Fossil Fuel Energy Gave Us Power And The Illusion Of Security, So Far
By Lionel Anet
02 June, 2016
The reason wealth gives the wealthy so many things is, that our planet and its ecosystems still have much to yield, but only by jeopardizing itself. What scientists have shown is only from their individual narrow specialised field with little or no holistic assessment, so the future appears manageable with only fine-tuning of the existing system. On the other hand, a holistically based assessment would show it’s impossible to deal with that multitude of threats, which’s combined in capitalism. Here are some of the obvious ones. Over-population, depleting sea food resources, acidification of oceans, warming of Siberian seas releasing methane hydrates, the loss of sea ice in the artic that reflects of sunlight to absorbing it as heat, rising sea levels of metres. Furthermore, on land there’s falling levels of ground water, desertification of farm land, a depleting soil due to synthetic fertilisers, the unprecedented speed in the heating of biosphere of the atmosphere, which’s creating a multitude of difficult leading to impossible condition for life, like severe storms and flooding, extended droughts. We are trying to deal with those threats in a piece meal fashion with the system that’s proliferating and reproducing those menaces. The structure and the way civilised systems must or are likely to functions will negate attempts to remove those threats to a continuing life. Furthermore, the effect those difficulties, will produce condition of chaos, civil and national wars, creating unimaginable numbers of refugees looking for sustenance and safety.
Civilisation was founded by warriors and maintained by the masses for the few dominant people to maximise their wealth and increase our oppressors’ domain and power over people and their land. This is civilisation and with the use of fossil fuels and fiat money the masses only see the power that money gives, so today, it’s a struggle for money, not for fairness. Although financial institution rules the planet’s people with money through the market, but it’s largely uncoordinated, unplanned, yielding unexpected outcomes, but worst still, it’s assessed inwardly on its ideological supreme premise thereby, they the financial market, are able to ignore scientifically evaluated needs and dangers to our wellbeing and survival.
Oil has soar civilisation to an incredible wealthy state and managed to feed the ever increasing population to a standard for many of the world people that would be unimaginable a century ago. Yet it’s hardly acknowledged the role oil plays in bolstering our lifestyle. The impossible has become the norm for road transport, shipping, air transport, agriculture, mining including coal, and most important for capitalism, all aspect of warfare. Without oil, capitalism is kaput, but with it people are finished. Our ultimate choice is to abandon both, although late, if we had used our foresight we would have phased out oil and capitalism by the end of last century and be living simple worthwhile life.
Oil has produced so much wealth, which has blinded our ability to foresee the effect of using so much of it. Without oil we would use picks and shovels to get that tiny bit of coal, and haul it with pit ponies to be taken by coal burning steam trains and ships, which was the world of my youth. But the second half of last century was the age of oil, it gave us the power to do real harm to the planet and we did, to the extent it’s jeopardizing our lives and will end it for today’s children unless we come to our senses. The cost of oil is vital, it was too high for the economy at $140 a barrel in 2014 and now it’s too low at $50 dollars a barrel for the oil industry, as it now requires over $140 a barrel to be viable.
So the first question I ask myself is why do we need so much energy and stuff, what do we do with it all? Well, the build-up of military hardware and its use is substantial, it kills, maim physically and emotionally directly and indirectly untold numbers of people. The advertising medium enticing us to buy more to feel good so as to buy more, the neocons eternal growth dependency, and civilisation ideology of living for a belief, or things. We even have children to bolster the economy to produce more stuff. Nurturing, particularly public education is centred on fulfilling the needs of the economy, what will benefit the economy will determent the education given. That’s capitalism and is our life now; it’s living for an economy. Pre-capitalism it was God King and country, which was the reason to live and die today it’s for the dollar.
All living things have an economic system that’s successful otherwise they die as individuals and as circumstances changes species adapt or die out. We are nature’s most social creature, because we have the body structure, the compulsive need of others, and the mental ability to be supremely social. Therefore, our nature must be compassionate, cooperative, and an affinity for one another, furthermore because our body and brain is so adaptable and able we have been able to withstand all the harrowing conflicts that tented to explode into violence time after time.
Lionel Anet is a member of Sydney U3A University of the Third Age, of 20 years standing and now a life member