148. MORE DEBUNKERS EMERGE
Great article by Aaron Naparstek:
These and about 400 others were in attendance for the first-ever Petrocollapse Conference, a day-long event organized to allow "tremendous authorities offering a wide range of expertise" to educate the public on Peak Oil, according to Jan Lundberg, a conference organizer and the morning's first speaker.
Having written and worked quite a bit on New York City transportation issues the last few years, I was slated to do a ten minute talk as a part of the "Local Solutions" panel at the end of the day. I had put together a presentation called "Urban Transportation in the Age of Expensive Oil" showing five transportation and urban design ideas for weaning New York City away from costly automobile dependence.
Yet, as one "tremendous authority" after another got up to warn us of the impending, sudden demise of Western industrial civilization due to Peak Oil, I began to get the sneaking suspicion that this crowd, or at least these conference organizers, weren't interested in bus rapid transit, bike lanes or policy proposals of any kind. The Petrocollapse Conference had been convened to warn New Yorkers that End Times were upon us.
If Peak Oil theory is now mainstream, splashed across the front page of USA Today and the theme of Chevron and BP ad campaigns, then Petrocollapse is a secular, left-wing, non-fiction version of Tim LaHaye's Christian Apocalyptic "Left Behind" series. The gospel according to Petrocollapse is that Peak Oil is coming, and it's coming soon. The transition to the post-carbon world will not be gradual, it will be sudden and massive. And when it comes, the sinners--those profligate American consumers and the corporate whores who oversee them--will all be swept away in violent social turmoil, starvation and environmental disaster. But there's good news too. After the tumultuous mass die-off, a new society will arise from the burned out SUV hulks and melted plastic detritus. In this post-carbon world, humans will have no choice but to live sustainably, in cooperation with each other and in harmony with nature. Those who get religion and accept Peak Oil into their hearts soon enough--they may be among the lucky survivors whose children grow to live in this new and better world.
In other words, "grounded" and "pragmatic" weren't high on the Petrocollapse Conference agenda. This was made immediately clear in Lundberg's introduction as he listed his Peak Oil bonafides and criticized other "prestigious insiders of the Peak Oil 'movement'" for advocating political solutions and policy reforms. Source
A nice piece by Grant Causwell, skewering Ruppert, Jan Lundberg and the other peak oil hysterics:
The peak oil movement is, right now, no matter how many write-ups it receives in the New York Times Magazine, a movement of people who have already lost, just as all survivalists' movements are. (I suspect Jan Lundberg would have done well for himself giving speeches about the need for fallout shelters 50 years ago.) Those who have the least worry most about losing it. In this case, it's those least tethered to the hectic crash and race of motorized life, those who not only despise it, but tremble with anticipation of the glorious day when the ones tethered to it and secure in their place are similarly lost, who drive the movement. They're the ones who buy books like "When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance & Planetary Survival" or "Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places" (hint: you want "a climate which can sustain life in an energy crisis but won't attract marauders"), and pay Michael Ruppert $50 a year to read his lurid fantasies about crack-dealing spooks and economic collapses that are always, from what I can tell, just a few weeks off.Source