- This continuing series brings you, a concerned American,
more information on what this civilization faces and what we can do to
change course toward a viable future for our children and all living creatures.
- "Peak Oil is a great threat to our way of life,
and Richard Heinberg is one of the world's best-known writers and analysts
of the subject. In Peak Everything, Heinberg gives us a series of provocative
essays about the profound individual and global implications of Peak Oil."
Dr. Albert A. Bartlett, U. of Colorado
- Peak Everything: Waking Up to a Century of Declines By
Richard Heinberg, New Society Publishers, ISBN-10: 086571598X
, ISBN-13: 978-0865715981, www.postcarbon.org; www.richardheinberg.com
- While Americans pretend to be concerned about pollution
in its many forms, they fail to 'do' anything about it with any meaningful
levels of effectiveness.
- Example: Americans toss over 70 percent of recyclable
bottles, cans, plastic and glass containers into the trash. They toss
enough glass, cans and bottles to fill up two Empire State Buildings every
week. Google it if you think I'm kidding.
- Example: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, larger than
the size of Texas, features 3.0 million TONS of plastic floating out in
the Pacific Ocean. It runs from 10 to 60 feet deep. It kills millions of
marine creatures. It grows by 2.5 million more containers tossed into
the oceans every hour by humans. Another 46,000 pieces of plastic debris
float on every square mile of our oceans.
- "Pollution is no different," said Heinberg.
"We humans have polluted our environments in various ways for a very
long time; activities like the mining of lead and tin have produced localized
devastation for centuries. However, the problem of widespread chemical
pollution is relatively new and has grown much worse over the past decades."
- A look at cancers and nerve disorders exploding around
the United States validates the chemical pollution syndrome.
- "Many of the most dangerous pollutants happen to
be fossil fuel derivatives, pesticides, plastics, and other hormone-mimicking
chemicals or the by-products from the burning of coal or petroleum-nitrogen
oxides and other contributors to acid rain," said Heinberg.
- WAR AND POLLUTION
- Heinberg does not mince words as to the many sources
of pollution. War creates horrific pollution factors. As you read in
the first part of this series, we dumped countless millions of tons of
mustard gas and radioactive waste into our oceans from 1945 to the present.
Humans do not understand their predicament.
- "War might at first seem to be a problem independent
of our modern thirst for fossil energy sources," said Heinberg. "As
oil grows scarcer in the post-peak environment, further wars and civil
conflicts over the black gold are almost assured. The use of fossil fuels
in the prosecution of war has made state-authorized mayhem far more deadly.
Most modern explosives are made from fossil fuels, and even the atomic
bomb-which relies on nuclear fission or fusion rather than hydrocarbons
for its horrific power-depends on fossil fuels for its delivery system."
- Heinberg warns us that fossil fuel continues to be the
key to human survival, and in order to stretch it to feed 6.8 billion humans,
we need to start conserving it with greater purpose. Once it's gone, it's
- We need a methodical, planned and steady conversion of
farming to non-fossil fuel methods of crop production. That would allow
Mother Nature chance to recover such things as healthy soils and vibrant
- CULTURAL DENIAL AND AVOIDANCE
- "If we are all in various stages of waking up to
the problem," said Heinberg, "we are also waking up from the
cultural trance of denial in which we are all embedded. This awakening
- It needs to be faster than presently happening. I hope
this series creates conversations in coffee shops, offices and school rooms.
Politicians must enact laws and policies dealing with energy, water and
population stability. We do not enjoy a lot of years to 'put action off'
if we hope to hand over a sustainable civilization to our kids, much less
the rest of the world.
- Again, what actions do you take to ensure we avoid adding
100 million people to the USA within the next 25 years?
- Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents
- from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as six times across the USA,
coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic
Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming Population
Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church
groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world
population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America
on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1
888 280 7715