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Peak Oil and Our Financial Decline

Peak Oil and Our Financial Decline

In this fifth video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate“ from The Nation and On The Earth Productions, author, blogger and social critic James Howard Kunstler opens up on two circumstances he sees running neck and neck “that are going to put us out of business as an advanced industrial civilization”—the “fiasco” in banking, money and finance and the unfolding “energy predicament.” He explains that the crises are really all about “capital” and that we need to look at how wealth has been accumulated and deployed for productive purposes.

Kunstler suggests that “cheap abundant energy” has facilitated ever-increasing industrialization for centuries. But now that society is in a period of self-destructive capital accumulation, he expects debt to increase as abundance in energy drops. The tremendous amount of accumulated debt, “a by-product of cheap abundant energy,” will mean that in the future governments will be less able to make investments in socially-beneficial programs.

He also criticizes the US environmental movement for shying away from the problem of energy. The movement is unable to talk about walkable neighborhoods, smaller cities or investing in rail or water transit,  an “intellectual failure of the culture to have a coherent conversation from people who ought to be leading” such a conversation.

Go here to learn more about “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate,” and to see the other videos in the series.

 

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Photo credit: wikimedia commons
By Kevin Gosztola at The Nation

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38 comments

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12:18PM PST on Feb 16, 2011

Greed won't give up!

8:54PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

thanx for info

5:13PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

thanks!

2:48PM PST on Feb 4, 2011

" * Frederic L. says
* Feb 4, 2011 12:21 AM

Donald, "



Frederick, since they don't have an italic option here, I will inter
sperse my comments in all 'CAPS'



" When you won't have oil anymore to feed your car, to run your power plants or heat your house, will you still call oil peak a scam? (Should I add to grow your seeds and to feed your cows, for food industry is also mostly oil dependant.)

THATS BECAUSE THESE MANIPULATORS(CRIMINALS) HAVE BEEN SUPPRESSING CLEAN FREE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY FOR OVER 100 YEARS NOW


" Global oil ressources are limited. That's just like a can of beer, you cannot drink forever from it, after a while it's empty. I don't think it's so complicated to understand. "

AS I SAID EARLIER ''PEAK OIL" IS NOTHING MORE THAN ECONOMIC MANIPULATION

I JUST DON'T COME TO THESE CONCLUSIONS ON A WHIM, I DO THE RESEARCH 'FOR MYSELF'...YOU SHOULD DO THE SAME


" Industrialization has been made possible by the use of large amounts of cheap energy, first coal then oil, then uranium. Global economy (please stop thinking it's an american problem caused by all these evil chinese and blah blah blah, THAT'S scam) is based upon the abundance of cheap energy and will collapse without it. We really need to work hard on the replacement of our energy sources, otherwise we could well step back to the 18 century (just before industrialization).

Regards "

I NEVER MENTIONED THE CHINESE, BUT THE MANIPULATION IS A GLOBAL SCAM NOT A NATIONAL

5:39AM PST on Feb 4, 2011

All the moe reason to get behind sustainable energy programs such as those proposed by President Barak Obama of the USA. An investment in sensible startup programs now will pay many dividends in the future and not just monetarially but in a great way environmentally.

2:52AM PST on Feb 4, 2011

Thanks for the info.

12:21AM PST on Feb 4, 2011

Donald,

When you won't have oil anymore to feed your car, to run your power plants or heat your house, will you still call oil peak a scam? (Should I add to grow your seeds and to feed your cows, for food industry is also mostly oil dependant).

Global oil ressources are limited. That's just like a can of beer, you cannot drink forever from it, after a while it's empty. I don't think it's so complicated to understand.

Oil production in USA has peaked in the 70' (remember?) and is declying and will end. The same will happen in every country that produce oil, that's just a matter of time. That time could well come sooner than you might imagine. And that's the same for every other kind of fossil fuel.

Industrialization has been made possible by the use of large amounts of cheap energy, first coal then oil, then uranium. Global economy (please stop thinking it's an american problem caused by all these evil chinese and blah blah blah, THAT'S scam) is based upon the abundance of cheap energy and will collapse without it. We really need to work hard on the replacement of our energy sources, otherwise we could well step back to the 18 century (just before industrialization).

Regards

11:18PM PST on Feb 3, 2011

I don't know which environmental movement he's talking about. There have been many trying to move things in the right direction. But, we definitely need coalitions, cooperation and focus. While we must continue pushing, we must not wait for government to figure it out. We can't afford to wait out the conflicting interests of political leaders or it will be far too late. The environmental, animal, science... groups need to work together, share and spread know-how and consolidate advocacy.

Another reason not to wait is we don't want centralized Big Energy to control the energy of the future and continue to control policy. There needs to be an Energy for Humanity patterned after Habitat for Humanity that will work to insulate, retrofit, homes and businesses energy independent by providing expertise, and 0% loans for installing maximize efficiency and make individuals, businesses and communities energy independent by generating their own clean green energy. We need true energy independence and a more decentralized power model.

For real progress ALL advocacy groups need to make one of their priorities Public Campaign Finance Reform with severe campaign donation limitations and absolute transparency - no exceptions including 3rd party advocacy groups - like Chamber of Commerce or any group that gets involved in politics in any way. Until then we will be swimming upstream against a ever more powerful current. All "non-profits" and political groups should have open books anywa

9:49PM PST on Feb 3, 2011

great article, thanks

2:06PM PST on Feb 3, 2011

thanks

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