Thursday, September 14, 2006

Peak Oil and Credibility

http://www.aspo-usa.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=49&Itemid=9

There's an interesting list here of all the people who believe in peak oil. I don't offer this as an attempt to persuade anyone, although I've always thought that anything that Michael Moore and Dick Cheney agree on must at least be worthy of consideration. But I do offer it as a bit more proof being the raving chick on the blog may make me nuts, but I'm in interesting company.

ASPO, by the way, is the most serious and dignified of the peak oil groups. If you look at the list of speakers, they are almost all very respectable, very important, very knowledgeable. They also pretty much all have penises. I tend to think of ASPO as the penis conference - not in a bad way, precisely, but as something that focuses on the manly attributes of peak oil - energy depletion curves, large scale economic planning, the hard science of alternative energy. All of those things are important, and the people who are bringing them to us are doing urgent work. Many of them have paid a price in credibility for supporting where their data takes them, and I'm mostly not making fun of them, even gently.

But I do want to point one thing out - this is a conference with a stated agenda - they want to talk to the elite managers, leaders and thinkers (and they say so on the conference page). This is not a conference designed to create bottom up change, or to attract and engage people who haven't fully connected to peak oil, except perhaps rich, priveleged, highly educated ones. I admire many of the speakers deeply, and am grateful to ASPO for the information it passes out and the programs it runs. I look forward to the conference. But I also believe that a solution to peak oil will never be a top-down process, created by the Elite and run for people with penises and portfolios. If we're to transform our culture, the work of that transformation must come from ordinary people who demand it because it is right and because it is necessary.

I'm going to ASPO, I suggest you do too. But I also suggest that while you are there, you do as I do, and point out that true revolution comes from the bottom up, not the top down, and includes people without stock portfolios, ph.ds and penises ;-).

Sharon

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