Archive for the category “Crime & Conflict”

Syrias Climate-Fueled Conflict, In One Stunning Comic Strip

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News update

Heatwave to worsen over the years: Study
Times of India
Hyderabad suffers a maximum of five heatwave days in a year. According to experts, this number will go up to as many as 40 days per year in the future. This prediction has been made in a paper titled Climate change scenarios for Hyderabad: Integrating uncertainties and consolidation by Matthias K B Ludeke, Martin Budde, Oleksandr Kit, Diana Reckien of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. (Also read: 61% Rise In Heat-Stroke Deaths Over Decade)

Most glaciers in Mount Everest area will disappear with climate change – study
The Guardian UK
Most of the glaciers in the Mount Everest region will disappear or drastically retreat as temperatures increase with climate change over the next century, according to a group of international researchers. The estimated 5,500 glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region – site of Mount Everest and many of the world’s tallest peaks – could reduce their volume by 70%-99% by 2100, with dire consequences for farming and hydropower generation downstream, they said.

As Seas Exchange Heat, the Indian Ocean is Becoming a Marine Hothouse
Vasudevan Mukunth, The Wire
Since about 1998, the rate at which the Earth’s surface temperature has been becoming hotter due to anthropogenic global warming has slowed. In this period, the subsurface Pacific Ocean was found to have absorbed a significant amount of heat. As it turns out, the Pacific has been leaking it into the Indian Ocean for the last decade, via currents running along the Indonesian archipelago. A team of researchers from France and the US found that the upper 700 m of the Indian Ocean accounted for more than 70% of the global heat gain in 2003-2012.

The awful truth about climate change no one wants to admit
David Roberts, Vox.com
There has always been an odd tenor to discussions among climate scientists, policy wonks, and politicians, a passive-aggressive quality, and I think it can be traced to the fact that everyone involved has to dance around the obvious truth, at risk of losing their status and influence. The obvious truth about global warming is this: barring miracles, humanity is in for some awful shit.

Modi’s push for domestic oil production could aggravate border conflicts
Kabir Taneja, Scroll.in
In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at an event in Delhi, set an extremely difficult challenge for the country’s oil and gas companies and the people who devise policies for them. The challenge was to cut down India’s oil imports by 10% from the current figure of 77% before the years 2022, and to bridge this gap with an increase in domestic production. The prime minister’s advertised goal left industry experts confounded particularly since the ground realities of crude oil in India don’t augur well.

Why India is captured by carbon
David Rose, The Guardian UK
India’s leaders are determined to restore economic growth and lift the country’s 1.3 billion citizens out of poverty. But rapid development will require India to double or triple its production of coal – and make it the world’s second largest carbon emitter. Is there any alternative?

Million Renewable-Energy Jobs Predicted for India 2022
Chaitanya Mallapur, IndiaSpend.com
As India–the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases but 127th in terms of per capita emissions–ponders an energy-future balancing growth, jobs and environment, there is encouraging news from a new report. The renewable energy sector, has generated 400,000 jobs till 2014, according to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The sector could generate a million jobs by 2022, if the government reaches its goal of 100 giga watts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy and 60 GW of wind energy.

Foregoing $1 Billion Payout, Tribe Rejects LNG Project
Common Dreams
Placing the well-being of the Earth above monetary interests, the Lax Kw’alaams First Nations tribe in Canadas British Columbia has rejected a $1 billion offer and voted against a proposed liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal. Our elders remind us that money is like so much dust that is quickly blown away in the wind, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip told the Globe and Mail, but the land is forever.

Global social inequality hits new record
World Socialist Web Site
Income inequality in many developed countries has reached an all-time high, according to a report released Thursday by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report also notes that growth of social inequality has been accompanied by the growth of part-time and contingent labor, particularly for younger workers.

News update

Could Indias Coal Plans Derail the Global Climate?
Tobias Engelmeier, The Energy Collective
If India were to grow its electricity system based on coal (as China has done), would it derail the global climate? According to our calculations, under a “coal-heavy” scenario, India would need to increase is coal-fired power generation capacity from the 156 GW in early 2015 to 677 GW in 2035. What would be the CO2 implications of such a strategy?

