Scraping the Barrel


Many of the comments on this thread in relation to what I wrote about China yesterday have revealed a less-than-surprising but still extremely discomforting ignorance about the future of our planet, especially in ..one of the world’s more powerful countries, let’s say. Impressively blinkered ideas like this:

As the article shows, many places are showing increases in a variety of alternatives as well as technologies that decrease oil-dependency. It’s slow, but I don’t see any reason to speed things up. Unless there’s some hard numbers that you’re aware of that you could show me? As far as I know, we have plenty of oil for the time being. By the time we start running out, I’ve little doubt that other technologies will have matured enough to take its place.

…reminded me of what our beloved George Monbiot had to say a couple of years ago what the declining supply of oil will mean for the lives of every one of us in the not-at-all-distant future:

The only rational response to both the impending end of the oil age and the menace of global warming is to redesign our cities, our farming and our lives. But this cannot happen without massive political pressure, and our problem is that no one ever rioted for austerity. People tend to take to the streets because they want to consume more, not less. Given a choice between a new set of matching tableware and the survival of humanity, I suspect that most people would choose the tableware.

Bottom of the barrel
The world is running out of oil – so why do politicians refuse to talk about it?

If you multiply the growth of India and China by the declining stocks of oil and natural gas, you get…a very small or large number, depending on how maths works. It’s beyond me. But especially if you factor in the glib complacency which seems to be endemic in that country I mentioned earlier, it all gets very very frightening.

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