We here at Counterforce recognize there are many reasons to fear tomorrow. Terrorists living next door, government agents listening to your phone calls because there are terrorists living next door, climate change, Bravo’s never ending parade of reality competition TV shows based on the pastimes of homosexuals and the hags who love’em, a possible McCain presidency, a possible offspring of Madonna and A-Rod, a possible Bravo reality TV show based on Madonna and A-Rod raising said offspring (sure to feature lots of underwear swapping). We also realize that some of you might need your worst fears assuaged and advice on how to cope with these coming atrocities. Well, we’re sorry but you’re a big boy/girl and you’re just gonna have to learn how to deal with it.
We’re sorry, that was mean. We’ll tell you what, to make it up to you we have invited world renowned Zoologist, European playboy and World Champion Gitin’r Doner, Occam Razor, to write a weekly column on what you can do in preparing for a Post Peak Oil World, titled What You Can Do in Preparing for a Post Peak Oil World. Occam suffers fools lightly and will not be taking any questions at the end of each column.
“What is Peak Oil?” is what you’re probably asking yourself. No doubt breathing heavily from the mouth even though you’ve been sitting down for the past 3 hours, furrowing your brow in a vain attempt to understand what the adults are talking about. Well thank god for the web 2.0 because I don’t want to have to waste my time to explain it all to you, so go look it up on wikipedia already. I’ll sit here waiting, identifying a new species of Marmota.
“Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline.”
It’s kind of a “oh, fuck, I never thought of that!” concept. But my friends, fossil fuels are not limitless. Some kind of prehistoric algae pooled up a couple million years (and since it was prehistoric algae it was probably like 6 feet tall or something) got trapped by tectonic plate movement and millions of years later Jed Clampett went ahuntin’ and the Industrial Revolution was born.
Not only are fossil fuels a finite resource, but it’s very clear that at some point it will cost more energy to grab at the last few drops than will be gained from those last few drops. And so Peak Oil represents that point when oil is no longer cheap and marks the beginning of what everyone’s favorite asshole James Howard Kunstler calls The Long Emergency, a time without all of the modern conveniences afforded by cheap oil.
“Well, when will Peak Oil happen?” you blather about and I respond, “You’re awful mouthy!” But after I collect myself and refocus my chi, I have to tell you the world’s most expert geologists predict that Peak Oil will happen in December 2005.
Oh shit, it’s already the Summer of 2008, huh? Well I guess the coming winter’s $6 a gallon gas prices shouldn’t be too shocking.
Think of some aspect of your life that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. I’m going to stop you right there and say, nothing. Nothing in your life is free from fossil fuels. Maybe sleeping, but you seem like the kind of person who needs lot’s of drugs to doze off, and those are manufactured in a factory and then shipped by a truck to a store, so yeah. Shit, even taking a shit requires fossil fuel. One of the first maxims of urban development was “shit rolls downhill,” which is a way of remembering how to properly plumb a residence to ensure proper sanitation in crowded spaces. That’s why no one fears cholera, anymore. Yet now developers are so concerned with maximizing every square inch of land they’ll place residences at the bottom of hills even though the main sewer line is at the top and “fix” that problem with gas powered pumps.
Kunstler kalls it the Long Emergency because the loss of knowledge over the past 60 or 70 years will lead to some serious problems when there’s no gas to shoot our poop uphill. And that’s where this column steps in, it’s about what you can do in preparing for a post peak oil world, that’s why it’s titled What You Can Do in Preparing for a Post Peak Oil World. Starting next week we will be getting our hands dirty making sure we know where to aim our poop and how to live without convenient access to blenders.
Next Week: I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie: Knock Kneed Bimbos Have No Place In a Post Peak Oil World.