“We have only two modes—complacency and panic.”

05 Sep 2010

I’ve been talking with some researchers about why there hasn’t been more work to develop realistic alternatives to fossil fuels, and they talk about the heyday of the 1970s. “The party lasted until Reagan came to office in 1980,” one told me.

So James Schlesinger‘s quote—”We have only two modes—complacency and panic”—does seem to be true.

I wish we were more panicked now than we are. But that’s what this blog is all about: trying to build panic—I mean, motivation—to find ways to live without so much reliance on fossil fuels.

By the way, I got this quote of Schlesinger’s off Energy Bulletin, from an article titled “Peak Oil Blindness.”

On the topic of peak oil, Schlesinger has another key quote: “the battle is over, the peakists have won.”


books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Mason's favorite books »