Archive for July, 2007

So An Energy Ignoramus Walks Into A Bar…

I love when artists reveal secrets of advertising and PR manipulation. Brilliant!
And on a second note, Kudos to CNN for making a great Solar Power story their headline story, even if just for a few minutes.

July 31, 2007 at 7:16 am Leave a comment

Five Things I Think Are Evil

Stewie

1) Religion that tolerates or encourages violence

2) Economies based on creating and selling weapons

3) Having the technology to, but refusing to feed the world

4) Secret plans made and held by people masquerading as representatives of the people

5) Leaders refusing to immediately help prepare Americans for Peak Oil

When it all comes down to it, we are nothing more on this planet than the people and environments surrounding us, the choices we make, and the actions we take. I choose to help people by encouraging them to immediately meet their neighbors and get entire neighborhoods to grow food at home. It certainly feels better than watching mindless television, and brings an enormous sense of well being.

Besides, it’s fun to hand out extra garden surplus goodies to people walking by and not expect anything back in return.

Peace and love,

Randy

July 31, 2007 at 12:45 am 1 comment

Why Americans Can’t Save Themselves Without True Leadership

Leadership

If you understand your own death and mortality, it’s pretty intriguing to be alive these days.

Global frying is drying up the Amazon, essentially extinguishing any natural air conditioning we have relied on. Everyone has nukes or is working on getting nukes. Peak Oil is real and is about to kick modern living in the collective teeth.

So, besides building a nuke shelter with years of supplies out in the middle of who-knows-where, what is the average American to do?

I would say enjoy these days, and dance into the fire with pride and love of life. Sure, we can ride our bikes, use natural light, dry our clothes on a clothesline, and take showers once every couple of days – but I work in advertising and I can tell you consumers are still chomp-chomp-chomping away at the earth. Americans, Chinese… you name a country. We are programmed to be selfish, screaming at the world and commanding a tit from the moment of birth. Sure, there are the friendly, Lab/Golden retriever types of people in the world who believe in love and sharing, but deep down, we all have to fight and maneuver for our existence at some point. I love you by default, but what happens when we are trapped on an island and there is only one cracker left?

We don’t know the exact future, but you don’t need a neon psychic sign hanging outside your door to gauge the general direction things are heading. As long as money rules the world, we are going to destroy ourselves, pure and simple. Systems are currently in place to seize people’s property, freeze monetary assets, deny food and shelter, and make the lives of the general populace miserable as we continue our downward slide into the oil crash. How it all goes down in anyone’s guess, but the power players have their pieces on the game board and it’s just a matter of who’s gonna keep doing what. Only in this game, you don’t get to take turns in a normal fashion – it’s anything goes. From the highest levels of national warfare to neighbors killing neighbors, the energy crash will in all likelihood be the biggest, bloodiest mess in recorded history.

It’s a bitter pill – but I always believe you can candy coat it to make the flavor better. That’s why I believe we still have a chance to make a less violent transition if our leadership levels with the general population, spends lots of money on a crash-course to immediately build a renewable energy infrastructure, and suspend normal drone-creating education and teach K-12 kids how to specialize in farming (and make the rich kids do it, too). The leaders of the world and all the financial institutions will need to recognize the failure of capitalism as it eats itself, and release the workforce from present labor to recreate an agrarian society.

Sound like some Pinko-commie manifesto? Maybe. But you explain to me how else we are going to get out of this. And if you plan to comment about Hybrids, hydrogen, more drilling, or other methods that you think will allow us to continue living as we do now, don’t bother. To me, it’s either a farming revolution or a highway straight to hell. Oh yeah… remember to walk Perpendicular to the downwind if nukes go off.

July 25, 2007 at 7:41 am 6 comments

Video: 5 Basic Self-Defense Techniques for Men and Women

So, since we are going to be living in a world where people may not be as friendly to one another, I thought it would be a good idea to help people learn some self-defense techniques. Guru Kurtis is an expert in 19 different forms of martial arts, and is a teddy-bear but a complete bad ass who can destroy you with his pinky.

Of course, the best defense is to live peacefully, share with one another in micro-communities that are self sufficient – but you may find yourself crossing paths with an angry person pissed off that the modern world is ending. Someone who may not want to listen to reason, and you might just have to defend yourself. My hope is to go get a sponsor to make these kinds of videos… this one is an idea I want to pitch to Dodge because Kurtis loves that brand of car. Of course, it won’t matter what car dealers or brands sponsor in the future unless it’s a different technology that is affordable for people in debt. Not very likely… I expect car prices to plummet soon, right along with housing.

I’m all for bike culture and walking, but in order to get this kind of messaging out to massive amounts of people, it will need some money to back it. What do you folks think?

PS – Don’t mind the waterfall hissing dound – this is just an idea piece!

