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 Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How limited global oil supply may affect climate change policies

by Gail Tverberg from The Oil Drum

The people participating in the Oil Drum website have extensive backgrounds in the technical sciences and thus are very knowledgeable regarding the technical aspects of the issues related to peak energy and climate change. However given the heavy investment in these specializations, IMO, they often suffer what some people know as "learned incompetence".

What I am referring to here is that they have invested so much time in their particular technologies that they have studied little about social-economic systems. I have occasionally checked in on this site for several years and have never noticed them considering any other system beyond capitalism. 

Thus, although very well-meaning people participate in the website, their discussions about the twin crises of peak energy and climate change are always within the constraints of capitalism, or else they suggest a future of doom. They seem unable to imagine any other system or they don't believe that another system is possible that would enable humans to live in harmony with nature and at a reasonable standard of living.

Nevertheless, I find many of their articles quite fascinating as well as the comments following the articles. 

(GHG in the article refers to "greenhouse gases".)