On the horns of a Peak Oil dilemma

So it finally hit me — a major reason that awareness of Peak Oil is spreading so slowly, much more slowly than I'd figured a few months ago.

A lot of us who talk about Peak Oil — certainly those of us associated with the DR — have a free-market world view.  We know that when government tries to solve a problem it creates two or three new ones, and there's no guarantee the original problem will be solved.  Indeed the original problem might be worse.

Now… a great many Americans agree with this outlook in principle — in an airy-fairy land of ideas where few Americans really dwell for very long.  Most of the time, most Americans dwell in a world where they do look to government for solutions to problems — especially Big Problems.  And if ever there were a Big Problem, it's Peak Oil.

So when we try to sound the alarm about Peak Oil, we ought not be surprised to hear ordinary folks respond by saying something like, "Well, it sounds like the government should do something big." Now you and I know there really isn't that much government can do about it, but most people don't like to hear that when presented with a Big Problem.  (And to some extent, Peak Oil is a problem created by government itself; would we be talking about Peak Oil so soon if a massive Interstate Highway system didn't facilitate suburban sprawl?)

Actually, I've heard a couple of presidential candidates, even absent awareness of Peak Oil, talk about some sort of "Apollo Program" (that's the usual analogy) to develop alternative energy.  Such talk is usually backed up by the barest of details, so God knows what they have in mind.  Chances are it'll involve ethanol (maybe giant hothouses to grow corn in Alaska, the better to enrich both Archer Daniels Midland and the corrupt Alaska congressional delegation), but beyond that it gets pretty fuzzy.

Who knows, maybe it's better that Peak Oil still remains under the radar.

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