Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tell Us Something We Don't Know

Wiki Leaks is slipping. In a case of stating the obvious, their latest "disclosure" shows the U.S. Government having reached the conclusion that the Saudi's have been significantly overstating the amount of their oil "reserves," and that we can expect a shortfall of promised deliveries within a year. Why would they do such a thing? Could it have to do with their certain knowledge that the revelation of their dramatically falling production rates would cause a spike in oil prices, at once causing the world to spiral into a deeper recession while also providing a (late, even belated) effort to develop "alternatives"?

Charmingly, the Yahoo news doesn't have a clue. They suggest that the upshot of this disclosure reveals that the Saudis will face "peak oil," missing the point that as go the Saudi's, so goes the world. And, "Yahoo" draws the conclusion that this will be bad news for SUV drivers. Not to mention industrial civilization.

Yea, this is really news, at least for those who haven't been paying attention...

To our young people - this is as good a time as any to revisit Wendell Berry's prescient and sage advice to the graduates of Bellarmine University in May, 2007:

What more than you have so far learned will you need to know in order to live at home? (I don’t mean “home” as a house for sale.) If you decide, or if you are required by circumstances, to live all your life in one place, what will you need to know about it and about yourself? At present our economy and society are founded on the assumption that energy will always be unlimited and cheap; but what will you have to learn to live in a world in which energy is limited and expensive? What will you have to know – and know how to do – when your community can no longer be supplied by cheap transportation? Will you be satisfied to live in a world owned or controlled by a few great corporations? If not, would you consider the alternative: self-employment in a small local enterprise owned by you, offering honest goods or services to your neighbors and responsible stewardship to your community?

Even to ask such questions, let alone answer them, you will have to refuse certain assumptions that the proponents of STEM and the predestinarians of the global economy wish you to take for granted.

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