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Peak oil - Nov 11

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


The Interesting Demographics of peakoil-dot-com

Aaron, peakoil-dot-com
From time to time I reveal different aspects of the flavor of web traffic to this site [ peakoil.com ].

Having had the opportunity to track many different aspects of our traffic over the past 2 years has been most illuminating.

One of the most interesting aspects of our web traffic is the break-down between members & lurkers.

Our lurker population is often 10 to 20 times as large as our member community. What's interesting is the type of traffic each group is composed of.

What's obvious is that our member community, especially our active member community is decidedly left in political attitude. What's not so obvious is the fundamentally conservative nature of our vast sea of lurkers. Because I get to see specific web traffic information, I can deduce this conservative stance from the preponderance of traffic from domains which are host to conservative organizations.

It struck me as kinda funny, (in a dead-serious way), that the political right seems to be paying close attention to the ministrations of the left.

As humans we are pack animals, & natural voyeurs of course. But it is somewhat unusual to see such conservative attention lavished upon such a liberal (seeming) website.

This suggests to me that we are seeing an evolution of the way people arrive at their affiliations. The Internet & globalism are slowly dissolving the geographic stranglehold on attitudes worldwide. After only a decade of meaningful web discourse, a strange sort of blending is taking place never before seen in human civilization. The fundamental aspects of human life as described by Diamond & others are changing. Cut lose from their foundations, ideas themselves are growing and changing... transforming the cultures they infect in insidious & fundamental ways.

Predicting the outcome of this thought experiment is all but impossible. But what seems certain is that this petri-dish of ideas will produce a rash of unpredictable changes which greatly affect the future.

As geographic tribes give way to "thought" tribes, what are the benefits & consequences of this process?

Could be good... could be bad... probably both.

Certain to be interesting.
(11 Nov 2006)
Aaron has also posted a map, apparently showing the location of visitors to peakoil.com. On the basis of the email we receive at Energy Bulletin, our demographics appear to be similar, with most traffic coming from English-speaking countries and from Europe. One surprise in Aaron's map is the number of visitors from China. There's one huge dot in Northeastern China - Iwonder what that means? Is it an artifact or an indicator of something significant?

Aaron's observation that the readership of peakoil.com is a mix of liberal-left and conservatives reflects our experience, though it is hard to tell what the percentages are. I would agree with Aaron's point that conventional political attitudes are dissolving, and that "a strange sort of blending is taking place never before seen in human civilization." Kurt Cobb wrote about the same phenomenon last year: The Politics of Survival.
-BA


Peak oil activism that denies petrcocollapse

Jan Lundberg, Culture Change
Why do we publish Culture Change and put on Petrocollapse Conferences? Hint: it has something to do with the influence of corporations on the mainstream media and on "nonprofit" activism, and also something to do with too many activists catering to business-as-usual politics.

The main culprits in withholding news and insight from the public regarding energy are in places such as Washington, DC, Wall Street, and other corporate centers. So when we take progressive activists to task for not doing their peak oil work quite as we like, it's important to keep things in perspective.

Several events this year that I witnessed are illustrative of peak oilists shading the truth, whether by mistake or deliberately. The most recent example is last month's impressive annual conference put on by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas - USA (ASPO-USA). May the ensuing critique provide some constructive insight to where the peak oil movement may be spinning its wheels.
(Nov 2006)

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