Posts tagged ‘peak oil solutions’

Fixing Peak Oil Is Easy

That’s right, I said it. Peak Oil is a straw man argument.

If you want to understand what I mean, watch this alternate ending to “The Lord Of The Rings”. You will quickly understand.

See what I mean?

What it sums up is that fixing Peak Oil all comes down to the community’s decision to follow a smarter plan, act accordingly, and share collective resources and talents with one another. That is how you win.

Think about it this way. The “Lord of The Rings” movie everyone has collectively seen presents a story the way it was written. Everyone leaves the theatre thinking that was the way the story had to be. But Ho Ho! If J.R. Tolkien had written “The Fellowship Of The Ring” to actually follow the course in the alternate ending, people would have had a much shorter movie and still had a happy ending.

And this is our society’s problem. We love thrillers. The story of “Peak Oil” is currently being presented as a potentially cataclysmic global energy problem. It is not. Peak Oil is a communications problem among a spoiled, techno-zombie culture. We have communicated with one another for so long about the story ending, we can’t decide what our global population’s story of continuity should be.

In America, the lagging economy is driving a dramatic move back to basics and a reversal of decades-long trends of convenience. Roughly half of all consumers with incomes less than $55,000 per year say they have trouble affording the groceries they need, while nearly a quarter of those earning between $55,000 and $99,000 also say so. Among those with incomes over $100,000, 16% report having trouble. 42% of consumers say they have given up favorite food brands because of rising prices and economic concerns. Source: IRI Economic Trend Database/AttitudeLink, May 2008

Also, large numbers of Americans face the prospect of energy shutoffs during the coming months because of rising energy prices and stagnant wages.

And so communities around the world are going to have to grapple with dwindling resources at the community level. You will not get help from the folks at the top. Anyone over 30 knows that money drives politics, and money is presently tied up in oil. This will remain true until communities free themselves from the global money system and start basing values on things that matter, such as services you provide that benefit the entire community and that do not cause harm to the environment or other people.

I would argue that hemp does not cause harm to people. It is a renewable energy resource and medicine. It’s human laws and lawns getting in the way of nature that are stopping us from having enough food and fuel for everyone.

Because cars are cool. I like walking, but I still want to drive, damnit! And right now, I am making my own fuel – which can run in any car with a combustible engine. The oil companies took over the fuel market a long time ago, and they are defending their money with as much vigor as they can.

So until local communities start firing up moonshine and having their local farmers plant sorghum as a better feedstock alternative than corn, we aren’t really serious about fixing our problems. Until we each begin to learn about the soil food web, we aren’t serious about fixing the problem. Until we each accept one another’s faiths, and work together to improve earth’s life support systems, we are not serious about fixing the problem. If we aren’t willing to help more than just ourselves, our family, and our friends, we aren’t serious about fixing the problem.

It’s going to take collective action from each of us, as well as the truth to emerge about certain solutions that have been suppressed, to implement desperately needed changes. Changes that allow us to continue to live happy lives, eat better, and travel from one place to another. Changes that are possible, given that we take away so much power from corporations and weapons companies that run the world.

Unless communities immediately create renewable local food and water systems, it means even more war and death. Until a majority of us are ready to act on the advice of innovators with proof that we don’t have to be less than human to one another and that there is plenty of land to grow enough food to feed the entire planet, we will just keep on reading headlines about bombs dropping.

If you are ready to listen to a leader that offers real ways our children of tomorrow can be proud of the actions we take today, my company has created a proven path of how we can get there. It’s a positive, loving, and life-affirming alternate ending to the Story of Peak Oil, and I am launching it in Portland.

BONUS VIDEO!

June 26, 2008 at 9:01 am 10 comments

Peak Oil Crash = Simultaneous Government and Market Failures

Peak Oil disagreements and conflicts

No one said it would be easy to implement fixes for peak oil or climate change, and it is evident it will only occur with a bottom up and top down approach.

