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Saturday, November 05, 2005

153. A DICK CHENEY DOOMER FIGHTS BACK!

My suggestion about people sleeping at the office to cut down on commuting provoked a vigorous response from ashurbanipal, one of the Dick Cheney doomers over at peakoil.com. This confused individual is in favor of returning to the land and tilling the soil, but opposed to any lifestyle changes which might conserve gasoline. Conservation is insanity. Every lame argument in the book must be invoked against it:
Lately, I've been hearing a lot from the optimist camp that conservation, if done correctly, will be enough to save us from the deleterious effects of Peak Oil. To someone who is new to the subject, or who has not paused to examine the situation, this may seem reasonable. Optimists point to how much driving Americans do compared to Europeans, for instance. It is argued that if Europe can do without all the driving, so can America. I read a recent argument that, if necessary, people could start living where they work during the week. They could prop a cot right up next to their desk and sleep there, rather than driving to and from work. Aside from the spectre of indentured servitude this raises, there are other fundamental reasons to object to it, consequences be damned.

Telecommuting would probably be a better approach for people with a desk job. That way they can shower at home, and the boss can foist off all his overhead onto the workers.

The first thing that comes to mind is that offices everywhere will have to build showers and provide lockers, or deal with a bunch of really stinky (and eventually ill) workers. Most offices I've worked in use all their available space and sit on a slab foundation that isn't plumbed for a full bathroom. Some buildings can be modified, and a few already have executive showers. But most buildings will require a relatively significant investment of cash, and risk significant damage to the foundation, to install showers.

Yes, showers have now become like nuclear plants. Complex, billion dollar facilities which we have no hope of scaling up in time. LOL
Here's another cool idea from Japan. Comfy flop-house sleeping compartments with shower facilities:

The Capsule Hotel

Awesome bathing facilities at the capsule hotel

The next thing that comes to mind is how someone locked into sleeping at their office during the week will take care of their children? Someone will obviously have to be hired to do so, and to take the children to school. If the purpose of living at the office to begin with is because gas has become so expensive that there is no alternative, then when one realizes that the cost of day care is already very high, it's easy to question this solution. Nor could we go back to a family living on a single income. Mortgages and groceries are already too high, and the requisite capital isn't present in order to increase wages significantly. The only solution I see is that children would have to start sleeping at state-subsidized schools. Boarding schools have provided a model for this, but they have also always been quite expensive, and the money to operate them on a broad basis has to come from somewhere. At the end of the day, people need a certain minimum allotment of resources in order to live.

This is another namby-pamby objection which can be solved in any number of ways.
1) Mom sleeps at work half the time, and Dad sleeps at work half the time.
2) One of them telecommutes.
3) A single parent can telecommute.
4) A single parent can take the bus.
5) A single parent can buy a scooter.
6) A single parent can ride a bicycle.
7) A single parent can move closer to work.
8) A single parent can move in with family.
9) A single parent can try harder to make the marriage work.
9) Children can walk to school and work off some of that fat.
10) Children can live with family.
11) Older children can learn to cook and clean for themselves while Mom is gone.

Here's where I sense the optimist will want to say "But hey! We've saved a lot of money on gas by living at the office! We can afford to do this now." And this is the crux of the conservation issue. For a while, we will have saved money, and for a while, we might be able to afford this solution. But eventually, this will no longer be possible. Prices will continue to tighten, and conservation will have to proceed apace. No matter what we do, we will eventually get to a point where conservation means not eating, not having shelter or clothing, etc.

This is incorrect. Conservation will continue until we are relying only on alternative energy sources which are stable or growing, i.e. LNG, coal, ethanol, solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, and nuclear. That's a big fat cushion to fall on. The point ashurbanipal is missing is this: Once you're not using gasoline anymore, you're done conserving. I know this is possible because I don't use any gasoline at all, and I live a comfortable first world lifestyle.

The philosopher in me senses a far deeper issue at work here. Something about the labels "Optimist" and "Doomer" seems fundamentally wrong to me, or at least that's my intuition. What's bugging me is why it would be considered "optimistic" to look forward to a future where people sleep at their place of business while their children are miles away sleeping where they go to school? I don't know about anyone else, but if it suddenly became law or custom that people had to sleep where they work a certain number of days, my boss would demand people work from 6 AM to 9 PM, and use the increased productivity to fire a bunch of people. In his mind, it would be only fair since he is now providing housing. Is the doomer scenario of powerdown and living close to the land actually worse than this somehow? We'll return to this question in a moment.

