Some people see the prospect of peak oil as good news for the environment, as it might be the only threat which could prompt governments to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. But it is also likely to encourage them to stimulate investments in even dirtier sources of energy: tar sands, oil shales and turning coal into synthetic petroleum.The author correctly spots major contradictions in the policies of British government officials, but fails to understand, or point out, that the ultimate contradiction informing all contradictions in capitalist societies is the capitalist system itself which demands unlimited growth.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up