Welcome to Vulgaria
(updated: Jul 19, 2007)
"Population movement is an equalizing process. As people move toward a more attractive
area, they drive up prices and overload the job opportunities, the environmental
capacity, the available housing, and the governmental services. In other words,
rising population drives down all of the characteristics of an area that made it
initially attractive." -Jay W. Forrester, Systems Dynamics Group, MIT
What made Wilmington, NC an attractive place is now declining with every new person that moves to the area. Politicians will gleefully tout growth as if it were some consecrated manifesto, stating that Wilmington has gotten better over the years. Maybe it has for some. But as the population continues to swell we run into the law of diminishing returns, including more restricted and crowded beaches, more traffic, higher taxes, and higher cost of living. Yes, there are more choices, but it mostly involves buying consumer crap.
The good things recently have been the Blue Clay Bike Park, the Cross City Trail, and the Trolley Trail, and now we are looking at a second bike park in Leland, where there is still opportunity. My prediction is that the off-road biking opportunities will continue to improve, while road cycling will be pushed further out to rural areas due to increased congestion.
But what I really wanted to demonstrate in this post is the stark contrast between people's delusional behavior and what's looming out there, building up like a Tsunami that people can clearly see is on its way but have no idea the consequences of. It's the theory of Peak Oil, and in a few years, nobody will be wasting their breath anymore talking about Global Warming, which is merely a symptom of the problem. Peak Oil will put an end our way of life in this country and all its wasteful practices forever.
Here is what's happening. This is from 60 Minutes. I don't know if you saw this, but the obscenely sized homes he tours represent the growing trend in home ownership. Man, a Chinese family of a hundred could live in here.
Real Estate Dreams
At the same time this vulgarity continues, along with big trucks and SUVs (ever been to TX?), you have the coming energy crisis. Maybe these people want to go out in style, because their homes aren't going to be worth squat in a few years.
Now here's what's coming. Below is a link to a documentary which covers some of peak oil. It's good at first, but then it goes on to talk about 9/11 and how it was a government operation to have an excuse to go to war to secure the last remaining oil reserves in Afghanistan and Iraq. Personally, I don't believe in conspiracy theories, especially involving our own government, which seems too inept to be able to pull something like this off. I prefer Occam's Razor, which simply says that the simplest explanation tends to be the right one.
Still, it would make sense to sacrifice a few thousand or tens of thousands of innocent people to curtail the catastrophe that would occur from Peak Oil, where millions, possibly billions would die, and the US would suffer disproportionately because it is the biggest consumer of oil. Securing our consumptive way of life by sacrificing a few lives and spending a few billion a day seems like a no-brainer compared to the alternative. Bush said it himself: "to protect the American way of life." And of course it makes Dick Cheney and his oil cronies obscenely rich in the process so if TSHTF their families can flee to some secret location.
"Ask anyone who remembers the 1980 crisis.... In 1980 it was a problem in
distribution; the oil was there, but it wasn’t getting to the corner gas station. In
2008, the oil won’t be there. The psychological realization that the change is
permanent may be as devastating as the shortage itself. "
- Kenneth S. Deffeyes
In any case, I believe peak oil is real but we won't know when it occurs until we are past it. Then it is too late. I am forecasting oil to hit $300 per barrel in 2010-2012. It really makes me angry because nobody seems concerned about it at all. The media won't touch it because they are being paid by large corporate sponsors. And governments are not willing to make the structural and social changes necessary (i.e. ending suburban sprawl and incessant motoring) or do anything that they assume would impede growth. And all I want is to be able to ride my bike on the roads safely and live in a community where people actually communicate and have positive intelligent interactions.
So watch and decide for yourself:
Peak Oil, Smoke and Mirrors
If you want to understand more about Peak Oil, see the following links:
The Oil Drum
Peak Oil Production Forecasts, 2007
The Energy Bulletin
Life After the Oil Crash
James Howard Kunstler
Time to wake up America.
1. Sean said...
...another good link about it.
Jul 19, 2007 @ 3:28 PM
2. brado1 said...
i thought this was a bike site? When you gonna burn some oil, and come ride in the mountains?
(Wink Wink)insert smiley here <=O=>
Jul 22, 2007 @ 11:53 PM
3. BG said...
On the 60 Minutes blurb: Anything to make hell (Texas) livable.
Jul 29, 2007 @ 2:13 PM
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