Peak oil never really peaked my interest much, until my x-partner got completely wrapped up in every book and blog about it. Then he began telling me the gasoline was going to run out any moment now, he began stock piling salt & canned goods, he quit school because his major wouldn't matter after peak oil, then we broke up. Although my interest was slightly peaked by the fear in it, I never really could sit down and read his fav blog The Oil Drum, until recently. After discussing this blog with a close friend I was pretty disgusted with the whole theory and community backing peak oil. I found alot of fatalism, gloom, statistics played out repeatedly only to prove itself over and over. Where was the solution? There seemed to be no interest in renewable energy, technology with non gas vehicles, no advice on how to lead a sustainable life, no tips for organic gardening, and literally gave the feeling that no one counts. On one peak oil blog they went so far as to say buying organic barely mattered, and patronized people who buy organic and drive an SUV. Basically the feeling was each individual does not matter/make a difference (which is the complete opposite of what I feel & have observed to be true.)
Now highschool was a long time ago, and I would say that forming a clique, or community that excludes others as they are trying to learn new ways of living, is well, shitty and immature.
So I left a random comment about the fear mongering and lack of solutions, which other commenters gave a resounding 95 thumbs down! What a tight community- and the author Prof. Goose responded right away, including this dramatic scary analogy:
"Let's triage the patient without diagnosing the problem! What would you do if you walked into a hospital near death and was told "Sir, you have blood all over you, here's a band-aid for that itty bitty cut on your forehead." You would likely not recover from your wounds.
If you haven't looked around lately and seen what is going on in the world, that is exactly the approach you are advocating. "
Alright dude, thanks for proving my point on the fatalistic horror show attitude.
But to be fair, here is more of the defense of his peak oil fatalism that was retorted:
"The general attitude here is clinical and empirical with a graceful touch of concern for humanity thrown in for flavor. It is not condescending: it is educated. It is critical. It is academic. And it is certainly not for everyone.
I take no joy in the success of this site, nor do I take joy in the massive resource inflation we are witnessing--other than that it may be the one thing that could spur alternative fuel and method development. I really want the community writ large to be wrong about all of this. I beg for it every single day, sir. ...
Someone has to talk about it, someone needs to do the hard thinking, and someone needs to worry about the effects, especially on those who have less of a voice in our society--the poor, the indigent, the folks who are going to bear the brunt of this first wave of transition. I can't speak for others, but that's why I do this.
I am in a relatively safe seat to watch all of this go down--at least in the early innings. However, ask those increasingly hungry people in Pakistan how they are feeling right about now about ethanol. Ask the people who won't have heat this winter what they think of the resource premium.
This is a human tragedy already."
One commenter dared to go against the grain (16 thumbs down) and kindly agree with me saying this:
"Prof: Congrats on a great site. I realize what the first poster said is very unpopular, however I feel he made a good point. TOD[the oil drum] is unlikely to fix the planet-possibly the focus could shift more towards opportunity rather than defeatism. Still a great site-just a minor suggestion, not a criticism."
(Notice the commenter assumed I was male, since the community is largely male).
I do believe the gas will run out eventually, because any resource that gets all used up can run out. But do I believe it should be compared to bleeding from the head, chaos, tragedy, and clinically driven guilt... no way! With a community so large at The Oil Drum (some posts have over 350 comments) it's too bad for the doom & gloom since taking a positive approach would effect much more change & education- fear will always paralyze the deer in headlights.
I would love to know how you feel about the Peak Oil issue, which has now been coined "the long emergency"? Do you feel panic? Do you feel learning a sustainable lifestyle would help? Or do you think Peak Oil is a crock and we will be inventing things that will take the place of gasoline before it could run out?