[...]

Optimists seem to be motivated to argue that we will find a way to continue our current system more or less indefinitely. One founding principle of all optimistic arguments is that we must conserve resources to the end that we can transition our system of virtual land to the support of some other source of energy. As I hinted earlier, we're at the point now (or we soon will be) where conservation means a series of deeper and deeper disconnects. Disconnection from our families and children, from any kind of hobby, from our own humanity.

Resisting conservation has now became a matter of preserving our very humanity. Cue the tragic violin music.

Sleeping at the office was actually suggested by an optimist on JD's weblog. What should seem obvious from this long post is that the apparent underlying motivation of this suggestion is to maintain a failing system as long as possible. Should we seek to do so? Should we seek to stay alive at any cost?

Maybe you're right, ashurbanipal. If the price of fuel gets too high, it's probably better not to conserve and improvise. The best approach is probably to stay at home and die, with your children, your hobby, and your humanity.
-- by JD

26 Comments:

At Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 8:18:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be laughing at the complete idiocy shown by "ashurbanipal" if it weren't so deeply disturbing that people think that way.

 
At Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 9:03:00 AM PST, Blogger Quantoken said...

JD:

I wonder how you could have made that enormous claim that you are totally independent from petroleum and still live a comfortable life?

Do you consume any food or commercial product? If you do these matters that you consume do not automatically fly to your place. You either drive out to seek those items (eat out, go shopping), or you will have some one drive bring them to you: Pizza delivery and UPS delivery. Either case you are consuming oil.

The food you eat costs 10 times their mass in oil, in the process how the food is produced, transported, and transformed into the food that goes to your mouth. That includes all the oil consumed by the agriculture processes, fertilize production. Transportation, the food industry. Grocery store, and all that.

Conservation must be carried out. Every one should promptly turn off lights when not present in the room, etc. But there is a limit you can only conserve so much. I switched my car to a Toyota Prius. But I do not think grocery stores can replace their delivery truck by a Prius.

 
At Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 9:42:00 AM PST, Anonymous Wildwell said...

I think JD means he personally doesn’t use any, same with me.

The Green revolution didn’t boom the population is most places it was about providing cheap, dependable food. Transportation of food moved from Steam train and horse to oil dependent trucks starting in the 1920s and mostly from the 1960s when truck read networks really expanded - although in theory you could reduce its use down a lot using hub and spoke transportation using electric vehicles, organic farming and electric or biodiesel farm machinery and of which is technologically possible is just so happens it’s cheaper to use ‘just in time’ trucking and lots of chemicals – what the customer demands the market produces. If we were prepared to spend a little more on food, much oil use could be eliminated!

BTW I have no particular interest in ‘maintaining the system’ it hasn’t done me any great favours; the trouble is the alternatives are worse in many cases. (Dictorship, heavy state control, self sufficiency – God help you when the rain doesn’t come?) And I don't especially see how anyone is going to convince people not to consume, travel, eat, keep work, and better themselves. We have to work with the system we have got and bitching and moaning about it because it doesn't suit our own needs is going to do no good. If you’re concerned about the environment join the Green party, if you like the establishment and country and believe in market forces join the conservatives/republicans. If you like collectivism, public services and minority rights join the labour party/democrats. If you sit somewhere in the middle join the liberals.

 
At Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 10:54:00 AM PST, Blogger James said...

Quantoken said: I switched my car to a Toyota Prius. But I do not think grocery stores can replace their delivery truck by a Prius.

Did you ever consider there might be efficiency gains to be made in truck engines and usage? I personally think that there's ALOT of waste that can be exised from 18-wheelers whenever I watch the noisy, dirty contrapations rolling down the street.

Somethoughts that come to mind are:

1) Apply the same pressure for efficient engines to trucks as they have been doing for cars.

2) Switch part of the trucking fleet to biodiesel, as available supplies make it possible. EROEI studies, Pimentel aside (that study has been debunked on the basis of improved farming techniques), has shown that biodiesel production is NOT a net energy loser. Therefore, production of biodiesel would take some of the strain off the petrodiesel market, while having the side-effect of reducing CO2 emissions.

3) Move more freight capability to rail, and build more rail throughout North America. Doing so will reduce fuel consumption, and clear the roads of big, unsafe trucks, improving safety for the little people!

4) Tighten and strictly enforce truck upkeep standards. Forcing trucks to keep their tires and fuel systems in top shape will improve fuel mileage, and reduce dangerous tire blowouts on the highway.

