Posts tagged ‘Peak Oil’

An Update About Al Franken

Al Franken

Woo Hoo! I was right! Way to go Al!

July 6, 2009 at 9:59 pm Leave a comment

2009 Is Your Time To Be A Superhero

Bright Neighbor Heroes

America, kiss goodbye to your old self, and make love to your new self-image in 2009… and join the League Of New American Superheroes!

America, my predictions from 2006, 2007, and 2008 have proven highly accurate. I do not have a crystal ball. I just have the facts, which are proving true as We The People begin to take back over as government and markets simultaneously falter.

years

I predicted that we would see more and more Americans finding their inner superhero, making sure we don’t lose this great country we love.

The sad fact is, other countries are betting that we tear ourselves apart, and that we forget what it means to be an American.

So now, I predict 2009 will be OUR YEAR – the year of Bright Neighbor and the League of New American Superheroes.

This is when we prove to ourselves and the rest of the world that even though our present government leaders have screwed us, and many in congress are guilty of treasonous taxation without representation, we can lead our own way out of the mess we are in. Now is the time to retake our country, because there is technology available that can:

1) Throw out the problem banks,
2) Help us save money, grow our own food, and replace gasoline while helping reduce carbon emissions at the same time,
3) Help communities build local, resilient systems to help us get through these hard times and reconnect with our communities,
4) Build local jobs while rebuilding local economies and militias.

I didn’t ask China for trillions of dollars to fight a lost cause war – did you?

I didn’t ask for such horrible, crappy programming on television airwaves and the destruction of Home Economics classes – did you?

I didn’t ask for our government to dismantle civil defense – did you?

I didn’t ask for greedy, spineless politician pigs focused more on themselves than America – did you?

How many American soldiers have died to protect the freedoms we cherish and take for granted? How shameful it is that we have so many of our young people hooked on drugs and unable to understand the absolute national security emergency we are in? (Full disclosure – I have seen my share of rock and roll shows, but never have been so weak as to let drugs get in the way of progress).

This is the year when every American had better damn well look deep down inside and realize who they really are, how fast we need to rebuild the social glue in our local communities, and what we each need to do to take our country back from International Bankers, the oil cartels, and corporate dominance of the world. This is our chance to cast off our lazy, apathetic selves and be reborn as Red-Blooded American Patriots 2.0.

It’s time for us to love and support one another in our communities. We need become local do-gooders, volunteering our time and labor, while supporting our local heroes such as nurses, doctors, fire fighters, police and others who protect you. It’s time for you to protect more than yourself and your family.

It’s time to protect your community, America.

If you live in Portland, sign up for Bright Neighbor!

Yes kids, it’s true! Your time has come! It’s time to join the League Of New American Superheroes! Come to the first meeting!

Here are the kinds of heroes we need:

Farming / Gardening Heroes!

General Contractor Heroes!

Alcohol Fuel Still heroes!

Cooking & Food Prep / storage heroes!

Medical and elderly assistance Heroes!

And many, many more people needed in our community!

So what will YOUR hero’s team look like?

team a

Bright Neighbor steampunk

wowee

nintendo geek

December 29, 2008 at 3:45 pm 3 comments

America Has Lost The War For Oil

Government failure

Well folks, George Bush just signed our “Game Over” papers for us.

Most Americans still don’t know what the SOFA agreement is, or what it means. I would say it means you won’t be able to as easily lay your ass around the couch anymore, but there is a more adult explanation going around the media.

The key elements of the President Bush signed SOFA agreement are the requirement that U.S. forces leave all Iraqi cities and towns by June 2009, and leave Iraq entirely by December 2011. In addition, all U.S. military action must now be coordinated in advance with the Iraqis, and the United States may not use Iraq as a base to attack neighbors (that is, Syria and Iran).

The terms of the SOFA pact contain some vague language and the U.S. military says it’s counting on its ability to interpret the language in ways that it prefers. It is said that Bush has thereby gotten a better deal than Obama’s 16-month withdrawal plan. This is a big, fat lie. Obama definitely had the better withdrawal plan. Obama’s proposal had been that U.S. combat forces leave in 16 months, but had set no date for “training” forces, leaving open the possibility of indefinite stationing of some U.S. forces. The SOFA agreement gets all forces out by December 2011. And Bush, not Obama, signed off on this.

