Thursday, November 3, 2011

This is what peak oil looks like up close -public budget meltdown

The Long EmergencyImage by Earthworm via Flickr     A LOVESalem HQ foreign correspondent who reports from Bellingham, Washington, sends his comments on a note to him suggesting that this Salem-area story " is what peak oil looks like up close.  He discusses the effects of similar budget implosions on his developmentally disabled daughter, L____.

     Salem has a LOT of people who are going to be in similar, terrible straights as L_____ as the constant erosion of our unsustainable way of life proceeds.  When you build a society that is 100% dependent on abundant cheap energy, don't be surprised when the effects of the end of cheap energy are bad.
Subject: Re: This is what peak oil looks like up close -public budget meltdown
Thx - this really is the face of peak oil, and our human reactions are mostly as expected (see any number of peak oil task force reports now gathering dust).  
There's already significant pressure to cut school busing budgets in our area --- this will really clobber strung-out districts like the one we're in --- kids get to Mt. Baker Jr/Sr high from as much as 30 miles away.  We are about 6 miles distant, ok for biking (in good weather).  AFAIK, nobody in our district's school management system is even thinking about the implications of this.  It Will Not Be Pretty when Those Who Vote find their kids stranded at home.  [They always] pick off the most defenseless first, per this article, but in our situation that ain't where it ends.  
Back when I was riding the transit bus one-way with my bike for commuting, people I talked with usually said they didn't like to ride the bus because of odd people on it, and viewed the transit system as rides for the disabled (meaning in effect those who could not get/keep a driver's license) --- and to a large degree that was and is very true out here in the county (less true in town because of colleges & greenies).  And the first place the WTA wanted to cut when the time came?  Easy to guess, eh?   County routes (on the basis of 'low occupancy').  "Those people" don't vote . . .

Several programs L_____ depends on for her way of life are now under annual attack --- housing subsidy, job assistance, social security, medical.  I'm nearly certain we'll be having to change the way she's living in town in the next few years.  Would be nice to f---- over some bank in the process.  
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