an orderly exit
I've been pondering the value of simply spreading word on peak oil and energy, as opposed to other types of actions. Is it helpful by itself, or does it simply spread fear and uncertainty?
I think spreading the word is helpful. Of course, for those of us blogging on these issues, a hefty percentage of our readers self select for this type of material. That appears to be changing. A wider audience is coming, propelled by ceaseless oil price growth.
The primary way in that I feel getting the word out is that it might reduce panic in the face of a sudden shortfall. If oil production drops, say down to 79 million barrels a day, we've got a mass decision point as a culture. Freak out or share?
If someone yells fire in a crowded theatre, the only thing keeping everyone alive is an orderly row by row exit, versus a spastic granny stomping push for daylight. People know to be calm because they are taught that it will save them in a particular situation.
Are the Desert Kingdom's foundations built on sand?
Despite the recent surge in oil prices, which have doubled in the past two years, hitting $60 a barrel last week, Simmons believes governments cannot leave the markets to ration increasingly scarce energy resources. 'I grew up in a banking family. I am a firm believer that the market is a 500lb wrecking ball. If you leave it to the invisible hand of Adam Smith, that could actually end up creating a gigantic noose that strangles us.' He points to the fights that broke out in the US in queues for petrol during the Seventies oil embargo as evidence that the market does not produce fair solutions to problems of scarcity.
In Matthew Simmons view of the world, leaving the coming oil crisis to "the markets" is akin to stomping on your friends in that hoary old burning theatre and letting them die.
We need solutions ready for short term mitigation of the relatively mild initial effects of depletion. ASPO has long advocated that oil usage in the future be allocated proportionately based loosely on usage at the peak date.
I endorse that approach over "What in the blazes?" any day.