My exchange with a Dinosaur (updated!):

Dinosaur:

“Don’t worry about “peak oil” or peak anything. Malthusians, Paul Ehrlich, Club for Growth et al have been crying for years but we always seem to come out ahead.
“Have faith in technology and the free-market system.”

Me:  (I was not about to lecture a dinosaur, so I left him with):

“About the Malthusians and Paul Ehrlichs.  You’re right, they have been warning us about these problems for years.  But now it’s a half century later, and the US Military is sending out these warnings.  I think we are leaving the chapter of Abundance in the Fossil Fuel epic, and my generation will live through the beginning, and perhaps the middle, of the chapter of Scarcity.”

Dinosaur:

Dinosaur thought you’d be interested in the following article at Reason
Magazine:

On Being a 21st Century Peasant
Environmentalist Bill McKibben’s new book on the coming global collapse.
http://reason.com/archives/2010/04/13/on-being-a-21st-century-peasan

Message from Dinosaur:
Try to understand all points of view.
Don’t give up hope, we’ve always come through guided by real visionaries;
not demoralized by naysayers.

Me:

I don’t hope.  It implies one has no faculty over the situation.  I comment about Obama and his Hope Machine:  “Same old shit, just a different color.”  I am accepting that the earth is finite, that our global civilization has been constructed on the availability of cheap fossil energy — a nonrenewable resource on a human timescale.  I do not see the destruction of the natural world and the extinction of species and cultures as “progress.”  It is a matter of ecology.  Every civilization that has ever existed has collapsed, and I do not see how ours is exempt from the laws of physics.  I understand the views of economic growth and “progress,” acquiring big TVs and cars as status symbols, and I find it appropriate in times when built capital is scarce and natural capital is abundant.  But nothing grows forever.  Even cancer runs out of resources.  The people I consider real visionaries are people like Albert K. Bates (lawyer, teacher, inventor), Paul Stamets (mycologist), Dmitry Orlov (engineer), James Howard Kunstler (social critic), who accept that there are limits to growth, and can envision a healthier, positive future awaiting us all if we reorganize our lives and society for an energy-scarce 21st century where growth of ecosystems (natural capital) is the main goal, not their conversion into built capital.  This sums up my ethics.

And I find this article reassuring that I am not crazy:  http://www.energybulletin.net/node/52460

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