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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Oil is Civilization?

It's not Capitalism v. Socialism.  It's not too much debt.  It's too little oil:
"Under the "no new taxes" banner, conservatives in recent years have been content to watch the rapid erosion of state and local government services as withering revenues and inability to print or borrow money has forced unprecedented cutbacks. The ideology behind all this is that the economic growth that has been with us as long as anybody can remember will return soon and all will be well. Missing from this scenario of course is that for the last 150 years economic growth and the consumption of increasing amounts of oil have been inextricably linked. Take away steadily increasing oil supplies and the bedrock of conservative economic theory becomes a fantasy.
So far the erosion of government spending has not had a significant impact on political ideology. The problem will come when gasoline becomes unaffordable at current rates of use and many or most are forced to cut back, doing severe damage to our motorized society. At first there will be strident calls to deregulate, forget the environment and produce as much oil as possible. It may take a few years before a critical mass come to the realization amidst a stagnating economy and burgeoning social problems that more drilling is not going to work. Then the real debate can begin on how to keep civilization functioning with decreasing supplies of fossil fuels."
---Tom Whipple in the Falls Church News Press, 6/23

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