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Dealing with Peak Oil
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snow hope



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 3866
Location: Belfast, N Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:37 pm    Post subject: Dealing with Peak Oil Reply with quote

When I was young, the world was black and white. As I entered adulthood and matured, the world took on many shades of grey. Now I no longer see any black and white - accept maybe PO!

As we all know, it will happen (sometime) and there is no current replacement for our black gold. I would never describe myself as an airy-fairy type person, but I have to admit I am having some difficulty coming to terms with PO and its ramifications. I suppose this is due to the fact that I was quickly convinced of the concept of PO and realised the implications were serious. Our economy, our civilisation and our global population are almost entirely based on cheap energy. With oil currently at about $60 / barrel, things have already changed and although we may have a temporary price crash, I believe this is the start of the SHTF. Shocked
This is no Asteroid impact, Caldera explosion or Ice Age scenario which may not happen for thousands of years. There is no doubt, this will happen within our lifetimes and quite possibly very shortly and I suppose I am, to a degree, in Shock.

Analysing it "aloud", the shock is caused by the fact that I have to get to a point of accepting that life will change considerably from what we have known to date and this change could/might occur quickly and potentially violently. Whatsmore it will happen soon, whether next year, 2007 or 2012..... When you have children, I think you have to consider the worst case scenario and work backwards. At least this is the only way I know of so as to ensure the safety and survival of my family.

There is so much information to take on-board and preparation that can be made. And it pervades every aspect of one's life. The immensity of the issue is breath-taking and I find feelings of mild panic sometimes as I realise the amount of things that I need to do. On a personal level, PO requires the Mother of all Plans. I haven't even started my Plan yet although loads of things are swirling around in my head. I am still gathering information and learning - trying to get my head around what way the future may turn out.

Anybody else have feelings like this?
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The economic expansion was driven by financial capital as banks lent more than they had on deposit, confident that Tomorrow’s Economic Growth was collateral for To-day’s Debt. Dr. Colin Campbell.
And that was the fatal mistake. Me


Last edited by snow hope on Tue Jun 21, 2005 5:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had ?the end of civilisation as we know it? in the back of my mind since I was a child but I see hope in peoples ability to adapt and to apply their intelligence.

Smile
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Ballard



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 826
Location: Surrey

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snow,

You summed up my feelings absolutely, I feel that there are a thousand things I need to do RIGHT NOW, and prioritising them is very difficult.

I need to make some pretty massive life changes, but knowing that I?m not going to jump out of the frying pan and find myself in a worse situation is almost impossible.

Hats off to Paul S who has really taken the plunge, now what to do about that mortgage?
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greenbean



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Location: Northern Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When things have been the same for your whole life, it can be hard to get your head around a change. I keep on running in this circular argument - I know that I have to fundamentally alter my life if I'm going to be at any advantage, but I'm paralysed by the 'what if it's wrong?', 'what if I miss all my chances in preparing for a crisis that never comes?'.

Lets hope I get moving before a truck comes and runs me over Sad
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MacG



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2866
Location: Scandinavia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealing with Peak Oil Reply with quote

snow hope wrote:
Anybody else have feelings like this?


I recognize it very well, use to call it the "larvae stage" retrospectively. You crawl around and frantically eat everything you can. This is good, you gain knowledge and understanding to be used in the next stage. I may delude myself, but I feel I was in that stage roughly a year, and now has passed on to the puppy stage with massive internal reorganisation and restructuring, although invisible. Will be interesting to see if a beetle or a butterfly or something eventually creep out...
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fishertrop



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 859
Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would echo MacG's sentiments

I think it's human nature to hope for the future to be predictable and fearful when it appears not to be.

As I posted in the "how did you get into peak oil" forum, after a couple of years I found all the fear and shock wore off and was replaced by a clarity and pragmatism that was most welcome indeed (!)

When you live your whole lives inside much the same paradigm, the same structure, any change to that is likely to be an unwelcome prospect.

But many other societies, even during our lifetimes, have had to endure HUGE shocks, changes and revolutions - when I thought of these people and how PO is unlikely to be quite as bad as these have endured it made me feel a little selffish for being so shocked and upset.

When I read the book The Limits to Growth (30 year update) it fitted everything together for me - it made me see how the world really worked all along and that my previous view of it was just wrong, a delusion, a happy fantasy - it would all come home to roost one day, PO appears to just be the channel it's going to come thru.

You can see the delusion in the british public everyday, with their choices, their actions and their attitudes - they want this house-of-cards to last forever because it's very nice, and they don't want to look underneath the carpet.

