Richard Heinberg On Megaprojects Update  

Posted by Big Gav

Energy Bulletin has an interview with Richard Heinberg discussing the approach to the peak.

And what might be going on is that if peak is coming as soon as the evidence is starting to point to then talk of peak becomes of historical interest and then, surely, the talk should then turn to decline. How do you think that’s going to play out?

Well, it’s impossible to say, because we are in entirely new territory here. As soon as supply is unable to keep up with demand – and I think that’s going to happen probably before we reach the actual peak by a year or two – but it’s hard to say. And certainly by the time we actually reach the peak we will be in very new territory in terms of economics and geopolitics.

If we can get through this critical period without a significant war starting I’ll be a happy man, I’ll tell you (chuckles). Because I think this is a very critical period for global war and peace. The sort of reflex reaction of governments in this situation – where their economies are in peril – is to find scapegoats to blame. And one can see this process beginning right now – actually over the last couple of years – where the scapegoats are being lined up on both sides.

So I’m very concerned about the geopolitical implications of all of this. And also as the economy starts to turn sour because of high energy prices I think people in places like America, that are so dependent on oil and on oil imports, are going to react in rather unpredictable ways. They’re used to having their cheap easy way of life and when that starts to erode from beneath their feet they may grow restless in various ways.

Can you be a little more specific? Because a lot more people are becoming very worried about these restless ways.

Yes. Well, I think the U.S. Federal government has been busily putting in place a kind of authoritarian infrastructure over the last four years with the Patriot Act and various other measures. And I think ultimately these are intended – at least partially – for domestic use, to control social disorder, as the economy starts to come apart.

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