free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 243. OIL DRUM SWIRLING DOWN THE TOILET OF DOOM

Sunday, February 19, 2006


philipmartin has posted a comment which deserves its own article:
This is off-topic..but there's an interesting discussion over at The Oil Drum over conservation versus vacation travel etc.
It seems really to have brought some loonies out of the woodwork and a few surprising admissions from regulars.
I've cut down my travel because I think it's the right thing to do for myself but others, on one hand, are really relishing the peak for various weird reasons, whilst others have the 'I want to see everything before I die' attitude. I have to hand it to you JD I think your analysis of these people, generally, is more right than wrong. I really thought this bunch had a different attitude. They criticize profligate behaviour day after day and then - behold! - it's all been a big joke. Fuck me...
This is the thread philip is referring to, and here's the doomer argument for those of you who are just tuning in: Peak oil is going to cause the collapse of civilization, so you might as well "party on" and waste fuel while you can, OR (alternatively) live as wastefully as possible in order to bring on the collapse sooner. These attitudes are the predictable endpoint of doomerism, as we have previously described in 78. DOOMER TYPE #3: THE PARTYER, 77. DOOMER TYPE #2: THE FULL THROTTLE "SURVIVOR", and 75. DOOMER TYPE #1: THE SOCIAL DARWINIST. It's very sad to see the Oil Drum -- a site with many redeeming qualities -- slowly succumbing to this nihilistic garbage.

We here at POD take a different view. We believe that the task of our generation(s) is to meet the challenge of peak oil, and work relentlessly to ensure a good outcome. Partly, that involves taking personal responsibility and not making up stupid excuses to waste energy.

At the moment, I live in Japan, and have the greatest admiration for Japanese frugality and social responsibility, as I have previously described in 156. BICYCLES IN JAPAN and 144. YOUR BUDDY: THE SPACE HEATER. Check out this amazing material about Japan from a recent Washington Post article:
Japanese Putting All Their Energy Into Saving Fuel

By Anthony Faiola
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, February 16, 2006; Page A01

KAMIITA, Japan -- When the Japanese government issued a national battle cry against soaring global energy prices this winter, no one heeded the call to arms more than this farming town in the misty mountains of western Japan.

To save on energy, local officials shut off the heating system in the town hall, leaving themselves and 100 workers no respite from near-freezing temperatures. On a recent frosty morning, rows of desks were brimming with employees bundled in coats and wool blankets while nursing thermoses of hot tea. To cut back on gasoline use, officials say, most of the town's 13,000 citizens are strictly obeying a nationwide call to turn off car engines while idling, particularly when stopped at traffic lights.

Takao Iwase, Kamiita's husky administrative director, joined other locals in switching off the heat at home, too -- leaving his family to quickly hustle from steaming nighttime baths to the warm comforters on their traditional futons. "We're saving [$100] a day at city hall by shutting off the heat," Iwase, wearing four layers of clothing and a winter coat inside his office, said proudly. "But we no longer see this as just an economic issue. Japan has no natural resources of its own, so saving energy has become our national duty."
This is the kind of cheerful, "can do" commitment our world needs more of, not the spoiled nihilistic swill the Oil Drum is spreading and catering to.
-- by JD


At Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 8:53:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

Wow, check out this drivel from that oil drum discussion:

In my humble (LOL) opinion, everyone should immediately jump on a plane and fly like a viagra salesman behind in sales. I also advocate the purchase of Kenworth tractors to replace your regular vehicle. Instead of walking to the end of the drive to pick up the mail, fire up the Kenworth and motor down there. Buy a 1000 gallon gasoline tank and fill it with fuel then dump it in your swimming pool and set it on fire!!! What fun!!!
Leave the Kenworth idling all night in order that it will be warm when you wake ...

After advising everyone to watch NASCAR, it goes on:

Now, some of you may think I am being ironic. I am not. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY do want us to hasten the end of this despicable era. The one thing I know for sure is nature/physics does not care about your politics, your invisible sky-being, or your family, so do not start whining and crying about the "good" parts of society, the arts, or the vast variety of cultures we will kill. TOO LATE FOR THAT, YOU SELFISH BASTARDS. The sooner we go into a Malthusian collapse, the better it will be for the remnants of humanity, the sooner we will have to deal with nature/physics on a real time basis.

Yes, vacation your ass right out to Antartica. If you can figure out a way to do it with your Kenworth mounted on a concrete barge, all the better. BURN BABY BURN.

Bring on the cull.

What a perfect example of the fascist disaster-fetishism which has turned the "Peak Oil" into a steaming shitpile of semantic baggage. I've always avoided and the Oil Drum like a plague, because it's full of people like that. Somebody give them a kick in the face for everyone who's trying to make a better world.

Keep up the good work, JD!

At Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 8:58:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

While I'm all fired up, has anyone seen the latest post at Marshall Brain's blog, "Acetone to Increase Mileage?" He's not sure if it's true or a load of crap. Does anybody know?

At Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 11:01:00 PM PST, Blogger Chris Vernon said...

There are two completely different aspects to peak oil and I think it pays to consider them separately in discussions like this.

1) The people who care about the oil, the academics, the analysts, the statisticians etc who build models, study the oil data etc and try and work out when and how fast oil will decline.

2) The people who accept the basic peak oil argument, don't really care if it's 2005, 2010 or 2015 but just know change is in the air and we need to work of mitigate the worst of it.

It is VERY RARE to see these two points in the same people. The Oil Drum is mainly type-1 people, these people are often not too good an any of the type-2 behaviours. That's not to take away from what they do but just because they don't have a great plan for the future doesn't mean their sums today aren't right.

On the point of "party on", I think there is a case to be made although not a very strong one. I think even the people here accept that business as usual can't survive peak oil, to mitigate the problem we have to take action (actually deploy all the great technology discussed here). Whilst we don't do this, then the longer we manage to patch up the system and continue business as usual the worse the end result will be. Conservation is only useful, if we use the time it buys to change the system and get off oil. This isn't happening right now.

Today, conservation is allowing the system to continue to grow meaning the result of energy decline will be worst.

As I say this is a weak argument since there is some good work going on which conservation will buy time for, also to get to the point where we are seriously working towards a solution we have to go through this stage first.

At Sunday, February 19, 2006 at 11:43:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

According to Jevon's Paradox conservation won't do any harm (as I understand it) because the energy would be used anyway. JD's point is a good one - conservation is personally beneficial, and also makes the adjustment to higher prices easier for those who are already used to conserving.

At Monday, February 20, 2006 at 6:54:00 AM PST, Blogger philipmartin said...

Let me just add that taking responsibility for oneself is one of the prime lessons to learn at this time. Some commentators at The Oil Drum have the wrong attitude because Peak Oil is a world problem not just in the good ol' U S of A. If we in the rich conserve...if we are good responsible preachers for a change of behaviour, lifestyle etc. then perhaps others in poorer countries will feel the squeeze much later...but then that's a lot of crap isn't it?!!! The Western lifestyle is not up for discussion...or is it? Or are we all just wasting our time and then shouldn't we wait for the govt., business etc. to save us or shaft us? I have nothing against those who administer the Oil Drum but if you can't even criticize irresponsible behaviour on the site without being criticized for moralising..then what is the point?!!

At Monday, February 20, 2006 at 12:47:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

Also gotta say I'm loving my Japanese Prius that helps me get back and forward from the hospital where my dad just had a hip operation. Twenty litres down and I've done almost four-hundred kilometers. Sushi trains are fantastic as well. Go Japan.

At Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at 5:18:00 AM PST, Blogger Thomas said...

Welcome to Roland's blog ;-)


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