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(S)triangulated (Collapse, Chapter 3)

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  • Doug Pensinger
    So what relevance is there here for us? Pitcairn and Henderson remind me of the lonely outposts in outer space we read about in science fiction novels. Is
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 31, 2006
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      So what relevance is there here for us? Pitcairn and Henderson remind me
      of the lonely outposts in outer space we read about in science fiction
      novels. Is there some resource supplied to us by "lonely outposts" that
      we could hardly live without? Would we go to war over this resource? If
      we were denied cheap access to it would there be tremendous political
      consequences? Upheaval and civil strife?

      --
      Doug

      Who apologizes for being so brief, but I had to work late again tonight...
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    • Deborah Harrell
      ... I presume you are asking rhetorically, since oil certainly springs to mind...The interwoven fate of those 3 islands isn t quite a metaphor for us, however,
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 1, 2006
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        > Doug Pensinger <brighto@...> wrote:

        > So what relevance is there here for us? Pitcairn
        > and Henderson remind me
        > of the lonely outposts in outer space we read about
        > in science fiction
        > novels. Is there some resource supplied to us by
        > "lonely outposts" that
        > we could hardly live without? Would we go to war
        > over this resource? If
        > we were denied cheap access to it would there be
        > tremendous political
        > consequences? Upheaval and civil strife?

        I presume you are asking rhetorically, since oil
        certainly springs to mind...The interwoven fate of
        those 3 islands isn't quite a metaphor for us,
        however, since we could (with some difficulty and a
        great deal of expense) use more coal for heating,
        convert more corn or biomass to ethanol or diesel
        equivalent (not cheaply!), etc. They, OTOH, had no
        resources to cross the ocean once cut off from
        Mangarea (!sp!), which supplied the big canoes IIRC.
        Still, disruption in our oil supply does create
        anxiety, expense and distrust in the government; if
        all oil imports were just cut abruptly, it would
        seriously discommode our economy, and there might be
        severe food shortages -> riots. But I think that we'd
        manage to get some oil from somebody else, albeit less
        and for a huge price.

        I'm going to have to read up about the _Bounty_, since
        I never even read the book.

        Debbi
        who finally got a copy of Collapse from the library,
        but having to return it soon, has sped through the
        whole thing <whoosh!>

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      • Doug Pensinger
        ... No, there are very few perfect analogies and this one isn t even close to being perfect, but the point is, as you acknowledge below, drastic changes and
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 1, 2006
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          Deborah wrote:

          > I presume you are asking rhetorically, since oil
          > certainly springs to mind...The interwoven fate of
          > those 3 islands isn't quite a metaphor for us,
          > however, since we could (with some difficulty and a
          > great deal of expense) use more coal for heating,
          > convert more corn or biomass to ethanol or diesel
          > equivalent (not cheaply!), etc. They, OTOH, had no
          > resources to cross the ocean once cut off from
          > Mangarea (!sp!), which supplied the big canoes IIRC.

          No, there are very few perfect analogies and this one isn't even close to
          being perfect, but the point is, as you acknowledge below, drastic changes
          and perhaps even violent reactions would occur if our oil supply was cut
          back drastically.


          > Still, disruption in our oil supply does create
          > anxiety, expense and distrust in the government; if
          > all oil imports were just cut abruptly, it would
          > seriously discommode our economy, and there might be
          > severe food shortages -> riots. But I think that we'd
          > manage to get some oil from somebody else, albeit less
          > and for a huge price.

          > Debbi
          > who finally got a copy of Collapse from the library,
          > but having to return it soon, has sped through the
          > whole thing <whoosh!>

          Heh, I'm barely keeping ahead of the discussion and as I'm working the WE
          I'm unlikely to get any farther ahead.

          --
          Doug
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