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Feel The Beat : A Boshian
Peak Oil Canvas

By Bill Henderson

05 August, 2006

"As the authors of THE LIMITS TO GROWTH so plainly said three decades ago, exponential growth rates can be very powerful. They can create growth curves which suddenly mushroom, as 3% increments of small numbers suddenly become a 3% increase of a much larger base. This mushroom growth can quickly become almost overwhelming until powerful forces of physical limits, the finally unseen consequences of such growth rates, suddenly appear "out of nowhere", bring these trends to an abrupt halt."
Matthew Simmons Revisiting The Limits To Growth

With billions now contemplating the imminent peak of oil production and the consequent peak of that spike of human population we are all a part of, each day brings a wider, deeper understanding of what life at the peak means. But the incredible energy, the pace and momentum, the creative/destructive power of this moment of maximum human power is water to fish underappreciated.

Feel the pulse; feel the beat. Never been more blood pumping. Never been anything more alive.

In each of these last years before oil production inevitably drops, we are using more oil (and coal, natural gas and other forms of energy) than humanity has ever used before. Over 80 million barrels per day (mbd). More oil in 2006 than the total amount the world used before 1960. Each year.

Our ability to multiply our anthropogenic powers utilizing these energy sources ever more efficiently allows us to clear more land and plant more crops, cut down more forests, drain or fill more swamps and estuaries; mine more materials, hunt, fish or gather; manufacture and otherwise transport and supply more product; build more buildings, complexes, cities, on more converted land (sprawling further, reaching higher into the heavens, packing ever more dense populations) and otherwise redesign Earth for human use more completely than ever before. We have never even come close to having this much capacity to consume nature. Relentlessly, year by year, at strenuous pace, effecting almost every ecosystem on the planet.

Each year of record production and use of energy - ....2004, 2005, 2006, somewhere near a 92-94 mbd peak in around 2010 in Chris Skrebowski's most informed prediction - also helps to exponentially increase our scientific understanding of creation and our place within; helps to fuel the most fiction written; the most music written, preformed and recorded; the most plays or dance preformed; the most works of art and architecture painted, sculpted, conceived and executed; THE MOST REALITY TV SHOWS EVER and the most introspection of our human soul and place in creation ever attempted. Year after year with awesome intensity we race toward ever more complex understanding of what life is.

Like the best party ever, at the peak there are more people feverishly talking and dancing, swiving and praying, prancing and doing deals, eating and drinking, people watching and acting bored, whooping it up or paralyzed with fear, loving and grooming, hating and fighting, catering and cleaning up, puking and peeing, in ecstasy or in contemplation, in pleasure or in pain, more people more alive than ever before and maybe more people at a party than there will ever be again.

Try talking oil depletion protocol or contraction-convergence or biodiversity protection or runaway global warming at this party. Might as well try reading a holy book in the crowd at an entertainment lollapalooza of Olympic proportion.

Might as well try and change the music just as the terrorists on the 93rd floor try and get their 15 seconds worth of attention for kosher meat (That is their concern? the 93rd story terrorists particular concern isn't it? What I can't hear you? What? Oh, forget it.). While an untold number of Virginians await their partners returning to the party from war against the neo-bonobos (if they can ever find their cars in the chaos in the parking lot). While movers and shakers play simcity with the lives of millions, soon to be billions at the party through the live simulcast at every theatre, sportsbar and church hall on this the best SuperSaturday till next week. Soldiers shooting; battleships cruising; the great satan invisible high overhead in apocalyptical vigilance.

Well I hope you get my drift anyway. Never have we been more alive.

The crescendo reminds me of Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer's apprentice; our god made mouse, the personalization of our quest with fossil fuels. There is water everywhere. But what happens over the peak? Does Mickey drown? Does the castle just burst? Do the brooms run out of water? Is the sorcerer still in the building? Do we powerdown or come apart at the seams? Wake up tomorrow with a variety of hangovers?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see. But right now we might as well enjoy the party - with as small a consumption footprint as possible. Watch out for the brooms and water, the neocons and WW3; know where the exits are and have a plan. But have fun enjoying the best party of a humantime.

newnoah (at)









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