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The White Man’s Peak Oil Pie-Eating Competition

Pie eating contest at the Jefferson School, Wa...
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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.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

5 thoughts on “The White Man’s Peak Oil Pie-Eating Competition

  1. Your a ***** mate. White people are not the majority in the world, they are a very small minority. Every race is at the pie competition, and the most brutal inhuman ways of competing is in the non white countries perpetrated by the likes of Arabs, Asians. Say what you want about the white race but we discovered and invented nearly all of the things that most people, including you, rely on for your comfy life. Yes the world is in a mess………consumerism has gone mad, waste of resources and materials is the order of the day…….have look at how women consume and how they drive consumption for a sec before you blame white men for everything……they require more heating, air conditioning, how much energy and materials go into all those cosmetic products and toiletries. How many pairs of shoes and handbags is enough…….how much clothing do they need……..throwing out perfectly good clothing and decor just to keep up with the latest. My electricity bill, gas bill and phone bill has tripled since my now defacto moved in…….my recycle bin can’t hold all the plastic packaging and rubbish that she produces with her junk purchases……and I needed to put additional wardrobes in the spare room to hold all of her revolving door of clothes that only ever get worn a few times each before being chucked or stored for ever more in an ever growing pile of boxes that is taking over my garage. Electric everything…..toothbrushes…..can openers……electric knives……..electric blade razors… The main reason we have to air condition workplaces is because of women……..women only want to work in plush surroundings with all creature comforts…….and it’s the same at home…..heater on all the time when it’s not hot…….air con when it is hot……..must have air con in the car…..and work…..how many women do you know that say…….” I love the hot weather……summer” but insist on having air con in their house, their work, and their car…….what they love about summer is looking at a nice sunny day through a window from a climate controlled environment…….that and getting around in their revealing clothes strutting their tits and arse. Look at who women worship………celebs…….people who consume and use resources at a staggering rate and produce nothing required by society…..actors……writers…….sports stars………opera………..pop stars…….it’s all about superficial rubbish.

    If there is a way out of this mess…..and I think not…….the innovation will have to come from white men also……the world will blame the white man for not being able to sustain the paradise they created, but what are the complainers doing………apart from consuming like there is no tomorrow……….in the end things will go back to how they would have been without the white mans innovations and discoveries…….then see what it’s like.

    Hate to tell you this *****…….but haven’t you heard………all cultures are equal…………oh………sorry…..except white culture that is……which is of course inferior because we invented and discovered our way from the caves to the moon and created a society where people have the most freedom, and most prosperity, and more rights then any human beings to have ever walked this earth………but hey……were still just stupid……right …..

  2. @Stu – So – [tongue firmly in cheek] – now it’s stupid white women that are to blame?

    Most of my post was directed at white people in general and our consuming habits, as you’ve so eloquently pointed out from your example of your partner. Women seemed to do just fine before the advent of the mega-corporation and advertising campaigns, and they seem to do just fine in countries where there is less influence of these types. Point well taken though – women have their share of the burden.

    As to the suggestion that white men will find a way out of this mess, and I note that you suggest that there may not be one, the book “Tar Sands” by Andrew Nikiforuk is a frightening read – the efforts of mostly white men to make a buck out of this filthy non-renewable resource without any concern for the environment or the future of a continent is a pretty good example of stupid white men. Despite years of advice to slow things down, everything is still ramping up – all to create oil from tar because it seems that we as a society can’t live without it.

    Thanks for your comment, it seems as though our positions are not that far removed, I did edit out the name calling though.

  3. Aside – Should also note that the carbon footprint of a Westerner can be anywhere between 35 and 160 times that of someone in an undeveloped country, (stats refer to UK vs Bangladesh and Ethiopia). So while we may not be the majority in a population sense, we are the majority of the problem from a lifestyle sense.

  4. Stu – you certainly have bad judgement in your choice of partner. You do not sound at all happy. My condolences.

    It seems to me that males still have the upper hand in the income stakes and also do their share in buying rather useless toys such as boats for pleasure only, trucks that they do not need, all sorts of other gadgets.

    Let’s not get into the blame game, we all have our part to play.

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