4th of July Reading List

First off, here's a bullet-pointed (perhaps straight off powerpoint) lecture by Colin Campbell (hat tip: peakoil.com). It is from 2000, but after all that time, it seems quite valid in its reasoning and main points:
An oil crisis is bad for politicians.
Blaming OPEC or the oil companies will not wash much longer.
It would be better to make a proper analysis of the true position and inform people.
No one blames the government for an earthquake. So they wouldn't blame it for an oil crisis either if they realized it was a natural phenomenon.

Peak oil is a turning point for Mankind
100 years of easy growth ends
Population peaks too for not unrelated reasons
The transition to decline is a period of great tension
Priorities shift to self-sufficiency and sustainability
It may end up a better world
Five years is a long time. We could have done so much.

Second, here's a piece from the Economist that provides a counterpoint to yesterday's Guardian pieces accentuating the positives of China's growth.
In terms of peacefully integrating China into the world economy, this is to be welcomed, not feared. Chinese companies will make their mistakes, and they will need to learn fast. Another wave of hopefuls is already discernible. On June 28th, Thomson of France sold the final leg of its TV operations—not to China's TCL, its partner until now, but to an Indian rival.

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Dan: there's nothing wrong with blogwhoring, but usually it's best to have links to other sites (as the one you propose to us) on your own blog before you start asking for reciprocal links...know what I mean?

"No one blames the government for an earthquake. So they wouldn't blame it for an oil crisis either if they realized it was a natural phenomenon."

Yeah, but people should be blaming the government for this one. Or rather, blame themselves. This clusterf--- that we're headed for was an utterly avoidable disaster if we had taken the right steps years ago. But people chose and still choose the easy route, voting in insane numbers against the kind of actions we desperately need (high fuel taxes, forced transitions to more-expensive alternatives, powering down of some sections of our economy and a somewhat lower, but sustainable, general standard of living).

Carter back in the 70s wanted to fix America's oil imports to a never-increasing maximum to force alternatives and in the meantime a smaller but sustainable economy. Americans voted him out. Now, 25 years later, the bill is coming due, and it's rather more than America can afford to pay.