Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Midterms

First of all, a reminder to Facebook readers, click on Original Post to see this one in its entirety and access the links.  The title of this post is hot-linked to the original site.

Tom Whipple would never make it as a politician because he insists on being honest.  Those of you who think it is just a matter time before we can "party on dude!" in a revitalized America are smoking something no doubt illegal.  Those of you who think we just need to change the players to achieve that goal are, to be blunt, in denial.  Here's why;

Since the nature of our coming problem became obvious to many five or six years ago, both the Bush and the Obama administrations have concluded that it is best to muddle along and not say anything to disturb the national polity. Both administrations have laid out the prospects of a return to the good times and economic growth that we in America have known for much of our lifetimes. The calculation has been that telling it like it is - complete with the prospect of little or no economic growth for a long time and the growing impoverishment of most of the population -- would be at best political suicide and at worst would crash the stock markets leading to instant misery and impoverishment for millions.

The political leadership would rather save their skins than tell the truth because they believe, to paraphrase Jessep in A Few Good Men, we can't handle the truth.  Now I happen to believe that is not true.  There are a lot of people who see the truth, and can handle the truth.  But they have not been asked to face up to that truth as members of the community.  Why not?

During WWII the nation was asked to make sacrifices.  There was a sense, for the most part, that everyone had a stake in the outcome of the war.  That is not to say there wasn't corruption and a black market.  However, the key was that everyone expected and believed that their neighbors were contributing, and woe befall anyone who wasn't visibly involved in the good fight.  Americans are capable of sacrifice, provided they believe it is for a good reason and they believe that everyone is pulling their fair share in the process.

The Joint Operating Environment 2010 and the Bundeswehr report (analyzed here) are just two recent military reports that look at the issue of peak oil and consider its implications.  The Energy Bulletin puts a special emphasis on Section 3 of the Bundeswehr report because of it speaks to the societal disruptions that are likely to ensue.  Do our leaders really believe that taking an ostrich approach will somehow protect us from social disruptions or somehow result in minimal impact?  Who is it that can't handle the truth here?

This nation is facing a prolonged period of shared sacrifice.  Our leaders can either start preparing the population for this, or risk the wrath of the electorate when it manifests and people realize what is happening and start asking who knew what when.  In the meantime, the rest of us will continue to prepare.

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