Huge Aggressive Military?
By Bill Henderson
25 March, 2006
Peak oil produces a profound
Chugging up to the peak we've
been mostly individuals in a 'cowboy economy' preoccupied with turning
opportunity into wealth. At the peak we will look around and see that
Americans - 5% of the world's population - consume a quarter of the
world's oil and a quarter of the world's energy.
Americans have a total consumption
footprint six times the global average. And to maximize the benefits
of incredibly cheap oil we have developed an expansion economy in a
now too full world and a life style that is "the
greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world"
, an American way of life that isn't negotiable and that has no future
with the possible exception of stealing the world's remaining oil.
(The revelations about the
imperial relationship of the US dollar as world oil currency should
have also opened many eyes to our status as global consumer. We didn't
earn our money the old fashioned way - maybe more the ENRON way.)
Peter Singer, in his book
The Ethics of Globalization , and in his article The
Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle argues convincingly
for an expanding circle of ethical concern - from relations, duties
and obligations within the family, to the community, then to the nation
state and finally in our time, with globalization, to everybody on the
planet. And Singer asks his students if they would walk right by a drowning
child showing no empathy at all.
So, on top of your 25+ acre
it wrong to go to a 49er, Giants or Warriors game, for
just the San Fran pro sport example? How about wasting even more of
the planet's diminishing supply of oil with an extrasized burger? What
are you really saying about yourself if you own a great big SUV or a
huge travel footprint or a $3000 dollar suit? That you are either incredibly
ignorant or that you really are totally uncaring and stuck on yourself?
Over the peak, with no cowboy
economy land of opportunity to promise everybody else, Alfred Sloan's
wildly successful social engineering is reversed - what once were necessities
become luxuries again, luxuries we can't as a global family afford.
But then once over the peak
and in the scramble of descent there is a different ethics for a contracting
economy than for an expanding one. The peak of oil production should
also be the peak of globalization and almost certainly the once expanding
ethical framework will contract or relocalize, probably to sub-nation
Fractured, Balkanizing hegemonies.
Herd dynamics reconfigured presumably without the luxury of democracy.
And maybe still a Fortress America where on a future Thanksgiving congregations
will be soothed that there was nothing to be done, that God protected
his chosen people.
newnoah (at) pacificfringe.net