Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Cassandra's fate

There are times when you realize how we got to where are today, and where, very sadly, where we will be in six months. In part, it is because no-one either considers that the issue is real, or if it is they have a touching faith that some mythical someone is already aware of the problem, and will solve it with just some minor disturbance of the market.

You can bring up the problem of Peak Oil in conversation and slip in some numbers, and it's one of these "Yes, yes, but let me tell you about temperature when I got up yesterday (or some similar earth shattering matter)".
Bearing in mind that it now seems inevitable that this will hit, and relatively hard, before the next election, at first it seemed odd to me that no politician seemed to really be getting ready to ride this issue. But then it is a very uncomfortable topic, wthout any obvious answers. In this regard the topic lurks on the back pages of the dailies, and as I have commented, is occasionally aired by pundits on shows who hasten to assure us that things are well in hand (even as within a couple of weeks they are shown to be hopelessly ill-informed).

Now while I could mention how Winston Churchill was castigated right up until the moment he was disastrously proved right, I was more interested today to find out what happened to the original Cassandra. Despite her accuracy, she was raped, enslaved and murdered. Now that is an encouraging fate to contemplate if one were to speak up.

I was remiss in not noting the comments in the House by Congressman Bartlett (R-MD) last week who discussed Peak Oil for an hour, although he confused the issue a bit, I thought by including Jevons Paradox (which put simply in this context is that if we find a way of conserving energy, then as an unanticipated consequence we will also create additional ways of expending it that end up making us no better off). In this case I don't believe it will apply, although one could make a case that using more ethanol in gas might fit that bill. The Congressman is a physiologist, endocrinologist and an inventor.
In addition Congressman Gilchrest (R-MD) also spoke to the topic, and the potential benefits of alternate energy sources.


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