Since people, upon hearing doomer talk like that discussed here at the Edge, tend to devolve to the question, "what shall we do?" it occurred to Chaos recently that a list of solutions might be in order. (Chaos has deliberately left out those who, upon hearing that their cherished way of life might be unsustainable, simply throw up their hands and decline to read, listen, or take action of any kind, much like the deer trapped in the proverbial headlights...) So, herewith, is Chaos' prescription for local (and somewhat national) change, for a peak oil-aware population:
1. Stop building roads. Period. Existing roads will be maintained, but no new roads of any kind will ever be built again, save bicycle trails.
2. Existing roads will have at least one full lane devoted to bicycles, scooters, and small motorcycles. Said lane will be physically separated from the motor vehicle lane.
3. Any personal motor vehicle with mileage rating of less than 20 mpg highway will be taxed at a 35% rate. This tax is not deductible from federal income tax.
4. 55 mph speed limit for highways is mandatory. 35 mph speed limit for all other roadways.
5. .50/gallon gas tax imposed immediately, rises by .25/gallon every 6 months until it reaches the average of OECD nations. Proceeds of said tax will be devoted exclusively to building rail/light rail.
If the above solutions seem improbable to you, perhaps it's time to ask why that is...which, of course, leads us back to the issue of national character. What is it, in fact, of the US character which prevents even the discussion of rational response to inevitable depletion of finite resources?