July 23, 2007 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

Mainstream News Outlets Reporting Peak Oil Will Potentially Cause Industrial Collapse

Stay Positive

It’s easy to tell myself why I can’t sleep at 3 AM these days… just look at what one of England’s major media is reporting:

“Humanity is approaching an unprecedented crisis when not enough oil and gas will be produced to keep industrial civilization running, the world’s top oilmen warned last week.

The warning – which is being hailed as a “tipping point” on both sides of the Atlantic – marks the first time that the industry has accepted that it may soon no longer be able to meet demand for its products. In Facing the Hard Truths about Energy, it gives authoritative support to concern about impending shortages, following a similar alert by the International Energy Agency less than two weeks ago.

The predictions should send a shiver down humanity’s collective spine as a shortage of oil and gas has been predicted to cause industrial collapse, market crashes, resource wars and a rise in poverty. Some forecast that fascist regimes will rise out of the chaos.”

Um… how about we all collectively agree it’s time to start growing food at home?

The best part is that I spent most of the day today in the garden, and the joy I am getting from knowing I have learned how to grow food in such a short time is immense. I mean, I grew up with grocery stores, Nintendo, and all the comforts of modern living.

This evening my wife and I rode our bikes around Portland and had an amazing date – car free. So while the news reports warn of chaos, I say it’s all in our perspective. We have time to stop, think, and fix.

Now, when the markets shit themselves as they absorb the news and stocks tank, people are gonna flip out. That’s okay, just go buy gardening equipment sooner rather than later. You can’t control the way governments flip out over things, but you can control how you choose to respond to the fact that energy is becoming scarce. It’s been an awesome ride… and the next one will be even better as we get to know our neighbors and learn to appreciate all that we have.

July 22, 2007 at 2:18 am Leave a comment

Portland, Oregon: An American Energy Brain Trust

Portland Energy Brain Trust

Yesterday I was witness to an amazing event. I was standing at the corner of Jay’s Garage, the first fueling station in Portland to install both Biodiesel (B99) and Ethanol (E85) pumps. The sun was beginning to wind down its day, when suddenly 4 motorcycle cops reminiscent of Robocop come barreling toward me, lights blazing. The officers shut down traffic immediately with lightning precision, and as I began running the Bill of Rights through my memory, 3 more officers appeared, followed by multiple undercover cruisers, lights flashing.

Then I saw it.

A line of over 30 vehicles, from buses to 3-wheeled fiberglass cars, making an instant a motorcade of new energy pride. It was a flash-mob like scene that conjured memories of the movie Ghostbusters when ECTO 1 rolled up to the building in NY to go slay Zuel. The blazing-lights and horns-a-honkin renewable fuels parade was led by multiple players and momentum makers in Portland’s biofuels scene, including City Commissioner Randy Leonard, credited with forging America’s first biofuels standard for a city. It was a “Who’s Who” of Portland’s biofuels scene, and an amazing networking event highlighted by featured speaker Josh Tickell.

Josh Tickell

Josh’s energy is amazing. The man who has traveled the world to promote biodiesel, has authored multiple books and now even has a movie coming out commanded the microphone and addressed the hundred plus audience that had gathered for the event. “You are making a national statement, Portland!” he exclaimed. Choking up with emotion, Josh passionately preached his vision of a new way forward for America to realize sustainable energy. “This isn’t about being Republican or Democrat,” he said as he gave a fiery speech touting the merits of community and renewable fuels. We were even treated to a preview of his up and coming smash blockbuster biodiesel movie due out next year.

Sleepy time is over kids – we must act now. The sentiment is echoing across the state as farmers realize new markets for growing fuel and drivers recognize they now have a choice of what fuel to put into their vehicles. While there are still plenty of attacks against biofuels in the media, there IS enough land to grow both food and fuel. And you should see the awesome stuff happening with Algae… it produces oil and doubles its mass every few hours! By instituting both large-scale and micro-level biorefineries, we can create the changes we need to ween ourselves as much as possible off of black gold.

While I believe we will be biking a lot more, growing food at home, relying on our neighbors, and doing much more with less stuff, yesterday’s event is a proud start. It will take a lot more than canola and sugar beets to stop war in this world, but the unifying power of American ingenuity is coming together. Granted, there will will be NIMBY and zoning issues that arise as we locate places for biorefineries, and we are way late in the race, but we truly have the ability to get our act together. As soon as we demand and install better national leadership that cares about Americans and get over our differences – we can build better lives for ourselves and future generations.

And Portland is doing a fine job of helping lead the way.

July 20, 2007 at 7:51 am 2 comments

Big Oil Admits Peak Oil Is Real

Ok folks, get ready for reality to start tapping into people’s minds now that the genie’s cork has been popped. In the meantime, enjoy this fantastic teaching session by David Blume, author of “Alcohol Can Be A Gas“.

July 19, 2007 at 7:08 am Leave a comment

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