Growth is Obsolete: James Howard Kunstler | Peak Prosperity

Despite the wishful thinking and happy-talk propaganda lighting up the media-space, we have arrived at the problematic point of the story: the end of cheap oil. This is poorly understood by the public and, apparently, by leaders in business, politics, and the media, too. They misunderstand because they insist on thinking that peak oil was simply about running out of oil. It’s not. It’s about running out of the ability to extract it from the earth in a way that makes economic sense — that is, at a price we can afford in terms of available capital and energy invested and also ecological destruction. That dynamic is now exerting a powerful influence on modern civilizations. We ignore it — even at the highest levels of intellectual endeavor — because we have made no alternate plans for running the complex operations of everyday life, and because the early manifestations of the dynamic present themselves in the realm of finance, which is dominated by academic viziers and money-grubbing opportunists who benefit from obfuscating reality.The sad, stark fact is that oil is now too expensive to permit further expansion of economies and populations.

via Growth is Obsolete: James Howard Kunstler | Peak Prosperity.

1 Comment

Filed under What, When, Why

One response to “Growth is Obsolete: James Howard Kunstler | Peak Prosperity

  1. Why are high prices still around? Why is that ignored? In 2008 when the oil went up to $145.00 a barrel the price of a gallon of gas rose up to $4.00 to $4.30 a gallon. In the months following that oil bubble I had read somewhere that the refiners knew that the public couldn’t pay the real price of a gallon of gas corresponding with a barrel of oil so they absorbed some of the costs. I wish I had that article post today to share with others.
    If a gallon of gas today is always just inching around about $4.00 what will happen when oil again goes to $145.00 a barrel? Will the refiners step in again and hold down prices? I doubt it. If a barrel of oil right now is $105.00 and we are currently paying around $3.65 for a gallon of gas shouldn’t the barrel of oil costing $145.00 cost a corresponding price per gallon increase of 38% or in real dollars $5.02!

    Then there is the total obfuscation of the deniers, capitalists and media pundits.
    1. Let’s confuse the issue by ALL THE TIME by calling it “running out of oil” as opposed to a worldwide Peak of Oil production. Why don’t we confuse TOTAL WORLDWIDE OIL with the evaporation of cheap easy to get oil? Ignore what the term “Peak Oil” really means.

    2. Let’s make the picture of oil look better by including all carbon liquids and fuels irregardless of their actual non-interchangeability. Also ignore the fact that true oil production has not truly risen much since 2005.

    3. Let’s enlarge the geographical boundary of our oil possession. Let’s not call it American oil. Let’s enlarge it to mean all of North America (United States, Canada, Mexico, etc.) Look people, I just increased our total wealth by assuming that these other countries will always share with us. Also even though we can enlarge our so called immediate geographic oil possession that still has no effect on the total amount of world-wide oil. There is what there is.

    4. Let’s exaggerate the issue of lower oil usage. Demand is down so that proves that we don’t even need as much oil as we used to. That doesn’t take into account that there is a limit to how much oil can actually be economized or efficiently manipulated without effecting the economy. That doesn’t take into account the fact of a worldwide recession or high unemployment in the United States. That doesn’t take into account the fact that the Asian world is just coming on board with ramped up living standards that are oil intensive

    5. Then there is the fact that actually we are doing everything possible in the world right now to extract every single of barrel that we can find. Fracking is just wringing the sponge. Off-shore drilling is just chasing down every blind alley as fast as we can.

    I hate being a realist but I hate self-delusional denial even more. Thanks.


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