Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cheery Scenario Analysis

The author of this story basically illustrates or describes, in the most optimistic tone, what life would be like for the fortunate people who manage to relocate or establish themselves in co-ops when oil production peaks and falls. The author describes an energy sustainable co-op where everyone is required to farm and work on the co-op to grow all the produce and make all the supplies that are necessary to be sustainable. They use solar paneling and bio-fuels for their energy demands. They grow all their food and most people are vegan. They scrupulously document how efficient their co-op projects are. Apparently, they have the optimal combination of highly skilled researchers, engineers, and scientists, along with regular people.
What about all the people who do not have any knowledge on farming, energy efficiency, biology, engineering etc? How will the people who do have that kind of knowledge be evenly dispersed throughout the world? Will they be evenly dispersed? The unskilled people all over the world will undoubtedly be the first to perish when the energy crisis of peak oil occurs.
How will people manage to cope with an energy crisis (which will lead to a trade crisis and a halt of production in nearly every other outlet of the market) when their metal tools and supplies break, rust, get lost etc? How will people manage if there are no metal resources available near by, or if no one is willing to work in the mines? The story does not address the fact that modern life styles are not just reliant on fuel, but on metals, which will peak as well, and are produced by using fuel and other energy. So far, no scenario I’ve come across has mentioned the problem for acquiring metal, or at least, given a decent solution.


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