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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Peak Oil And Collapse



[YouTube discovered at The Oil Drum. There are other interesting things to explore at that site.]

Time to go look at another great Dmitry Orlov presentation, Closing the 'Collapse Gap': the USSR was better prepared for peak oil than the US. Dmitry was an intrepid eye-witness to Soviet collapse, and he has useful things to say about the United States' predicament. It is an irreverent and witty presentation, with much optimism counterintuitively submerged in his discussion of economic disaster (emphasis mine):
It's important to understand that the Soviet Union achieved collapse-preparedness inadvertently, and not because of the success of some crash program. Economic collapse has a way of turning economic negatives into positives. The last thing we want is a perfectly functioning, growing, prosperous economy that suddenly collapses one day, and leaves everybody in the lurch. It is not necessary for us to embrace the tenets of command economy and central planning to match the Soviet lackluster performance in this area. We have our own methods, that are working almost as well. I call them "boondoggles." They are solutions to problems that cause more problems than they solve.

Just look around you, and you will see boondoggles sprouting up everywhere, in every field of endeavor: we have military boondoggles like Iraq, financial boondoggles like the doomed retirement system, medical boondoggles like private health insurance, legal boondoggles like the intellectual property system. The combined weight of all these boondoggles is slowly but surely pushing us all down. If it pushes us down far enough, then economic collapse, when it arrives, will be like falling out of a ground floor window. We just have to help this process along, or at least not interfere with it. So if somebody comes to you and says "I want to make a boondoggle that runs on hydrogen" – by all means encourage him! It's not as good as a boondoggle that burns money directly, but it's a step in the right direction.

I told you he's a hoot.

I have other posts which complement this discussion, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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