 
At Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 3:39:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

quantoken the only reason just in time trucking is used is because it's the most cost effective method, the cost of food in the US is amazingly low despite what you might think.

Industries can relocalize, freight shipping can work, at the moment there isn't enough economic insentive to do that.

I don't claim oil crisis and high prices won't be a problem, lots of people will lose their jobs and it will be very bad, but the lost energy inputs from demand destruction due to unemployment is more than sufficient to build a better rail system, for example.

 
At Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 11:35:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD, on some of your points, I agree. I don’t think a Malthusian catastrophe is inevitable.
I agree that cars are a silly way to get around when we can telecommute.
I agree that we can build smarter high tech eco-cities like www.ecocitybuilders.com
I agree that we can conserve and save, while prioritising alternative energy.
I agree that there are other options to www.dieoff.com
I have kids, and love anything that prevents the whole Dieoff scenario!
I don’t believe Dieoff or LATOC are inevitable… but that they highlight the risks if we manage this threat poorly, New Orleans style. And I have been informing governments and have seen some political change! (Check out the Queensland Labor party member, Andrew McNamara where he discusses political blindness to peak oil… and yet some of the solutions as we quickly adapt society to some massive changes. Dieoff – no. Greater Depression, YES! His taskforce seems to have concluded that the airlines are going down no matter what… and just that one event will crush international tourism and bring on the Greater Depression!
http://media.globalpublicmedia.com/RM/2005/08/McNamara.20050824.mp3)

But sometimes some of your writing really sounds like you’re a mid 20’s WASP letting your clear cut, dogmatic youth spew unutterable rubbish out there into blogger land just to get some attention.

JD, do you have kids? Your piece on living at work was an amazingly simplistic and patronising bit of writing. Don’t you dare imply that this is the new normal! Who are you to tell parents that spending half a week away from their kids are an acceptable solution to peak oil? I think you are a bit confused on some of the basics here.

One minute you are suggesting energy efficient cars. Well, duh. Of course that’s part of the solution… until we can rebuild a car-less society. (With ever declining supplies of oil, who gets to drive those cars? Don’t forget, the arc of decline will be a permanent loss of 2 to 8% of world oil supplies every year. Will we be able to economise at this rate?)

But you go too far saying people might have to adopt your Nazi “live at work” rule. Let’s see, you propose that the choice might come down to living at work half a week or watching your family starve to death?

Hmmm — that’s about as rationale as the Doomers you criticise. How about:-
1/ They get another job closer to home
2/ They move house to live closer to work OR
3/ They sell the house, lose the job, and go and “downshift” into an eco-village?

Yeah, number 3 sucks doesn’t it because it just does not match your “business as usual” paradigm. Why are you so threatened by many members of society doing this? It’s becoming quite a trend by people who know NOTHING ABOUT PEAK OIL. They simply want a quieter, simpler, healthier, less stressed, more creative life with far more time with family and friends. They have realized that being in debt up to their eyeballs and working frantically around the clock just to own stacks of prefabricated STUFF is not fun! They want to live on a quiet perma-culture farm where they can help in their kids education, work maybe just 1 or 2 days a week in the “real world”, (or not at all), eat healthier food, live in a community with people they actually know and give a damn about.
This is an option. Stop trying to present a permaculture lifestyle as somehow less preferable to your ridiculously sad and ignorant paradigms of living at work. Excuse me while I barf!

Stop telling us how to run our families; that it’s your way or starvation! You’re sounding more like a dogmatic Nazi every time you write, and a really stupid one at that. You’re actually hurting the cause of the standard peaknik who wants to raise awareness of peak oil in a credible way, because your “Doomer debunking” sounds as dumb as the Doomers!

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 8:46:00 AM PST, Blogger Quantoken said...

James:
Do you realize that big trucks, or any type of big vehicles, are much more fuel efficient than smaller ones even the Prius, when you consider the fuel consumption of per ton of good shipped per mile? They are big oil guzzlers. But they transport way much more goods/people than they consume more oil!

There is not much more fuel efficiency improvement on trucks. They are already efficient consider the amount of good they transport. You see huge improvement on sedans going hybrid because sedans were wasteful in the first place. To convert a heavy truck to hybrid would take an array of batteries almost as heavy as the truck itself, with very little reward.

Quantoken

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 11:02:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which is a reason why trucks shouldn't have a problem, conservation can happen first and foremost in other sections with government intervention, give industries that rely on trucking time.

