A great appraisal on The Oil Drum

This is as succinct an appraisal of where folk like me are ‘at’ as I’ve seen anywhere, and an uncanny use of the simile, given that I used it in yesterday’s post. (Must be topical – there’s got to be a pun on ‘permanent wave’ somewhere in there, with apologies to the Captain Matchbox Whooppee Band circa 1976, and their Sweeney Todd song ). I suspect the writer would fit seamlessly into Solar Action circles…..
[-] [new] Dopamine on October 4, 2009 – 8:54am Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

As the tsunami of exponential population and economic growth bears down upon the beach of civilization, the TOD members have their feet firmly planted in the sand, looking at, measuring, and forecasting the wave’s impact. Some have begun to slowly walk backwards while still watching in horror while others have run for high ground. Most of the people on the beach won’t turn around. One TOD member says “Hey Buddy, there’s a huge wave coming behind you and it’s going to trash that beautiful beach scene you’re looking at.” The blissfully ignorant replies, “You’re crazy, look, everybody’s having fun, it’s a beautiful day, get lost.”

The TOD members continue to measure the wave characteristics and dynamics and even send a message to the lifeguards who ignore them. “What wave, I don’t see a wave.” Of course the wave is only a foot high and in deep water and can only be detected by those trained to do so. The Limits to Growth people saw it a long time ago.

Now what to do, try to reverse a massive force of nature. Scream “tsunami” on the beach, or continue debating the exact moment of impact. Try to convince others to live a Spartan lifestyle while much of the third world aspires to live like the rich and famous.

I appreciate TOD because I want to read others thoughts on the approaching wave but like diminishing technological returns, once the picture is well-defined, much greater effort changes it very little.

One thing I have discovered is that knowledge and wisdom that has taken a lifetime to build, with considerable expense in time and money, cannot be given away to those who wish to look the other way. I’ve spent too much time on the beach looking at the wave and the behavior of those that built it. I’ll now use what I know to gain a competitive advantage in the post-event landscape. Shouldn’t be too hard, most everyone else is busy at the tsunami party even though the tide seems to be getting unusually low.

I’m off for a swim……..

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One Response

  1. I’ve been following TOD for a little over a year. Looking back, it is interesting how much of a shift there has been in the content and tone of TOD. Initially TOD was a branch office of ASPO with much curiosity about the possbility of confirming the crude oil production peak. Once the total liquids peak hit, the maturation of the concepts around Export Land Model, EROI, the stupidity of biofuels and the massive gap to a renewables substitute, it was interesting watching the different groups turning from the common pursuit of gauging the peak towards speculating on the nature of the down-slope.

    Nate Hagen’s Campfire post was very thoughful in its own right. I agreed with much of his musings. Yet more interesting to read the comment that it stimulated …

    Dopamine’s tsunami metaphor sums it up nicely.

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