Best Possible Odds & How To Determine Them

Richard Ha writes:

I just attended my fifth Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) conference, which was at the University of Texas at Austin. I attend these conferences in order to figure out how to give our farming operation the best possible odds of succeeding in this world of finite resources.

Determining this requires understanding the main drivers in the world energy situation, how it all affects the U.S., and then how it affects Hawai‘i's unique situation. When we understand that, we can determine how we need to move our farm to be relevant in a rapidly changing future. 

Presentations at the ASPO conference are data-driven. None of them are based on any predetermined philosophy. It's all about adapting to physical change and resisting B.S. Good data and a little bit of common sense keeps everything in its proper perspective. 

In one sense, this is like a chess game. There will be winners and losers. The rules of physical science determine how things operate. Warren Buffett once observed that nine women cannot each have a baby in one month. 

But unlike in chess, not everything is clear.  As Robert Hirsch said about Saudi Arabian oil reserves on Friday, some of the information is unknowable, and in those situations we must operate on best available information.

This is when we must use common sense. Even small kids know that when you're in a pasture picking guavas and you hear hoofbeats, you don't gather and have a meeting. You run!

Stay tuned and I will be writing about what makes sense for us, living out in the middle of the Pacific, and on the Big Island in particular.