Wednesday, January 10, 2007

synthesis

Bridging Peak Oil and Climate Change Activism via energy bulletin
By now a disturbing trend becomes clear: the two problems of Climate Change and Peak Oil together are worse than either by itself. Strategies that might help to keep lights burning and trucks moving while reducing emissions are questionable from a depletionist point of view, while most strategies to keep the economy energized as oil and gas disappear imply increasing greenhouse gas emissions. As we will see, the closer we look, the worse it gets.
As noted above, both groups need to design a survivable energy transition strategy in order to “sell” their message to policy makers. Carbon emissions come from burning depleting fossil fuels, the primary energy sources for modern societies. Thus both problems boil down to energy problems—and energy is essential to the maintenance of agriculture, transportation, communication, and just about everything else that makes up the modern global economy.

This is one of the best articles I've read regarding peak energy and climate change in the last year. In fact, had Heinberg posted it a few days earlier, surely it would be in contention for an Oscar.

The barriers to solving our problem are many, but primarily it is a mis-identification of the solution(s) coupled with cultural inertia. It has been the pattern of the twentieth century in the sciences to consider disciplines separately, and minor fiefdoms then rise forth, tone deaf to information from other disciplines which may instruct local models du jour.

This is what Heinberg is describing, and in proposing a joint solution to two problem domains which takes in to account the range of observable and relevant variables he has created a strong synthesis of the two fields. The framework now describes one problem domain, with some strong first order suggestions shaping a strategy. Much more cohesive then my own first stabs at considering peak energy activism as a subset of the global warming response.

This is state of the art thinking, wherein the negative outcomes are molded into the solution. In a way, the movement is growing up - - less mind share is spent in the musty, darkened halls of the "quasi-survivalist" peak oil fear sites, and more in forging a path.

I'm there. Fight until you can't fight no more. There will be plenty of time for nihilistic hedonism if human coastal cities turn into foam licked playthings of a hungry ocean while bands of merry chimps huddle just above sea level as a carbon soaked sky presses down.

2 Comments:

At 11:22 PM, January 10, 2007, Anonymous Mike said...

Before we invest too much in our prophets, lets do some due diligence:

Who is Richard Heinberg?

 
At 2:25 AM, January 11, 2007, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

it is strange, this world, and none so strange as you.

 

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