musical arts, the effort to widen the circle of communication and economic intercourse far beyond the range of any local community: ultimately the purpose to make available to all [people] the discoveries and inventions and creations, the works of art and thought, the values and purposes that any single group has discovered. Civilization brings not only comforts, but also the opportunity to think the thoughts of Plato or Thoreau, to travel to distant places, and to live under the protection of a legal system that guarantees certain rights. How could we deny the worth of these things? Naturally, we would like to have it all; we would like to preserve civilization's perceived benefits while restraining its destructiveness. But we haven't found a way to do that yet. And it is unlikely that we will while we are in denial about what we have left behind, and about the likely consequences of what we are doing now. While I advocate taking a critical look at civilization, I am not suggesting that we are now in position to render a final judgment on it. It is entirely possible that we are standing on the threshold of a cultural transformation toward a way of life characterized by relatively higher degrees of contentment, creativity, justice, and sustainability than have been known in any human society heretofore. If we are able to follow this transformation through, and if we call the result "civilization," then we will surely be entitled to declare civilization a resounding success. "

I guess that he discovered PO in the meantime ... and he made up his mind . But to call Heinberg an environmentalist is not 100% correct; after all what term would one use to refer to James Lovelock?

After all had been said, done burnt, and drilled it will be ironic that indirectly and directly neo-primitivist cults would be held responsible for quite an impressive degree of environmental damage.

 
At Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 8:49:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Wildwell said...

I'm sorry JD you've lost the plot now...

Of course people LIKE consumerism, cars, freedom, having lots of money, screwing around with the place...

But then a lot of people like choccy cake..

Which also isn't very good for you..

 
At Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 10:17:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wildwell, you don't seem to have a point that's related at all to what JD said.

 
At Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 10:42:00 AM PDT, Blogger James said...

Energy seems to be on alot of minds these days. It shouldn't mean that all environmental caution should be thrown to the wind though. Provate industry and government must have constant pressure applied to it to do the right thing. Othwise, they'll just take the path of least resistance...

 
At Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 12:52:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Wildwell said...

Hmn, yeah, I didn't make it very well. There seems to be a lack of ecologists in the PO community, most of them seem to like cars..ahem..

The poers have never argued anything different that the environment will be screwed..Most of them are about maintaining their lifestyle rather than save the earth.

The ecologists that are there write:

Now we need a new system that recognize earth’s resource are finite. I call it Ecology. A new system must outlawed foolish hobbies such as smoking, drinking, and driving. Public must be encourage to ride on horses, and entertainment media must be outlawed. Let’s create a system where person can own a small farm, and grow food on his own, and free to pursue his desirable hobby. System must recognized it’s is foolish to rely on majority’s will, so called voting, and two party system must be totally ban, and leaders should be picked through military ranks. Women must be encouraged to cook, clean, and sew clothes, women must not be allowed to work outside expect widows. Feminist, homosexual, child molester, rapist, robber are killed under ecology law.

Post in the Hall of flames about democracy..

I'm depressed.

 
At Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 2:21:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That last guy is a textbook sociopath. It really is sad.

 
At Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 5:40:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is how all the big names in the PO community advocate that "we will all die off so no point trying anything", and claim conservation will only hasten the decline (and attempt to support this with lots of seemingly accurate data).

Well since people KNOW we can survive if we let the environment take yet one more for the team, we'll go that way, since the big names in the PO community refuse to offer us any other alternatives.

 
At Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 8:33:00 PM PDT, Blogger James said...

Wildwell: Post in the Hall of flames about democracy..

I'm depressed.

PO.com forums have all kinds of nuts, which is why I scarcely go there anymore. The weird thing is, you wouldn't know it by reading the front news page, which seems to be fairly balanced for the most part...

 
At Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 8:48:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Wildwell said...

I dunno, I've just spent the last week on an extreme motorists forum, Peak oil doesn't fit in at all with their view of the world! lol One was even talking of making a motorists political party and axeing all buses and no traffic lights lol

 
At Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 1:36:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One needs to take a really good look into who kickstarted the "Ecology" movement and the scientists that PO.com worship as gods.
There is a "black" aspect of the green movement which people do not really want to talk about.
The British Nationalist Party flames at PO.com in May/June are particularly revealing, and so are the close ties between various scientific gods (Hardin, Pimentel) with rascist, fascist and anti-immigration movements.

