Afterward I broke for dinner and to watch a recent acquisition from Netflix, A Crude Awakening, which is a documentary about the looming oil supply crisis. Pretty good stuff, I thought. I recommend it, especially if you're the type to torture yourself with things like Supersize Me or Fast Food Nation, things basically geared toward the impeachment of modern, convenient life and its detrimental effects. It was basically right up my twisted alley.
It's no secret that I'm a bit of a pessimist about humanity. Maybe even a catastrophist, really. This film about oil just added fuel to the fire. (As it were.) It reinforced the notion for me that there are just too many fucking people around. I realize that this is also unlikely to change without external influence. For the most part, humans fight like hell to stay alive. Sure, sometimes they fight other humans, but usually they fight external forces like starvation and sickness. Even aging. Now...it's not that I'm necessarily against the preservation and/or prolonging of a quality life, but you've really got to balance that out with reproduction rates if you want to keep a sane level of population. But all of that is just academic. In the real world, we're biologically driven not only to self-preservation, but to behaviors that, left unattended, tend to lead to crapping out kids. And then we're culturally driven to keep those kids around and develop them into adults. And then the process generally keeps spiralling like that. At that point, it doesn't matter what resource you're talking about -- oil, food, space -- something's gotta give. That's just the way it is.
Anyway. The whole big thing is fairly depressing to me, so I'll just leave it at that for now. Basically I just want to put a small word in and say: conserve when you can, everybody. Not just oil, but everything. The lifestyle we lead consumes a ridiculous amount of resources. I mean it's just crazy, when you really stop and think about it. And a lot of it is unnecessary. Convenient, but unnecessary. So maybe just turn those extra lights off. Unlpug things when you're not using them. Give the car a little extra time in the garage instead of on the street. Reduce, reuse, recycle. All that good stuff. If everybody pitches in just a little, the resulting change can be pretty big. And plus it's just a decent and fairly easy way to show a little kindness to your fellow man. Leave a little something for the next guy, you know? Every little bit helps. And if you had to do your part to try and delay, or even just prepare for, a disaster on the horizon, you'd try, right? Dig it.
[EDIT: And because nobody like a doomsayer, Slashdot has thoughtfully provided this post today about solar thermal power. Neat.]