The truths, unpleasant though they may be, are the truths: inexpensive, readily available oil is slowly but surely becoming less readily available, more expensive, and harder to come by. Current conditions [ultra-low prices; curtailed/canceled oil production and exploration projects; over-supply; declining investments; high debt] only highlight that the problems of maintaining an adequate, affordable, accessible supply of fossil fuel needed to power modern society aren’t going away.
We can pay homage to and wish for all the magic technology in the world; ignore every single environmental consequence; disregard the fundamental differences and considerations regarding conventional crude oil production and tight oil production; ignore all the geopolitical and geological realities; pretend that oil will still be ours for the asking as often and for as much as we want; or hope that Someone Else is going to rescue us, but delusion and denial will only take us so far.
Those who know but have worked much too hard to mislead and misrepresent must now devote some of their prodigious efforts and considerable knowledge to not just truth-telling, but taking a vital leadership role in exploring how we plan for a future where fossil fuel resources will no longer serve as the primary energy supply for our society.
Recognizing the awesome complexity and widespread impact of that fact merits serious effort and honorable leadership. Are we going to find it? Soon?
The sooner we accept the evidence before us, the sooner we begin to plan intelligently for new methods of powering modern society. Anyone deluding themselves into thinking it won’t be all that difficult or will develop in anyone’s definition of a reasonably short period of time needs to step away from the conversation until the facts and realities settle in. We’ve had plenty of senseless denial as it is.