The peak oil facts are not pleasant.
If you are looking for information to support a peak oil myth approach, you’re not only in the wrong place but also – like our media and governments – suffering from a severe case of denial!
Oil has dominated every aspect of the last 100 years, but what happens when it runs out?
We’re facing “The Long Emergency”
In this video James Kunstler comprehensively describes “The Long Emergency” that faces a world running out of cheap oil (running time: 28 minutes):
…And what is unfolding all around us right now is exactly what you’d expect to see in the early aftermath of this event– oil is becoming rapidly more expensive, as is food and everything else.
People call it inflation, but it’s no ordinary inflation because for the first time in the brief century of human industrialized culture, the stuff that keeps the wheels of our society turning will never again be cheap and readily available.
The peak oil facts warn of impending food shortages and chaos. What’s just around the corner for humanity has been termed the “Great Panic” – an unprecedented and futile scramble for the basic necessities of life as it finally dawns on the populace that they may face starvation.
in its high-energy density, ease of handling,
myriadend-uses, and in the
volumes in which we now use it.
its irreversible decline will be a turning point in
Earth history with worldwide impact beyond
anything previously seen.
Youngquist, 2004Expect social turmoil and rapid disintegration on a scale never before seen in the history of mankind. Surviving peak oil requires action now…
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What Is Peak Oil Anyway?
Here’s a good overview of the peak oil problem, implications and peak oil survival solutions from Aaron Wisner, July 2006.
We’ve still got about as much of the stuff left in the ground as we’ve already used. That is, in late 2006 we passed the half-way mark of using it up.
“So what’s all the fuss about?”
Firstly, oil production is becoming progressively more expensive and difficult. Why? Because when oil was cheap (remember?) oil companies went for the easy to extract, high quality stuff.
Now the oil that’s left is largely the poorer quality, harder to refine stuff (e.g. oil shales and sands, and deep ocean deposits). That makes it more expensive to produce, hence the price goes up…
Secondly, while production is in a gradual decline, demand is continuing to grow (the recent industrialization of China and India has put billions of new customers in the line). As a basic law of economics this situation makes the price go up.
Thirdly, and most importantly, our whole industrialized society, population level and life as we know it was made possible by cheap oil. There is no easy or ready substitute!
The only outcome possible is a return to pre-industrialized conditions and in the transition period unprepared people will go hungry.
The Peak Oil Facts: Why Our Survival Will Be Up To You and I
Hoping that our governments will take timely decisive action?
At the 2008 two-day super summit arranged by Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, aimed at using 1000 of the “best and brightest brains” to map out a strategy for Australia’s long-term future, peak oil wasn’t even on the agenda! Onya Kevin…
Or perhaps you are banking on science and technology producing a solution in the nick of time?
In this video interview, US Senior Energy Adviser, Robert Hirsch says don’t hold your breath on either hope:
He says we can expect unprecedented economic recession and dire consequences that will be very painful, and that we are already too late to avert them.
The Peak Oil Facts: What This Means for You & I
Everything will become more, and more, and more expensive
Oil price trends from 1971 to 2008
Oil drives our whole economy and everything we use depends on its availability. Not only transport fuel but also medicines, plastics, clothing, manufacturing, mining, and especially food. We are heading for runaway inflation.
It has already begun and is but a taste of what’s to come. Expect massive business failures and layoffs. This will be the greatest depression ever.
The growing shortage of oil will precipitate a massive and unprecedented economic meltdown.
The price of rice, like other staples, has skyrocketed in recent months…
Every calorie of food we eat takes about 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce! Along with global warming induced crop failures, and the broadscale switching of good farming land to biofuel production we are in for continuing hikes in food prices, as this graph shows.
In 33 countries around the globe food is already desperately short and hungry people are rioting.
Though the elderly may remember the hunger that came with the Great Depression of the 1930’s, most people in industrialized nations today just can’t even imagine what we’re in for.
We must take action right now!
Matt Simmons, gave this address “Oil and Gas – The Next Meltdown?” on September 22, 2008 at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil conference.
