Friday, July 5, 2013

A Western Secession Series

Regular readers here (if there are such persons) will have noticed that, from time to time, I write about differences in East and West in the United States, particularly with respect to energy.  There is a larger purpose in that: I have convinced myself that the long-term trends in energy, population, and other items suggest an eventual split of the US into independent eastern and western parts.  A peaceful separation, most likely, with the two pieces simple "growing apart" over time and eventually reaching the conclusion that each would be better off if they didn't have to worry about the needs of the other.  It certainly won't be a near-term event.  I anticipate that it will be 25 years before the effects of various trends begin to create a serious division, but that within 50 years the idea will be mature enough to act on.

This is the introduction to a series of posts outlining my argument.  I wrote a roughly 3,000 word treatment of the subject that appeared here.  This series of posts will total substantially more words than that, but will still be an incomplete argument.  I'm in the process of (slowly) writing a book to make a more complete case.  The 11-state West that I envision consists of the states highlighted in yellow in the cartogram to the left.  The reason that this is an interesting cartogram will be the subject of one of the posts (For those unable to wait, the area of each of the states indicates the size of the federal land holdings in each state.  The federal government owns a very considerable part of the West, with a long history of being an inconsiderate and misguided neighbor.)

The series will tie together a number of threads.  Declining availability of liquid fuels and the results of that.  Security of the electricity supply (in terms of having enough available) to support a modern high-tech society.  Population changes and empty spaces.  Ways that the East and West are different.   Why those differences mean the West and the East will have to (and be able to) pursue different approaches to the consequences of the energy problems.  Ultimately leading to a situation where both East and West think, "We would be better off if we could focus on our problems, without having to consider their problems."  And eventually, a discussion of some of the standard hurdles that are proposed for why a split of the country wouldn't be possible.

1 comment:

  1. Interested to read your complete thoughts on this. You'll remember my comments(I believe) on the same subject in previous LoOG posts.

    I'd recommend changing your wording on one point however. The Federal government isn't a "neighbor" in the west but worse, the landlord. Your other adjectives apply, in fact you're a bit light on the opprobrium ;)