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More from Dmitry Orlov

Can't get enough of Dmitry Orlov's humorous look at impending doom? Check out this excerpt from here: http://lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/PostOilBulletin/IssueNumberTwo.html

...apparently the U.S. economy is a sort of pyramid scheme, based on nothing more than faith in its growth potential, and can only continue to exist while it continues to expand, by sucking in ever more resources, particularly energy. Even a small energy shortage is enough to undermine it. So Peak Oil is hardly the problem – it is the foolish notion that infinite economic growth on a finite planet is possible. Collapse can be triggered when any one of many other physical limits is exceeded - drinkable water, breathable air, arable land, and so on – and so the limit to sustained oil production is only one of many physical limits to growth.

I do not feel the need to argue for the inevitability of a permanent energy crisis, not only because others have already done so quite persuasively, but also because it involves arguing with people who do little more than shout slogans. The slogans that are heard most often range from the simplistic “There is plenty of oil!” to the ideologically hidebound “The free market will provide!” to the somewhat more nuanced but technologically implausible “Technology will provide!” to the perennially hopeful but unrealistic “Other sources of energy will be found!” There is even the refreshingly irrational “People have said that oil would run out before, and they were wrong!” repeated endlessly by Daniel Yergin, an oil historian who believes that history repeats itself endlessly, even the history of nonrenewable resource extraction. Facile notions of this sort will remain popular for some time yet, but I feel that it is already quite safe to start ignoring them.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
tragemorph
Feb. 22nd, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC)
it never ceases to amaze me how much some people underestimate the robustness, diversity, and flexibility inherent in the society we live in today. I'm not saying it wont ever dip or sag or even go through a depression for a while, but all this talk of "doom" just smacks of mentally pairing up the problems of tomorrow with the solution set of yesterday.
kmo
Feb. 22nd, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
Humorous Tales of Doom and Catastrophe
Well, to be fair, Dmitry didn't use the word "doom." I did, and I used it in a lame attempt at humor. I'd encourage you to follow the link in the original post and learn what Dmitry is really talking about.
tragemorph
Feb. 24th, 2007 01:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Humorous Tales of Doom and Catastrophe
I checked out the link, and you're right, it is pretty interesting, and well written.

Seems like it's mainly about what proactive things one can do to be prepared "when the shit goes down." There's any number of situations that could perturb the situation quite a bit, and he focuses on the energy aspect- in general I think it's nice to have some sort of mental contingency plan in place.

Right now I am living pretty near the American Embassy in Tokyo. I must say the thought has popped into my mind in more than once that if for some reason, "the shit was to go down," that's where I would go! Uncle Sam may act like a big gangster sometimes, but being overseas the thought occurs that he's a big gangster who has my back!
kmo
Feb. 26th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Humorous Tales of Doom and Catastrophe
Right now I am living pretty near the American Embassy in Tokyo. I must say the thought has popped into my mind in more than once that if for some reason, "the shit was to go down," that's where I would go! Uncle Sam may act like a big gangster sometimes, but being overseas the thought occurs that he's a big gangster who has my back!

Yes, if I were travelling abroad and the excrement hit the fan, and I found myself banging on the door of the US Embasy seeking refuge, I probably wouldn't pick that moment to share whatever criticisms I may be harboring concerning the finer points of US foriegn policy.

Shouts of, "You can't do this to me! I'm an American Citizen!" would probably flow from my lips.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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