But first, a primer
Peak oil means the peak of oil production—the top point when the most oil is flowing before the straw starts to sip at the bottom half. The bottom half, unfortunately, is harder to reach, and of a lower quality, making it more difficult and expensive to refine. The costs for everything go up all over in response to peak oil.
What they don’t say is that the cost to make oil from gravel and stones or the cost to dredge it from five miles under the ocean is so significantly higher than getting light sweet crude from desert sands that the two kinds of production aren’t even in the same universe, much less ballpark.
Bottom line all costs are going up, there will be no real kind of economic recovery and our lives—but mostly the lives of our children—are set to change for good. And not for the better unless we act now.
Taking action in the face of inaction
The sooner we grasp this and respond to it effectively the better any of us will be as individuals and families, and the more resilient will be our communities and nations.
Problem is we have a total abdication of responsibility on the part of our elected leaders and appointed officials in the US.
In the UK and many nations in Europe and even in Asia there’s much more willingness to accept that a finite resource does have an actual end to it (or to it’s cost-effectiveness) and to adjust accordingly.
The wise ones are implementing conservation measures, clean energy solutions, distributed power (power at everyone’s house and business, such as with solar panels) rather than big centralized power plants that depend on huge inputs. These countries also have or are putting in train systems to move their people and goods around.
In the US, fuggetabout it.
Neither political party has taken any real leadership to help America through this. For now, US citizens are all on our own.
Today I’m not even going to get into how bad things will be for us because of this. Another day, but not today. But suffice it to say that they will
In an interesting side note, the International Monetary Fund now indicates that China will take over the US as the world’s biggest economy in 2016. They’re calling it the end of the Age of America. Maybe they hope it’s our kids who will work for them at .27 cents an hour. And in that scenario, I shudder to think what life will be like for women and girls.
Someone has to grow up and deal with this
Dear readers, I do not in any way enjoy being the bearer of bad news.
But I am driven to help women in particular to take a leadership role to address what the mostly men and sometimes women in leadership positions in our country refuse to deal with. And that is the negative impact on economy from the decline of oil and fossil fuels and all the attendant negative impacts to society, culture and lifestyle that it implies.
I’m focused on honest communication about the predicament, and those solutions we can do now as we also press our leaders for an effective national plan.
For today let me just leave you with with the walkability index. This index allows you to input various factors about where you live and how close you are to needed or desired amenities. Where you live matters so much in the wake of peak oil. Keep in mind that if you have to drive to get everywhere you may be in an extremely vulnerable position as energy decline accelerates.
The Transition movement and many key writers on the reality of energy decline suggest that small towns and mid-sized cities surrounded by a green belt for agriculture are your best bet for a living place. They’re not the only solution, but are considered superior by resilience standards to large cities (food distribution issues) and rural living (isolation, and having to almost entirely eek out an existence on your own).
In my view if you can move to a smaller town now, preferably one on a rail line (even though US rail lines need much work), and preferable one with some culture, do so.
If you can’t, then focus instead on what’s known as reskilling, which I’ll talk about more another time.
If you have any questions or comments please post them below. I’ll be writing more on this difficult subject…but not every day. However, the subject is the whole reason for Lindsay’s List—conserving to save money and adapting NOW so you can withstand the era of energy decline—but I like to offer more ideas than grim news.
Together we can face this. But we can’t put it off any longer. Our leaders have abandoned us. It’s up to you and me now.
–Lindsay Curren, Lindsay’s List