September 20, 2011

It's A Clusterf*k!

I love this guy James Howard Kunstler and his blog, Clusterfuck Nation. The message in his posts is clear: we are coming to the end of a culture that runs on fossil fuels. But denial of this unpleasant reality by those who are heavily vested in the status quo of a petroleum-based economy is a powerful force. And we the people are more than happy to dodge and deny yet another piece of the bad news that seems to rain incessantly down upon us during these end of days.
This much can be stated categorically about the USA these days: the more distressed our economy gets, the more delusional thinking you will encounter. People want to assign the cause of their misery to this or that (socialism, abortion, Jews, the New World Order). People want to believe that their world is a safe place with bright prospects (climate change is a myth, we have a hundred years of shale oil).
There are those who would perpetuate the myth of a never-ending empire of oil that will preserve the society we see around us forever. They are determined to suck every last bit of fossil fuel out of the ground, no matter how expensive it is or how damaging it is to the environment. Enter shale oil.
oil that is trapped in "tight," low-permeability rock that has to undergo fracturing operations ("fracking") before you can drain it out. It costs a lot more to get oil this way than by sticking a pipe in the ground and running a pump-jack to get it out the old-fashioned way. There are more than a few dirty secrets about the shale oil plays, but the biggest one is that you have to throw a huge amount of capital and steel at it to keep it running as an ongoing enterprise, and that money - other people's money - will be in shockingly short supply in the years head.
Why do they do this? Partly out of fear, partly out of greed, partly out of good old-fashioned head-in-the-oil-sands thinking.
to gird the hopes and wishes of the political right-wing, who are hell-bent on keeping this country from entering a plausible future. Watch these ideas take flight and wonder that you live in such credulous nation.
As I have said many times before, this shit is coming at us faster than expected, the politicians are dragging their feet, and it is already too late to avoid serious consequences of the new three horsemen of the apocalypse: climate change, peak oil, and overpopulation. It's a clusterfuck. And we are all along for the ride.

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