Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Another exhibit of how people are unwilling to comprehend even one millimeter of the fossil fuel dilemma. A recent article of Spiegel Online on the ASPO international conference:

Finite Oil Reserves - Apocalypse Eventually [German]

How long will oil last? Apocalypse prophets gathered in Vienna to speculate about the nearing end of reserves. But reality is much more complicated than the theories of the "peakniks".
It's quite an achievement to get the first sentence wrong but the journalist in question managed to do it anyway. The article is the usual collection of 'failed predictions of the past', 'higher price will mean more oil', 'new technology', blablabla.

But there was one interesting aside.

"Peak Oil is near!" [...] He had heard the same message at the ASPO conference six years ago, said an irritated Meadows.

[...] The veteran Meadows has enough of the debate when exactly the peak will be. [...] more important to develop strategies how a world with less fossil fuels could look like.

Meadows speaks from painful experience. Forty years ago the Club of Rome restricted itself to crying wolf, said the scientist. Result: "Today the Club of Rome is irrelevant."

As Robert Hirsch said: "But eventually the wolf came!". The boy was no longer credible but the catastrophe happened.

ASPO is fighting the good fight but producing projections of the peak date only to be proved wrong later is very detrimental to ASPO's credibility. So what will happen when the moment of truth comes and ASPO has nothing to show for it but "We told you so!"? I don't think anybody will sign the Rimini protocol for example.

Maybe it's 'enough' to keep pushing the peak oil message and information (see how the Spiegel author gets the basic basics wrong), while researching the broad principles of energy decline. Concrete policy recommendations are maybe outside of the scope of ASPO's mission and there are enough self-ordained 'think tanks' who take part in the cacophony of voices.

I think soon after peak oil sets in (after the requisite media attention) ASPO will dissolve because everyone will be 'studying' peak oil firsthand. 'Solutions' or even a recognition of the problem go against our neurobiology and social/cultural assimilation. In the end: 'We did what little part we could. It wasn't enough to warn the world, but enough to salve our conscience.'

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Mon Jun 4th, 2012 at 11:39:17 PM EST
Hi epochepoque, thanks for the link.

I don't think ASPO could have done its work without trying to forecast a date for Peak Oil - that's the only way we could stress the urgency of the matter. When we move towards "solutions" we are immediately in a mine field, particularly if Nuclear is involved.

By the way, this journalist seems to have been there only the first morning of the conference. Plenty of technological "solutions" where discussed, especially in the second day. I guess this is a good example of the general attitude journalists have towards subjects, it's always shallow digging.


by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Tue Jun 5th, 2012 at 02:35:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series