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Long Emergency reading review and survey

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posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 01:45 AM
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RollingStone.com: The Long Emergency : Politics

The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century

OK, I just finished reading this book last week. Some of his ideas are still fresh in my memory but others less so. What I would like to know from the ATS community can be summed up in a few questions.

First, If oil really is running out and there is no time left to make new forms of transportation to replace our current forms, then why does this need to be kept secret from the public?

Second, if we can't do anything to avert a Mad Max scenario in which all of our differences magnify and destroy civilization then why does the greatest society ever ignore this potential problem and start to foster public solutions before it's too late?

Third, If this is merely a ploy by Oil industry types to fatten their pockets, then the Iraq war appears more likely to be a tool to decrease supply and foster supply fears to increase profits while piggybacking upon the War on Terror. If the War is merely to enforce artificial scarcity and to stifle general economic and educational welfare, to create a generation of war kids, instead of a generation of peace, how will this hold up in the future under a real threat of force?

Finally, if we are on the edge of an abyss and this doomsday scenario is real, why is it that technology doesn't get the kinds of funding and attention necessary to overcome our ensuing doom?

It seems to me that we are failing to allocate resources in a conservative manner and that since costs get higher with our suburban sprawl we face a bubble that could burst.

If you were to answer just one question may it be this: Are you on the doomsday side or do you believe technology has already pulled us out, but the mainstream is just out of the loop with regard to our success?

The book had a really negative but corrective and stern voice, I found it fairly dissonant. Did anyone else get a sort of naysayer feeling or a sort of hidden hostility towards everyone that is unaware of this guys information?

I'm not really sure whom to trust, this seems legitimate but i smell a misdirection or worse disinformation to scare people into socially engineered modes of living that are not in accordance with facts. Are the so called facts on the Peak Oil merely propaganda or do they represent a well funded and attempted understanding of the issues at hand, history seems to imply the former when one disregards this guys premise for our current condition.

Some of his ideas are here

"The American economy of the mid-twenty-first century may actually center on agriculture, not information, not high tech, not "services" like real estate sales or hawking cheeseburgers to tourists. Farming."

"Wal-Mart's "warehouse on wheels" won't be such a bargain in a non-cheap-oil economy."

"Tens of thousands of the common products we enjoy today, from paints to pharmaceuticals, are made out of oil. They will become increasingly scarce or unavailable."

"With gasoline in short supply, not to mention tax revenue, our roads will surely suffer."

"Neither of the two major presidential candidates in 2004 mentioned railroads, but if we don't refurbish our rail system, then there may be no long-range travel or transport of goods at all a few decades from now."

"I'm not optimistic about the Southeast, either, for different reasons. I think it will be subject to substantial levels of violence as the grievances of the formerly middle class boil over and collide with the delusions of Pentecostal Christian extremism. "

"Food production is going to be an enormous problem in the Long Emergency."

Meanwhile the oil companies are making huge profits that really dwarf any in previous history. Is this a ruse to get people scrambling and fighting for resources or do we see ourselves about to go over a cliff?

It was still a good read, just pretty scary stuff.




posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 11:41 AM
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OK, I'll bite...

I have read The Long Emergency a couple of months ago, but I think the author is exagerrating the problems peak oil will cause. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe peak oil will occur within 15 yrs from now, but well before it, oil will be so expensive, demand will drop significantly, which in turn will make oil cheaper again. (Don't forget the "Twin Peaks" of oil production.
Oil can then be used for the most important purposes; As a basis for fertilizers and pesticides, and it can be used to make Diesel fuel for trains and busses. Public transport will have to become the only method of transportation (it already should be, to my opinion).



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