For years now, we have heard the Peak Oil predictions of Kunstler, Simmons, Heinberg, Blume, and other authors preaching their Peak Oil prophecy. As reality begins to pry the fingers from the ears of people who have long ignored our global problems, a critical mass of people have begun to ask “So what are we going to DO about it?”

What are we going to DO about Peak Oil?
What are we going to DO about rapid climate change?
What are we going to DO about market failure?
What are we going to DO about government failure?
What are we going to DO about fixing the food system?
What are we going to DO about fixing the transportation system?

Why is government failing? No one seems to agree, and it is BECAUSE no one seems to agree that man made laws are resisting adaptation to live with nature’s reality. After all, in a consumer driven planet, how can governments force consumer choice if choice is still abundant?

It is exactly for this reason that markets are failing in a growth-oriented global economy. Since resource scarcity is real, we are no longer able to have as much choice of supplies for real world items such as wheat, gasoline, and water.

But we have plenty of crappy niche Web 2.0 applications rushing to save the day, don’t we? Not enough engineers are focused on real world solutions such as local alcohol fuel and food production made from permaculture systems. Software jockeys are too busy drinking and coding Java to look up and see the ship is crashing on the rocks as both government and markets fail at the same time.

And while local municipalities are now actively creating Peak Oil Task Forces and sustainability commissions to help address the issues, they are powerless in the face of consumer choice. After all, money in people’s pocket means permission to consume. While these task forces seek to offer plans and advice for reducing carbon emissions and decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels – we are lacking the human willpower to change in time to mitigate a population and food disaster.

It is for this reason that these task forces can skip budgeting for “Outreach Programs” designed to talk about Peak Oil problems – and begin to look at funding implementing tools designed to support hyper-local communities, such as Bright Neighbor.

Yes, I am biased because that is my company’s solution (and competition is sure to follow). Right now, municipalities could implement tools to quickly help people learn to grow food at home, safely meet and collaborate with their neighbors, buy, sell, and barter at a hyper-local level, lend things out to one another, make ride sharing simple, among many other communications improvements. One problem is that people can do many of these things using a variety of tools available to them, but there needs to be an aggregated set of tools that eliminates redundancy.

For instance, if a community ends up using five different neighbor-to-neighbor applications, there will be neighbors that never connect. An immediate fix for Peak Oil, climate change, market failure, and local food systems would be to deploy an all-in-one tool that addresses life-support systems, supported by local governments or neighborhood leaders. If all the community members with Internet access and mobile devices in a single neighborhood coordinated to use a single communications system, then the chances of that neighborhood collaborating to help one another grow gardens, share resources, and generally improve their community are greatly increased.

It is the mission of Bright Neighbor to deliver community living tools that we can use now, instead of waiting for things to get worse. Why shouldn’t you be able to find someone in your neighborhood who has a 30 foot ladder right now? Or coordinate music jam sessions while bringing pot luck dinners created with locally produced food? Or help single moms locate other single moms that live around them to safely meet one another and share soccer-mom duties.

There are many ways to get started with Bright Neighbor, and they are life affirming reasons, not “doom” tools. We can gain value from better community living systems today. That is why we are excited to announce Bright Neighbor is now actively seeking pilot communities and neighborhoods looking for community organization and sustainability tools.

To sign up your neighborhood for a Bright Neighbor test run, please visit Bright Neighbor.

April 16, 2008 at 5:13 pm 3 comments

The Forbidden Fuel

This Lawns to Gardens post can be read here. I figure it’s a good way to help people discover the Peak Oil social network I have set up.

* Note – The article was written by Tad Montgomery, an ecological engineer living in Brattleboro, Vermont.

March 23, 2008 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

The History of Hemp

Hemp as a materials resource and alcohol as a fuel resource have a linear history of being outlawed by capitalists. We can grow these and offset the oil crash.

March 14, 2008 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment


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