Diane Trout (alienghic) wrote,
Diane Trout

Peak oil

This weekend multiple shocking things happened regarding Peak Oil.

First off, I've learned that there are other people out there interested in the issue. There's a meetup and an activist interested in this also put together a web site peak oil action.org. There's even a documentary. I'm not the only one

On saturday i went to a discussion about peak oil and I utterly shocked myself--I took the more optimistic viewpoint.

I can argue that there are solutions possible, albeit unpleasant ones.

A simple viewpoint that some authors have proposed is that without oil civilization ends. Somehow at least 5,000 years of human civilization has managed to get by with little more than muscle. Anything humanity accomplished prior to the 1800s can certainly be done in an energy limited society.

Lets say we discover that we can't fuel our cars any longer and that we need to rebuild our cities to use mass transit and make walking more convenient. You can do this by depopulating suburbs and moving people back into the cities. If enough people were sufficiently motivated, they could take apart the suburb McMansion and drag the components to some central location with nothing but hand tools.

It would suck, but it could be done.

I suspect one might also be able to drag the turbines out of a natural gas power plant and go build a solar thermal power plant. If you didn't have the infrastructure to use computer control to redirect the mirrors to focus the light, it'd still be possible to just use people to redirect the mirrors--It's grunt work, but it'd work.

I think that as long as we avoid liquefying coal to continue to drive (and thus melt our planet) and we manage to avoid a total war over the scraps of resources humanity should be able to struggle through. Some number of us will starve, a large number will have to get used to a lower standard of living, but a lower standard of living is not "the end of civilization".

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