I think the entire debate about peak oil (and several other crisis-level issues) is drawn way to narrow. The focus is always on either :
2. Saved! Some technology/other resource that will replace oil at the same level of consumption.
This narrow framing of the issue distracts from what I believe are the two most crucial sources of all modern material crisis:
Its quite amazing that peak oil, climate change, water shortage, and environmental degradation/species die-off are all framed with a notable absence of discussion regarding human population management. For some odd reason, this huge elephant in the room goes virtually unnoticed, and there is an unspoken taboo against any critical analysis of the breeding habits of the human animal which will result in 9.5 billion people on the planet within the next 45 years - 3 billion more than there is today.
There's another lens through which we can look at peak oil, climate change, water shortage, environmental degradation/species die-off: these issues are not the core problem...they are just symptoms of population excess and an overblown sense of privilege and expectation. Rather than identify and treat the core pathology which is a pathological level of population and resource use, we focus on select symptoms that carefully avoid self-reflection and reproductive restraint. We're desperate to replace oil with another form of energy that will allow us to continue to breed mindlessly and still live in the bloated style that we've become accustomed/addicted to and dependent on. [We approach disease and health care in the same way in modern culture]
Also, there's a typical addict's perspective of denial widespread in modern culture...the "enemy", "identified patient", or "problem" is always something "out there" somewhere, never our own thought patterns and actions. For example: the "shortage" of oil is identified as the problem, rather than there are too many people dependent on a finite resource - same with water...and climate change is something that needs fixing or reversing, rather than looking spang in the eye the fact that the human population has bred itself too large to accommodate themselves to the normal patterns of the natural world. The most obvious is studiously ignored...we've bred ourselves beyond sustainability at current levels of population, and more importantly, expectation. Those that have high consumption lifestyles regard it as a privilege, and those that don't have high consumption patterns aspire to it. The human animal is ignorant of the boundaries of the natural world and somehow really does believe that the natural world should be forced to accommodate its delusion and madness, and its unrestrained reproduction, rather than humans restraining themselves within the boundaries and limits of the natural world.
The idea of significantly reducing our population footprint on the planet is taboo to even consider. Unlimited breeding goes unchallenged because the two most powerful conditioners of human mind and action on the planet, corporatism and religion, both profit immensely by unrestrained reproduction and so naturally encourage it. Both are nihilistic in this...corporatism is solely profit driven and will eat until it dies - and religion has a variety of "after life" destinations and "saviors" so they don't really care about the fate of the world either.
Hopefully the human animal will find a way to see clear of both of these entrenched, self-obsessed forces and learn to manage themselves in balance with the natural world before its too late.
- World Population and Oil 1900.JPG (56.88 KiB) Viewed 480 times
- population_growth4.gif (7.5 KiB) Viewed 480 times
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss
- Dawa Gyaltsen
Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.