Since its inception, ASPO-USA has been a force for uncovering critical information on energy and understanding the challenges and opportunities that America faces. As Peak Oil and energy issues become ever more urgent, however, ASPO-USA is working to expand our capacity and sharpen our tools. Going forward, our work is being organized under the banner of two interrelated themes-“Truth in Energy” and “What Next?” Truth in Energy encompasses all of our work to dispel myths and understand the true nature of America’s energy challenges. What Next? is dedicated to advancing strategies to navigate a world of Peak Oil and limited resources amidst rising global demand.
Truth in Energy is ultimately about “defining the problem”-fully and accurately-but it is also about examining issues in a way that illuminates opportunities and informs solutions- and exposes false solutions. The Truth is also not very valuable if only held by a few people, so finding more innovative and effective ways of communicating the truth about energy, to specific target audiences and the general public, is an equally important part of our work.
What Next? is the crux Peak Oil question, for which there is not one single answer. Smart responses to Peak Oil and related challenges will vary by state, community, industry, business, family, household, and individual. ASPO-USA will focus on advancing fundamental principles, tools and information to guide the development of Peak Oil strategies, and apply that information for different audiences and specific contexts.
Truth in Energy is important to a wide range of issues, but ASPO-USA will focus on core principles, such as net energy, as well as and fundamental myths. For example, the myth that America can drill its way out of our oil problems has been a persistent one, despite the simple fact that the U.S. oil production peaked in 1970, and is unlikely to ever return to that level. There is also a strong tendency to blame someone else for our energy problems-that if only oil companies, Wall Street, OPEC, or politicians would behave better, oil prices would go down and all would be well again. The hard truth is that we are all responsible for the problem, and the “solution.”
Truth in Energy will also focus attention on evaluating proposed solutions. Many politicians use the phrase “all of the above” to describe their position on energy. That, however, is nothing but a way to avoid critical thinking and making informed choices. ASPO-USA will promote open and serious examination of America’s energy choices in a world of Peak Oil and limited resources.
Meanwhile, our focus on What Next will develop and advance effective, scalable strategies to adapt and prosper to a world with less oil. Some of these strategies are low-tech and common- sense responses, while others may involve technology that is not yet widely deployed. ASPO-USA is especially interested in the opportunities that Peak Oil presents to accelerate America’s great capacity for innovation and ingenuity-and build a more oil-proof economy and a more energy resilient nation.
A central principle underlying all of our work is the notion of legacy-what we leave behind for future generations. Peak Oil represents a tremendous challenge for us today, but it is also the rarest of opportunities to build a better tomorrow for those that will come after us.