Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dancing at the Edge of the Precipice

Alexis Ziegler's article, Dancing at the Edge of the Precipice, is a profound analysis of the global energy situation that goes well beyond the usually narrow "peak oil" discussion. The article ties shrinking resources to global class divisions, imperialist state and corporate power relations, and the decline of civil liberties. A sample:

"We are part of an aging Empire that is now facing a constriction of energy supply, which will in turn exacerbate the impacts of other ecological and resource limits. Put simply, if the global supply of energy and resources is shrinking, and if the global upper class is intent on maintaining its lifestyle at current or expanded levels, the consumption of the rich must be supported by a reduction of consumption among the poor. If the energy pie is shrinking and we intend to continue to eat the same or more, than everyone else must eat less."

* * * * *
"In the larger perspective, we do not face an energy crisis at all. Even as oil supplies decline, we will still have a greater supply of energy and other resources at our disposal than our grandparents had. . . The real issue is power. As we discussed in Culture Change, consumption is power, throughput is power. The desire of the global upper class to hold on to power drives them to continue to consume, and that is creating a conflict over dwindling resources."

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