The big cut needs to happen with personal transportation - now let's assume for some crazy reason that ALL oil conservation must come from this sector, that's roughly half our oil consuption coming from there right?

So we got a 3% annual decline of 20mbpd, and since we are assuming 100% of the conservation is coming from personal transportation sector this means we need to drive 6% less per year.

I know I can handle driving 6% less, I know the vast majority of people can drive 6% less. If you car pool to work and go grocery shopping half as often but by more on each trip (and just go without milk and bread when you run out) you can probably double that number. If you move to an apartment closer to your workplace where you can take a bus you can probably quadrouple that number.

I suggest you personally figure out a personal plan to live with 50%-75% less gasoline inputs (obviously certain parts of the economy require all the oil they use - and unless the government is even more stupid than they have been they will earmark oil for those economic activities), and no matter what happens you will be in vastly superior shape than everyone else. Obviously there will be an initial "shock" (ex: hurricane Katrina, supply didn't magically pick up, people stopped hoarding and the price went back down, the SPR opening had almost nothing to do with it), but it won't even phase you if you follow JD's suggestion of living without a car.

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 12:02:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well US cars get 21 mpg at the moment average; 63 mpg in a few years isn't out of the question, that 1/3 of the current oil consumption for cars, which use 45% of oil. Airlines ought to raise their prices and fly smaller planes and reduce flights - businessmen will still pay, and this will bring them back in profit. A lot of freight can go on intermodal trains (already running) and ships that use 1/5-1/10 of the energy per ton that trucks do. Already you're looking at a huge cut in use and keeping things going - this is without coal liquefaction, LPG and any major building plans.

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 3:30:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,3605,1627424,00.html

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 4:58:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

His taskforce seems to have concluded that the airlines are going down no matter what… and just that one event will crush international tourism and bring on the Greater Depression!

I seriously doubt that. You're exaggerating.

Who are you to tell parents that spending half a week away from their kids are an acceptable solution to peak oil?

Nobody's "telling" anyone to do anything. It's just one of many suggestions. Anyway, lots of people travel frequently on business and don't see their kids as often as they like. Some people migrate or go to work on remote oil rigs for months at a time. They handle it.

One minute you are suggesting energy efficient cars.

You're confusing me with someone else. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool car-hater, and I hate energy efficient cars just as much as I hate gas guzzlers.

3/ They sell the house, lose the job, and go and “downshift” into an eco-village?

Yeah, number 3 sucks doesn’t it because it just does not match your “business as usual” paradigm.


Pull your head out of your ass. I've never said anything against living in the country. I lived in the country myself for about 5 years. I love the farm, and I have excellent composting and gardening skills. In fact, I wouldn't mind living in the country right now. The main reason I left is because there aren't many good-looking women out in the country.

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 5:09:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

Conservation must be carried out. Every one should promptly turn off lights when not present in the room, etc. But there is a limit you can only conserve so much. I switched my car to a Toyota Prius. But I do not think grocery stores can replace their delivery truck by a Prius.

Actually, there is a limit to conservation, and I've hit it. I can't consume any less gasoline because I don't use any. You, on the other hand, have plenty of room to conserve because you're still driving.

You are totally confused, quantoken. You're the one telling us that the shit is going to hit the fan, and you think your Prius is going to help? Do you really think you're going to be putt-ing around in your Prius while people are starving to death due to lack of trucking to the supermarkets? No, your Prius is going to be totally useless, very soon, according to your own predictions. Basically, you're still in denial about the realities of oil depletion.

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 6:32:00 PM PST, Blogger dub_scratch said...

In other words, since society is going to breakdown into total collapse, an alternative car fleet is a will be a useful tool. Have you all heard of the coming dieoff and the Oldivi cliff? Well it isn't all that bad. We have hybrids right now that get up to 60 MPG. When the next great depression comes, many of us should be sitting pretty on biodiesel too. Sure starvation will blanket the land, but there is electric car technology that can run on power derived from renewables.

In my experience, I've been able to breakdown this debate into two camps. Those who say that technology & new energy sources will insure that we will be driving our cars vs those who see us starving in the streets. JD, You've identified another group: those who predict that we will be starving in our hybrid-fuelcell-biofueled-EV cars.

