Jay Hanson is familiar to many who have been following the peak oil issue because his site, dieoff.com, was perhaps the very first to deal with the issue in any systematic and thorough way. Hanson said in a 2003 interview that he named the site Die Off in order to shock people into awareness.
Today, Hanson, a computer programmer by profession, lives in Hawaii and has handed over his site to someone else to keep up. He now believes that nothing can be done to avoid a dieoff--not because it isn't feasible to do something, but because people are too competitive by nature to cooperate when the going gets really rough. He's returned his focus to his work and, oddly enough, to investing to make a few dollars before the energy tsunami hits. He says rich people will have more options on the downslope of the oil depletion curve, at least at the beginning.
He seems sad about his conclusion that warning people is a useless exercise, and yet, he thinks on about the issues of population, energy use, overshoot and dieoff. He seems to be struggling with whether his own competitive spirit is the one he should follow or whether his compassion for others is the right beacon. In that he mirrors the internal struggle we all face when difficulties visit our families or our communities. Of course, we'd probably be better off working in concert to solve our problems. But, we face the classic prisoner's dilemma. Can we trust that others won't sabotage us in order to gain advantage and thereby save themselves while discarding us?
(Thanks to Big Gav at Peak Energy [Australia] for pointing me to this interview.)
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