Bob's Links and Rants

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Monday, November 08, 2004

Peak Oil--Again

I've started reading Richard Heinberg's newest book, Powerdown : Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World.* He recaps his previous book, The Party's Over about the imminent approach of world peak oil, the time when global oil extraction reaches its all-time high and begins its inevitable decline, and then goes on to describe the choices that the world as a whole and communities and individuals face as cheap, abundant energy disappears. I haven't read those parts yet, but I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can learn a lot about peak oil from the experts at

As you've probably noticed, I've changed my emphasis on this blog somewhat. Chasing every Bush scandal at the moment seems futile; it didn't work before the election, and it sure doesn't seem like it will work now. Bush will fall when the multiple catastrophes he has unleashed come home to directly and severely impact the lives of millions of Americans. He won't fall because of Halliburton or Valerie Plame or because he stole yet another election.

No, my goal now is more to get the word out about the nature of the upcoming catastrophes and to help us prepare for them in such a way that they won't be completely catastrophic. In a weird sort of way, there's a bit of a benefit in Bush's "victory," since our goals can be more in alignment with each other. Withdrawing much of our money from the global corporate economy and investing it instead in our local communities will be 1) better for the environment; 2) better for our own personal and community economic security, by developing and sustaining local agriculture and businesses; 3) starve the beast which funds the politicians who start the wars; and 4) hasten the fall of Bush. It seems quite likely that the global economy will collapse in a fairly grand fashion fairly soon. How badly that affects our communities will depend directly on how tied we are to the global economy. If your food mostly comes from thousands of miles away, look out! If it comes from tens of miles away, you're probably much less likely to go hungry.

* I link to book descriptions at Amazon so you can learn more about the books I'm describing. PLEASE don't order the books from Amazon! Get them at the library if you can (I checked "Powerdown" out from the UM library), or a local bookstore. If you buy a book, share it with friends or give it to the library after you've read it!