"One fascinating aspect of doom scenarios is that they have evolved over the centuries to suit the times. Once you get familiar with the history of apocalypse stories, it’s no surprise that in our technological age, technology—and not a god, an emperor, or the stars—is the bringer of the end. After I published an article suggesting that Peak Oil may lead “merely” to widespread unemployment and hardship rather than collapse, hundreds wrote to tell me I was a naïve optimist and a cornucopian. A significant part of the Peak Oil community holds the rock-solid sentiment that the only future is one of chaos. While the end of the oil era possesses “death and taxes” certitude, plausible post-peak scenarios span a wide scope. So why is the most touted one the most extreme? ... I now believe that Peak Oil catastrophism is largely a manifestation of our primary cultural myth: that all things end with suffering, death, and then resurrection. Belief in apocalypse is programmed into western civilization ... Apocalypticism is at the core of the Judeo-Christian social mythology, and it influences our beliefs far more than we are conscious of ... And the idea of apocalypse, that some time soon the End Times will be upon us and all will be transformed, is one of the most fundamental tenets of that system. A look at the history of apocalypticism proves this, and reveals that Peak Oil catastrophism conforms to our apocalyptic myth in such detail that it is difficult to deny its role ... Apocalyptic cults arise, it seems, in a context of oppression, uncertainly, and corruption ... Again, my point here is not that Peak Oil doomerism is wrong. The apocalypts may be right this time. We face enormous crises and we have the tools to end civilization. But remember, as you feel yourself drawn to the apocalyptic story, that it is the natural place to go in uncertain and dangerous times. We are culturally programmed to do it."

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