The world is made up of a lot of stupid people – most of these people are white, stupid white people. And funnily enough, most of the mega-corporations in the world are run by white men. Now there are a lot of people who are white and not stupid, I’d hate to alienate all white people, but I’d have to say, (and note at this point, before you call me a racist pig, that I myself am white), that for the most part, the stupidest people in the world are white.
Having money does not make you any less prone to stupidity, in fact some of the most obvious examples of stupidity are from the ranks of those who earn more than the average. I wanted to enter a pie eating competition last year, not because I’m particularly good at pie eating, but because I’d never done it before. Some people might consider that to be stupid, sitting at a table stuffing as much pie into your mouth as possible before the stupid white guy beside you can finish his pie.
Well, that’s kind of what we are doing as a society, we’re stuffing ourselves full of fossil fuel based goods and services as fast as we can, in a mad rush to have the latest, the greatest or the most convenient. Most of the time we don’t even realize that we are in a race at all, but when we stop to consider that there are only so many fossil fuel “pies” left to consume, we are exhibiting classic “pie competition” behaviour. Our heads are down focused entirely on the consumption of the pie without any awareness of the world around us.
While pie eating competitions are pretty stupid, the recent news of recovering economies, oil prices and company profits back on the mend, housing sector stats perking up and consumer confidence creeping back out of the hidey-hole make me want to puke more than the thought of eating a pie in under a minute. Fundamentally nothing has changed. Sure, a couple of banks got a bailout, the stock market adjusted itself and trillions of dollars evaporated. But what about the core principals of un-restrained growth, of mortgage madness and silly-season style speculation. People will display a little restraint for a few years, but then it will be on again, already you see it as people buy oil as a speculative investment, not because they need it, but because they see the price going one way – up.
This insistence on growth at all costs, of bigger is better, of the American Dream and of mega-corporations running the economy makes me wonder who is going to survive this mess. The people who believe that it is their “right” to have a consumptive lifestyle, will be the first to end up begging, or worse yet, will resort to uncivilized behaviour. Hopefully, like in the pie eating competition, there are enough people watching to make sure that no dirty tricks are played. Although, us white folks don’t have the best track record for being kind and generous to those who are different, or have different set of beliefs, particularly when it comes to economic gain.
I guess this whole peak oil thing is really just like a competition to many of the nations, the biggest guy thinks he’s got it in the bag, he’ll lie, he’ll steal, hoping that no one will notice, while the little guys cling onto what hope they have of surviving, and sometimes, there’s one or two competitors who have no qualms about dirty tricks, they gain all the attention, but really it is the big guy we’ve got to watch out for. And while all of us white guys are worrying about who’s going to get the biggest slice of the pie, others that we didn’t even think were in the competition are ramping up consumption at a speed that rivals anything ever seen before.