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Peak Oil and the Malthusian Correction

I didn't create this poll. If I had, I would have made clear a few distinctions that get mashed up here.

I'm going to paraphrase some of the positions found in the discussion thread on PeakOil.com under the poll so that I don't have to spend a lot of time formulating the proper attributions to quotes.

At least one person said, "I knew it, all you Peak Oil types are just misanthropic doomers. You're not interested in learning how much oil is in the ground or how long it will last. You just want to see human civilization come apart at the seams."

A less partisan position went something like this, "Anyone who says they WANT Peak Oil to occur is either nuts or just doesn't understand the massive human die-off that a breakdown in the chemical/mechanized style of agriculture that we now practice will entail, that's why I voted no."

And at least one person confirmed these viewpoints by posting something to the effect of, "Darned straight. I can't wait to see all the useless eaters get what's coming to them, and I'm going to try my best to survive just so I can see as many of them as possible die and dance on their graves."

But many people said something to the effect of, "I don't want to see a die-off or misery on a grand scale, but I want to see the end to the uglier side of global corporate capitalism." Or "I don't want a die-off, but we can't let the environmental effects of burning all these fossil fuels continue or it will mean the death of us all."

Multiple respondents asserted, "It doesn't matter what we WANT to happen with regard to Peak Oil. It's just a question of what WILL happen."

Of course, you've got the libertarian/free-market zealots saying, "There's no such thing as pollution. Nothing humans can do endangers the Earth." Some folks took that bait and got shunted to some rather silly conversational epicycles.

The poll did not allow people to express their motivations for choosing one answer over the other. It classified people who are eager to see the "useless eaters" get their comeuppance with people who emphatically do not want to see an increase in human misery and death but who would like to see our civilization divert from its course of seemingly ensured collective self-destruction.

Similarly, people who voted "no" might have been voicing their abhorrence at the prospects of a global food shortfall or they might have been expressing their hopes that their stock portfolios, heavy in energy companies, would continue to keep them on the investment-class gravy train.

It's time for me to replace the current 2012 poll on C-Realm, and I'd like to put up an improved version of this peak oil poll. I'd like the new poll to allow people to express their concerns over the link between an end to chemical/mechanized agriculture and a possible "malthusian correction." I'd also like them to have a choice that would allow them to weigh in on globalization and corporate capitalism as well as on the environment.

I'd be interested in some suggestions for restructuring this poll. It looks like the poll can only include one question and up to 12 possible responses to that question.

Any ideas?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
Make it a more inclusive poll. Rather than ask Yes or No, ask something along the lines of:

Why would a near-future peak be beneficial?

A-Whatever: What they said (capitalist ending, hungry jerks starve, etc.), finished by ) It would not.

In another poll:

Why would you like to see the peak postponed into the distant future?

The options there would include some other responses followed by ) It should not.
Apr. 13th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
A "malthusian correction" is inevitable. I see no way around it.

(Deleted comment)
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm sure some 'gleefully' look forward to it out of some immature sadism, but then I can also see the point in welcoming the scythe. It seems a lot like when individuals die, where we have the choice between resisting the inevitable or acceptance.

Civilization seems a lot like a patient on critical life-support. Pulling the plug may be grounds for a celebration.

(Deleted comment)
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC)
Myself? Yes. I'm at peace with death. After confronting it often enough, it begins to lose its blustre. I'd definitely suffer from a deep sense of emotional loss should I survive while watching those I care about die, but I could place it all within context.

Similar to you, I've found that many people think they'll somehow miraculously whether the coming storm. I'm not so naive.

I'd consider the progressive evolution of Universe inevitable. Stars are born and stars die, just like us.

As for Thelemites, yeah, I think most would certainly welcome rapture. But I'm not Thelemic, so I'm unsure of the parallel.

(Deleted comment)
Apr. 13th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
Ankh Af Na Khonsu was around long before Crowley. ;)

(Deleted comment)
Apr. 14th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
My f-list is blessed with practicing occultists of many varieties... some of which mistook me for a Thelemic at first encounter... ;)

Crowley and Grant aside, I've no desire to grant Thelema a monopoly on Egyptian history. For my part, I latched onto the etymology:

A translation of the name might be close to the following: Ankh is both a tool and a symbol meaning 'new life.' The hyphen af is always part of another word that lends exclamatory force. The word, na is generally used as a preposition, such as 'to, for, belonging to, through, or because.' Khonsu was the adopted son of Amun and Mut from the Theban triad. His name comes from a word meaning, 'to cross over' or 'wanderer' or 'he who traverses.' So, his entire name may be translated as 'the truth that has crossed over.'

My apologies to kmo for the divergence from the OP.

Apr. 13th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
Do you want peak oil to occur soon, and what is the main reason why/why not?
a) No, I hope we can continue having cheap energy
b) No, it would result in horrific loss of life
c) No, for both reasons equally
d) Yes, we need to come into greater harmony with the earth
e) Yes, I hate all you fuckers
f) Yes, for both reasons equally
g) Can't decide, I think my mind's going to explode
h) Que sera sera

Apr. 13th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
The New Poll is up on C-Realm
I used your poll with a couple of tweaks. Thanks, man.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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