Saturday, September 8, 2007
Planning for the Future
Some of you might remember a post I did a while back about Peak Oil. Well...the research continues (which consists mostly of watching documentaries and looking at sites on the internet.)
The News my friends...is not good.
We must wake up and realize that our entire reality...everything we eat, wear, and use is based on CHEAP oil. Our very survival into the 21st century relies on this.
The food we eat was farmed with large machines running on oil. If we arent eating organic produce, the veggies and fruits we eat are sprayed with petrochemicals based from oil. The food is then driven by oil-powered trucks to our local grocery stores. We then drive our oil-powered vehicles to the store and then back home to eat our food. Before eating it though, we use machines both powered by and made out of oil...to cook our food. Are you getting the idea yet?
The clothing we wear is either made by machines powered on oil or made of out of oil directly. Again, shipped from across the globe by oil-powered ships and trucks.
This is all possible because for the past century, oil has been easy to find and pump, and it has been cheap....VERY cheap. You get something like 50,000 man hours of energy from just one barrel of oil. That is how compact and powerful fossil fuels are. And that is why civilization and the population of the earth has been able to grow, and pretty much explode to all corners of the planet.
But now, leading scientists (geologists, physicists) and also banking and investing insiders predict that the world supply of oil will PEAK in 2009 or 2010, if not already. After that peak, the supply will start going down...faster and faster as the demand keeps rising. Remember, China and India are importing more and more oil than ever before. Anyone who has taken a basic economics course knows that when supply goes down and demand stays high, Prices go UP UP UP. Do you think $3 a gallon is too much to handle? How about $9? Will it then be economically worth it to transport carrots from California or potatoes from Idaho? Will you be able to drive to your grocery store? Will you be able to feed yourself? Will your career even exist anymore?
One more interesting concept: When we first started pumping oil, we used one barrel of oil to harvest and process 500 barrels of oil. In 2005, it was 5 barrels of oil harvested for every barrel used to do all the work. When it reaches the 1 to 1 ratio...(THE PEAK) it will no longer be worth burning the processed oil already made in order to pump up any more. It won't make any sense to pump it up because we will be burning more fuel to get it that we will get back. Make sense????
We are living a life that is NOT SUSTAINABLE. It is based on a finite resource (oil) and the party is about to end. I would advise planting fruit trees and learning how to garden. Buying a nice bike isnt a bad idea either, along with a wood-burning oven and solar panels.
I want the world to be peaceful and life to be easy, don't get me wrong. But block out the daily distractions and pay attention for a second....we in the US are in for a DRASTIC change. Europe was constructed before oil was everywhere. They have compact cities with a good train system. We depend on cheap oil for everything, so what will happen to us? Life will continue for the family living in a village in Indonesia, but what about the family living in the McMansion outside of New York? How are they going to feed themselves? An interesting turn of events. Grocery stores will empty pretty quickly, I'm sure of that. Canned meat, anyone?
So I have now dedicated my time to studying about Permaculture (do a wikipedia search) and am going to pay for a solar system for my parents. I also want to plant more vegetable gardens in their backyard along with fruit trees. My dad eats alot of eggs, so maybe even put in a chicken coop so we can have fresh eggs for him everyday. The chickens eat bugs and kitchen scraps, and their manure fertilizes the fruit trees. That is what permaculture is all about...making all of it work together. Check out some videos about it on youtube if you're at all interested.
A person could live without electricity, but if we can, we should at least try and make the transition a little less painful. I am likely going to do an internship at the Solar Living Institute next fall, and plan to travel MUCH more before it becomes way too expensive because of rising fuel costs.
We have been living in a dream world for 100 years. Its time to wake up. Deal with Reality, or Reality with deal with YOU.
This is the greatest challenge our culture has faced because the enemy we are truly fighting is our current way of living. That is hard and painful to change, but I really doubt we have a choice anymore. Some probably think I'm crazy and paranoid, but they are too busy with school or work to pay attention to the world outside. I would advise everyone to at least look into this and judge for yourself. I'm just trying to bring the subject to the forefront.
Good luck...and travel travel travel. Forget the cars and fancy clothes and the houses...they are all false idols. Live the life worth writing about.
More to come...up next, my ideas about a 3 generational household and living a life without the major expenses of modern day society.
Posted by Anthony at 4:02 PM