Global water crisis causing failed harvests, hunger, war and terrorism
Nafeez Ahmed, The Ecologist
The world is already experiencing water scarcity driven by over-use, poor land management and climate change. Its one of the causes of wars and terrorism in the Middle East and beyond, and if we fail to respond to the warnings before us, major food and power shortages will soon afflict large parts of the globe fuelling hunger, insecurity and conflict.

The Global Water Crisis and Coal Fired Power Plants
Iris Cheng, Greenpeace
Despite the global water crisis being identified as the top risk to people across the globe, very few are taking a stand to protect dwindling water resources from the huge planned global growth of coal-fired power stations. The fact is that the planned coal expansion will contribute to water crises, as the energy sector usually wins against us when it comes to who gets access to this precious resource.

The Case for a Climate Goal Other Than Two Degrees Celsius
Diane Toomey, Yale Environment 360
Scientists and climate negotiators have largely agreed that limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius is an important goal. But David Victor, political scientist and lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), disagrees, arguing that the benchmark is too simplistic and should be abandoned in favor of other indicators. He maintains that not only is the 2-degree goal now unattainable, the focus on it has almost unwittingly played into the hands of the so-called climate denialists.

The puzzling flattening of carbon emissions and the problem of global growth
Kurt Cobb
Last week we learned that maybe, just maybe, global carbon emissions were flat in 2014 even though the global economy supposedly grew by 3 percent. Carbon emissions have moved up almost in lockstep with economic growth for the entire industrial age except during recessions and one year of growth 40 years ago. But there is another obvious and plausible explanation for the flat carbon emissions, namely, that the global economy did not grow by the stated percentage, that it may have grown only a fraction of that amount or not at all.

China plans to build huge space solar power station 
The Economic Times 
China plans to build a huge solar power station 36,000 kilometres above the ground in an attempt to battle smog, cut greenhouse gases and solve energy crisis, much on the lines of an idea first floated in 1941 by fiction writer Isaac Asimov, state media reported today. The power station would be a super spacecraft on a geosynchronous orbit equipped with huge solar panels. The electricity generated would be converted to microwaves or lasers and transmitted to a collector on Earth, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Chinese control of Rare Earths and the future of energy 
Llewellyn King, Oilprice.com
The 17 rare earth elements have energy supply by the throat. They are used in everything from oil refineries to solar and wind generators. Today, 90 percent of the rare earths the world uses come from China. All U.S. defense manufacturers – including giants Boeing, General Electric and Lockheed Martin are dependent on China. Now China is demanding that U.S. companies do more of their manufacturing there: China wants to control the whole chain.

Agroecology: An idea and practice coming of age
Rupert Dunn, Sustainable Food trust
Agroecology is a holistic approach to farming and food production that could shape how we feed the world in the 21st century. It offers, at last, a means through which sustainable food sovereignty can be achieved across the globe. In February, at the International Forum for Agroecology in Nyeleni, Mali, a turning point came in the dissemination of ideas and practices of what is called ‘agroecology’.

Four Reports: Global Risks, Water, Food Policy Natural Capital

Environmental Risks Dominate the WEF Global Risks Report 2015
Edge Environment
Surveyed responses ranked the risks of ‘Water Crises’, ‘Failure of Climate Change Adaptation’ and ‘Extreme Weather Events’ among the topmost likely and impactful global risks in the World Economic Forums Global Risks Report 2015. These potential risks were considered of greater importance than other possible responses such as ‘Terrorist attacks’, ‘Fiscal Crisis’ and ‘Cyber attacks’. Of the 5 umbrella risks areas assessed (Economic, Geopolitical, Societal, Technological and Environmental), the report identifies ‘Environmental risks’ as the area in which there has been the least progress over the past 10 years.
Read the article   View the report

UN report: Earth is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030
India Environmental Portal
Earth is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless we dramatically improve the management of this precious resource warns this latest edition of the UN World Water Development Report. The WWDR 2015 demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability.
View/download the report

IFPRI: Global Food Policy report 2014-2015
International Food Policy Research Institute
This 2014–2015 Global Food Policy Report is the fourth in an annual series that provides a comprehensive overview of major food policy developments and events. In this report, distinguished researchers, policymakers, and practitioners review what happened in food policy in 2014 at the global, regional, and national levels, and—supported by the latest knowledge and research—explain why. This year’s report is the first to also look forward a year, offering analysis of the potential opportunities and challenges that we will face in achieving food and nutrition security in 2015.
View/download the report

TEEB Report: No top industry would be profitable if it paid for natural capital
Shareable.net
This recent report was undertaken by environmental consultancy Trucost on behalf of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program sponsored by United Nations Environmental Program. TEEB asked Trucost to tally up the total “unpriced natural capital” consumed by the world’s top industrial sectors. (“Natural capital” refers to ecological materials and services like, say, clean water or a stable atmosphere; “unpriced” means that businesses don’t pay to consume them.)

