The Challenge of Peak Oil – Commentary

May 14, 2007 at 10:54 pm 5 comments

peak oil

The Challenge of Peak Oil is an article written by Richard Heinberg. I agree with him that many daunting life support challenges are in our presence right now, placing mankind in peril (massive political corruption, depletion of energy sources, food system vulnerabilities, dependence on oil for survival, nuclear threats, global warming, etc.)

Heinberg essentially makes the same case that I am making with Lawns To Gardens
while the mainstream media still treats Peak Oil as if it can be fixed with cutesy remedies. That is, Heinberg writes that as a survival strategy, many people will soon be involved with producing at least a portion of their own food. As oil is depleted and markets react, prices will rise too high for people to afford the lifestyle we have been living. He says we are enterting a time of serious trouble, and that in order to pull off surviving peak oil, it will take a coordinated human effort never before seen in human history.

Wow. How cool is THAT!

I say – if it takes community, backyard sustainability, and sharing to survive, then so be it! Would you rather die, when all it takes is changing the way you look at things and some hard work? As a country, we can certainly be nicer to one another. Too much hate and distrust out there right now, folks. And let’s face it – many Americans are snobs, and that could include you. Seriously – we are complete snobs. Many Americans can’t even look strangers in the eye, go and greet their neighbors five houses down, or even fathom conserving water and fuel before it runs out.

I mean seriously. How many people – right now – bother using natural lighting, carpool to work or for shopping trips, wear bathrobes rather than turn up their thermostat, have stopped using incandescent bulbs, are growing their own food garden, or taking part in other life-system saving behaviors? Well, Heinberg says it’s time to get our butts in gear. Peak Oil is HERE, folks. While I’m about to tell you that it’s time to act, first let me tell you a little story.

I carpool or ride a scooter most of the time. Well, I splurged on a tank of gas this weekend while my sweety and I snuck off to the coast. We headed into one of the bars in the little seaside town we were staying at, and decided to be friendly with the locals. If it takes alcohol to loosen people up, then so be it – be met so many cool people just by starting conversations with them! People from outside of town, others from the local area. But by being genuine, being interested in them and being friendly, we made some great new friends. It’s just as cool to meet people in person and then add them to your social network rather than doing it online first.

So, to help people make the transition necessary to survive peak oil, I hereby declare the scientifically proven, bulletproof Peak Oil Law #1:
Most people, are in fact, easy to get along with and are genuinely friendly.
Peak Oil Making Friends

Yes, it’s true! If you stop and think about it, many of us choose to isolate ourselves in our own little TV programmed worlds, because most Americans don’t think they need to know their neighbors to survive. Many Americans just come home from work, plop their asses in front of the TV, and not think twice about using natural light rather than turning on room lights. Many Americans throw out vegetable scraps that can be useful in making home compost, which works better for growing food than store bought fertilizers. There are just so many ways we can begin to deal with Peak Oil NOW, rather than when it becomes apparent we waited to long and things burst at the seams.

But if you are becoming newly aware of Peak Oil and are scared, I say don’t be. We have had an AWESOME run up until now, and it’s time to pull back from being such busy-bodies. Since I have been learning to live lighter, life has taken on all sorts of great new meaning, including the joy of helping other people prepare for the end of the lifestyle we have enjoyed, courtesy of oil and money.

Richard Heinberg is right, folks. It’s time to plant a food garden at home. Here are some helpful videos to help you get started.

Entry filed under: Article Reviews, Peak Oil, Personal Preparation, Random.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. PeakProphet  |  May 15, 2007 at 11:52 am

    This is great information, and Heinberg is one of the great minds of our time in terms of aligning the challenges of peak oil with social consciousness.

    If you check out my WWO blog,, you’ll see that I have already converted my lawns into food production, as well as developed a step-by-step guide for creating localized sustainable communities, using “food not lawns” as a cornerstone of the approach.

    Keep up the great work!

  • 2. Tom  |  May 15, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Cool entry. I have had a vegetable garden for years, but this year, inspired by the World Without Oil project, I am really focusing on adding to it and eating more home-grown food.

  • 3. dessum9  |  May 15, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Heinberg’s predictions are being proven correct, unfortunately, by recent events… although the actual events are turning out to be more chaotic and random than even he imagined, I think. I don’t recall him envisioning food workers being held in detention centers, but that seems to be happening now?

  • 4. PeakOilParty  |  May 16, 2007 at 1:46 am

    Great positive post. It is true that most people – even the people you may not agree with politically – ARE easy to get along with. With all the negative posts in WWO (and I’m afraid that includes my latest ones although I’ve promised to get better) this is EXACTLY what I need to read this morning.

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