Robin Olsen has lived for half a century. No experience is a bad experience unless we learn nothing from it.
What a Year!
2020 has been a year to remember for most of us, to say the least. We have lived with a Pandemic since March and we see no end in sight. In fact, it appears to be escalating and our governments seem unable to come up with viable solutions other than lock downs and promises of vaccines 'on the way soon'.
We have had riots, really embarrassing elections, bad police (apparently) and a collapsing oil based economy that may never fully restore itself. What a Year!
We also have a global media industry hell bent on ratings looking to push the most extreme story lines possible in order to enhance said ratings. The concept that a news outlet would even need to worry about ratings introduces a conflict of interests. Of course, with multiple ‘news’ outlets all competing for your eyes, as it were, one can see why ratings becomes important.
I think we need to remember what we are dealing with and try to find a way to fit our lives in with new normal's. Some of them are pandemic driven and as such will disappear as the pandemic fades, some are the result of the emerging new world that will be created by the convergence of various new technologies in such a way as to radically change how we live our lives. This coming together of technologies is happening and will continue to happen regardless on our personal acceptance or rejection of it. So things are going to change and, if anything, the pandemic sped some of those changes up.
The Great Pandemic of 2020
The pandemic is temporary. That’s the biggest thing to remember, it may last a while yet, but all such things end and this one is no different. It will end faster if people take precautions of course. Masks while in public places are important, mostly to protect yourself.
Of masks and lock downs
Most of us will face some form of isolation at some point during this pandemic either as a result of personal risk management or government directive. For those who live alone this can be very difficult. Resist getting a pet if you never wanted one before the pandemic. The pandemic is temporary and the pet is sure to last a lot longer. Respect the distancing rules even if you don’t believe in them, it is no ‘skin off your nose’ to put an extra meter or two between you and someone else, especially in stores and other public areas.
Best idea is to find a hobby and ride out the storm with your immediate family. It will end, even the black death ended. It is a ‘bad storm’ nothing more, humanity has been through worse. Stick close to your family.
The Oil based Economy
This is one of those changes that will happen regardless on how we feel about it. The current state of affairs in the global oil industry is being exacerbated by the pandemic but it started before the pandemic was announced and is non reversible. This industry is not going to vanish completely, but with vehicle production switching over to completely electrical by 2035 (as announced by, among others, the State of California and at least 4 European nations) the vehicle based demand for oil will disappear. In the U.S. that is 45% of the total consumption of all petroleum products. This will be repeated in other nations. So as a global community, we are looking at a 45% reduction of oil-based product consumption by 2035 at the earliest. That’s assuming the American average is a standard for other developed nations and the oil barons cannot extend the deadline any.
So the oil industry, by at most 2045, will exist almost completely to feed the manufacturing sector to be used in the creation of plastics and other petroleum products that cars do not use... a significantly smaller market place to be sure and one that will most likely not support investments in high risk operations like the Alberta Tar Sands or Shale oil extraction techniques. The easy oil on this continent has already been extracted for the most part, or is in the process of being extracted right now.
This is a change cannot be stopped there are too many factors pushing it. Human society is moving away from oil. The emerging giants like China have already mandated for electric cars for citizens, restricting gas powered ones to heavy vehicles and transports.
As oil is used as a weapon to influence nations, the changes to the oil industry are going to accelerate as those same nations targeted begin to explore other technologies with the specific goal of moving away from foreign oil dependence in order to lessen the risks to themselves. China is doing this now also with recent news of the electric jet engine that they hope will replace the need for jet fuel in the near future. So the political games only hasten the fall.
How to take it all in
One quick note on how to deal with the media – do not watch them.
It is amazing but ten years ago I cancelled, permanently, my cable T.V subscriptions and have being watching shows and getting news exclusively via the internet since then. While I still watch TV via streaming sites I find that I have stopped completely watching the news and mostly read the news now. I think this reduces, to a certain extent, the level of emotional response to the stories going on in the world today and as such reduces personal stress levels.
TV personalities delivering news litter it with personal opinion much more so than the written word and add a certain level of hype to the news that is missing from the written word. The information is the same, just a much more peaceful delivery method. Reading it also helps you absorb the facts much better than watching it leading to more informed decisions about where to place your support.
Read about it don’t watch it that is my advice. Use photos to get the graphical message, avoid videos, especially ones with narration.
What do you think?
Humans are incredibly resilient and adaptable and in the end have over come many different disasters over the ages. This year seemed intense especially for those of us who have been living relatively comfortable lives now for...2 generations. But even we will adapt because we are humans and that is what we do.
To put the pandemic in perspective
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means and how to respond | World Economic Forum
The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means and how to respond, by Klaus Schwab
- Black Death - Causes, Symptoms & Impact - HISTORY
The Black Death was a devastating global epidemic of bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. Explore the facts of the plague, the symptoms it caused and how millions died from it.
- Spanish Flu - Symptoms, How It Began & Ended - HISTORY
The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Robin Olsen