Monday, September 12, 2011

Pipeline Expolosion Rocks Kenya

At least 120 people have burned to death in Kenya, as a result of a fuel pipeline exploding.  At the time, the pipeline was leaking fuel, and people were gathering to collect it when the pipeline burst into flames and engulfed at least some of those people, as well as the tin-shack houses in the surrounding area. 

What makes this story significant for me is that I often think of peak oil as a calamity that is going to visit the western world.  But what I don't often think through is that in many parts of the world, it has long since passed.  If anything, there was never any matter of "peak energy" for countries like Kenya, because they have always been poor nations.  So scrounging for things that we just take for granted, and buy at a store, or a gas station in the case of fuel, is nothing new to them, unfortunately.  Scooping fuel from a leaky pipe is a very dangerous thing to do, but these people were likely going to use any recovered fuel for buying essentials like food and medicine.  In any case, in the long run, addiction to oil and other fossil fuels is a global problem, not merely an American or western one, and that tide is not longer to change.  

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