Even Michael Moore has issued his “Oh Shit” proclamation. Regarding the collapse of the Big Three US automakers, Moore proclaims:

“You might assume that I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about these miserably inept crapmobile makers down the road in Detroit city. But I do care. I care about the millions whose lives and livelihoods depend on these car companies. I care about the security and defense of this country because the world is running out of oil — and when it runs out, the calamity and collapse that will take place will make the current recession/depression look like a Tommy Tune musical. “

The good news is that we don’t need oil to survive – there are lots of ways to live a tip-top life without oil. The people who run the world know this – they just want to keep everyone convinced to keep using their products to run cars that are cheaply built.

We can fuel America’s vehicles on the 70 million acres if mesquite that grows in the southwestern united states without using a single ear of corn. We can grow kelp farms that cool the ocean temperature while rebuilding living ocean ecosystems that help fix the planet. You can make ethanol from the kelp, which grows and regrows every time you harvest it (it grows about a foot a day).

So the real question for Americans is what they will do about losing the war for oil. We are getting our military out of the place with lots of oil. We have no choice but to move to alternatives, which I have listed time and time again on this blog.

Luckily, Bright Neighbor has already been deployed and is ready to help any city or community inside or outside the US. As times get really tough, we will be helping people gorw their own food and fuel, move things around better, share resources, share rides and transportation, as well as help community organizers as communities relocalize.

If we get hit with oil shortages in the US, we stand ready to work together – we just need real leadership and for each of us to focus on work that matters – including rebuilding our infrasructure so we are no longer dependent on oil. The work has already begun, and there is certainly lots of opportunities to start a profitable new business right now.

December 4, 2008 at 2:30 pm Leave a comment

A Note About Rebirth…

Kill Your Old Self

The whole world is wondering – “What happens now?”

You may be so excited you could pee your pants. You may be so scared you could pee your pants. Either way, it seems everyone is about to pee their pants. At this point, I would like to mention if you feel like killing yourself, you can do it without actually dying. It’s easy – you just make a decision to be reborn, accept that things are the way they are, and move forward with the energy flow. 1-2-3.

I know, it takes different folks longer to adjust to shock than others. Not all drugs work the same for every patient – your results may vary. But a dramatic change is being thrust upon everyone at once, and no one is left untouched.

That’s why I am buying stock in you and me this election. Because together, we are the ones who can really change things. We can’t be responsible for the actions of other people, and personally, I can only try to do good for myself and other people every day. What about you?

This has been and continues to be a weird time for everyone. And the flow of the people is certainly flowing towards life-affirming decisions, made by each of us. That means being open to learning new skills that are helpful to the entire community. It means meeting other people in your community, and volunteering to help the community. That can mean teach other people the good things you know how to do. People who do the jobs like sewer management (crappy, but necessary) should be given extra benefits, don’t you think?

Do you have a crappy job right now? Maybe right now is the time to bring yourself back into your own mental school and learn new skills helpful to the new green economy. If you are already living a green lifestyle, good for you – don’t rub it in other people’s faces, just help them learn how to do it right. We need more permaculture teachers.

We can fix the planet and live happy, healthy lives. We just need to remain positive and be nice to one another while we work things through. It’s an exciting time for the people of planet earth.

And that means if we choose to move forward as humanity, we can take evolution to the next level, emerging from our chrysalis and realizing a new dawn of cooperation. Or, we can tear ourselves apart with divisiveness and end up dying just the same. The choice is clear for people with clarity of thought.

But who defines clarity of thought? When else are so many people asked to think about the same thing at the same time? It is causing enormous reflection for all of us.

November 3, 2008 at 4:50 pm Leave a comment

Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?: Economic Collapse Edition

Economic collapse

Americans like games.

It’s the reason that even as the financial markets collapse around us in the Peak Oil Crash of 2008, football is still front and center in people’s faces. Whether it is at your local high school track or broadcast on national television, the illusion that all is well with the national psyche is still being upheld because of efforts to preserve the status quo by the power players in the world.

