Oiled up and ready to offend

As a follow-up to my other politically-themed post, thank you D’Arcy for stepping forward with some thoughtful and necessary discussion on the implications of the petroleum economy. (Some good comments there too.)

To be honest, most of my periodic blogger-funks have been triggered by some piece of news that further demonstrates the willful blindness we all have about our relationship to the planet and to each other. I’m embarrassed by how often I let brooding over these issues paralyse me. I also carry around a lot of guilt. I try to reduce the damage I am personally doing (busing to work, shivering through winter with the thermostat set masochistically low, happily paying more for organic, locally-produced food) but am ultimately as much part of the problem as anyone. There are many weeks when all I want to write are fierce condemnations of SUV drivers, of short-sighted development, of the machinations of petro-politics (which trump democracy every time), or to note the latest evidence of climate change in our increasingly hostile environment.

What usually (not always) stops me is social fear (some of my best friends drive SUVs), and a recognition of my own ignorance and culpability. But I gotta tell you, sometimes all this happy bloggy talk about social software seems totally absurd — like praising the amazing intercom system on this great new ship Titanic.

So I give the D-Man credit for at least breaking the stupid silence and airing the problem. It may not be my place, and I doubt very much it will make any difference, but I’m not going to pretend that everything is fine anymore. Unsubscribe and de-link at will.

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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6 Responses to Oiled up and ready to offend

  1. I hear you.

    I’ve been screaming in the ether since 1998 at NewsTrolls – http://www.newstrolls.com/ – because, honestly, we cannot be blind and we cannot be silent about what is happening.

  2. No worries about offending… I’m one of the SUV-driving eco destroyers. Just hoping to find a way out.

    Sadly, I’m thinking that those who are conserving aren’t going to be making a big difference – but at least they’ll be prepared with the oil runs out…

  3. Brian says:

    Stephen — one thing I’ve liked about OLDaily is that you don’t shy away from bringing in the perspective on display at News Trolls into your professional analysis when it seems appropriate, or necessary.

    D’Arcy — part of my issue is that I don’t want to be just pointing fingers at SUV drivers… there may be questions of degrees, but anyone living a modern lifestyle and who possesses a democratic voice bears some responsibility. (Then again, the inherent smugness of someone driving a Hummer is enough to make me want to do some serious key action on that shiny black paint job.)

    I hope there is a way out, my great fear is that we have passed the point of no return — and that most people will resist change to the bitter end in any event. Where we go post-oil is probably not going to be a happy place.

  4. Post-oil isn’t going to suck because we can’t all drive Hummers. It’s going to suck because millions (billions?) of people will starve without the artificially inflated food production provided by petroleum-based fertilizers. The SUV Oil Wars haven’t even begun to come close to what we’ll see in the coming decades as people’s ribs start to show because of this…

  5. Brian says:

    I hear ya, man… which makes the blithe refusal of most people to make even minor adjustments so infuriating.

  6. well… it’s not a problem as long as it only affects Them. Won’t be anything to worry about until it starts to touch Us…

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