Being an environmental nerd (thus far mostly in theory - the practice is lacking, seeing as I spend a large portion of my time driving around LA), today's news of the oil deposit discovery down Mexico way got me thinking for a spell of black gold.
So far on Book-Loop it appears that the prevailing winds blow toward fiction. That's fine, but I am caught in a non-fiction spell that goes back 4 or 5 books or so and shows no obvious signs of letting up (the books at my bedside are What's the Matter with Kansas?, James Beard's Theory & Practice of Good Cooking, and The Joy of Sex, which I suppose you could consider fiction depending on the circumstances of the moment.
My question is, does anyone have any plans for non-fiction in the near future? If so, I would suggest a book on Peak Oil (which is exactly what it sounds like - the final peak in oil production. Ever.). I have not yet read a Peak Oil book, but I would like to. I was confronted most recently with the subject while reading an article in Harper's. Apparently, there is a lively Peak Oil community in the United States and I would assume around the globe. Peak Oil is not simply an inevitable event in the future, it is a movement of the present, populated by thinkers, crazies, scholars, business persons, and, well, anyone who has the ability to think critically about the consequences of a powerful, charging pattern of digging, pumping and burning that could competently serve as a shorthand for the recent history of human behavior.
This Harper's article included predictions, or rather meditations, of what life would become on an earth at Peak Oil, or on the immediate come-down. LTS mentioned thought experiments a while back. The thought experiment, or imagination experiment, of considering a realistic vision of an oil-dry planet is an intriguing exercise that probably is not undertaken enough outside the open discussion of a meeting of Peak Oilers. The scenarios are of course infinite, but some simple questions can be shocking if considered honestly.
What sort of war might we see over the last large deposit of oil on Earth? What might happen to our society if the price of gas rose to ten dollars per gallon over a period of ten years? The funny thing about thinking about this issue is that the only "what if?" in the scenario is the way in which the events of the peak and decline of oil production will occur. That they will occur is a plain fact.
Has short-sightedness always been a quality of the masses of humanity? I would think that the rapid pace of millennial (where are we, modern? Post-modern? I don't know these things) society would cause us to look ever farther into the distance since the consequences come at us faster and we will actually be around another 60 years or so to live more of them, supposedly. But, as a general observation, I feel that we are more short-sighted than ever in our hunger for progress.