Paul Cooley is a Santa Fe “at-home parent” and a writer with a master’s degree in Eastern Classics. His web sites include “Random Thoughts on Meher Baba.” He sent us the following thoughts on 15 March 2010.
I think that we are heading into a disaster in terms of Peak Oil and energy supply. I’m not really an out-and-out pessimist, but it is clear that we’re not going to pull out of the downward spiral of costlier energy supply / fewer jobs any time soon. I like the writings of James Howard Kunstler on the issue. In his main book on the issue, The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century, he theorizes that we are going to enter a new dark age, with civilization fraying at the edges because we have become so used to getting what we want no matter how far away it was produced or what season it was grown in. When that begins to dry up, people are going to be angry and start casting around for someone to blame, and things could get ugly if we don’t begin living with fewer desires and more cooperation now. Many people, too, point out that the green revolution, which has fed so many people and has thwarted Malthus’s predictions of famine, has been fueled by cheap petroleum and natural gas, for fertilizers and pesticides. We will have to start living a lot more locally, with a lot more muscle power. I have often wondered if the decline of fossil fuel production will be part of Baba’s “three-quarters of the world” destruction.
The looming specter of Peak Oil is one of the reasons I went ahead and charged tickets to India this summer. Who knows what will happen to the airlines and ticket prices if the price of a barrel of oil begins to spike again. I’d hate to miss a chance to come into Baba’s presence in the Samadhi just because I was trying to watch my budget.