Peak Blame

The reason we use fossil fuels is they are more concentrated and easier to use than sunlight and wind. It would be nice to have simple replacements for this stored energy, but our growth based economy requires ever increasing use of resources.

Now that the easy to extract fossil fuels are in decline, replaced by difficult to extract energy, our economy is having increased difficulty sustaining continued growth.

Economic impacts of energy decline are leading to increased instability, with social chaos that can be as challenging as the ecological damage.

Financial hardships lead to demagogues — the classic example is 1930s Germany. Trump is indicative of the blaming likely to happen on the energy downslope.

Energy literacy about energy decline could be a partial antidote for scapegoating, but would require admitting we have reached the limits to growth on an abundant, round, finite planet.

Using solar panels since 1990 taught me living on our solar budget will power a much smaller, steady state economy no longer based on exponential growth.

Moving beyond fossil fuels is not about electric cars, but relocalizing food production, since solar panels cannot power long distance food shipments.

Breeding plant varieties for changing climates will probably be the most important adaptation to changing climates.

June 27th, 2012

316: Peak Blame

KMO welcomes Mark Robinowitz of back to the C-Realm Podcast to discuss why both the mainstream political left as well as the right in the United States cannot address the demands of Peak Oil in a realistic way. Republicans have rebuked Navy Secretary Ray Mabus for attempting to ween the Navy off of fossil fuels because they see finding alternatives to petroleum as a Democratic partisan issue. Established environmental and social justice organizations are still holding onto unrealistic Green Technology and Green Capitalism paradigms and have yet to come to terms with the fact that the project of the 21st Century will be figuring out how to equitably distribute a shrinking pie. One thing unlikely to be in short supply as the realities of diminishing fossil fuel reserves make themselves unmistakable: blame. Mark hopes that we can achieve Peak Blame sooner rather than later and get on with the grown-up work of figuring out how best to deploy our remaining energy resources.