Trucost’s big finding is that of the top 20 region-sectors ranked by environmental impacts, none would be profitable if environmental costs were fully integrated. Ponder that for a moment: None of the world’s top industrial sectors would be profitable if they were paying their full freight. Zero. That amounts to an global industrial system built on sleight of hand. As Paul Hawken likes to put it, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP.
Read the article   Download the report (pdf) 

Four Reports: Global Risks, Water, Food Policy & Natural Capital

Environmental Risks Dominate the WEF Global Risks Report 2015
Edge Environment
Surveyed responses ranked the risks of ‘Water Crises’, ‘Failure of Climate Change Adaptation’ and ‘Extreme Weather Events’ among the topmost likely and impactful global risks in the World Economic Forums Global Risks Report 2015. These potential risks were considered of greater importance than other possible responses such as ‘Terrorist attacks’, ‘Fiscal Crisis’ and ‘Cyber attacks’. Of the 5 umbrella risks areas assessed (Economic, Geopolitical, Societal, Technological and Environmental), the report identifies ‘Environmental risks’ as the area in which there has been the least progress over the past 10 years.
Read the article   View the report

UN report: Earth is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030
India Environmental Portal
Earth is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030, unless we dramatically improve the management of this precious resource warns this latest edition of the UN World Water Development Report. The WWDR 2015 demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability.
View/download the report

IFPRI: Global Food Policy report 2014-2015
International Food Policy Research Institute
This 2014–2015 Global Food Policy Report is the fourth in an annual series that provides a comprehensive overview of major food policy developments and events. In this report, distinguished researchers, policymakers, and practitioners review what happened in food policy in 2014 at the global, regional, and national levels, and—supported by the latest knowledge and research—explain why. This year’s report is the first to also look forward a year, offering analysis of the potential opportunities and challenges that we will face in achieving food and nutrition security in 2015.
View/download the report

TEEB Report: No top industry would be profitable if it paid for natural capital
Shareable.net
This recent report was undertaken by environmental consultancy Trucost on behalf of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) program sponsored by United Nations Environmental Program. TEEB asked Trucost to tally up the total “unpriced natural capital” consumed by the world’s top industrial sectors. (“Natural capital” refers to ecological materials and services like, say, clean water or a stable atmosphere; “unpriced” means that businesses don’t pay to consume them.)

Trucost’s big finding is that of the top 20 region-sectors ranked by environmental impacts, none would be profitable if environmental costs were fully integrated. Ponder that for a moment: None of the world’s top industrial sectors would be profitable if they were paying their full freight. Zero. That amounts to an global industrial system built on sleight of hand. As Paul Hawken likes to put it, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP.
Read the article   Download the report (pdf) 

News update

Lester Brown: Vast dust bowls threaten tens of millions with hunger
The Guardian, UK
Vast tracts of Africa and of China are turning into dust bowls on a scale that dwarfs the one that devastated the US in the 1930s, one of the world’s pre-eminent environmental thinkers has warned. Over 50 years, the writer Lester Brown has gained a reputation for anticipating global trends. Now as Brown, 80, enters retirement, he fears the world may be on the verge of a greater hunger than he has ever seen in his professional lifetime

As Antarctica Melts Away, Seas Could Rise Ten Feet Within 100 Years
Common Dreams
Rapid melting of Antarctic ice could push sea levels up 10 feet worldwide within two centuries, recurving heavily populated coastlines and essentially reshaping the world, the Associated Press has reported. The Antarctic Peninsula, including the vulnerable West Antarctic ice sheet, is the region of the continent warming fastest because the land juts out in the warmer ocean. According to NASA, it is losing 49 billion tons of ice each year.

Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change
The New York Times
Drawing one of the strongest links yet between global warming and human conflict, researchers have said that an extreme drought in Syria between 2006 and 2009 was most likely due to climate change, and that the drought was a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011. The drought was the worst in the country in modern times, and the scientists laid the blame for it on a century-long trend toward warmer and drier conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean, rather than on natural climate variability.

Seeing is believing as scientists trace greenhouse effect
Climate News Network
Government scientists in the US say they have directly observed for the first time the greenhouse effect in action. Their measurements, taken over a period of 11 years in Alaska and Oklahoma, confirm predictions made more than 100 years ago, and repeatedly examined: there is a greenhouse effect, and the greenhouse gas that most helps the world warm is carbon dioxide.

The Paradox of Oil: The Cheaper it is, the More it Costs
Samuel Alexander, Simplicity Institute
The only reason oil can be considered ‘cheap’ is because the environmental costs of oil consumption are ‘externalised’. If the costs of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and resource depletion were built into the price of oil, there is no way it would be ‘cheap’. And what of the social and economic costs that will be borne by future generations? This is the paradox of oil: the cheaper it is, the more it costs.

Peak fossil fuel won’t stop climate change – but it could help
Gary Ellem, The Conversation
Fossil fuels are ultimately a finite resource – the definition of non-renewable energy. Burning of these fuels – coal, oil and gas – is the main driver of climate change. So could the peak of fossil fuels help mitigate warming? The short answer is maybe … but perhaps not how you might think. In a paper published this month in the journal Fuel, my colleagues and I suggest that limits to fossil fuel availability might take climate Armageddon off the table, although we will still need to keep some fossil fuels in the ground for the best chance of keeping warming below 2C.

Big Oil Drop Project
BBC news
The BBC has launched its Big Oil Drop project, a series of interconnected online articles and data packages, alongside broadcast pieces. The idea is a pretty simple one. Every now and again amid all the swirling reports and breaking news it is worth taking a pause and bringing together what we know about the most important resource in the world. Read sample article: Oil: Shocking how vital it still is

Who controls our food?
Nick Dearden, New Internationalist blog
‘It’s a nice idea, when you can afford it’ sums up the approach of many people to organic farming. But extending these principles of production to the whole food system? It just doesn’t seem practical. But a new report from Global Justice Now, From The Roots Up, shows that not only can small-scale organically produced food feed the world, but it can do so better than intensive, corporate-controlled agriculture.

News update

Indias 100 GW Solar Target Could Create 1 Million Jobs by 2022
The Energy Collective
Delhi is abuzz as the first renewable energy-financing summit organized by the Indian government, RE-Invest 2015, wrapped up with commitments totaling a whopping 266 GW of renewable energy in the next 5 years. For context of the magnitude of these commitments, the country currently has about 250 GW of total installed power from all sources. According to a new interim report, if India achieves its new target of 100 GW of installed solar energy by 2022, as many as 1 million FTE jobs could be created.

Is the US Overplaying Its Energy Hand?
Richard Heinberg
This is how empires crash: the folks in charge pay their information ministries to come up with only good news; rulers act on the basis of unrealistic assumptions; reality bites; and when it does, no one is prepared. The evidence suggests the United States is playing energy poker with a pair of jacks in its hand, but betting as if it had four aces.

Israel, Gaza, and Energy Wars in the Middle East
Michael Schwartz, Tomdispatch.com
Amid the many fossil-fueled conflicts in the region, one of them, packed with threats, large and small, has been largely overlooked, and Israel is at its epicenter. Its origins can be traced back to the early 1990s when Israeli and Palestinian leaders began sparring over rumored natural gas deposits in the Mediterranean off the coast of Gaza.

The Problem of Debt as We Reach Oil Limits (Part 3 – A New Theory of Energy and the Economy)
Gail Tverberg
Many readers have asked me to explain debt. They also wonder, “Why can’t we just cancel debt and start over?” if we are reaching oil limits, and these limits threaten to destabilize the system. To answer these questions, I need to talk about the subject of promises in general, not just what we would call debt.

Fooling peak oil one more time: can we find new sources of liquid hydrocarbons?
Ugo Bardi
The world peak of conventional oil production took place in 2005-2006, but the supply of combustible liquids did not decline, mainly because of the contribution of the newly developed shale oil (or tight oil) fields. With the impending worldwide peak of all liquids it is likely that the industry will try a new, all out effort to squeeze out the last drops of liquid oil from whatever sources are available, no matter how dirty and expensive.

