Ignorance is bliss: Why dementia is a useful metaphor for society's coming energy descent

Kriewaldt, C 2016, 'Ignorance is bliss: Why dementia is a useful metaphor for society's coming energy descent', in M. Chou (ed.) Proceedings of the 2016 Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Annual Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 28 November - 1 December 2016, pp. 183-191.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Ignorance is bliss: Why dementia is a useful metaphor for society's coming energy descent
Author(s) Kriewaldt, C
Year 2016
Conference name TASA 2016: Cities and Successful Societies
Conference location Melbourne, Australia
Conference dates 28 November - 1 December 2016
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 2016 Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Annual Conference
Editor(s) M. Chou
Publisher The Australian Sociological Association
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Start page 183
End page 191
Total pages 9
Abstract Social theories of ignorance try to grapple with ignorance, or even denial, across society. This paper examines the current predicament that society faces from the end of cheap oil ("peak oil"), why it hasn't been more widely debated, and why it is generally not considered as a cause for broad-scale concern. It is conjectured that dementia is a useful metaphor for reframing our thinking and understanding of peak oil. In particular, it helps illuminate why this major force, which is likely to shape society for the next few decades, is being largely ignored. The metaphor provides some possibilities for understanding the ways in which the coming energy descent will be experienced by modern societies. Finally, the metaphor highlights some useful beginnings for dealing with our peak oil predicament.
Subjects Environmental Sociology
Urban Sociology and Community Studies
Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning)
Keyword(s) peak oil
epistemology of ignorance
social construction of ignorance
societal collapse
societal decline
energy descent
Copyright notice © TASA 2016
ISBN 9780646964805
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