There is actually a name for all that crap: "eco-fascism". Culling the herd, killing the tards, letting old and weak die and other fantasies about how to sort the good out of the bad genes is what drives (or exploits) a big chunk of the environmental movement nowadays.
Bad for the environment, bad for all of us, but good for people who want to burn everything that moves (corporatios and their politician lackeys).
But it goes even further: a group of the peak-oil/environmetalism community have elevated mathematical descriptions of eco-systems dynamics to the status of a god and have also formed a religion around it.
The last time that science was used to justify a particular social program we had forced sterilizations, concentration camps and oppression across the US and Europe.
Sad indeed ....

 
At Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 5:39:00 AM PDT, Blogger Dukat- said...

Even the optimists here seem somewhat concerned about the enviroment and energy policy. James says most people at po.com are wackos, I find the opposite true, some people are and it's easy to just ignore their posts. People do have filters in them that screen themselves from bullshit. James your take on po.com must reflect your inability to disern fact from fiction. Your constant polical correct view of managing the environment and energy is what causes the human race to get into all these types of bother. "It shouldn't mean that all environmental caution should be thrown to the wind though. Provate industry and government must have constant pressure applied to it to do the right thing." CLAP CLAP.
Do you really think doing that will help? Who is going to supply the pressure? the general population? You + 10 others from a webiste? If attemping to do the political correct thing doesn't work, then obviously doing politicaly incorrect things will be the solution. Thats why I like po.com, they are not bueacratic thinkers who throw ideas around a government office and decide on the most politicaly correct option. Some of their views are unpopular but I do see alot of the views as in the big picture working, and thats not putting pressure on government to change things, it's doing things at the grass root levels ourselves and ignoring the governments because as most of us at po.com do not have faith anymore in the governments and so we have sort means for our own personal survival only and fuck the rest.

 
At Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 7:29:00 AM PDT, Blogger James said...

Dukat: "James says most people at po.com are wackos, I find the opposite true, some people are and it's easy to just ignore their posts."

Because they fit in with your pessimistic views perhaps. To be fair, there are alot of moderates on PO.com that I agree with, or can respectfully disagree with. As for ignoring, you can only ignore so much persecution and out-of-hand dismissals of optimistic viewpoints before it begins to wear on you.


Dukat: "James your take on po.com must reflect your inability to disern fact from fiction."

Look at any posts between Montequest and anyone who dares to disagree with him. My evaluation of certain characters on PO.com as nuts is warranted.


"Do you really think doing that will help? Who is going to supply the pressure? the general population? You + 10 others from a webiste?"

If you're looking for mass action, then you have to inevitably go through government, it's how the world works (with Bushco in charge though, you have my sympathy). As far as informing and motivating everyday people is concerned, then yes, grassroots action is much more effective at acheiving that end. As far 10+ people from a website, there's many more positive minded (non-doomer) types that were waiting for a site like this to come along. Because it was specifically sourced from PO.com, it has acheived a readership that it making it one of the fastest growing PO optimist blog on the net.

Dukat: "If attemping to do the political correct thing doesn't work, then obviously doing politicaly incorrect things will be the solution."

Define politically correct, I don't know what you mean by that in this context. Potically incorrect? Please don't tell me you agree with culling of the herd nonsense. Disavow it!

Dukat: "Some of their views are unpopular but I do see alot of the views as in the big picture working, and thats not putting pressure on government to change things, it's doing things at the grass root levels ourselves and ignoring the governments because as most of us at po.com do not have faith anymore in the governments and so we have sort means for our own personal survival only and fuck the rest."

Again with Bush running the show, I understand your apprehension. But fuck the rest? You have shown yourself in that sentence, and other posts on this board, to be one of those survivialist nuts that few people want to associate with. With an attitude like that, who would want to? If you so badly want to spread PO awareness, you have to have the ear of the people at large, and with rhetoric like the stuff you've been spreading around lately, they will ignore you very quickly. Therefore, your mission = not accomplished.

This is why I take the realistic approach of acknowledgeing PO as a grave problem, but I remain optimistic. People in general need to see a light at the end of the tunnel before they'll run through a brick wall for you.

With all respect, thanks for scaring the shit out of people about PO. We'll take up our portion of the slack in dealing with the problem. The question is, will you join us? Or are you just going to run for the bunker, and wait for the end of the world to come?

 
At Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 10:29:00 PM PDT, Anonymous popmonkey said...

this blog needs a forum. there's a lot of good discussion developing on some of the entries but it's impossible to follow them as there are now over 100 entries and the conversations in the comments rarely stay on topic.

btw, debunk me <- one of the most bizarre things i've read in recent years.

P.S. JD if you need a forum, i've got servers and bw. p o p m o n k e y [ a t ] g m a i l . c o m

 

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