So they will make some more hocus-pocus deals to literally buy more time, when what we really need to address this economic meltdown is nothing less than immediate changes in school room curriculums. In order to survive a food system collapse, kids need to be taught about how to respect earth and how to grow food. This is a must shift in student learning – focusing the time students are gathered in school to learning about the soil-food-web ASAP.

But still we watch TV shows meant to numb us from the pain of reality. Meanwhile, we should be creating local community plans for conserving food stores while we shift to immediate learning, teamwork, and labor to rectify local living soil.

And it really comes down to – are you smarter than a 5th grader? Because kids are learning sponges – and they want a role in shaping society. They are eager beavers, ready to spend their high amounts of energy.

Let me repeat that – kids offer high amounts of energy.

So what if the grid goes down? We have technology and can locally build pedal-powered electricity generators from spare parts – the plans are on the Internet. Put high-energy kids on exercise bikes and presto – they stay healthy, have a fun activity to do with others, and generate much needed power. Each town just needs to organize its technician and core geek base to build solar and human powered communications terminals. Add in community wi-fi nodes and tada! We have free wireless Internet for the whole community.

We have everything we need to keep our shit together in America. But do we have the will to succeed? Do we have the smarts to let the geeks run the ship for a while? Because it’s the local organizers that are shaping up our communities, and they are the cosmic keepers of your local tribes.

And that means taking action to secure food for everyone – that way there is no real reason to fight one another. Sure, people are angry, and will become more upset as they learn the level of trauma being inflicted on us all at once. Talk about shock therapy. People are stunned they will soon not voluntarily reducing meat consumption. Americans are addicted to meat. It’s the taste of blood that we love to slap onto our grills. Neanderthals went extinct because they ate one another rather than enjoying the delicacies of nature. Go figure.

Now, I don’t know if it makes you smarter than a 5th grader, but here are what smart Americans are doing as part of their crash plan:

Cooperative efforts with friends and neighbors.
We are a bunch of spoiled brats in America. It’s high time we grow up as a country, and start to build real community where we live. Neanderthals got by with stone tools, we can get by just fine with i-pods, solar panels, and board games. Bright Neighbor is helping lead the way with this effort.

Friends are a consistent winning formula. Good times, laughs, spirits, food together, and board games. Even if by candle light with music playing via battery operated music players – your friends love you and cherish your company. Cherish theirs.

Cooperative dinners
Those who cook together, stay together. One of the earliest books I ever read was called “Stone Soup” where everyone pitches in and is fed. There is no reason to hoard food, we all have to eat and people will know you have a hold out. So get friendly now and start enjoying food, music, drinks and fun!

Cooperative gardening
Do you know how to do everything yourself, Mr. or Mrs. Farmer? I didn’t think so. You can tap into your local neighborhood know-how and meet neighbors with skills you only dreamed you could have. They can share that knowledge with you now. It’s fun to learn new things anyway. You will be amazed at the wonderful world of insects. Kids are fascinated by it!

Lending lists
We have plenty of stuff in America. We can easily share things with one another and help people who are down and out. Yeah, it sucks – we are all in this together though, and we have to help those contributing to the effort. Just keep track of who borrowed what.

Citizen Patrols
This is America. We are armed to the teeth, and the powers that be are afraid of Americans getting organized and working together. There is no need for violence, we just need to be sure that everyone is fed and clothed, and can work out the details from there. But not that there isn’t reason to be on guard in our communities, taking turns to watch the neighborhoods and work together to keep the community safe. That means collaborating schedules and having team meetings with your neighbors.

You decide your own local leadership. But the time for people to make a choice as to the type of person they are – do you give life or take it? There is no reason to mistreat one another right now. We all have a responsibility to at least TRY and save America by starting in our own communities first. Don’t just give up without trying. Everyone wants us to succeed… so what are you afraid of? What can you do to help the effort? Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

It’s time to realize that the economic and energy crash has caught most everyone by surprise, and sometimes surprises are a very scary thing. This is the greatest opportunity America has ever had to get its act together. It’s time to be a volunteer, be a nice person, and get organized with your neighbors. Like nude crowd surfing – it starts out as awkward, but you get used to it and it becomes fun.

Let’s start by making sure we are all fed and in communications with one another. Every smart 5th grader knows that.

