It's a challenge to hang tough with the Peak Oil narrative these days. The general (and false) conception of Peak Oil theory was that it predicted that industrial society would run out of oil and that everything would grind to a halt. The perception today is that we are awash in oil from hydro-fracking and horizontal drilling and that this will be the case forever. I would argue that this is also false, but that's a discussion for another time.
Today I was poking around on a Facebook group called Anarcho-communism. Yes, I know. That's just looking for trouble, but I did it anyway. The post at the top of the group, just below a pinned post from an admin, was what looked like a screenshot of someone's Tweet:
Text of Tweet: Why are white people scared about becoming a minority in the 2040's? [sic] Are minorities treated badly in America or something?
I replied asking what this Tweet says about anarcho-communism, and someone replied that it tells us that anarcho-communism ("ancom") needs to be more inclusive. The problem is that ancom POC (people of color) are vastly outnumbered by cis white men in online discussions.
Rather than react to that directly, I decided to relate a story. I described how I used to attend a fair number of Peak Oil-themed events and that most of the people in attendance were white Baby Boomers. At least once at each of these events, and sometimes more than once because breakout sessions gave the illusion of new audiences to harangue, some white person would castigate the assembly for being so white. I think someone may have chastised one assembly for not having enough young people in it, but these scoldings usually focused on race.
Have you ever had someone tell you something completely banal and inane but do it with a theatrical air that suggested they thought they were imparting some monumental but hitherto unguessed truth? Cross that delivery with an unself-conscious sense of moral superiority and you've got the flavor of these scoldings. They were so de rigueur they might as well have been printed on the schedule of presentations.
At one such event, someone chastised John Michael Greer for being a white man talking to a room full of white men and women, and why didn't he speak in a way that was accessible to black people? His response was, I thought, needlessly self-effacing. He said something to the effect that a clueless white guy like him had nothing of interest to offer to people of color, or words to that effect.
Peak Oil, like anarcho-communism, may appeal primarily to white men, but I am personally acquainted with some people of color who are tuned into the narrative. Sometimes they would attend these Peak Oil gatherings, and my heart went out to them at these moments as, inevitably, a good portion of the eyes in the room would turn to them. It was always a white person scolding the crowd for being white, but in the moment just after the scolding, as the eyes of the white folks sought out the people of color, it was as if those rare representatives of the non-white world were expected to either take up the sword and breath fire on the quivering sinners or else grant absolution to the assembled white folk and bless their conference. I imagine they just wanted to be out of that room and away from all those expectant, pleading eyes.