THE VIEW FROM PEAK OIL MOUNTAIN
Thu, 24 Mar 2011 16:16:49
We're bombing Libya, the Japanese are testing their spinach for radioactive iodine, gasoline is inching towards $5.00 a gallon, the housing market is at a nine year low, Charley Sheen is taking his Tiger Blood and Adonis DNA on the road, 30% of the smog on the West Coast is produced in China, the 400 wealthiest American households hold more assets than the bottom 60%, stocks of rice, the staple for half the world's population are at their lowest since the mid-70's and only 29% of the 1000 U.S. Citizens asked to take America's citizenship test could name the Vice President.(Joe, they hardly know ya)
In the midst of this world of woes, America is at its tipping point, tottering on the top of Mt. Peak Oil, poised to slide down its slippery slope into The Great Change, a world that few of us have envisioned and for which few of us are prepared.
What I have labeled The Great Change, the The Hopi Indians have long called The Purification. Forty years ago, a Hopi elder told me that when The Purification suddenly arrives, half of America will die on their hands and knees of a broken heart. I know that re-telling dismal Indian proficies qualifies me as a member of the Doom And Gloom Club. To quote John Boehner, "So be it." There are plenty of Panglossian pundits and think tank sychophants on tap to see light at the end of every free trade tunnel and crowds of neoliberal daffodils on every denuded hill.
These happy hacks are joined by the "Science Will Save Us" claque who claim we can solve all our problems by throwing sufficient numbers of white coats and money at 'em; "The Deniers" who believe all this fuss about global warming, shrinking resources, the growing divide between the Haves and the Have-Nothings and the breakdown of world order is so much liberal clap trap, and "The Second Comers" who merrily rape the earth, counting on the Jesus they've ginned up in their narrow, self-serving minds to return in the nick of time to instantly re-green the planet.
21st Century Americans are the product of a sixty year long shopping binge, underwritten by foreigners buying two billion dollars of T-Bills daily, and culturally supported by commercial television, the missionary of hyper-materialism. Under-informed and over -indulged, we join the Parade Of Fools, showing off the latest model of this or that, until we consign it to the landfill when it falls from fashion and favor. We are undoubtedly the least prepared for the social and economic upheavals that The Great Change will usher in.
But there is hope. Like Winston Churchill said, "You can count on Americans to do the right thing, after they've tried everything else." Well, buddy, we have tried everything else, and now it's a matter of survival that we do the right thing. Like, get more out of less, practice "small is beautiful," max out our library cards, cook a meal, feed the poor, pray for peace and put Big Brother on a diet by finding the lo-cal in local.
Open up my kimono of doom and gloom and you'll find an Ohio raised, corn fed, American optimist. I believe in this land of plenty, as long as there's plenty for everyone. I believe in this government "of the people," as long as it's not "on the people." I believe in a free media and grass roots democracy as the antidote to mediocrity. I believe we can find the will and the spirit to confrontThe Great Change and come out on the other side a nation changed for the better. With these rose colored glasses on, I can see for miles and miles and miles.