Is An Infinite Amount of Oil Enough?
Rhett Allain, Wired.com
The burning of oil based products produces carbon dioxide and other stuff that’s not so nice. Also, there is only so much oil in the ground. Sure, the Earth keeps making more through a very slow process. But we are using it up way faster than it is being created by natural means. So, the question is: how much oil can we find? How long will it last? Let’s get started.

To Make Hope Possible Rather Than Despair Convincing
David Bollier
Discourse is law.  And it’s something that progressive advocates have never really learned.  They have never developed a discourse that can express their own putative values.  Wittingly or not, most have instead embraced the utopian narrative of American neoliberalism – that human progress will continue through economic growth, better technology, and a system of government that caters to the demands of capital while making grudging concessions to social or environmental concerns. 

News update

What is Saudi Arabia not telling us about its oil future?
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
What if the Saudis are acting now to undermine U.S. and Canadian oil production because they realize that Saudi production will soon reach a peak? What if the Saudis fear that energy efficiency, fuel substitution (say, toward natural gas), and mandated greenhouse gas emission reductions will inevitably diminish their oil revenues beyond the next decade? What if this coming decade will therefore be the best time to maximize Saudi revenues per barrel?

The worlds energy information duopoly comes to an end
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
Until now most energy price and supply forecasts and analyses were based predominately on information from the globes two leading energy information agencies: the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Recent developments are beginning to undermine the supremacy of the worlds long-running energy information duopoly and its perennially optimistic narrative.

The Year the Dam of Denial Breaks on Climate Change
Paul Gilding, Cockatoo Chronicles
This is the year the “dam of denial” will break and the momentum for climate action will become an unstoppable flood. It will be messy, confusing and endlessly debated but with historical hindsight, 2015 will be the year. The year the world turned, primarily because the market woke up to the economic threat posed by climate change and the economic opportunity in the inevitable decline of fossil fuels.

A clash of epistemologies: why the debate on climate change is going nowhere
Ugo Bardi, Resource Crisis
Scientists know how much work and study is needed to understand climate science and resent what they saw as superficiality and approximation in the debate. The result is the kind of clash we saw on the SCI blog. It was, if you like, a clash of epistemologies: rhetoric against the scientific method.

William Cattons warning
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
Overshoot
 may stand as the central text of the 20th century about the ecological fate of humankind. The book represents a missed opportunity in that so few people were able to hear what Catton had to say in 1980, and so few want to hear it noweven as the headlines are filled with the very precursors of the bottleneck he laments in his last major piece of writing.

Extinct—Extincter—Extinctest
Dmitry Orlov
The current low prices are not high enough to sustain this new, expensive production for much longer, and the current glut is starting to look like a feast to be followed by famine. The direct cause of this famine will not be energy but debt, but it can still be traced back to energy.

Utopians are ruining everything
Leaving Babylon
Utopian memes have misled people into thinking that top-down design of ideal societies is the right strategy for creating a better world. Even permaculture has been infected, imposing top-down landscaping designs upon the land with predictably disappointing results. (Also see the follow-up post: Generating a future that works)

A Moral Code For The Post-Collapse World
Zero Hedge
Popular media today, including television and cinema, are rife with examples of what is often referred to as moral relativism — the use of false and fictional moral dilemmas designed to promote the rationalization of an “ends justify the means” narrative.

News update

Commodities crash: Bad news for the world economy, but is anyone listening?
Kurt Cobb
Reading the general run of financial headlines might lead one to believe that price declines in those commodities which are highly sensitive to economic conditions such as iron ore, copper, oil, natural gas, coal, and lumber are good on their face Food commodities have been swooning as well recently. What is especially telling about the decline in the prices of foodstuffs is how broad-based it is.

As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes
The Guardian, UK
With growing inequality and the civil unrest, the world’s super rich are already preparing for the consequences. At a packed session in Davos, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” he said. (Also watch: Video interview with Johnson on Zero Hedge)

Why we are at Peak Oil Right Now
Ron Patterson, Peak Oil Barrel
I am putting my reputation on the line in making the claim that the period, September 2014 through August 2015 will be the year of Peak Oil. The peak will straddle the 2014 and 2015 time line. 2016 will be the first full post peak calendar year. It really doesn’t matter how many barrels of oil is left in the ground. The point is we will never again pull it out of the ground at the same rate we are pulling it out right now. Below are my reasons.

