Peak Oil Anarchy

Peak Oil is indisputable, inevitable and -- probably -- imminent. As the Cheap Oil era ends & oil supplies grow ever more scarce, our consumerist, earth-eating economy will go into convulsions & industrial civilization will teeter on the brink of collapse. Best be prepared! Peak Oil could herald a Golden Age of Anarchy. In Leviathan's ashes, we could create new decentralized communities of mutual aid, solidarity against oppression, & egalitarian harmony. May this be a map to the terrain ahead!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Hayduke speaks: Reality, what a concept!

"It's not the writer's task to answer questions, but
to question answers. To be impertinent, insolent, and, if necessary, subversive." -- Edward Abbey

Edward Abbey died in 1989, so he missed much of what makes up our world today: the multi-generational invasion and occupation of the Middle East by the United States government (their government, not my government), the nightmarish return and ascendancy of the Neocons, the abdication of our national press and their willing adoption of the fawning role of stenographers to power. Ed warned us, those few who read his fiction and essays; he gave us a glimpse of what was, and still is, to come. We live in a time when unreality ultimately clashes with reality. Since World War II, those who have come to control the United States government (their government, not my government) have dragged us all into a world of unreality, in which television news- ertainment substitutes for news and informed commentary.

At first, it seemed benign, a pitiful distraction that attracted more and more gaping moths to the flame of TeeVee entertainment. All too soon, the distinction between news and entertainment, between reality and make believe, between fact and propaganda, became forever blurred. As advertising built a fantasy of a meaningful life based on unlimited consumption, all content presented on TeeVee become indistinguishable from the commercial unreality. News stories, shortened to meaningless sound bites, were spun to undergird the corporate reality of consumer capitalis
m. National elections became just another fantasy extravaganza on the tube, a foregone conclusion in the eastern US while the west waited to vote. Democracy died in the scintillating electrons of the TeeVee phosphor tube.
Now we've suddenly discovered reality creeping in around the edges of the popular broadcast fantasy. Computer game wars really do kill real people, sons and daughters, husbands and fathers, children and children and children.

Global climate change is not a fantastic special effects movie advertised on wide-screen TeeVees, but a very real, long-term change that is melting the ice pack of Greenland, displacing indigenous peoples the world over, and, worst of all, raising food prices for affluent Americans.

Rising gasoline prices inconvenience the commuting public, hinting at the ultimate energy price rises to come as the reality of Peak Oil makes itself inescapably felt in the basic resource that has served as the basis of what we optimistically call our "civilization."

Reality is what hangs around when you stop believing in it... and when the TeeVee is turned off.

Leona Gulch
pacific Plate

hayduke (at) rattlebrain (dot) com


  • At 2:28 AM, Blogger rs6471 said…

    Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
    Douglas Adams- Posters.

  • At 2:51 AM, Blogger rs6471 said…

    Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
    Douglas Adams- Posters.

  • At 6:51 PM, Blogger qrswave said…

    Love the post!

    Practically everything wrong in the world today can be traced back to a contrived reality--something someone wants us to believe in, but is not actually grounded in reality. It's false reasoning.

    Interest, Intellectual property, Image (derived from brands and created through advertising and marketing)...all illusions.

    Upon these illusions our lives are built.

    But, every illusion must eventually fade.

  • At 11:49 PM, Blogger Peak Oil Anarchy said…

    I'm 56 years old, creeping up on 57. Not a significant number, though well beyond the middle of the journey. I have a good twenty years left to experience this life, thirty or so if I'm lucky and I stick to the good, simple, nutritious diet that Jean prepares for us. That and plenty of just
    sleep, the sleep of the just tired, after a day of satisfying work and

    The news, that is, the real news, not the newsertainment on TeeVee, is filled with portents of disaster: global climate change, melting glaciers and permafrost, rising coastlines, agricultural disruption, species extinctions, rampant diseases... all providing the thrill of imminent threats to one's personal safety and equanimity.

    It is, of course, all true: Peak Oil, climate change and the
    consequences thereof are very real, evident everywhere around us, coming soon to a bioregion near you, probably faster than anyone fully realizes.

    And yet, here atop my mountain of years, I'm optimistic about the
    future, a future I will not see fully realized. Yes, civilization, if such a thing has ever existed, is in deep shit, poised on the brink of decline, if not complete collapse. Peak Oil will result in global economic recession and
    depression, undermining the very basis for modern society and all its technocratic distractions. This is A Good Thing, in itself, for all
    life on this planet, even for human life, if one can view the inevitable outcome dispassionately, from the perspective of many years under the belt, some of them hanging over a bit, and far fewer years ahead on the next horizon.

    Consider the consequences of a continuation of the status quo. The
    cancerous philosophy of continued, unbridled, economic and cultural growth; increasing imperialism and fascism in national governments; continued oppression within nations to support global hegemony; the failure of democracy in an increasingly militarized and regimented world.

    Not a pretty picture.

    Not to fear. Soon enough, corporate investors will be forced to deal
    with the inevitability of finite energy resources; automotive fuel prices will rise to a sane level exceeding the equivalent of $10 a gallon. When the choice comes between keeping one's house warm and driving 35 miles to work,
    guess what the choice will be? Faced with the economic inconvenience of spending half one's income driving to work, more and more will choose to work closer to home, or live closer to work, within striking distance of
    bicycles, electric scooters, horses, and even those two locomotive devices most every human comes with as original equipment: shank's mare, les pieds, our own feet and legs.

    Imagine a world made for walkers and bicyclists instead of automobiles! Shopkeepers living over their shops, pleasant lanes and footpaths connecting
    businesses and residences, none more than an easy walk apart. Instead of parking lots: garden allotments, pasture for horses and goats, open space for children and wild things to play, there to teach and learn from each other.

    At some point, choices will be made about transportation of raw
    materials and finished products to market and homes, as opposed to transportation of humans to far-off illusory destinations. Humans will gradually learn to stay put, to stop this insane busy-ness driving us to all corners of the planet,
    to find comfort, satisfaction and sufficiency within the area
    encompassed by a comfortable day's walk.

    I won't live long enough to see this come to pass, alas, except in my own small world where I live the change I wish to see in the wider world.

    Come to think of it, I have seen more people walking lately, more
    bicyclists, more electric scooters. And there are moments when the
    incessant automotive cacophony of 7th Avenue diminishes and even dies away altogether, and I hear the restless surf pounding a mile away, the sea lions barking beneath the wharf out past the silty San Lorenzo River mouth, Great
    Blue Herons clacking overhead, and the sighing whisper of autumn leaves falling to their winter rest.

    Time for a walk, a good hearty salad, a glass of ruby wine.

    To Life!

    Leona Gulch
    Pacific Plate


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