Anybody who bothers reading the notes in my little corner of the web will already be well aware of how often I try to get people’s attention on the subject of petroleum and hydrocarbon resources and use in general. Part of that, of course, is that I’ve just about worn the topic threadbare in trying to spread the word getting people to understand the concept of Hubbert’s curve and what the term “peak oil” actually means.
Aside from trying to explain it, and more importantly, point people toward much better and fuller explanations, I’ve been explaining why this is so necessary. People generally don’t understand it, not because it’s too complicated, but because people have been so bombarded with nonsense telling them that phrase is some sort of doomsday prophecy scenario that says the oil will be all gone soon and the world will end in a crash of civilization. Even after doing what I can to get the idea across, of Hubbert’s curve and the more complex problem of diminishing returns (not “running out”), I’ve still encountered very bright people, in online written exchanges, then asking a question like “so, if you’ve been following this oil stuff, when do you think we’ll be all tapped out?”, still not understanding that it’s not about reaching a state where the oil is all gone. For that matter, the nature of the complexities of diminishing returns, and all that’s involved, means that it’s almost certain that there will be oil beneath the Earth’s surface that will never be extracted.
This is just extraordinarily hard to get across, for some reason, even when addressing people who are way smarter and more educated than you need to be to get the idea.
So, with that in mind, maybe this will at least get out there to the people who still don’t get the problem of diminishing returns, and still just think in simplistic terms of “running out”.
There we go. Never mind rates of extraction and cost and complexity in extraction, the economics, the politics including messy geopolitics, or anything else. Based on the numbers, about existing remaining resources, and rates of consumption, we’re looking at another fifty years or so estimated until the stuff literally is “all gone”, at least in terms of what’s possible to get out of the ground.
That should get the attention of younger people. It’s been obvious for a long time that this general subject just does not grab most people because they take an attitude of basically not figuring it’s anything to think about as long as the stuff lasts through to the end of their lifetime. (That begs the question of what kind of attitude they have toward their children and grandchildren and the future of humanity in general.)
If anybody wants to just hear about when the stuff will be all gone, tapped out, well, there you go.
Of course, another obvious item to anyone bothering to read things here is that what has turned out to be a running theme, an unavoidable one, is the epidemic of pretense, even delusions, running through much of American society in recent years.
In that vein- the political circus is as bad as ever, and the people who get attention continue to astound me. Just within the past couple of days, just doing the occasional skims of TV channels I frequently mention here turned up, in the same day, yet another set of ridiculous TV spectacles. Dropping in on channels I found the visage of Dick Cheney once again being given serious attention on what’s presented as “news” TV (CNN, this time), grunting and growling, and later, I came across yet another example of the TV saturation of free advertising promotional appearances of Hillary Clinton pimping her new book, and, suspect, keeping public consciousness primed for another attempt to be selected as President of the United States.
It shouldn’t require a detailed review of recent American history to explain why Dick Cheney should be absolutely and completely ignored, on any subject, by everybody, especially American citizens.
Hillary Clinton is a different story, although she’s about as much of a supporter of the Washington neocon cult as anybody else, something that seems lost on people who support her seemingly just because they’re Democratic party loyalists. That comes with the extra part of the Hillary package, being a devoted supporter of plutocracy as well.
The shared ground with Cheney is her vote and support, while a US senator, for going an invading Iraq, without a declaration of war, to attack a country that had not attacked us, and was no apparent threat to attack the United States from several thousand miles away. Now, of course, she admits that was “a mistake”, years after most Americans came to understand the whole thing was a sack of bullshit we had been sold to satisfy the neocon lust for a little “regime change” elsewhere in the world. She voted for it and supported it when she believed it was the most popular position to take, to fit in with the Washington culture, to not be accused of “being weak on national security” (even when it had no relevance to the security of the country). When it became obvious that a large number of people had become very aware that the whole Iraq debacle had been entirely prompted by lies and was a huge mistake, on every level, she changed her public pose to stating that her support for it had been a “mistake”. In other words, an actual honest, rational, principled, informed judgement of whether or not it was the right thing to do doesn’t really seem to be the basis of what she did, or ever does. And there we have part of the essence of Hillary Clinton.
The basic fundamental principle of Hillary Clinton is to put on a smiling face and say whatever she calculates will best further the quest for popularity and power of Hillary Clinton at the moment, in the present time and place and context. In short, she strikes me as being amazingly similar to perpetual Republican party presidential candidate Willard Romney.
For sure, the kind of ongoing infotainment “news” that treats American politics and governance as some sort of sports competition entertainment has had a pretty relentless barrage of The Hillary Show keeping her in public attention since she left the job of Secretary of State. Her stupid self-serving book has not just been a focus of media attention that arguably makes it the most publicized new book release in the history of publication, it also has kept her in the spotlight to such an extent that it has become almost comical.
One facet to this that strikes me as slightly funny is that even Fox News plays the game, albeit finding a way to work it into one of the long running themes of a particular vein of American “news” propaganda, the theme among some political cults that holds the long running notion and image of Hillary Clinton as some sort of she-devil evil antichrist.
That phenomenon drags us into weird ongoing problems, especially because Clinton seems to enjoy this ubiquitous view of her as “the presumptive nominee”, as pundits keep putting it, to be the Democratic party candidate for president in 2016 (in an election about two and a half years away). If you push that aside (which apparently people find difficult), an obvious thought comes to my mind, which is that the primary thing in common between Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton is that neither of them is in any position in government, and doesn’t have anymore authority or importance than any other American citizen at this point, so perhaps they should both please shut the fuck up and go away, arguably having caused enough problems already when they did have positions of power and authority.