Thursday, May 11, 2006

awareness out

We Have Much Work to Do, People... Prof Goose
Stiffpicken says rightly: "I punched in "peak oil" ... search volume appears to have hit its own plateau but news volume is on the rise." Then Mike A notices: "What is really SOBERING though, is to compare search and news volumes between 'peak oil' and 'gas prices'. 'Peak oil' hardly shows a blip compared to 'gas prices', which implies to me that most people are still not making the connection. [...] Again, check the distribution of languages - in English 'gas prices' have far, far more results, but the Europeans seem to "get it", with 'peak oil' having more responses in Swedish, Finnish, Dutch & German (in that volume order)."
Then I was playing around and made a couple more observations: 1) Portland seems to be the most peak aware city via google, followed by Austin and Seattle. 2) BUT, even more interestingly, look at the regions tab. New Zealand and Australia have more raw numbers of people (i.e., not percentages folks) searching for "peak oil" than in the United States! What's the population proportion between the US and those two countries? 20m-ish for Australia and 4m-ish for New Zealand, compared to 300m-ish for the US!

Prof. Goose at the Oil Drum
highlights something that has been bugging me lately. Everyone knows gasoline is expensive. It is all over the news. Then, there is the scattershot analysis as to why. Turnip trucks full of experts out there, buried on page nine, giving their opinions. Plenty of opinions for all, enough to build a pyramid of denial.

Sure, Matt Simmons gets a little play. He told the truth as he knew it on Lou Dobbs at CNN, for example. His "Peak" mindshare must contend with the melange of voices - - Saudi ministers, economists, cornballcopians, laying out their soothing stories.

It is tough to discern, standing amongst this babble, that oil has permanent, underlying structural issues that will result in production tailing off. I might not be blogging today if Ken Deffeyes hadn't written a pithy, wise little book on oil. Oil prices are for many a nagging background annoynance in the midst of a busy life.

Prices will never go down. Alternatives are needed. Nothing has changed, except the seasons keep spinning. It is spring again in Death Valley.


At 12:47 PM, May 11, 2006, Blogger Phila said...

Damn...that DV photo reminds me I need to get down there again.

Guess I better fill up the tank, huh?

Then again, perhaps the strong emotional response I've always had to it would be deepened if I made my way slowly, on a mule.

At 1:18 AM, May 14, 2006, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

One of my co-workers actually did go this year. He lives a bit closer in than me, though.

At 3:48 PM, May 14, 2006, Blogger Whiskers said...

I can't say I disagree. I'll check to see the consensus. Happy mother's day!


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