Monday, March 27, 2006

Peak oil, climate change, mental gears turning

In my teens -- in the 70s -- I hated that whole "the world might end tomorrow!!!" nuclear-war fear mindset (and what might have been a corollary in the Evangelical church of my late-high-school years, "Christ might return tomorrow!!!"). Bleagh. I'm a firm optimist who eventually learned that rainy days must be prepared for, but nuclear rain is not something I am willing to expect!

Lately I've noticed that my 10-year-old son is quite interested in various disaster scenarios. Most recently the CNN? series on various "perfect storm" scenarios -- super tornado, super solar storm, super tidal wave, super flood. I find these fascinating myself, even as I grump about how the science and preparedness responses are presented in these semi-fictional accounts.

And yet, and yet.

For a couple of months I've become much more aware of atypical weather events and oblique connections with climate change. Now I'm also noticing connections with peak oil (ie, we're at the peak of worldwide oil, and from here on out it'll be more scarce and more expensive to acquire and refine). I am beginning to think that THIS is the set of worries that my children will actually have to live with.

Hmmm. Maybe my personal sea change about preparedness back in the months before Y2K, along with our hard work at being frugal in many ways will be useful after all. Dear husband is the voice of doom and gloom (a/k/a the realist speaks), whereas I think being prepared for a rainy day and developing personal connections throughout my community are our bulwark against the gloomy scenario (a/k/a "stone age, here we come").

I'm being cryptic 'cause I'm not sure anyone wants to hear me processing this stuff, at least not mid-processing. Hmmm. Anyone else thinking that maybe the American status quo is about to start a long, bumpy fade into History, and pondering what the next couple of decades could be like?

1 comment:

Emily said...

I think you're not alone in thinking about these things. Perhaps it's getting older, perhaps it's living in the heart of tornado alley, perhaps it's all the Katrina coverage and watching gasoline prices rise.