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Sunday, April 27, 2008

It used to be that only environmentalists and paranoids warned about running out of oil. Not anymore. One of the sadder ironies of our situation is that our civilization's two major existential threats are in some very specific ways orthogonal to each other, insofar as many of the "solutions" to Peak Oil that are currently technological/economically/politically feasible only make the climate change problem worse, and vice versa. Lenin touches on this difficulty (among others) in a recent apocalyptic rant over at the Tomb, calling (it would seem) for a worldwide revolution in the name of return to primitivism:

It is our viability as a species that is in question. Perhaps the best solution is to rely on the people who gave us colonialism, the arms race, the arms industry, death squads, aerial bombardment, genocide and nuclear annihilation to come up with a neat market-based solution to our imminent demise. Perhaps we should wait and see if they can develop a technological solution. Bear in mind that, as with pharmaceuticals, they may be more interested in giving us something that can help us live with our horrible condition for a while rather than curing the problem. I don't know if it wouldn't be better to just take over the whole system ourselves and see what we can do about it. If it calls for a reduction in economic output, then I'm sure we can handle it. If Lafargue's 'right to be lazy' becomes a duty, I can't imagine too many complaints. Why not?