Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Civilizations Like Our Own Without Oil

The author H.W.F. Saggs wrote about ancient civilizations that existed some 4,000 years before the discovery of oil:
"My main purpose will be served if I succeed in convincing some of my readers, amongst the many now interested in ancient world, that Babylonian and Assyrian civilisation is not wholly alien to our own."
(Everyday Life in Babylon, italics added). You and I have already used some of their thinking in our everyday pursuits in our world today:
"The Babylonian system of mathematics was sexagesimal, or a base 60 numeral system (see: Babylonian numerals). From this we derive the modern day usage of 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 360 (60 x 6) degrees in a circle."
(Babylonia, italics added). I am sure there are many people who feel that there was no human culture or life on earth before the discovery of oil, and that oil is what makes culture possible.

But ancient cultures had laws, commerce, international trade, religion, art, and a comfortable life for many.

Some educators indicate that we can find then use a better way to analyze and define culture:
Many people would like to conceive of history as a succession of movements or stages in an on-going (and, generally) ever-improving cultural novel of human life ... try not to measure others against your own cultural standard, which has, in many ways, formed you and your apprehension of the world.
(Exploring Ancient Culture). There are no doubts that culture in some places today is foreign to other cultures in other places, but on the other hand some cultures today do have similarities with other cultures.

Also today's ideas can completely be in accord with ancient ones:
"Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things." How appropriate this injunction is today, when many people worry that they must care for the physical environment that must, in turn, care for them.
(ibid, written hundreds of years BC). The more prevalent practices today in our oil culture really boil down to preserving our oil culture in order to destroy it.

The infamous ideology that leads to a strategy where we have to destroy the village in order to save it is not the best culture, it is in fact the worst.

Sending the fleets and troops around the globe to seize oil by various means in order to save our oil culture will end up destroying the culture as the environment is destroyed:
Controversies among climate scientists concern the magnitude of the warming, not whether or not it is occurring.
(Scientific Case - Global Warming). The general consensus is that the oil culture will go away one way or another whether we like it or not, but exactly when that will happen is open to some legitimate debate.

The phrase "global wierding" describes strange climate phenomena happening around us as our oil culture seems to be hell-bent on remaining always "the oil culture", but global wierding also describes the way we react to civilization's oil addiction.


  1. One thing not to worry about in a civilization not based on oil is recessions or depressions as the price fluctuates:

    "The price fell after an earthquake struck Japan's northeast coast earlier this month, but it has since rebounded, clearing $116 a barrel on Friday.

    Oil has hit a level not seen since 2008, when high energy prices helped drag the U.S. economy deeper into recession. And now the price is again on the rise

    (Rising Oil Prices)

  2. The oilah akbar religion is much like the soldier religion, in that, it is a 'last man standing' religion.

    All is well with the god of war as long as you are 'the last man standing' ... praise oilah ...

  3. Foreign trade in Silver brought down both Spain and the Ming Dynasty. Wealth in the form of liguid cash like "money" dooms civilizations even as it undermines individuals and organizations. Once referred to as the golden touch, all "civilizations" have tried to understand this phenom.

    Goldylocks was spot on.

  4. Civilizations without glow in the dark radioactive "clean energy".


  5. Kathy,

    It is like what disaffected and others were saying the other day, those old times at least had the quality of the environment intact whereby those of that day could much more easily rebound.

    Now, as we destroy the environment, species, and the ecological cycles of systems that support life, our day and age will not fare as well as the Ming Dynasty, or Spain did.

    Take it from one woman who "survived" Chernobyl.

  6. "sexagesimal" ... I see those civilizations had porn too ;)

  7. The Japanese nuke plant radioactive material has now reached Iceland, however, is very small doses.