October 13, 2008 at 12:17 pm 2 comments

When Governments Fail, Markets Evolve

Peak Oil evolution

Our world governments have failed humanity. Every nation in the world has to do more to avert the darker impacts of the energy crash, and it will be a “Bottoms-up” people’s revolution that kicks business and government into high gear ( I love reading the work of famous dead economists).

As markets are slow-crashing around us, we are seeing America enter into the “Behavior Modification” era of peak oil. We are witnessing people’s consumption habits change, which is reflected in a consumption based currency with values mostly pegged on a framework of continuous growth. Since our economy is contracting, even if the government prints more money into existence, our present value system attached to energy is declining in worth. That means consumption power is grinding to a halt as financial difficulties multiply for Americans and people around the world.

America has been a main prop for globalization. As we restructure our country, the entire global banking system will need to restructure itself, which could mean the breakup of nation states into smaller, more viable and resilient communities. The future is a mashup of everyone’s execution of their visions. How well communities thrive or how bad they fall apart depends on the vision, skills, and ability of the people within that community to cooperatively work together for the greater good. The idea of community is to live a happy life, not just ‘survive’.

This is why I am convinced America will pull through this leadership and economic debacle. Maybe not all of America, but at least those communities with enough people able to tolerate one another trying to learn and adjust to a less energy-intensive lifestyle. For, as capitalism reinvents itself through collapse, the public will learn that markets and leadership fail in order to evolve better solutions.

There will always be markets. Even if everything collapsed and we were pummeled into global human cannibalism, you would still see markets around for trading (trade you two arms for a leg?)

I happen to follow the Social Networking economy very closely. Once ridiculed for predicting the current depression the advertising and media industry are reeling from, now I am sought out as a consultant for how these businesses can thrive in a post-peak oil economy.

Here is the big secret: My company Bright Neighbor has developed a technology (Launching in three weeks!) that will outperform Google, MySpace, Facebook, Meetup, Craigslist, and Evite. The secret is in our company values, our interface, and functionality.

My opinion is that MySpace and Facebook are just toys. As my friend Mark puts it, “They are the modern day inside of a school locker”. They of course, have the ability to change their interface and functions on the fly and present changes instantly to a vast universe of present users. This makes them formidable foes.

As humanity (and especially Americans) come to terms with our global fight-for-oil predicament, it is more modern, innovative local solutions such as Bright Neighbor that will lead the way for better local living. The larger technology companies will either swallow technology-driven, for-profit activist companies whole or assimilate their competitive advantages.

Either way, the market will win where governments have failed – which means we have a real possibility of a peaceful energy transition to much more earth-aligned living styles.

July 21, 2008 at 12:16 pm 2 comments

Lawns To Gardens Episode 5: Worm Poop

Worm poop, worm poop, worm poop!

It’s one of the secrets to overcoming the problems posed by peak oil. If you are hurting for a job, learning about worm poop is a sure-fire way to make a living with the new kind of employment that will be sweeping across America.

Tom Szaky is under 30, and he made $1.5 million in from worm poop sales in 2006. Now the worm poop industry is ready to fertilize itself and promote it’s own growth. Hey, all you office workers looking for the next chapter in your life… if you already tried to strike gold by dealing with a bunch of crap at work, why not do it for real?

This is why I do my videos. Here is Episode 5 of Lawns to Gardens: Worm Poop. Enjoy! (10 minute episode)

BONUS VIDEO: At least CNN reported something useful and did a piece showing people an alternative lifestyle we can all live up to.

June 20, 2008 at 10:55 am 5 comments

The Corporate Media Says Oil May Have Peaked

Hokey Spokes

Hey all you cool cats – corporations are catching up with reality and reporting that the oil market may have peaked. Interesting how it is the market they report, and not oil that may have peaked. Could it be that we have finally recognized there is not enough plastic juice to mold more Barbie dolls?

Also, Newsweek is telling you to get ready for more war. And while this all may sound like horrible news, at least you can still save money on food, learn from examples that show we can live well while reducing energy consumption, and get really neat LED lights for your bike spokes.

You might be riding yours a lot more soon.

