Beware of folks using peak oil as a tool to scare you into buying financial advice

I’ve had a few friends forward me links to articles with a note that says “this sounds just like what you’ve been talking about!” And I keep hoping that they are going to send me a link to a legitimate website such as The Archdruid Report or Post Peak Living but instead I get to a page (which I’m purposely not linking to) that says something like this:

A team of economists, scientists and geopolitical experts has uncovered a startling pattern that has mysteriously appeared and threatens your financial security and way of life!

Unfortunately this just smells badly of a new form of crass consumerism, to save you from the old form of crass consumerism. Same process, different content. Got a problem? We’ll sell you a solution. Rinse, lather, repeat.

It reminds me of a conversation I had once with a guy whose job is to do marketing emails for investment managers. As he put it, it’s all about finding just the right angle to get people to click, the “made you look!” effect, as he called it. If these folks want to do that using other angles, fine, but I’m going to get territorial about peak oil as a way to shill.

I’m super clear that these investment websites that use Peak Oil scare tactics to sell are a pox on the real movement to bring awareness and useful action to learning deeply sustainable ways of living.  If someone has a genuine product to sell, or a reality tested skill to teach, fine. But it’s not what these folks are up to. We need to get these issues right.


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