As I think about it, this third category (the alternative car doomer) is quite prevalent here where I live in So Cal. At many of my Oil Awareness Meetups, the discussion tended to be dominated by collapse scenarios and alternative cars. Many seemed irritated by my focus on ending the car culture as a preventative step to collapse. I think this mindset is borne out of a culture that cannot imagine a functioning industrial lifestyle without their precious car crashes & traffic jams.

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 8:13:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

Hmmm — that’s about as rationale as the Doomers you criticise. How about:-
1/ They get another job closer to home
2/ They move house to live closer to work OR
3/ They sell the house, lose the job, and go and “downshift” into an eco-village?


I don't think JD was saying that everybody has to sleep at work. It's simply one of the options available if you still insist on living in the suburbs.

If you want to get a job closer to home, you still can.
If you want to move closer to the city, you still can.
If you want to downshift into an ecovillage, you still can.
If you really insist on living in the suburbs, and you think a big house with lots of space is worth the inconvenience of sleeping at work, you still can.

It's about choice. I'd never stop anyone from moving into an eco-village if they want to, in fact it sounds like a really nice idea, and I'm sure many people will decide to live in one. But the idea that everybody is just going to happily chuck in the towel and start living off the land is completely unrealistic.

Just as they do today, people will weigh up what they value more, money or leisure time, space or convenience, work or family, and then they'll make their own decisions about what lifestyle they prefer.

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 8:40:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

JD, You've identified another group: those who predict that we will be starving in our hybrid-fuelcell-biofueled-EV cars.

I agree. If you really believe we're going to starve because of oil, you shouldn't be driving a car, or any kind of motor vehicle. Or using a computer. Or living in a house. Or eating food. You should downshift to an Amish community, now, and leave some oil for your poor starving neighbours.

On the other hand, if you think life will go on I can strongly recommend getting a Prius. Not only for moral reasons, but because you'll save a fortune on petrol whether you believe in Peak Oil or not. My dad has one, and it's great. No, even better, just don't have a car at all.

 
At Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 11:05:00 PM PST, Anonymous Wildwell said...

Yep it always amazes my why people think they will be driving around cars while people are starving – guys it aint gonna happen. Evidence? Go and have a look at Paris where the cars are burning, these are the first signs of social disparity which are the roots of the problem, the division between the rich and the poor. I can’t stress it enough, when society gets polarised it breaks down, and it always has done throughout history, without fail. It’s happening throughout the world Rich Nations v Poor, Young v old and minorities v establishment. Some people cannot afford to buy property or cars and they see others with several houses and SUVs. It just makes me laugh to think people think this can carry on without some sort of social breakdown. So they whole idea we will be able to maintain luxury transport is fantasy if predictions are correct.

 
At Monday, November 7, 2005 at 12:02:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

His taskforce seems to have concluded that the airlines are going down no matter what… and just that one event will crush international tourism and bring on the Greater Depression!

I seriously doubt that. You're exaggerating.

Can’t you listen to audio files?

I will clarify. He said the airlines would go down. I said that this one event would cause a Greater Depression.

He said there would be all sorts of other dire effects on the economy, and that we'd basically have to adopt many measures that are spelt out in the "End of Suburbia" — quick smart.

McNamara even started to discuss needing to reduce the population levels on planet earth! And he is heading up what could be the world's first peak oil taskforce. Andrew McNamara is the chair for this multi-departmental Queensland State government taskforce.

The “Oil vulnerability taskforce” is due sometime this month.

Sorry JD, you’re out of your league. You have a few good quotes here, from other expert people… but the moment you start writing your own stuff, ew.

 
At Monday, November 7, 2005 at 7:48:00 AM PST, Blogger dub_scratch said...

Roland wrote: "On the other hand, if you think life will go on I can strongly recommend getting a Prius. Not only for moral reasons, but because you'll save a fortune on petrol whether you believe in Peak Oil or not. My dad has one, and it's great. No, even better, just don't have a car at all."

Roland, I really think you are missing the point. It's not that civilization will not collapse, so we can go on wasting huge amounts of energy in hybrid cars. The real point, often expressed by JD, is that ending the car culture offers a huge energy cushion. But, we must understand that we cannot have continuity of modern industrial civilization AND have continuity of wasteful car consumerism. We are going to be faced with that choice and when we do get around to dumping our dumbshit boxes (a.k.a. cars) we'll find that industrial civilization will go on just fine.

Another misunderstanding you have is with the idea that somehow driving a hybrid car saves energy. Last time I checked, hybrids use huge amounts of energy to run and to build the infrastructure. you don't save energy by driving any kind of car.