June 2, 2008 at 5:47 am Leave a comment

Fuel For The Rich

Efuel100 Microfueler

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is time to kick farming into high gear and start producing sugary sweet hooch across America. And some entrepreneurs have just released a machine that opens the innovation doors to partially kick peak oil’s butt.

Introducing the Efuel100 Microfueler. Fuel for the very rich so they can still ride in their FlexFuel high-end vehicles.

This this is so rad, I can hardly contain myself. But at the same time, I am not too excited.

I have been working hard to promote David Blume’s work while ignorant journalists have been poo-pooing ethanol. Now, not only has the truth emerged that we can sustainably make alcohol fuel, but this amazing machine has been released to kick the home-brew fuel market into high gear. Sort of.

For a cool $10,000, you can join the ranks of big oil and start making your own fuel without doing any of the hard work like chasing down plans and building your own small scale ethanol still. You can simply buy this fabulous machine and PRESTO! You are on the road again.

The problem is that it is a membrane system, which means there can be no solids in the mash. This means you are limited to a complete liquid feedstock (namely bags of sugar). And if you sink in $10,000 for a fuel machine that makes alcohol fuel at a rate of let’s say $2.00 per gallon and can make about 35 gallons a week, it would take you many years to break even on your fuel investment.

But hey, if oil crashes, at least you can still get from A to B, right? As long as Costco still carries big bags of sugar. The good news is that David Blume is working on a larger scale still that will deliver the convenience of the EFuel100, but it will crank out many more gallons per week for less money using multiple feedstocks (he is looking for investors to help fund his venture).

Not that I believe we should continue as-is with our car culture. Riding a bike now and then feels great! And we must consume MUCH less per-person in America, and make intensely smart decisions. But before all of you Food VS FUEL hotheads go on a tirade, you need to know that alcohol fuel can be made from a hell of a lot more than bags of sugar and corn. Go and read the MANY posts on Lawns to Gardens sharing the truth with you. But let me sum it up:

1. Almost every country can become energy-independent. Anywhere that has sunlight and land can produce alcohol from plants. Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world imports no oil, since half its cars run on alcohol fuel made from sugarcane, grown on 1% of its land.

2. We can reverse global warming. Since alcohol is made from plants, its production takes carbon dioxide out of the air, sequestering it, with the result that it reverses the greenhouse effect (while potentially vastly improving the soil). Recent studies show that in a permaculturally designed mixed-crop alcohol fuel production system, the amount of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere by plants—and then exuded by plant roots into the soil as sugar—can be 13 times what is emitted by processing the crops and burning the alcohol in our cars.

3. We can revitalize the economy instead of suffering through Peak Oil. Oil is running out, and what we replace it with will make a big difference in our environment and economy. Alcohol fuel production and use is clean and environmentally sustainable, and will revitalize families, farms, towns, cities, industries, as well as the environment. A national switch to alcohol fuel would provide many millions of new permanent jobs.

4. No new technological breakthroughs are needed. We can make alcohol fuel out of what we have, where we are. Alcohol fuel can efficiently be made out of many things, from waste products like stale donuts, grass clippings, food processing waste-even ocean kelp. Many crops produce many times more alcohol per acre than corn, using arid, marshy, or even marginal land in addition to farmland. Just our lawn clippings could replace a third of the autofuel we get from the Mideast.

5. Unlike hydrogen fuel cells, we can easily use alcohol fuel in the vehicles we already own. Unmodified cars can run on 50% alcohol, and converting to 100% alcohol or flexible fueling (both alcohol and gas) costs only a few hundred dollars. Most auto companies already sell new dual-fuel vehicles.

6. Alcohol is a superior fuel to gasoline! It’s 105 octane, burns much cooler with less vibration, is less flammable in case of accident, is 98% pollution-free, has lower evaporative emissions, and deposits no carbon in the engine or oil, resulting in a tripling of engine life. Specialized alcohol engines can get at least 22% better mileage than gasoline or diesel.

7. It’s not just for gasoline cars. We can also easily use alcohol fuel to power diesel engines, trains, aircraft, small utility engines, generators to make electricity, heaters for our homes—and it can even be used to cook our food.

