Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What is Peak Oil and Why Should the Church Care?

That is the title of my presentation at our congregation's adult forum on January 23rd. If you are near our woods I hope you will join us at 9:45 a.m. It is a powerpoint presentation that I originally presented to the Presbyterian Student Fellowship at ETSU. I called it then: What is Peak Oil and Why Should College Students Care? It will be the same information with some updates.

What is Peak Oil? According to geologist, Colin Campbell:
"The term Peak Oil refers to the maximum rate of the production of oil in any area under consideration, recognising that it is a finite natural resource, subject to depletion."
Don't let the terse definition fool you. This peak of oil global oil production that many experts think is happening now has huge impacts on everything including geopolitics, transportation, economy, ecology, housing, food, career choices--in short--civilization.

In the meantime, you might be interested in what Michael Ruppert says about Peak Oil and civilization.

Here is an
article about and an interview with Mike Ruppert on Transition Voice. Definitely worth a read. He is predicting some dire stuff within the next few months.

I really have no guess how the implications of Peak Oil will play out. Ruppert is convinced that it is going to get bad and fast. It is hard to argue with him as he finds 50-60 news stories a day that provide evidence for his outlook. But then again...

I am quite interested in the spiritual, sacred aspect of this. Ruppert says, "God is on the table." This is kind of an odd sentence. It is fun to play with that metaphor. Perhaps God and Isaac have reversed their positions. Instead of his son, Isaac, Abraham has God on the table and is about to sacrifice him. Will Isaac be as "generous" and offer a ram to save the Lord or will he allow Abraham to kill God once and for all? That is a metaphor for our time, isn't it?

That isn't where Ruppert is going. He is talking about the spirituality, the integrity, the mojo that humans will need to survive the transition. We (non-religious) are even needing to talk about God again is the idea. God is on the table. Ruppert says in the interview:

And my personal opinion is that unless people preparing for the horrors that are to come incorporate something of a spiritual nature they will not survive. It’s not just about beans and growing food. “Man does not live by bread alone.” Man can not survive on bread alone.
I agree to that. As I have written before, I started this blog in response to learning about Peak Oil and wondering what a spirituality or theology of a Peak Oil world would be like.

I am not sure how horrific this will all be. He makes an allusion to the Cormac McCarthy book and the movie based upon it,
The Road. That is pretty extreme. Ruppert says he is doing what he is doing to prevent that.

I do in the end put a great deal of stock in the kindness and the creativity of human beings. I think we can handle many things if we stick together and act from compassion. That doesn't mean it is easy or that there won't be a lot of suffering. Denial won't prepare us.

I tend to like James Kunstler's novels, A World Made by Hand and Witch of Hebron. The green shoots grow from the stumps in those visions.

My presentation on the 23rd will be limited to the nuts and bolts of Peak Oil. A conversation regarding its possible implications will be necessary and I hope forthcoming.