Getting to the Top, We Found a Cliff

Erasmo Calzadilla

We’re thus in a hopeless situation, doomed to collapse and/or war if we don’t know how to consensually confront and manage the looming decline and initiate an active, intense and decentralized energy transition towards “other possible worlds.”—Ramon Fernandez Duran

HAVANA TIMES — The future scares me. We’ve passed the point of maximum world petroleum extraction — or “peak oil” — and in the coming years the supplies of that fuel will be insufficient to meet demand. Everything seems to indicate that the world we know will succumb.

Nevertheless, people go around leading their lives confidently. Most believe that when it’s time, the companies that monopolize energy production will take care of finding substitutes. However, when we analyze the alternatives (nuclear and renewable sources) in relation to what’s being exhausted (the planet’s ecosystems), things start looking ugly.

Others believe that the disaster will indeed occur, but not in the immediate future (is there anything in the universe more tenacious than mental inertia?). They warn that the current crisis could be the beginning of a deep and resounding crash that will be in full swing by the end of the next decade.

Nations (especially the rich ones) hold in their hands the resources and power to undertake a less dramatic transition, but it doesn’t seem that we can expect a hell of a lot from them. Their tendency is to escape forward, betting on technology and preparing for the battle over the last few drops of that coveted oil.

The mass media also help spread the bad news; and the longer we delay taking action, the more likely it is that the crisis will lead to chaos – presenting a great opportunity for the owners of the powder kegs.

Similarly, alternative media networks, prestigious scientists and activists have spent years researching this issue, alerting and providing practical advice about how to avoid the worst case scenario. Individual and (especially) collective actions could help mitigate the impact and aid in the development of a healthier civilization.

I’m particularly concerned about the fate of Cuba. How prepared are we to face this new hurricane? I’ll discuss that in my next post.

In the meantime, I’m leaving some links for those who wish to deepen their understanding.

I especially recommend two works by Ramon Fernandez Duran:

El crepúsculo de la era trágica del petróleo

Quiebra del capitalismo global

Also see:

Post Carbon Institute

The Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas

Un blog que trata el tema

Una revista digital

Congreso Internacional pico de petróleo: ¿Realidad o ficción? 2011

El mundo ante el cenit del petróleo, Fernando Bullón Miró, Asociación para el Estudio de los Recursos Energéticos (AEREN)

El agotamiento de las reservas de petróleo y las energías alternativas.

Energy Bulletin


Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

Erasmo Calzadilla has 408 posts and counting. See all posts by Erasmo Calzadilla

One thought on “Getting to the Top, We Found a Cliff

  • Here in this post is the political-cultural difference between the groupthink in the US and that of our Cuban neighbors regarding the future. In his inaugural speech last week, President Obama alluded to the challenges faces America and the world. He proclaimed that American ingenuity and inventiveness will rise to the task. Cubans, not only here on this blog, but in general,often look to someone else to resolve their problems. Cubans often see themselves as victims of circumstances and then, at most, hopeful survivors. Alternatively, Americans ultimately believe they will become victors over their circumstances and, most likely, the seat of the solution. How many times has Hollywood reflected that belief through movies that tell us that no matter what future problems the world may face, America will come to the rescue. This difference in outlook can blithely be explained away as a function of economic size and population , but it goes deeper. The paternalistic structure imposed by the Castro regime over the last 54 years has sapped the self-reliance from the Cuban mindset. Their ‘welfare state’ mentality is reflected in the many posts here on HT which belie a the sense that Cubans are ‘searching for a savior’ as opposed to solving their problems themselves.

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