free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 13. SHOULD I TELL MY FRIENDS ABOUT PEAK OIL?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Matt Savinar and other peak oil dead-enders deeply want the current system to collapse, and they are allowing their emotions to interfere with their rational judgment. They exaggerate any and every piece of data which suggests collapse is near (even if it has nothing to do with peak oil), and ignore or ridicule any and every piece of data which suggests collapse may be delayed or avoided.
If you decide to tell your friend's and family that the world will be coming to an end shortly, you will be accepting a risk. The risk is that they will believe you and drastically change their lives because they trust you. Then they are going to be waiting, year after year, for the horrible events you forecast to come true. If they do not come true (or do not come true quick enough), you may have to face some unhappy people who feel you deceived them and made them look like fools.
Just a possibility you should be aware of.
Take care,


At Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 9:01:00 AM PDT, Blogger James Shannon said...

What to tell your friends:

Do tell them about Peak Oil, but leave out the apocolyptic BS. Simply say that demand is outstripping supply, hence the reason for skyrocketing gas prices. Tell them that something needs to be done in regards to alternative energy NOW, and that the longer we wait, the more expensive and painful a transition it will be for us all.

In short, speak in populist economic terms that everyone can relate to, not in terms that would make Savinar-ian disciples blush...

At Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 9:13:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I most definitely do not want the system to collapse. But the facts indicate that it already is in the process of collapsing, so we may as well get ready for it. Explaining how and why a boat is taking on water at a dangerously rapid rate is not synomous with wanting the boat to sink.


Matt Savinar

(yes, this really is me)

At Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 9:18:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In short, speak in populist economic terms that everyone can relate to, not in terms that would make Savinar-ian disciples blush..."

The reason my site has garnered so much attention is because I did not attempt to "not scare people."

Had I taken your advice, and not spoken in "Savinar-ian" terms, I doubt Roscoe Bartlett would have read about 1/4 of the site's main pages in the US Congressional record.

You are trying to convince people of something they do not want to hear. IN such a case, you cannot pull your punches or fail to use all the evidence available to you, as grim as it may be.

Best of luck with the "soft" approach. When that fails to get the hoped-for reaction, then send them a link to my site, give them a copy of Richard Heinberg's books, or link to some of Mike Ruppert's articles.



At Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 12:16:00 PM PDT, Blogger James Shannon said...

Hi Matt,

As you can no doubt guess, we disagree on what precisely Peak Oil means for the world at large. This much is certain: we both know it is going to happen (maybe already). You have put a great deal of effort into researching the topic, and for that I commend you.

However, we all take objective data and interpret it in different ways, based on subjective philosophy. I sense you have a rather pessimistic view of humankind in general (I believe you admitted that yourself on the PO boards), so it tends to preclude any hope for a good outcome. Your scenario could very well happen, but so could others, varying from the optimists, to the middle of the roaders to the dieoff people (more grim than you!!).

In the same way you take the data and give civilization its last rites, I choose to take it and view it as a grand opportunity to reshape the world. Yes, the world economy will probably go in the toilet, but it's not the first time the world's been in such a situation. The Great Depression were dismal times, but over the course of a decade, the economy recovered. In the same fashion, the economy will continue onward (sluggishly albeit) in spite of the circumstances, and what will need to be done will be done, with regard to the restructuring of the economy away from predatory capitalism (exponential growth)towards a structure that is sustainable.

In the end, I think the rich elite in this society will do what is necessary to protect the hides of them, their children, and their children's children, and that is to reorder the economy so that it doesn't collapse.

Because if it does, they will be one of the first ones running from the angry mobs, and I think more than a few of them in Big Oil realize this.

Take Care,


At Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 5:02:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Best of luck with the "soft" approach. When that fails to get the hoped-for reaction, then send them a link to my site, give them a copy of Richard Heinberg's books, or link to some of Mike Ruppert's articles.

Hi Matt, thanks for dropping by.
The "hoped-for reaction" is for American fuel hogs to stop wasting gasoline in their cars. That's the problem and the solution in a nutshell. Everything else is just fearmongering.

At Wednesday, August 17, 2005 at 5:42:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James wrote:

"I sense you have a rather pessimistic view of humankind in general"

No, I have a neutral view. I do recognize that over the past 10,000 years (probably even longer), human beings have resorted to one strategy when resources become short, (even if it is just a perceived shortage): they raid.

Those of us alive today are the genetic offspring of the best raiders from the past. Hence, it only makes sense that many/most will resort to the strategies that were effective in the past: raiding.

I'm not advocating that, just pointing it out.


At Thursday, August 18, 2005 at 6:19:00 AM PDT, Blogger James Shannon said...

Will we see gas lines in the event of a supply shock in the future? I think we definitely will. But all spikes inevitably come down (otherwise it wouldn't be a spike!) People will adjust to reality of higher and higher prices, and life will come with fewer luxuries as time goes on.

As for your comment on raiding, it fits in exactly with the point of why the rich elite should care about the ramifications of an energy-starved future. As the poor grow in the streets, they will look for those who have the resources, and they will be the first ones who get "raided"...

In the end though, any raiding behavior on a large scale will be muted by long-term adjustment to the new realities of our society, and in rather severe cases, by interventation from the authorities.

Long story short, the transition will be hard for all, but it won't end in the Apocolypse.

At Friday, August 19, 2005 at 3:18:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Clearly you haven't read "Collapse" by Jared Diamond or "The Collapse of Complex Societies" by Joseph Tainter.

Nor does it seem you are familiar with the demise of the Roman, Rapa Nui, Mayan, or Aztec civilizations.

I hope you turn out to be correct, but the history of previous, comparable civilizations in similiar circumstances would indicate otherwise.

Technologies may have changed, but human nature has not.



At Saturday, August 20, 2005 at 10:58:00 AM PDT, Blogger James Shannon said...

No I haven't read those books, Matt. Collapse I believe is a bit of a strong word to use in any of those examples (except for those on Easter Island, due to the small base of essential natural resources). Civilizations such as the Romans and the Mayans took hundreds of years to decline from their golden years. It's certainly possible that Western Cilvilzation has jumped the shark, but collapse needn't be a fate that we're consigned to, as we have the gift of foresight. If we choose to learn from the mistakes of our predecessors, we will avert tragedy. If we don't, the grim scenario of which you've been warning of may very well come true.

At Monday, December 10, 2007 at 5:48:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny that you use the phrase "jumped the shark" when referring to the possibility that Western Civilization may have passed the height of its glory. I can't help but envision Fonzie on water skis.
If WC is on the decline, when do you think the peak may have been? Post WWII? America in the 50's? Armstrong's "one small step?" Earlier? the Renaissance? Europe in the early 1900's?
Just curious.

At Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 2:39:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quote from your site: "deal with reality or reality will deal with you." At the bottom of page 23 of your OWN LINK about extracting uranium from seawater, it says that it is possible using fast-neutron breeders. Jevon didn't anticipate oil, you aren't anticipating uranium. The stuff could last for billions of years, as Bernard Cohen has argued.


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