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  •  It finally clicked for me why things don't change. (19+ / 0-)

    On energy, in particular.  And specifically, why there's little recognition of the problems we're going to face with peak oil at this site, let alone in the White House.

    A couple of days ago I was reading Tom Murphy's latest blog post which if you haven't read and you're interested in energy, you should definitely check out.  It's the first post I've seen anywhere in a while that really puts all the issues of energy (and oil) in perspective.  (And Murphy is an esteemed professor of physics and doesn't shy away from, as he puts it, doing the math.)

    Here's a key paragraph:

    It is rather clear that conventional oil is fated to peak (or plateau) and decline. The worry, then, is that economies are forced into ramping-down use of liquid fuels while oil prices skyrocket. Recession ensues; demand flags; prices return to almost normal; rinse and repeat. If you’ve ever watched a hummingbird (or some large insects) trapped inside, they repeatedly crash into the ceiling. Economic attempts to resume growth likewise will soon rediscover the ever-declining oil supply ceiling. Like the confused bird who does not notice the open window, those who would establish expensive new ventures for alternatives will be hampered by market volatility and uncertainty—worried about going bust in the next half-cycle.

    Global recognition that failing oil supply is the problem and that we are at the start of an inexorable oil decline may result in loss of confidence in long-term investment gain, so that many withdraw from the market—fleeing to gold or cash or other escapes deemed safe against year-over-year declines. Foreign investors could pull out of U.S. holdings, lacking confidence in our ability to grow against a backdrop of oil decline. The dollar could be abandoned as the standard currency for oil exchanges. A long-term global crisis of confidence could dramatically change the rules of the game.

    Nobody in Washington is going to talk about a situation that would lead to a decrease in economic confidence in the United States.  (Even when we needed to get to work on the problem a couple of decades ago.) - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

    by barath on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 04:52:47 PM PST

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