How The Markets Can Solve Peak Oil

January 8, 2008 at 1:35 am 2 comments

So by now many of you probably know I am convinced that by reinventing ourselves, we can survive peak oil.

I’m writing a Hollywood blockbuster about someone I know who is making a software program that will solve many of the problems we face with the implications of a crashing economy based on peak oil / peak energy. The cool part is I am writing it based on a pirate movie analogy. Enjoy!

Peak Oil Pirates

The Blue Ocean, 1553

A young sailor with ambitions to be a ship captain receives a treasure map and a golden coin from an older dying sailor. According to the sailor, the coin came from the treasure itself. Before he dies in front of the lad, the ailing map giver tells him the treasure will make him wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, and that the entire treasure is still in place. There is a catch, however.

There are a few known copies of the map, and the dying man tells him at least one other ship captain has a gold coin and knows the location of the island. The older sailor tells the lad that it would take about two months to make preparations, set sail, and arrive at the island. This means there is still time to beat the other map holder to the treasure!

But Alas! He has no boat of his own to sail to the island where it is buried. He lives in a coastal sea town back in 1553. The young lad’s love interest wants him to find a nice job carrying fish from the docks to the processing house. He shares the map with her, and she tells him they can’t afford to hire a boat to chase what could possibly break them and get them tossed from their small home. He reassures her he knows the treasure will be there when he gets there, and that he can beat the other map holder. His years of sailing experience has taught him all he needs to know to be a sea captain of his own ship.

He tells her he will find investors who can finance his adventure. Until then, he will try and negotiate a deal with a local ship owner, but she will need to keep sewing dresses to support him while he makes preparations to sail. She begrudgingly agrees, and tells him he has one month to find a ship if they are to not be kicked out of their comfortable little home.

He writes a letter to a former sailing friend who had successfully sailed with him through rough waters and former trade route adventures, thinking he might have access to a ship. He then shares the map with some local friends who advise him to take up the journey and go for the gold, but to be wary of showing the map to people he doesn’t trust. Thus, he decides to embark on a journey to get to the island with their help. One problem – he doesn’t have his own boat or the money to hire a boat and crew!

There are many local taverns where the young lad ventures to try to hire a ship and crew. He will have to hire them based on the promise of treasure at the end of the journey. He tries to hire a well known captain and crew, who tricks him into revealing the general location of the island and then quotes him too high a percentage of the bounty. Throwing back a few drinks at a tavern, the discouraged hero runs into a couple of boat owners. Wary of hiring pirates, the lad does his best to describe what is needed to make the journey. If the young lad shows them the whole map, they could just set sail off on their own without him. He approaches a local governor asking for protection on the seas. Sensing a large tax opportunity, the lad gets a decree from the local governor that guarantees the ship owner would be pursued and arrested if he copied the map and tried to recover the treasure himself.

Finally, he locates a man who has stories to boast about his ability to take on such an adventure. He is an abrasive captain with a small crew, and the young lad strikes a deal with him after they ink a contract that says the lad will be captain of the ship. The lad attends a gathering with some friends, and he is introduced to an acquaintance who has come into a small sum of money, but enough to finance a small venture. By this time, a couple weeks have passed when the lad learns that another ship has set sail for the island to recover the bounty.

Will he get there in time to beat the other ship?!

Impassioned by the desire to win the race, the lad receives a letter back from his sailing friend, who is now a co-owner of a large sailing vessel that hires its crew for such journeys. Luckily, the friend included a general fee structure that his crew charges for such adventures. With more hands on deck, the lad realizes they can be more efficient and save time on their journey. He writes back to his friend requesting his assistance and runs the idea by his ship’s present crew. The abrasive captain grumbles at the idea of leaving his smaller ship behind to work as crew leader on a stranger’s ship, which seems to be the perfect answer for rapidly setting to the sea.

And that’s where the story sits thus far. I will add to the story as my friend reports how his adventure is going along.


Entry filed under: Comedy, Creativity, Heroes, Peak Oil, Profits. Tags: , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. David Houser  |  January 8, 2008 at 2:30 am

    “I’m writing a Hollywood blockbuster”

    This is really the way to go. It’s guaranteed success. Whenever a youngster asks me for career advice I say “for Pete’s sake, write a Hollywood blockbuster!” And you know what? It works.

  • 2. MDF  |  January 9, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Where does the young Captain come to the point that he creates a jet engine which bypasses the need for any boat let alone a crew?

    Oooh, did I skip to far beyond the premise?


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