The Arizona Republic ran my lengthy op-ed in their Viewpoint section Sunday and a follow-up Q&A piece in Wednesday’s paper. So far, a few minutes before noon, email responses to me on Sunday are mixed. About half are vile, in-denial buckets of hate. The other half are thankful, fearful, and/or curious to learn more. One respondent indicated the piece was linked to Oil Drum already, but I haven’t taken the time to find it there.
Below, I paste a few of the notable quotes from my email in-box, with my commentary in brackets:
“I have kids and the Peak Oil business scares the s**t out of me for their sake, if not my own. I’d like to know how soon I should start plowing up my subdivision lot and planting vegetables.” [Good question. I wish I had a definitive answer, other than NOW.]
“Your article today in the AZ Republic was a total embarrassment for people in the environmental profession (actually, I’ve been in it probably longer that you have been alive). It is so wrong and distorted on so many levels, I do not even have the energy to comment. Go to my web sites and start reading my nearly 200 articles on the environment. Maybe you will learn something.” [I did visit his websites, and I did learn something: He believes technology will save us, along with a little re-organization. Personally, I agree with James Howard Kunstler: I do not think we can innovate or organize our way out of this mess. I could be wrong, as I often am.]
“I read your piece “End of the World As We Know It” and was very happy to recommend it to raptor conservationists and raptorphiles on email listservers I participate in. Isn’t it amazing that the Presidential candidates this year are completely failing the public by ignoring the underlying realities behind their desire to continue military occupation of the Middle East by one way or another! Dick Cheney is secretive, but the truth is that so is Obama.” [Yep. Seems we’re pinning our presidential hopes on uber-hawk McCain, who would bomb Iran for fun, Chillary Rodham Clinton, who would follow her husband’s lead in outflanking on the Republicans on the right, and Obama, who think the war we need to win is the one with nuclear-armed Pakistan.]
“Your article in today’s Az Rep is an abomination. Based on lies and so far beyond credibility that you should be fired for even daring to print it. We currently have known reserves IN THIS COUNTRY equal to the amount of oil we have used throughout history. We will be starving in 10 years? Where the fuck do you get that? Put your factual sites where your pen is, motor mouth.” [So I did. It didn’t seem to placate him, though.]
“I’ll make you a bet. If I have to forage for food in 2018, I’ll try to find a nice rabbit to cook for you. If I can go to the grocery store like I do now, you owe me a steak. BTW, the bet is off if we have a nuclear war.” [I took the bet. But I told him it’s a long walk from Indiana to the American Southwest, but he needn’t worry: we’ll probably both be dead by 2018. I’ll bet that made his day.]
I answered all the messages, as I always do. And I was a lot more civil than those who sent hate mail, as usual. I try to remember two things about these folks: (1) They, like the rest of us, have no free will, and (2) they’re very, very scared. Ignorance is bliss, and I’ve taken some away from them.
I wish I had some of my own back.
Wednesday’s issue of The Arizona Republic will feature yours truly in the mis-named Livetalk Q&A section Wednesday, 9 April. I’ll be participating in a workshop on Desert Climate and Fire in the Aquarius Casino & Resort in Laughlin, Nevada, preparing my next-day talk on the topics of fire, biological invasions, climate change, and peak oil. With luck, I’ll get out of Laughlin before supply disruptions in gasoline force me to spend significant time in that hell-hole.
Thinking about those disruptions leads me to this question for my readers: What shall we call this event?
In general, I use the term, “The Greatest Depression.” I’ve seen these terms in print:
The Second Great Depression
The great unwinding
So, what do you prefer?