Peak oil, ten or so years on

Categories: Big picture
Published on: April 23, 2015

Restoring Mayberry / Brian Kaller / 19 April 2015

DSCF1074The activists who predicted a total and imminent crash were wrong, and the Big One never came and never will. Yet a lot of little ones did – fuel prices, bank crashes, foreclosures, outages, shortages, oil spills, fires, droughts and hurricanes, all in the last several years alone – and they might come larger and faster in the decades ahead. That’s where you come in.

Whatever you thought the next ten years would be like, perhaps you learned how to filter your own water, fix a broken bicycle, sew a ripped coat or compost your waste. Perhaps you just met a lot of people doing the same thing, and learned to listen to each other rather than the television. Even if the future didn’t precisely fit your expectations, that time was well spent, giving you something to build on and teach others.

All this runs somewhat against our most common cultural fantasies, either the leftist dream of populist revolution, or the apocalyptic fantasy of escaping in a lifeboat. It doesn’t mean rising up as a people, taking on the powers that be and winning. It means giving up that dream.

It means not winning, and not seeing crises as an opportunity to win against your political enemies, but to serve – including serving your enemies. It means preparing for an uncertain, messy future that will one day go on without you.