Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things That You Can Do In Order To Prepare For Peak Oil

Peak Oil just like the subject of Man-Made Global Warming is a very controversial subject that may give many a very pessimistic outlook on the future. In this post I will make some suggestions to what you can do in order to prepare for a world where the access to oil is not as high as we have gotten use to.

Personal Preparedness
1.) Learn About The Subject
If you don’t know anything about the subject get a overview of the subject. In order to get some basic understanding of the subject you can see a documentary like “Blind Spot” or “The End of Suburbia”. The videos from Crash Course by Chris Martensson or ASPO TV can also be a good place to get started.

2.) Get a Bike
A Bike is one of the most energy efficient ways to travel with muscle power. Many persons use their cars for short trips that might actually be faster to travel by bike. Using bikes does not only save money, it also increases your physical fitness and is good for your health.

3.) Get a Fuel Efficient Car
If you are dependent on a car to get around one way of reducing your vulnerability is to get a fuel efficient car. This way high fuel prices will have less of an impact on your personal situation. Other ways of reducing the cost of travel by car is to
• Always make sure that you have the right air pressure in you tiers
• Take an eco-driving course and learn how to drive as fuel efficient as possible
• Avoid driving at high speeds
• Car pool with other people if possible
• Do not drive more than necessary

4.) Your Home
If oil and energy prices would rise there are steps you can take to reduce the economical impact that it will have on you. If you live in a cold climate increasing the insulation of your home can reduce the amount of energy required to keep it warm. Many also have high indoor temperatures, lowering the temperature inside by just a few degrees can save much energy. Examples of other actions that you can take to conserve energy:
• Take short showers and avoid baths
• Get low energy light bulbs
• Turn of lights, your TV, computer and other appliances when you don’t use them.
• Remember to check the energy efficiency when you buy new electronics

5.) Food Consumption
If the oil prices would raise this might also increase the price of food. In many countries half of all food that is consumed gets thrown away today. If this applies to your personal situation this mean that you could basically be storing half of the food you are buying if you change your habits. In addition to this many in rich countries eat too many calories per day, not too few; overweight, heart disease and diabetes are much bigger problems than famine.

6.) Prioritize
Today much of the things that we consume are things that we might not actually need. Not too long ago it was common to pass on possessions like clothing, footwear, tools and other possessions from one generation to the next. When it comes to Crisis Preparedness it’s easy to get too focused on specific types of items. It is important that you balance your effort over multiple fields.
• When you buy something try to invest in quality items that will last over time
• Learn how to repair clothing and other items when they break
• Take care of your possessions; tools will last much longer if you use them with care.

7.) Start a Garden
For many Survivalist and Preppers the dream is to have a farm or retreat and be self sufficient. However, for most this will remain a dream, over half of the world population lives in cities and the number of people living in cities increase every year. If you live in a house and you can start a garden and grow some of the food that you eat on your own, you might not be able to be completely self sufficient. But you can produce some parts of what you need. Even people living in apartments can grow some of the food or spices that they need on their own, do what you can with what you got. You may not be able to be self sufficient, but you can most likely add some food or spices to your diet.

8.) Your Mindset
Peak Oil as an idea that stands in direct opposition against much of what we are taking for granted today. Many of the people in the world today have grown up during a period when a rise in the standard of living and an incredibly fast technological development has taken place. The idea of continued growth is deeply rotted in our minds, institutions, media and political parties. Many are not even aware of the concept of Peak Oil even if they know that fossil fuels are non renewable recourses. We still expect them to last forever.

The US already imports around half of the oil that’s being used every year today and domestic production is sinking every year and have been doing so since 1970 when the US Oil Production peaked. How would the American society look like if no imports were possible and only half of the amount of oil currently being used was available? How would it look if only a forth was available?

Accepting that this could become the case in maybe just a few decades or even less time is very hard to comprehend and imagine. We might find solutions so that the access to energy will remain high, but we might just simply have to adjust to a new situation. Changing ones perception and mindset is the most critical aspect in order to be able to make this transition.

In Your Community
9.) Watch a Documentary About The Subject With Your Friends or Family.
"Home” or The National Geographic Documentary “2210 The Collapse?” based on the book by Jared Diamond are two suggestions, the first can be accessed for free on YouTube. Some will likely refuse the possibility, but some will learn and understand the concept.

10.) Get Involved
Get engaged in the Transition Network or some other type of organization that work with these types of issues. There are people that are working with Peak Oil and to promote Sustainability – You could be one of them.

11.) Put Pressure On Your Politicians
Many may expect that politicians and other may have a much better understand of this type of issues when they in many cases have no idea about this type of potential problems. Put pressure on your politicians and informing them about the potential problem. Are they aware about this type of problems and what are they doing about it? There are cities and communities that are actively working to reduce their dependency on oil and that do prepare for the possible consequences of Peak Oil. Your City or Community could become one of them.

Peak Oil is a subject that easily can get the most optimistic person pessimistic. The knowledge about the subject is still not very widespread even if the attention surrounding the subject has been increased the last years. Many within the Peak Oil Movement like Michael Ruppert the founder of CollapseNet are making very negative forecasts and believe that a Collapse is only a few months away. The message is that disaster is imminent.

Personally I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, so don’t see any point in making predictions. The worst could happen, there are no guarantees. But it is also possible that solutions can be found. Peak Oil is a Man-Made problem, we have created the problem and it is my belief that we can overcome it. If we can spread knowledge about the problem and change our ways we can at a minimum reduce the impact that Peak Oil might have both for our societies and for us as individuals. What happens tomorrow is not written, it’s up to us to decide how it will play out.

Other Articles:
Peak Oil
The Limits To Growth

1 comment:

  1. First 8 of your 11 suggestions is allready "done" on my list, and it really feels good. My next step is buying diesel car since diesel is always easier to "buy" when things turn uggly.