On the bus coming into downtown a friend boarded with whom I had a very interesting conversation. It seems that every time I open my mouth there are a number of people on the bus I make uncomfortable and probably wish I would just shut up. What do I say?
I said, we don’t much longer before we either run out of oil or it gets so expensive we won’t be able to afford it. He agreed. This made several people squirm in their seat, especially a young couple who look like they just got their first real jobs with more than a student level paycheck. They look like they have money to spend by the way they dress. Now it is not my intention to make people feel uncomfortable but it seems the truth does that to people.
My simple observation that we are running out of oil, and as a result fossil fuels, which will change our lives in such profound ways makes people uncomfortable. People it would seem want to remain ignorant, oblivious to the truth.
I went on to mention to my friend that people will have a very hard time in the future as oil runs out. Even the CEO of Shell mentioned just a few years ago how we are to expect $5 a gallon for gasoline by 2015. We are well on our way. What people don’t realize, we may have spikes from which the price will go back down but overall since the mid-1980s the price of gasoline has gone from 75 – 80 cents a gallon to around $3.80 currently. A three dollar increase in 25 years which is more than inflation. That’s actually more than a 4-hundred percent increase.
People have told me that technology will save them. What they don’t realize is that technology is very heavily dependent on petroleum and can not save us. It will never save us if we don’t have the energy.
President Clinton even mentioned in 2006 that we reached Peak Oil. I’ve been telling people we hit Peak around 2007-2008. We hit is sometime between 2005 and 2009 and we are not on a gentle slope of decline but rather heading for the valley below in increasing speeds until we hit bottom. We fell off the cliff and bottom is getting closer and closer every day and yet people want to just continue to be entertained, numbed out of their skulls by useless stuff like TV and sports, and left alone so they don’t have to deal with reality, other than the manufactured stuff on TV.
Yes, this is turning into a bit of a rant, but it is good to get it out because too many people around me and in the U.S. as a whole want things to be left alone so they don’t have to change anything in their lives. Colorado, where I live, has no plans to transition off fossil fuels. The Transition Colorado group keeps teaching, and charging, for the same old classes rather than taking their lead from the original movement coming out of Ireland and England.
The transition techniques which have their origins in Permaculture were included in a student project overseen by permaculture teacher Rob Hopkins at the Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland. The term transition town was coined by Louise Rooney and Catherine Dunne. Following its start in Kinsale, Ireland it then spread to Totnes, England where Rob Hopkins and Naresh Giangrande developed the concept during 2005 and 2006. (www.wikipedia.org)
The problem with the Colorado groups that think they are helping are actually leaving out a large part of the population, namely working-poor, poor, homeless, and disenfranchised. What I see happening is that only people who can afford to take classes, namely white-middle class, are getting a small piece of the pie, grow your own food, and everyone remains in the dark about how fast we are running out of cheap energy and what really needs to be done to keep some semblance of a society as we know it.
Even our governor keeps wanting to create jobs, grow the economy and keep Colorado prosperous. Good luck when energy is running out and only getting more expensive. I have been told we have plenty of coal left here in Colorado, not if you don’t have petroleum to run the machines to mine it you don’t.
We have to think differently. We have to act differently. We have to accept that we will no longer see a growing economy. We will no longer see what we call prosperity. We will no longer have it as good as we have had it in the past. It’s over. Finished and the only thing we can do is prepare for a different kind of future. We have to completely let go of the past, old ways of thinking, economic theories and even incomes and profits. They will all go away.
That is what I keep talking about and people don’t want to hear it, but they have to. If they don’t want to have a future of chaos or one that is out of control then you have to get away from what has lead us down that merry path and make a new one. We have to remake ourselves and everything around us. We don’t have a choice.
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