After the Peak
Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute
Our challenge will be to frame unfolding events persuasively in ecological terms (energy, habitat, population) rather than conventional political terms (good guys, bad guys), and to offer practical solutions to the burgeoning everyday problems of survival—solutions that reduce ecological strains rather than worsening them.

The Countries Thatll Survive Global Warming
The Huffington Post UK
In 2014, the University of Notre Dame produced a definitive ranking system that showed how countries around the world would fare if global warming increased at its current rate. The rankings took into account the countrys location, its population density and how financially equipped it was to deal with the rising sea level and increase in temperature. (Also read: Energy analyst Euan Mearns analysis: How to Mitigate Climate Change)

New research shows nations really do go to war over oil
Petros Sekeris & Vincenzo Bove, The Conversation
In a new paper co-authored with Kristian Gleditsch in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, we model the decision-making process of third-party countries in interfering in civil wars and examine their economic motives. Our research builds on a near-exhaustive sample of 69 countries which had a civil war between 1945 and 1999. We found that the decision to interfere was dominated by the interveners’ need for oil – over and above historical, geographical or ethnic ties.

Shell urges shareholders to accept climate resolution
The Guardian, UK
Shell is set to confront the risk that climate change may pose to its future, after backing a resolution from activist shareholders. The resolution, filed by 150 investors who control hundreds of billions of pounds, requires the oil major to test whether its business model is compatible with the pledge by the world’s nations to limit global warming to 2C.

Tiny House Villages Redefining Home
Cat Johnson, Shareable
Tiny house villages are a new part of the tiny house movement, yet they hold a lot of potential to transform lives and communities. The idea behind these villages is straightforward: bring tiny houses together in one place to create communities that share land, time together, skills, support, and other resources.

Film: Mad Max Fury Road

Its the oil, stupid!

Mad Max, the 1970 Australian dystopian movie which went on to be part of a hit trilogy will soon be back with a fourth edition. Going by the trailer, it promises a lot more explosions, high speed crashes and other such violent thrills the franchise is known for. The film was a landmark for many reasons: it was shot with a budget of under 4,00,000 Australian dollars, but went on to make US$ 100 million worldwide. It made a global superstar of Mel Gibson, then an unknown face. But what makes Mad Max most relevant is that it was the first, and perhaps the only time the theme of oil depletion was explicitly featured in popular culture.

Heres the premise of the original film, courtesy Wikipedia: In a dystopic future Australia, law and order has begun to break down following a major energy crisis. Most of the Outback has been reduced to low-populated communities with low fuel and a relatively peaceful life, with major metropolitan cities still continuing to exist. However, motorcycle gangs scavenge the lands and terrorize the population. As such, Main Force Patrol, an out-run police force, has been created to patrol the lands to uphold the remains of law and justice.

The films director George Miller was a doctor in Sydney, working in a hospital emergency room, where he saw many automobile related injuries and deaths, when the 1973 oil crisis arrived. According to the films co-writer James McCausland, both he and Miller drew heavily on their  observations of the crisis effects on Australian motorists.

In a 2006  article, McCausland wrote of his inspiration for the script: There were signs of the desperate measures individuals would take to ensure mobility. A couple of oil strikes that hit many pumps revealed the ferocity with which Australians would defend their right to fill a tank. Long queues formed at the stations with petrol – and anyone who tried to sneak ahead in the queue met raw violence. George and I wrote the [Mad Max] script based on the thesis that people would do almost anything to keep vehicles moving and the assumption that nations would not consider the huge costs of providing infrastructure for alternative energy until it was too late

Connecting the film to Peak Oil ( at its core was a sizeable kernel of truth. That kernel has taken root, and its called peak oil) McCauslands conclusion was grim, The sombre fact is that no matter how dramatic the consequences, it is difficult to get anyone excited to the point of taking action.

Is the violent dystopia envisioned by Miller & McCausland whats really in store for us? Yes, no, maybe. What is undeniable is that 45 years later, our thirst for oil has only grown, and our addiction to it more desperate. And that is bound to have consequences.

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