I strongly believe that the individual can do a huge amount to prepare themselves - to really make a difference - and that not only is it feasable to ride out the storm but also that the storm will come to an end eventually, tho I expect MANY false dawns and many nasty things before we get there.

Regarding the Mother of all Plans, it's my view that you need a less regid plan if you are generally well versed in all the important areas and that having flexibility is a real bonus given the unpredictability ahead - you need to be able to roll with the punches as best you can. To this end I put skills and knowledge at the top of my personal agenda.
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fishertrop



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 859
Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greenbean wrote:
... I know that I have to fundamentally alter my life if I'm going to be at any advantage, but I'm paralysed by the 'what if it's wrong?', 'what if I miss all my chances in preparing for a crisis that never comes?'.


Take heart from the fact that 90% of the changes you will likely make will have real value to your life even if PO has little impact and everything is "alright".

Paying off debt (my personal number 1) is not something you will regret, come what may.

Learning to grow veg, buying a bike, making your house use far less power, finding non-energy ways to do things, learning about home power systems, trying out some mini wind and PV, learning to use handtools - all these things have virtually NO downside.

You can make plan that caters for most eventualities and only a few mega-choices really only fit with one outcome, and you may or may not need to make these.
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snow hope



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 3866
Location: Belfast, N Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ballard said, "I currently feel pretty vulnerable, and am having difficulty deciding the best course for myself and my family..."

That really hit home with me and is the reason I started this thread.
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The economic expansion was driven by financial capital as banks lent more than they had on deposit, confident that Tomorrow’s Economic Growth was collateral for To-day’s Debt. Dr. Colin Campbell.
And that was the fatal mistake. Me
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bigjim



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 676
Location: Cleethorpes

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My plans? Hmmm. Fitness I guess is one, I've now started to cycle to work (eight miles!) and will take up judo once I've quit work. If there's any danger of being beaten up for my food or clothes, I want to strike back.

I'm going back to university. I'm going to learn about x-rays, high tech healthcare. It really interests me but if there's any power cuts I can hopefully find low tech healthcare stuff I can do instead. I wanted to do this before I found out about PO and I still do now.

I'm due to take part control of an allotment soon so's I can learn to grow my own food.

There's not a lot else I can do since I have next to no money, don't own my own house and my parents don't buy into my predictions so they won't get their house oil proof!
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tattercoats



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 433
Location: Wiltshire

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snowhope, I'm right with you. Scary, isn't it? Breathe, and do one thing at a time. Isenhand, I always felt that too - things had to come to an end sometime. Always convinced, as a child.

I make lists, me. Lists of what I want to learn, to grow, and to stockpile. I try to learn something every month at least, and we're moving to where the garden is big enough for a serious bit of food production, and we can live locally and be carless, or nearly so. But I'd be going nuts by now if it weren't for the folks on the forum here that make me feel I'm in good - and numerous - company.

I've pretty much accepted that it's going to happen now, and I won't regret making my life's focus for the next few years the process of growing and storing food, making local links, and rigging the house to be fuel-efficient. It's all stuff I want to do, and that my kids need to learn.

I guess I'm coming out of the 'omigod where do I start/world's gonna end aaargh' period so many of us seem to have experienced.

Calm? Mostly.

'I've got enough to worry about already' say friends.

'Oh, I don't worry', I reply. 'I plan'.

And I'm glad to have you all for company.
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theeggman



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if this will help, but the following is how I've organised my main areas of interest. I'm downloading, printing, learning as much as I can about them. I started with one folder, but now need a folder for each of them. I hope that they will serve us and our community well at some stage, but even if not, I'm hugely interested in all topics, enjoying them all and know that they will have environmental and financial savings come what may.

Permaculture
Hydroponics
Alternative energy (Solar, Wind, Water) - we aim to get off grid soon
Renewable fuel production (e.g. biomass, fuel alcohol distillation)
Natural medicine
First Aid
Sustainable Animal Husbandry (Incl. Beekeeping)
Dairying (yoghurt, cheeses, cultured buttermilk)
Growing & Pressing Vegetable oils
Making Alcoholic Beverages
Converting Cars
Electro-Biking
Solar Cooking
Wilderness Survival Techniques
Water - Obtaining, Purification, Storage
Compost toilets/Latrines/Grey Water
Dealing With Rubbish
Fitness Regime

There are loads of sub-headings and new headings coming up all the time, but having the main ones organised really helps.

In addition I've compiled a list of things we need to have available both in the house and in prepared rucksacks. This keeps getting added to as well, but I can keep crossing things off as we get them - no stress - just when we see things out shopping, etc.

