Saturday, January 12, 2008

$100 barrel

US$100 per barrel. This is on the back corner of everyone's mind but the myopic, hedonistic and perhaps selfish us (me included) couldn't bring ourselves to admission that our green world is burning. Mother Nature is being pimped.

I know what you think - a nature activist espousing dangers of global warming is akin to an Amway salesman or a propaganda doomsayers, despite all available facts are fed to us, all arguments cogently laid. A book enlightened me, I'm not joining Greenpeace but it benefited me with an idea of oil addiction & financial mechanism of where we're going with oil.

The following passage conveys some of the breadth and flavour of M.King Hubbert's macrosocial thinking:

The world's present industrial civilisation is handicapped by the coexistence of two universal, overlapping, and incompatible intellectual systems: the accumulated knowledge of the last four centuries of the properties and interrelationships of matter and energy and the associated monetary culture which has evolved from folkways of prehistoric origin.

The first of these two systems has been responsible for the spectacular rise, principally during th last two centuries, of the present industrial system and is essential for its continuance. The second, an inheritance from the prescientific past, operates by rules of its own having little in common with those of the matter-energy system. Nevertheless, the monetary system, by mean so a loose coupling, exercise a general control over the matter-energy system upon which it is superimposed.

Despite their inherent incompatibilities, these two systems during the last two centuries have had one fundamental characteristics in common, namely exponential growth, which as made a reasonably stable coexistence possible. But, for various reason, it is impossible for the matter-energy system to sustain exponential growth for more than a few tens of doublings, and this phase is by now almost over. The monetary system has no such constraints, and, according to one of its most fundamental rules, it must continue to grow by compound interest.

1 comment:

joe said...

Things will continue to get a whole lot worse with no promise of it getting better unfortunately.