Join News Letter

Iraq War

Peak Oil

Climate Change

US Imperialism











Gujarat Pogrom



India Elections



Submission Policy

Contact Us

Fill out your
e-mail address
to receive our newsletter!




Christian Country With
Huge Aggressive Military?

By Bill Henderson

25 March, 2006

Peak oil produces a profound ethical curve.

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 ONEWORLD: 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 footprint, is 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 state locality.

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)









Search Our Archive

Our Site