Doomers kowtow to a few fundamentalist doctrines that I no longer believe to be true. Peak oil, to me, is about oil production maxing out and running down. It is not about ‘Energy Descent’ which is the belief that only fossil fuels can run the modern industrial world, and that (as Mike Stasse recently told me at Damn the Matrix) all 7 billion of us are going to starve to death.
I don’t know the future, and there are real risks. But Energy Descent is simply and demonstrably false: and this makes Doomers like climate deniers.
Climate deniers deny peer-reviewed climate science, and refuse to listen to Dr James Hansen about the threat of climate change. Doomers deny peer-reviewed nuclear science, and fail to fail to listen to Dr James Hansen about the answer to climate change. Both Deniers and doomers hate Dr James Hansen at some point.
Doomers will quote him when it serves their morbid interests, but it’s a careful cherrypicking exercise. James mentions that other ‘Inconvenient Truth’ — inconvenient to their collapsnik presuppositions that is — that nuclear power can provide all the energy we’ll ever need. Quickly, and cheaply. Off the production line! Indeed, James’ Science Council for Global Initiatives recommends the Integral Fast Reactor which will convert all today’s nuclear waste into five centuries of clean energy! Forget storing waste at Yucca mountain: nuclear waste is now an energy resource worth $30 TRILLION dollars.
See the FREE PDF book Prescription for the Planet by Tom Blees, a member of James Hansen’s Science Council for Global Initiatives.
As these reactors come off the production line, so to will more and more electric cars. 80% of our cars can be charged on existing night time spare electricity: it’s already on the grid; spare electricity; not being used; off peak; cheap.
This video by Barry Brook who is also part of Hansen’s Science Council for Global Initiatives.
Larger vehicles like harvesters and cranes and mining trucks can run on reusable boron: again see Prescription for the Planet.
While peak oil is the down-slope, and we’ll no doubt have some rough patches with rationing, there will be a corresponding up-slope of nuclear energy. But there’s more. My blog is full of alternatives to driving in the first place, such as my love of walkable New Urbanism in all its different flavours, and direct electric transport systems like trains, trams, and trolley buses. (In an emergency, trolley buses are the cheapest by far!) These trends can use our nuclear and renewable electricity so much more efficiently and effectively that I don’t think we will even need to replace all our oil. Negabarrels are as good as megabarrels.
I’m not saying success is inevitable: anyone who accuses me of that obviously hasn’t read my summary argument (on which I am cataloguing, bit by bit, the main dangers we face). One nuclear war can ruin your whole day! But I don’t see the point in endlessly philosophising about the different flavours of inevitable collapse if it’s not inevitable in the first place!
The doomer meme has now become a suicide meme. Guy McPherson’s blog recommends meditating on the inevitable day when suicide will become the preferable alternative to struggling through this ‘environmental Armageddon’. This article horrified me. I winced while reading it, and finished feeling physically ill. It affected me so much because I have already seen it happen. I was in Mike Stasse’s email group. The destructive Collapsnik memes ran havoc through many member’s lives. The Collapsnik horrors took sensitive, intelligent young Tas McKee’s hope. After a year of struggling with despair, he took his own life. I wish there was more I could have said to prevent this trajedy: but I just didn’t know enough at the time. I didn’t know people like Barry Brook and James Hansen would back magical (at the time) sounding waste-eating nukes. But I also had become so troubled by peak oil that it took years of my own personal energy away from my own family — and this in the middle of my son having cancer!
From my experience, all I can see is that Collapsnik leaders are pushing a greenie version of an apocalyptic cult. They are up there with the Branch Davidians at Waco Texas. Unlike you, they KNOW the future! They KNOW that no alternative to oil can come online in time (as if it needs to?) and that we are all going to starve! But there is hope! Sell everything, and move to the country and store up tinned food and ammo. But if living in Mad Max country doesn’t sound like fun, then take Guy McPherson’s advise. Sell everything so that you can travel and see everything and experience everything you want to. Sheer, pure hedonism. Then… suicide.
I’ll finish with four more words, and then one word.
People’s Temple Agricultural Project.