He warns that many events could trigger a panic run by motorists on petrol stations that would put the US out of fuel in 3 days, and empty grocery shelves in a week.
Peak Oil Survival Tactics
Link up with your
local relocalization node, or Transition Town. If there isn’t one in your area, start one.
Surviving peak oil will require action not only as individuals but also as communities. Let’s face some peak oil facts – if we don’t all “make it” chances are that none of us will. We need each other!
So if, like me, you are selfish, then start connecting with your local community and help them understand the peak oil facts and what they need to do.
Then you will have created a local support network of interdependent folks who trade with each other for the needs of survival.
Complete a Permaculture Design Course
Permaculture is applied common sense aimed at sustainable living. It was integral to the successful transition of Cuba to a low carbon society.
It’s not enough to just read about Permaculture.
So if you really want to learn how to adapt successfully to our low carbon future, you couldn’t get a better education by completing a 2 week Permaculture Design Certificate.
I’ll be putting information on this site pertinent to Perth people – find similar sources of info suited to where you live.
If you don’t have any land to grow food on, start a community garden on a nearby vacant lot and invite your neighbors to participate.
Buy enough traditional variety seeds to grow all your needs for the next 12 months, and save seeds from the best produce for the following year.
Reduce your dependence on fossil fuels
The peak oil facts are that ALL fossil fuels will become increasingly more expensive. Permanent electricity blackouts are also possible. To learn how to cut your energy use in the home check out our
Renewable energy sources
(e.g. wind and solar) on your home should be considered.
For transport either catch public transport, ride a bicycle, downsize your vehicle to a fuel efficient type, or link up with others in the neighborhood and car pool.
Learn to do something useful!
The future economy will be local and based on things people actually need in a low oil world. How will you participate and earn your living?
Consider learning a useful craft or skill, such as wood work, herbal medicine or soap making, or set up your small farm to produce needed supplies such as eggs, fruit, dairy animals or honey.
Once people realize understand the peak oil facts, there’s going to be panic! If you are reading this you are well in front of the herd.
Go out and buy some rubbish bins and fill them with rice, flour, lentils and other easy to store staples.
If you depend on medicines, get an advance supply as well as a basic first aid kit. Also consider acquiring basic hand tools for DIY and gardening needs.
Become water secure
Capture rainwater now! Conserve water and install greywater recycling to water your gardens.
Consider buying gold or silver
I’ve taken my money out of the bank and bought silver and gold because at times like this it tends to hold its value. With hyperinflation in the wind, money could soon mean very little.
During the great depression of the 1930’s, many banks fell over. People with money in the bank typically only got 10% of it restored to them. And with the economic fallout peak oil facts are suggesting, we are more than likely heading for worse.
Disclaimer: This is not meant as financial advice! Before acting on anything I say, consult your own professional financial adviser to decide what is right for you!
Sell off frivolous belongings
Downsize your spending and get out of debt as quickly as possible.
There’ll be no market for luxuries in the future we are heading towards.
Become a farmer!
If you are in an industry that relies on luxury spending change to something else. Better yet, learn a cottage industry skill like blacksmithing or carpentry.
And, if Cuba’s experience is anything to go by, in the future the highest paid profession will be farming.
Above All… Don’t Panic!
Cuba faced this very crisis in the early 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union when it lost its source of cheap oil and came through it OK.
Its industrialized agricultural system, which was heavily fuel-dependent, immediately faltered.
Very quickly, Cuba changed from fuel and petrochemical intensive farming to localized, labor-intensive, organic modes of production. Permaculture played an important role in this adaptation.
Cuban farmers began breeding oxen for animal traction.
Urban gardens (including rooftop gardens) were encouraged, and today produce 50 to 80% of vegetables consumed in cities.
People had to adopt a mainly vegetarian diet, and while the average Cuban lost 20 pounds of body weight, the result was survival.
Cuba’s experiences are also a valid part of the peak oil facts… it will be hard but if we start our transition now, we can survive peak oil.