The biggest challenge, in my view, is making sure that everyone else is equally well prepared if we hope to hang on to what we've got!! I've been thinking about putting copies of some of my findings in local libraries when it's really well organised. Also, many things can only really be achieved as a community - somehow we've got to find ways to work together, but how exactly do you bring it up when passing a neighbour in the street? What reactions have people been getting?
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grinu



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What reactions have people been getting? Ranges from "Can we stop talking about this, you're just depressing me" to "forget about it, make the most of what we've got while we've got it."

My life plans have changed somewhat since hearing about peak oil, but still confused as to best plan of action. Debts are sorted now (apart from mortgage), but really need to put hard consideration into where to live (my other half's family live in Ireland, mine live here in UK). Current house is unstuiable anyway - it's in the town centre (which has been a choice based on sustainability and minimising travel) and has no facilities for growing food.

I've always planned to travel a bit, and don't want to sack that in; I'd like to do it while it's still possible. Wondering whether to make the house move coincide with returning from travelling. You never know, roughing it in Africa might help give us skills that we will need when TSHTF - and when things go downhill, we will have memories of people who have persevered in similar or worse conditions.

I think it's a good idea storing information that may come in useful. I'm just at the stage of reading up on things and storing links, but will aim to gradually print things out at work, and am going to order a couple of books each month on various things.

Might consider doing some courses at the Centre for Alternative Energy in Wales. I've been thinking about it for a while and have now decided they would definitely be worth it.

Luckily I've always been into sustainability, so don't need to make the small adjustments such as shopping locally, avoiding supermarkets, walking, cycling, avoiding consumerism, etc.etc.

It's quite difficult when you feel like you're forcing your view of PO onto someone who depends on you, and in the process of turning your life around, you also turn theirs upside down. Difficult choices.
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Rach121



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 21
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same reactions i've been getting. Most often though people listen politely then resume conversation with a non-sequitur about shopping, holidays, borrowing money to extend wearedodgy etc.. Rolling Eyes
We are having a problem deciding what to do with our house. We live in a village not far from Oxford in a house with a big garden, big enough to feed us if We knew what we were doing! But we have a ?110,000 mortgage and not enough equity to buy somewhere with land. My partner works freelance in advertising(but for how much longer?) and i'm about to start working part-time in our local school. Q: do we sell asap, bank money and move to small rented house in local town then get allotment, or do we stick it out here. My folks are nearly convinced about peak oil and could be nudged in the direction of selling their house too and then pooling resources with us to buy i don't know what....but that's a long shot.
Most people I know think i'm mad; they're convinced that houses will always be as safe as, well, houses and someone even said, 'don't worry about any of that stuff - the government won't let it happen' Shocked
My main worry is that we may find it hard to pay the mortgage if oil prices continue to climb and recession hits.
I, too, would like to travel with my kids while we still can, so perhaps we should sell up and the make the most of the luxury of a bit of spare cash.
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grinu



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The houses are a difficult thing. I've been putting a lot of thought into that. Most houses these days don't have gardens - and when people need to grow their own food, will houses with gardens shoot up even further in price? Renting will be safer in terms of debt, but who's to say the owner won't sell the house from under you or decide they want to move out of their luxury city-centre flat into a nice practical house with a garden and nearby stream.

Maybe an option is to buy a plot of land somewhere (without planning permission so it's a decent price) and do a course in adobe house-buildig or similar. Then if it comes down to it you will have the practical know-how to deal with the situation should it come to the worst. You already have some suitable land, and need to build your own house on it using local materials.

If you have 25k spare (I wish) you could consider buying a woodland - plenty of raw materials and potential for food.

I'm going to keep an eye on the property market over the next few months before deciding how to proceed, but am very tempted to book a course at CAT.
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peaky



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 332
Location: Brighton, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grinu wrote:
The houses are a difficult thing. I've been putting a lot of thought into that. ... Renting will be safer in terms of debt, but who's to say the owner won't sell the house from under you or decide they want to move out of their luxury city-centre flat into a nice practical house with a garden and nearby stream.

Maybe an option is to buy a plot of land somewhere


I'm selling and intend to rent but that's just 'cos I have to go one step at a time Smile I agree that if you rent, then the owner will eventually face what we're envisaging happening and will want to sell. So, my long term plan is to buy land with others and/or join up with an intentional community with a shared future vision. I'd like to think that enough of us can get togetherand start this sooner rather than later. I'm sure there's enough people on here in various places around the country to make it happen which won't involve the entire PO community decanting to Wales Laughing
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