 
At Monday, November 7, 2005 at 8:32:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I should have checked this blog earlier. I didn't know I would cause such a fuss.

For those who disagree with the conclusion of my thread: go there and argue your points. If you think I'm an idiot, say why. We'll see what happens. I have to think if you don't have the stones to do at least that, you have nothing really substantive to say, and are just trying to deny the issue.

JD, please post the link to that DOE study, or instructions where to find it. I think I know the one you're talking about, and you're seriously misrepresenting what it says. But we may be talking about different reports; I'd like to confirm first which report you're referring to before offering counter-discussion.

In the meantime, I am not opposed to reasonable conservation. I just think there are limits to what can be conserved without turning our existence into a nightmare.

 
At Monday, November 7, 2005 at 8:44:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD,

Nevermind, saw that you have posted it. Thanks.

 
At Monday, November 7, 2005 at 11:49:00 AM PST, Anonymous rmark said...

Actually, installing a shower stall over a slab floor isn't that hard if you raise the stall on a platform for drain pipe clearance over to an existing drain.

 
At Wednesday, November 9, 2005 at 12:53:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD, you still have not substantively debunked the fact that the world's first government "peak oil taskforce" (with multi-departmental advice and numerous scientists backing the inquiry) has concluded (amongst many other things) that

the airlines will be going bankrupt!

Ask some economist mates what effect this one factor would have on the world economy, let alone the other systemic attacks on our way of life from peak oil.

One by one the list of things you propose as "answers" to peak oil add up to the entire rebuilding of our civilization! "Food towers" was my favorite — I don't know that anyone could invent a MORE expensive way to grow our food. :-) :-)

 
At Wednesday, November 9, 2005 at 1:10:00 AM PST, Blogger JD said...

the airlines will be going bankrupt!

When? In what year will they all be bankrupt?

 
At Wednesday, November 9, 2005 at 12:35:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD, listen to the interview.
I am pointing out that the economic implications just from the airlines collapse will be major. You can sidestep the question by insisting on asking exactly when, but the point is that just a year or 2 after the peak as the fuel prices go nuts, the airlines are going down. Andrew McNamara understands the significant effects of peak oil that you dismiss with such ease.

He is a politician, and is responsible to his electorate. You are just some "armchair general" pontificating on a blog — which may as well be graffiti on the toilet wall for all the academic credibility it has. Some of your posts have a little merit, you are bound to stumble over some common sense if you are arguing with the extreme edge of any movement. (Such as the Doomers.)

But please don't try and dismiss the seriousness of the profound economic crisis that is coming our way. Andrew's interview was a "sneak preview" of the peak oil taskforce report, due sometime this month. It is going before Peter Beattie's Queensland government for scrutiny, and I am not sure whether or not it will then be released to the public. Make of that what you will — if it is not released, then the message is all too loud and clear. "Nothing to see hear folks, move along!" (Disturbing shit here, don't look or the word might get out.)

The interview is all we have to go on until the report is made public.

Just go to Global Public Media and type in Andrew McNamara and look for the interview.

 
At Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 4:56:00 AM PST, Blogger Roland said...

Chris L, note how I said: "No, even better, just don't have a car at all."

I agree completely with you that cars are an all-round bad idea. However, I don't think we're going to get rid of them completely. Cars are still desirable for the following applications:

- Transporting the sick, elderly or disabled
- Council/government/police vehicles
- Delivering food door to door
- People in small towns or on properties

These uses are only a miniscule portion of overall petrol consumption, so we shouldn't have a problem maintaining them. In this case it might be a good idea to use EVs or hybrids instead of Suburbans. Also, for people who live far from work in places without good public transport, carpooling will be a vital intermediate solution. Again, the more efficient the car the better as far as carpooling is concerned.

As for my dad, he drives a car to work because he has an arthritic hip and cannot walk easily. He also bicycles almost every day for exercise. If there was a little less traffic, ie due to Peak Oil, he could easily bicycle to work. But for the moment, getting to work and back on a coffee cup's worth of petrol is a good halfway point.

(For the record, I don't drive)

 
At Monday, August 11, 2008 at 3:10:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep it always amazes my why people think they will be driving around cars while people are starving – guys it aint gonna happen....

Wildwell clearly has never visited any of the many countries where there are a few rich people driving cars and a lot of poor people starving. Like Appalachia in the 1960s. And most of the US in the 1930s. I'm not saying inequality is a good thing, only that the concept that if cars are going to exist everyone has to have one is bunk.

 

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