Linfield professor to discuss unfolding net energy crisis

Tom LoveTom Love, professor of anthropology at Linfield College, will present “‘And we had fun, fun, fun’ Till We Went Over the Net Energy Cliff: Cultural Aspects of the Twilight of the Petroleum Age” Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield College.

Despite optimistic headlines, industrial humanity finds itself in a predicament of converging and increasingly intractable problems such as climate change, financial collapse, biodiversity loss, crashing fish stocks, poverty and famine. The ability to manage this problem is hindered by increasingly unaffordable supplies of oil, the very lifeblood of our way of life, Love said. Easily extracted reserves of oil are being depleted, exports are drying up from the few remaining countries that continue to export, and net energy is declining. Love will address how expectations that were developed during a period of energy abundance from 1920 to 2005 might fare when confronted with the general economic contraction and social disruption already unfolding during a period of energy scarcity.

Love has been at Linfield since 1983. He teaches, writes about and researches energy and sustainability issues in the Andes and the Pacific Northwest. He is the author of the book, “Cultures of Energy: Power, Practices, Technologies,” which is available at the Linfield Bookstore; copies will be available at the lecture itself.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.