The World My Son Will Inherit

My son Vishnu was born a bit more than three months ago – and what a wonderful whirlwind it has been! Being a father doesn’t leave much time for introspection, but now that I find myself thinking further into the future, I wonder: what sort of world are we leaving our children? The usual laments can be heard throughout mainstream media, that we are running up an insurmountable debt to be born by our children, that Medicare and Social Security are both going bankrupt, that global warming will wreak havoc, and so on. While it’s obvious that the media tends toward hyperbole to draw an audience, some of these are real concerns. Here’s my short list of major American and global issues, and why I’m an optimist with regard to most:
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Peak Oil – I can’t wait!

What is Peak Oil, and why am I so excited about it? Peak Oil theory owes its start predominantly to the work of M. King Hubbert, who correctly predicted in 1956 that US oil production would peak in the early 70’s. Hubbert was a research geologist for Shell, and in his research noted a bell curve distribution in the rate of discoveries of new oil fields. He predicted that the later exploitation of these fields would follow a similar curve, wherein oil production would reach a peak rate at some point in time followed by a steady decline. While highly controversial, Hubbert’s theories proved correct in his own lifetime, and have spawned a generation of Peak Oil theorists who are predicting an imminent peak in world oil production.
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