After rather too many paragraphs speculating how nice and smug us peak oilers will feel once oil finally peaks, Erik Lindberg says it probably won’t be that way. It took American geologists about a decade after 1970 to admit that American oil had finally peaked: why would politicians admit world peak oil in the same year as it actually peaks?
This is not a very realistic scenario. Peak Oil is not likely to provide clarity. It is far more likely to cast us into a world of even greater conflict and disagreement. Instead of a clear admission from others that we were right after all, resource depletion will likely be blamed on excess governmental regulation, environmentalist over-reaction, or Europeans, and in an increasingly menacing tone. If Sarah Palin’s “drill, baby, drill” has resonance now, think how it will play when oil is at $150/barrel. Palin knows, or will intuit, that she can go farther by blaming liberals rather than geology for our unhappy condition.
Erik put it bluntly. I’ll try and say it blunter still. Ever heard a bunch of global warming denialists trying to grill a climatologist at a public meeting? Ever head the calm, rational voice of the informed scientist being drowned out by nutters foaming at the mouth about global warming conspiracies? That’s nothing, that’s not even peanuts compared to what is happening. No, it’s not even the salty, flaky bits left in the bottom of the peanut jar — let alone peanuts — compared to the media circus that will finally explode once peak oil hits.
If you think America’s Sarah Palin was the most deranged thing to hit politics since our own Pauline Hanson, don’t. She’s far more dangerous than Pauline. Pauline came across as uncouth and uneducated. She embarrassed herself and her cause so much there was simply no need to caricature her. She did it to herself. To this day I know people that pull their gums back, suck on their teeth, and then whine “Please explain”.
However, unlike Pauline, Sarah Palin actually has won a beauty pageant, including Miss Congeniality. She may not be an ‘academic’ but she knows how to work a crowd. And above all, she knows how to work the Christian far-right. She’s a ‘true believer’ in God, guns and country.
She scares me. She supported the Bridge to Nowhere scandal. Over a third of a billion dollars was pork-barrelled for a bridge to an island with just 50 people on it. Just buy them off the island Sarah, and return it to the Polar Bears you love so much! Sarah has defied the biologists listing them as a threatened species, and even sued the Federal government over it! She doesn’t want any ‘threatened species’ inconveniencing Alaska’s energy interests. You can say one thing. At least she’s consistent. Global warming science is a fraud, because it might hurt Alaska’s energy industries. So are any global warming threats to the bears! The bears must be doing fine, because global warming is a crock! Polar Bears are doing just fine thanks. No really. She has a few studies she’s garnered.
The same goes for Beluga Whales, which are close to extinct. She just can’t have oil and gas exploration hindered anywhere, anytime, no matter what.
So with a mentality like that, and the rise of the TEA party in the USA, just how do you think she would react to peak oil? Through what prisms do you think her and her minions will interpret the higher oil prices? It of course means that it is all Federal legislation getting in the way of Alaska’s energy abundance. If ONLY they’d repeal all environmental bans and just let them get on with the job! If only America could just wake up and see how the socialists had taken over the White House, and how all of us soft-hearted yellow-livered tree-hugging greenie liberal pukes were just getting in the way of progress!
Geological limits? What are those? Drill baby drill! That’s the answer to everything, even the polar bears and pesky Beluga’s.
In her nomination acceptance speech, Palin said: “I told the Congress ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.” McCain-Palin television advertisements also claim Palin “stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.” Ketchikan’s Mayor Bob Weinstein has criticized Palin for using the term ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ in her vice-presidential nomination acceptance speech because Palin had termed that name for the bridge “insulting” during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign, when she campaigned on her original “build the bridge” platform.
Finally, as Vice Presidential fever took over, she denied supporting the bridge, trying to blame it as Congress backtracking the project. Typical of her style, “But we need to focus on what we can do, rather than fight over what has happened.” Yes mom! Did Sarah really say ‘fight’. Not ‘debate’ or ‘discuss’ or ‘analyse’. ‘Fight over!’ This is the chatty Palin style I’m worried about. There’s something Hick but appealing about it. Next she’ll be asking if she needs to ‘pull over.’ It’s as if she’s yelling at kids in the car. “Don’t make me reach back there!” It’s like Chevy Chase meets politics.
How many extra years will we lose to obfuscation and denial? How many extra years after peak oil will we procrastinate because we have to ‘let the market decide’, or hold another TEA party inquiry into the ‘obvious’ Arab conspiracy to withhold oil, or better yet… let’s just invade those Iranians!
Oops. Was that out loud?
But that’s the TEA party influence for you. You can expect a rational voice from this mob as oil prices double and double again over the coming decade. 😉