Traffic, Weather, Sports, Collapse! By Dmitry Orlov

Dandelion Salad

By Dmitry Orlov
Saturday, 07 June 2008

This blog has been quiescent for a couple of weeks (although the comments still keep flowing in on the older posts) because I have been busy promoting RC by giving radio interviews, while simultaneously finishing work on the boat that is our home and getting it ready for re-launch. As of yesterday, the boat is in the water, and the interviews seem to be settling down to a pattern, and so here I am, once again, bringing you an update.

It is only fair to warn you that over the next few weeks, you may be driving to work in the morning, listening to the radio, and hear something like this:

“Next we have Dmitry Orlov, the author of Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects.” Dmitry is a “leading Peak Oil theorist; [it actually says that on the back cover: yikes!] Dmitry, what does that mean, Peak Oil theorist?”

“Peak Oil is the theory that accurately predicted the all-time peak of oil production in the US in 1970, as well as what will probably turn out to be the all-time peak in global conventional oil production in 2005. But let me start by mentioning another theory: the theory of gravitational attraction. A physics professor I had in college once suggested that if we freshmen had any doubts about this theory, we could test it by jumping off a table while keeping our knees perfectly straight, and observe what happens to our spines. I would like to propose a similar test with regard to Peak Oil, but it’s even easier: just keep driving your car the way you are used to doing for a few more years, and observe what happens to your bank account.”

“But people have come on this show to tell me that we have plenty of reserves right in this country that we can’t tap because of some very extreme positions of certain environmentalists. Isn’t this just a political problem? Can’t we solve it if only we wanted to?”

“If all the environmentalists suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, there would be a tragic loss of colorful calendars full of pictures of cute and majestic animals… Supposing we could proceed full speed ahead with the exploration of ANWR in Alaska, the continental shelf, and various other hopeful places within the continental US, then it would take up to 20 years for these new provinces to go on-stream, and then they would add up to no more than a few percent of our current consumption level. In the meantime, depletion in existing provinces would continue to run its course, adding up to a lot more than that. Also, by then, we will have lost access to most of our oil imports, because oil exporting countries are depleting their resources as well, and will need all of the remaining oil for themselves.”


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3 thoughts on “Traffic, Weather, Sports, Collapse! By Dmitry Orlov

  1. Pingback: Closing the ‘Collapse Gap’: the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US by Dmitry Orlov « Dandelion Salad

  2. But Korina, that doesn’t help with the environment or Peak Oil at all, quite the opposite.

    I suggest walking, biking, sharing rides, and public transportation. If you need another car, please do not buy a new one, but instead buy a used car (hopefully one with good gas mileage).

  3. I would like to propose a similar test with regard to Peak Oil, but it’s even easier: just keep driving your car the way you are used to doing for a few more years, and observe what happens to your bank account.”

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