When Peak Oil Rips At Your Soul
If you are peak oil/earth destruction aware, I have to wonder how your relationships are going – with your family, friends, co-workers, just about everyone. Are you losing friends because you want to help stop the world from destroying itself? Are you an outcast because you realize our way of living is quickly taking us to oblivion?
I went for a long walk with my wife yesterday, and our discussion highlighted the soul-tearing realities of two different people’s perspectives on how we are supposed to live on this planet we call earth.
I would say my wife is an average Portlander. She recycles as much as she can, loves the farmers market, and wants a biodiesel vehicle. Her perspective on life is that we must live while we can, enjoy the moment, and do our part to be good citizens.
While that sounds good in theory, here are some challenges we are facing as a couple living on the cusp of earth’s cosmic conundrum. She’s talking about bringing a baby into this world while I believe I have a case in saying there are too many people on the planet as it is. I don’t know how much more black and white I can make it out to be… this is the issue of this generation’s lifetime.
After all – it’s perfectly natural for a woman in her late twenties to want to procreate. That biological urge is hardwired into our netherbits, and we are a species that likes to get it on. The problem is that humans have been easily popping out kids around the world because food has been readily available via oil, supermarkets, Taco Bell, and aid programs.
Because I think in abstract terms, I do little things like plug up the shower to gauge how much water I’m using to clean my body, then wonder what ways I could make use of the pool of liquid that normally just washes away down the drain. My wife, on the other hand, thinks in terms of me cleaning the shower tiles and sealing the small crack that’s growing some weird colored thing out of it.
I think in terms of us hanging a clothesline to dry our clothes, she thinks in terms of getting a more energy efficient dryer.
I could go on and on with this stuff, but here is the wall I’m banging my head into: I would love to be a father some day. It would be cool to teach a little rug rat how to play a synthesizer, grow carrots and learn to ride a bamboo bike.
My issue is that the exponential growth of the human population has already placed the future of that unborn child in dire danger – the danger we all live in at this very moment in time. Sure, multiple generations have lived with the threat of nuclear war, but it’s different now. It’s not just two Superpowers with them – the technology has spread around the world as we have bred and bred – and now we’re running out of the very juice that has sustained all those fast food outlets many people depend on for food. As the energy crash continues, I just can’t believe it will occur without big fights, from nations to neighbors. Not unless we change our living habits.
So there it is – it’s pretty simple. She gets a baby, or we get a divorce. She hasn’t said that, but it’s implied. She will get her way (doesn’t every wife?), or it won’t work out. I can only make my case for so long before the friction would be overpowering – and I love her immensely.
So what’s a guy to do? I don’t want to part ways – but how am I supposed to make a logical case against a woman’s powerful biological urge? It’s not like most couples have had a “Peak Oil” chat before they got married.
I can’t be alone in this situation. The question is – as humans realize we have overpopulated the planet – can there be a transition to livable communities that relocalize and sustain themselves? Even if people in Arizona threw up enough solar panels to power themselves, they will eventually run out of water and need to relocate. So will people in Africa and elsewhere as the planet overheats.
Now don’t get me wrong – I think we can do it if everyone would just agree we are at this point and put down the guns so we can address racism, classism and property rights. Because as much as I’m willing to open up our home to have roomates, my wife enjoys our privacy.
I can only wonder how long that luxury will be a choice (here’s a nifty classroom tool on population crashes. Do your homework kids). The question is… Are we smarter than Thermal Dynamics?.
Entry filed under: future, Gardening, Global Climate Change, Living in Hell, Materialism, Peak Oil, Personal Preparation, Random. Tags: kids dealing with global warming and peak oil, relationship challenges caused by ecological destructio.