Power Down

Planning intelligently for future contingencies is one of the signs of higher-order thinking often attributed to homo sapiens. Yet, at present the species is failing utterly to cushion the inevitable shock that civilization will feel quite soon when the production of oil peaks, according to the hard facts laid out in Richard Heinberg’s brief tome. According to Heinberg, all of the easily extractable oil has been discovered. The last “big find” will come on line in 2007, and after that there are no new significant reserves to be tapped. Meanwhile, China and India are vastly increasing their demand for oil to feed their emerging economies—as well as to provide our own highly dependent economy with cheap labor and useful goods. One might expect this country’s leadership to embark on a “crash program” of conservation and investigation of alternatives to fossil fuels—for reasons of “national security”—but no. Rather, this oil-besotted administration is opting for the dangerous “last one standing” strategy: using “preventive war” to occupy oil-rich and strategically located countries. As long as the public acquiesces to these designs, eternal war for us and our children may be assured.