Wednesday, August 01, 2007

peak oil? tell me more

OK so I was about to share what I think is the best single source explanation of Peak Oil available to date. This combination of two documents by Gail E. Tverberg , contributor at The Oil Drum, includes well thought out explanations of the most frequently offered oppositional questions and it comes complete with graphs and charts. Who amongst us doesn't long for such a document with which to set forth out into our sphere of family, friends and even unknown neighbors in search of others with whom to share the truth! And then I read the latest post from my friend and coauthor Sharon Astyk and realized that even such an excellent document might have flaws based on its universal approach. From Sharon,

…most solutions have concentrated on creating a *single* simple method of explaining peak oil, when what is needed is a highly specialized approach, designed to help people grasp the issue in the most basic terms imaginable. Being a helpful sort, I have undertaken to provide those explanations. Thus, all you need to do is evaluate the person you are explaining things too, and from there, insert the proper explanation.

At which point I realized that her tongue in check approach to explaining this fairly straightforward scientific clarification concerning global petroleum depletion might well serve as the best model. An example of the approach:

-If the Person is a lot like: An Uber-Soccer Mom

The way to explain it is: "Yes, I heard how awful it was that the coach criticized your Christina - I agree, that he was completely out of line to hurt her self esteem like that. Speaking of self-esteem, did you know I've lost 11lbs on the 100-mile diet? I feel great, and I fit into some clothes I haven't worn since Jared was born. All that fresh produce and unprocessed food has been so wonderful - Mike says I look younger too, and it seems to improve my skin. And Jennifer is a lot less hyperactive since we've been biking everywhere. And Lisa is writing her college application essay on the impact of our environmental lifestyle changes. My friend Rita who is a guidance counselor told me that this will really help differentiate her from all the soccer players and school newspaper writers for the people at Yale. Green is the new black, you know."

The solution you offer is: That you will be thinner, happier, sexier and your kids will be smarter if you do this stuff. Oh, and btw, it saves energy too.

Alright so if you want to know how to approach a specific individual I highly recommend Sharon's latest which you can read here:

How To Explain Peak Oil it Anyone

But, least this individualized approach brings you no fruitful results, or if you just don't think that fast on your feet, feel free to use this one-size-fits-all approach.

What is Peak Oil? pdf

Is This a False Alarm? pdf

These two documents really are great. Now go on, write to your Congressperson. Or better yet, share the most important news item of this decade with the people you most care about. They really need to know.

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