I often use the Titanic analogy myself – but I like this….

[new] ROCKMAN on October 11, 2009 – 9:18am Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Comments top

z — Your point about a “long emergency” got me thinking about perceptions. I’ll use the HMS Titanic as a model. Steaming at high speed through the iceberg laden N. Atlantic wasn’t an “emergency” in anyone’s mind (aka the 1980’s and oil was dirt cheap and no need to discuss PO). The reality: it was an emergency situation that had to be recognized and reacted to immediately but no one did. We see the iceberg ahead (price spikes over the last 25 years) but no panic. We’ll shift course a little (alt credits and better CAFE standards). Besides, we’re unsinkable (we are the most powerful nation, after all). We hit the iceberg (price spike of 2008). Damn…what a shock. But the captain (politicians and MSM) tell us the situation is under control and we should just party on. And the ship sales on (prices drop to under $40/bbl) and we are all sure our leaders were correct. See…they are popping corks on more champagne (new big DW GOM and Brazil fields discovered) PARTY ON!! But the holds have been filling with water all this time (depletion/ELP have not stopped). The bulkheads aren’t high enough to contain the leak behind the watertight doors (new big fields can’t replace the declining volumes). Now the ship begins to list (oil imbalance becomes a constant and progressive event). The captain tells us a few might not have seats on the lifeboats (a few might suffer but most will be OK. (No worries…just an occasion price spikes and short term economic decline). The truth emerges: many have no seats on the lifeboats but rescue ships on the way. It’s a little scary but we have a plan to save you (we’re from the gov’t and are here to help you). The ship goes down and there are no rescue ships (PO has become a permanent problem and there are no quick fixes).

IMO it has never been a long emergency. But some had perceived it as being so while others saw no emergency at all. Regardless we were facing a sever immediate emergency at least the last 30 years ago. The fact that few recognized it doesn’t change the nature of the problem . And now to complete my mini-novel: how does TOD fit in? We’re the damage control officer desperately calling to the bridge to warn the captain of the danger. But, alas, the com system is damaged. Must be…they certainly wouldn’t ignore us, would they?

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