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, March 27, 2006

Anarchism and the Peak oil Argument

[POA note: This is a very good analysis, albeit written in tortured and almost unreadable language. It's hopefully the beginning of a deeper conversation among anarchists about peak oil, but it's WAY TOO LONG to republish in full here. Check out the complete essay here -- and both there and at, there's some interesting discussion in the comments sections.]

by Terry S
Published on March 21, 2006 at
An anarchist analysis of what peak oil means for the fight for a free society

Peak Oil is a subject that has not been addressed much in the Anarchist community and it's relevance to it. This is something I wish to discuss here and begin what is probably a very important debate and our response to it. Peak Oil is one of the major issues facing humanity and will result in great changes. It interlinks with many subject areas largely because of the ubiquitous role of energy in society. It is essential that Anarchists are aware of and understand this issue and it's far reaching consequences and are not caught off guard and are ready to take advantage of the changes that will occur to bring about a better world, rather than allow society to be led down the destructive path of capitalists and other dominating power structures.

Some of the references that I have seen of Peak Oil in anarchist writings appear to dismiss it as some sort of capitalist inspired shortage or something. The evidence does not indicate this at all...

The important consequence of this for Anarchists, at least in North America, is that it will be hard for the corporate media to hide the jolt from Peak Oil, although they will do their best. It is something that will hit most people. It is precisely in these sort of situations when people awake out of corporate / state induced slumber and may become receptive to an analysis of what is happening and begin to question the status quo...

What tends not to get discussed anywhere is the combination of Peak Oil, the Greenhouse Effect and the general trashing of the global environment.
Chances are in the panic down the back-side of the Peak Oil slope, there might be a rush to all sorts of different fuels, like lower grade oil, tars, coal, wood and so on -- and the amount of carbon dioxide released per unit of energy will actually be even higher. It will be a brave person who tries to stop this mad rush. Desperation will see environmental standards and safeguards consigned to the dustbin... The reactions are therefore likely to exacerbate existing environmental problems and if society and politicians continue their denial in the face of the facts, then the actions and "solutions" they take are likely to be reckless.


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