8. Alcohol has a proud history. Gasoline is a refinery’s toxic waste; alcohol fuel is liquid sunshine. Henry Ford’s early cars were all flex-fuel. It wasn’t until gasoline magnate John D. Rockefeller funded Prohibition that alcohol fuel companies were driven out of business.

9. The byproducts of alcohol production are clean, instead of being oil refinery waste, and are worth more than the alcohol itself. In fact, they can make petrochemical fertilizers and herbicides obsolete. The alcohol production process concentrates and makes more digestible all protein and non-starch nutrients in the crop. It’s so nutritious that when used as animal feed, it produces more meat or milk than the corn it comes from. That’s right, fermentation of corn increases the food supply and lowers the cost of food.

10. Locally produced ethanol supercharges regional economies. Instead of fuel expenditures draining capital away to foreign bank accounts, each gallon of alcohol produces local income that gets recirculated many times. Every dollar of tax credit for alcohol generates up to $6 in new tax revenues from the increased local business.

11. Alcohol production brings many new small-scale business opportunities. There is huge potential for profitable local, integrated, small-scale businesses that produce alcohol and related byproducts, whereas when gas was cheap, alcohol plants had to be huge to make a profit.

12. Scale matters—most of the widely publicized potential problems with ethanol are a function of scale. Once production plants get beyond a certain size and are too far away from the crops that supply them, closing the ecological loop becomes problematic. Smaller-scale operations can more efficiently use a wide variety of crops than huge specialized one-crop plants, and diversification of crops would largely eliminate the problems of monoculture.

13. The byproducts of small-scale alcohol plants can be used in profitable, energy-efficient, and environmentally positive ways. For instance, spent mash (the liquid left over after distillation) contains all the nutrients the next fuel crop needs and can return it back to the soil if the fields are close to the operation. Big-scale plants, because they bring in crops from up to 45 miles away, can’t do this, so they have to evaporate all the water and sell the resulting byproduct as low-price animal feed,which accounts for half the energy used in the plant.

By combining permaculture, smart agriculture and market forces, we can turn Peak Oil on its ugly head and not have to have a collapse. It will be interesting to see how many people actually buy these personal fuel units. In the meantime, get together with your neighbors and start to learn about how you can start making changes to deal with peak oil – whether you buy one of these machines or not!

May 15, 2008 at 1:18 pm 11 comments

A Grand Theft Of Intelligence

GTA 4

The launch of Grand Theft Auto 4 just made over $500 million is sales. So what does that mean for us as a country? It means that our youth are so wrapped up in virtual violence and non-reality, that as peak oil has begun to kick us in the teeth, millions of video game zombies are tuned out of our very real problems.

Last year, I wrote a satirical post (To All The Geeks, Gamers, and Non-Attention Payers) about kids having to get ready to eat one another as human society collapses. I’m no longer interested in using humor to break through.

What are we supposed to think when so many people are hot to press button combinations on a joystick to bitch slap hookers and shoot cops? Sure, it may all be in “Good Fun”, but the premise of such actions is much different than zapping asteroids or saving a princess.

If gamers today want to play a more “realistic game” they are getting one served up to them in the form of gas prices, food prices, layoffs, and war. And if they think they are immune to the effects, they might want to take their heads out of the X-Box for a few minutes and pay attention.

We are now in the most challenging time in our history as modern society begins to collapse. While we still have active social systems and a sense of order in America, the end of cheap oil and no fast alternatives means these video games could be training people for what is truly coming.

I hate to think that we could face such mayhem, where anyone and everyone could be a target of humans gone wild. Hell, people are already selling manhole covers for scrap metal. In times of desperation, if we do not keep our integrity and dignity as human beings, people who play these types of games might just snap and not be able to decipher between what is real and what is not.

When food and shelter become unaffordable or unavailable as they are elsewhere in the world, how will we maintain order? By telling people to stay home and play Grand Theft Auto? By locking everyone up in those minty-fresh FEMA camps?

Why not actively pursue that target market with enough time to waste on video games and recruit them to help the elderly with converting their lawns into food gardens or running errands? Or would they rather switch weapons with a quick flick of their thumb and simply shoot, beat, or flame throw them?

If the answer does not fall in the first category, we are in deep shit.

May 7, 2008 at 11:15 am 10 comments

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