Is Peak Oil a Kill Shot?

Kevin at Cryptogon has an interesting post this week on whether peak oil is a ‘faith-based collapse theory.’ :

Stories like the one below, from the BBC, reinforce the nagging fear I have that Peak Oil just isn’t going to be the kill shot that many of us think it’s going to be.

His use of the term ‘kill shot’ gives us some insight into his personal viewpoint of how destructive crossing the peak will be. It appears Kevin expected (and maybe is still expecting) the post-peak slide to be nasty, quick, and very effective in bringing down the global infrastructure. A ‘kill shot’ ending would have war, die-off and an immediate drop in standards of living worldwide. This would explain perfectly his desire to get out of the USA and move to a remote part of New Zealand, where he is adapting his life to one of agriculture/permaculture and radical voluntary simplicity. If the system’s gonna go down that fast, then getting out early makes plenty of sense.

What if that doesn’t happen?

My personal feeling is that peak oil is more of a process versus an event, and as such will take a fairly long time to work out. In my view, it’s more of a ‘gut shot’ versus a ‘kill shot’ if you’ll excuse the firearms-related metaphors. The end result may very well be the same, but the time horizon is different. Instead of a quick unravelling of the system, I think we’ll see more of a slow and steady degredation of our current infrastructure, punctuated by major destructive events, many minor incidents, and lots of volatility as the various forces interact and cause temporary peaks and valleys in the availability and quality of the services we depend on.

I wonder if folks like Kevin would have altered their escape plans had they thought that the system would linger on for a decade or two. In a world of ‘clean, green fascism’, I’m not sure there’s any place that one could relocate to in order to totally get out from under the boot.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: