Archive for September, 2007
Hear Ye, Hear Ye, there are ways thou shalt be able to maketh ends meet while the economy takes a crappeth on itself!
Know a Baby Boomer with a bank account?
Seriously. You might be able to siphon off of them for a bit longer while they can still muster the cash to fill their RVs and motor coaches with affordable fuel. After all, it’s the older crowd that has most of the money (resorts are full of them), while the younger crowd is starting to feel the burn of debt. No doubt hordes of twenty-somethings will be moving back in with mom and dad soon (if mom and dad still have a house). I don’t want to brow beat people anymore though. It’s too late for that… the crash is already happening, and the stage is set for some big event to fully usher in a completely totalitarian state. People didn’t have the backbone, temerity, or organizational skills to stop that from happening. That’s the power of TV entertainment for ya.
For those that tried, kudos to ya. It’s hard to spark change when even peaceful protesters are being shot and killed these days. But if people REALLY wanted to change the system, it could be done.
The problem is there is no leader able to break through to the world able to convince enough people that the world is everyone’s oyster to share. Everyone is clinging to what little pieces they think are theirs, which just goes to prove that there are lots and lots of people on the planet who think highly of themselves, controlled by a tiny percentage at the top. But now as the reality of Peak Oil really gets under way, we each have to think critically about ways to keep putting food on the table, making a living, and not getting desperate and turning to crime.
Here We Are
First comes economic pain – as we are seeing right now. Mortgage defaults, layoffs, and rising costs of living. Sales declines of all kinds are contributing to the recession, while some niche companies like survival goods are seeing spikes in sales. An ominous sign of things to come for sure.
It really is going to come down to coming to terms with reality, and making lemonade from the fact that your future may not be going according to plan. Life gets pretty scary when your monthly bills multiply like rabbits on E. Pressures will rise at work, and you might be coming home and taking it out on (Insert person or pet here). It might have been that new car you bought, or that massive mortgage. It could be the fact that you bought whatever advertisers made you and your friends think was cool, so everyone got the latest ‘thingamajig’ in different colors, with awesome add-on accessories to boot.
That’s what we’ll call “The Former Economy“. It’s all our collective fault, not any single person’s – so why not start making yourself more valuable? Now is as good a time as any to turn those useful skills you have into the ability to be happy while learning to live with less.
Can you farm?
Can you build or create useful things that help people?
Can you sell those useful things?
Now is the perfect time to learn new skills
You’ll need them. I sure see a lot of “For Sale” signs these days, and it’s only going to multiply (HINT: maybe you should wait to buy whatever you are planning on buying and get a killer deal later on.)
No matter what, remember that scarcity is a frame of mind. You still have much more than many other people, even if you have to downsize or you lose possessions. If you lose your job or your house, you are still alive and kicking enough to go earn an honest living, even if it means a temporary setback in your living standards. I’m just as vulnerable as you.
The best part about suffering is when you realize how awesome it is to redeem yourself and become a do-gooder.
I’m always curious how people find “Lawns to Gardens”. Here are just a few search terms that have routed people to this Blog.
working jobs we hate so we can buy shit
safest place to be in nuclear war
Peak Oil survival
Oil Shocks and economic collapse
2007 economic crash survival blog
war with Iran
end of the world
Paris Hilton sex
Paris Hilton blowjob
DISCLOSURE to “Lawns to Gardens” readers: Yes, I am now working with David Blume as his promoter.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Green Mind Marketing
ETHANOL EXPERT HELPS OREGONIANS RAMP UP SMALL-SCALE FUEL PRODUCTION
Author David Blume Comes To Oregon To Teach Valuable Ethanol Skills
PORTLAND, OR., Sept. 19. — Call him a dreamer, a pioneer, or a determined man on a mission. Author of the critically acclaimed new book “Alcohol Can Be A Gas” David Blume is coming to Portland and Eugene to deliver valuable insight for starting small-scale ethanol production.
“There is no more profound collection of introductory information on ethanol, from production, crop feedstocks, vehicle alteration, and small-scale distribution,” says Mark Fitz, Operations Manager for Star Oil. “This guy is single-handedly shifting people away from petroleum.”.
Globally acknowledged as the “god-father” of ethanol, Blume is a leading advocate and expert on renewable solutions to the global need for inexpensive, non-polluting, and sustainable energy and food sources. Blume’s coming Portland and Eugene workshops provide unrivaled insight into the practicality of transforming US energy production and use to a totally sustainable model.
Blume presents ethanol myth-busting facts, scientific data, business models, and proven methodologies that give audiences a revolutionary first-person look at truly sustainable solutions to global warming, green house gas emissions, food resource issues as well as provide them with a road-map to a new post-oil economy.
As part of his coming in-person appearances, Blume will be a featured guest on the nationally syndicated Thom Hartmann Radio Program. Hartmann calls Blume’s work “brilliant!” and his book “Alcohol Can Be A Gas,” “A must read for every American.”
Larry Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of the American Corn Growers Association recently said, “I have personally worked in the renewable energy sector in one form or another for close to four
decades and I recommend David Blume’s “Alcohol Can Be a Gas” as the most comprehensive and understandable book on renewable fuels I have ever read on the subject.”
Blume will be presenting his “Alcohol Can Be A Gas” workshop at Portland State University October 6th, and at the University of Oregon in Eugene on October 7th. Workshop details can be found at http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com.
About David Blume:
For more information about the International Institute for
Sustainable Agriculture or author, lecturer David Blume, his coming
“Alcohol Can Be A Gas” book release and current speaking engagement
schedule please visit: http://www.permaculture.com
SOURCE International Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
For free press passes to either the Portland or Eugene workshop, please contact Randy White at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today we learned that tons of protesters headed to Washington to protest the war, only to have their buses turned away by the police. Apparently, you have to WALK into DC if you want to register a complaint with the establishment about the complete global poo-storm they have created for us.
And while there were many anti-war protesters that did manage to get their message across, there were also the pro-war Americans chanting “GO USA! Go USA!” as well.
You know, those are folks you want cheering for your kid’s football team. The people that will cheer on their team all the way until the end, even when the game is down to the last seconds an it’s apparent their team is losing.
Man, what SPIRIT those folks have. We gotta hand it to them.
But what we are having handed to us is our ass, on a platter, from the rest of the world. And no one likes to lose, so it’s easy to understand why there is so much anger and denial in America. We can’t lose, can we? We can’t have fucked up so bad that things will fall apart, can we? But… but… we’re America, man!
Yeah, try reading some history and you’ll see it’s not only possible, but it’s our new reality. Welcome to shock and trauma. The people in charge did not achieve whatever objectives they were trying to achieve. Frankly, I don’t care how much planning all these Washington Think Tanks did before the invasion, they apparently thought they could beat the laws of physics or something.
Doh! Looks like the invisible hand was caught in the cookie jar.
So, mature politicians around the world must start having the conversation no one thought we’d have to have… that here are just too many people on the planet to sustain the existing population with such unfair levels of national greed. In America, we use 25% of the world’s resources. We are not able to sustain an empire able to hold onto that kind of lifestyle.
And now the markets are crashing all around us, just like the Peak Oilers have said was going to happen all along. The dollar is falling, and debt-ridden Americans are lined up as lambs for the slaughter. The establishment lent out all the monopoly money and Americans thought they were “home owners” when they were merely debters. Only in this game of monopoly, when people lose, they can go cold and hungry.
So here’s what I’m hearing as concerns:
“Randy, war is raging, the planet is burning up, oil is running out, the cost of living is getting too high, there are people on the streets, – it’s just about to be general mayhem and hell out there!”
I believe we can save this place and still manage to eek out a happy living. We just need to make some serious changes:
America’s New Military
My wife is a nurse. She works several 12+ hour shifts a week, and it’s wearing on her, just as I’m sure so many jobs are wearing on other Americans. If the corporations freed/liberated the work force, we could put together a new type of military.
For instance – instead of a draft for war, we could draft people for social work. You could choose from a variety of trades, and put in your 1 – 2 years of service serving the needs of the many. After your “time” in the service, you get to take a break and have people help you out.
Basically, a not-for-profit system of caring for each and every American, and person in the world, for that matter.
Now, I’m not trying to go all commie or “We Are The World” on you, but unless we quickly build up America’s New Military to do good for the citizenry and provide for everyone, there will only be so much people can take before riots start taking place. No one wants that.
America’s New Hobby
Learning old world skills, baby. I think people had better start learning how to master some sort of plant or craft, such as becoming a “Carrot Master”, or “Sewing Master”, or whatever relevant thing you can do best. If neighbors worked together to help one another and share these skills, we can have civil cohesion.
America’s New Fuel
I’m not going to debate the whole biofuels thing here. It’s time to kick small scale, localized, multi-crop ethanol biorefineries into high gear. We CAN grow enough food and fuel for all Americans.(there are even classes!) I will tell you that there is most certainly a way to become energy independent, and David Blume is the hero to help implement the planthe plan. You’ve GOT to get his book.
All in all, I feel strongly that we are in the deepest of shit, and that if the kids with the guns don’t actually get us all blown up first, there are mature, idealistic Americans ready to make up for our fuckups and help get the country back on track to livability.
Fee Fi Fo Fum,
I smell napalm and gamma rays
Not too far off like a torn map
off over yonder, the pig tailed pilots yelling
Bombs Bombs Bombs away
Vaginas at the helm,
bloodied by their periods and commas and propeller engined selves
Playing world cowboys and Indians
I always wanted to be the Indian
At the tippity top
as all the clocks stop
whether at zero hour or hero hour
the hour will pass
It must pass
like a church basket in a whorehouse
coming and going
the dick and the bush
sticking it in America’s tush
The slapbacks and the green
peace insn’t in this scene dear friend
spied on till the end
the spooks getting off watching FISA free porn
Who wants to be on a fly list anyway
my passport went through the wash
it’s all a wash
Spun round and round with the chemical born generation
Your birth certified by Dow Chemical
Mom’s on dope
Dad tied to the rope he affixes around his neck every morning
Cell Blocks with Aeron chairs
They sit and they stare
at that soul sucking screen
The hum hum hum of the mojo machines
multi layered proposals full of lies
set down in front of eyes
long dead and forgotten
Well I remember the sweet taste of freedom and fucking art!
Shake my head twice and roll the dice
Fix me a drink boys!
My plastic cocoon exoskeleton is stuck the the chair
It ain’t me who’s sitting there
I won’t go softly
My jugular knows ninjitsu and will cut your knife
It’s just the snuffing out of life
It’s all about the juice now
That sweet crude way down
And the dealers are hooked
Smack Smack Smack
It ain’t even a sneak attack
There’s a knife in every back
and those pig tails are a flying
And I can feel the gamma rays again
Here we go, folks. What all of us freakozoids have been warning about all along. You are bearing witness as the first turds pierce the blades of the fan as the proverbial shit hits it. The news reports keep spinning it that all is fine, and that the problems can be contained. I have been e-mailing back and forth with John Schoen of MSNBC about this for a while now, and he dismissed our conversation as speculative, writing:
It’s true that there are plenty of reasons for concern, and a number of things that could go very wrong. But, having done this for nearly 30 years, I’ve also seen a number of very plausible warnings of impending catastrophe come and go. That’s not to say they’re wrong. But when you talk about tearing the social fabric, you’re getting into Hollywood disaster scenario territory.
Well John, I’m standing by the claim that drastic emergency measures need to be taken to change course from a massive crash, especially if/when the US and Iran head into their Title Bout. I have a feeling we will swing first, even if we try to tell the judges they did.
But that is beyond the control of any single news journalist or Peak Oil / Advertising blogger. What I can tell you are the things happening in the world of Advertising.
Buyers are aware of price declines in big ticket items, so they are waiting to purchase
People who bought a house are willing to lose their deposit in order to save big money as home builders drop their prices. In other words, if the house hasn’t closed yet, people are dumping their contracts to “re-buy” the house at a new, lower adjusted price. After all, would you want to pay $400,000 for a house that is now worth $350,000? Or a car at $35,000 when you could wait and get it at $25,000? I didn’t think so.
This means businesses are going to take massive hits on profits
Some businesses are even willing to go into the red to make sales, just so they can hit their sales numbers. Eventually, heads are gonna roll in all categories: Managers, suppliers, worker bees, etc.
This means that recently laid off people will tighten their spending
And when people tighten their spending, those sales just keep on drying up like the Amazon. And when sales dry up, advertisers try all sorts of neat things like piling on incentives, blow out sales, and other gimmicks. What really matters is if the product/service you are selling is essential.
Pretty soon, top management dogs and middle managers are going to have to deal with the stinky reality of Peak Oil. It is appearing in many forms… a multi-headed hydra of a beast. Of course, the capitalists running the US can’t deal with reality like adults, so they want to go shoot people. I can understand the anger, but there are lots of understanding people out there to help deal with anger and self destruction, and maybe our politicians and business leaders should sign up for some classes.
I’m offering one, since I just quit my job working for Clear Channel. I’m flattered the company is proud of my work, and I have fully enjoyed my tenure there. Working in Corporate America certainly hardens your skin for the real world of cut throat business, and many people are genuinely nice and don’t mean any direct harm to the planet. But we all suck-suck-suck away at the earth every time we buy something, and advertising is engineered to help convince you to buy something. (Hypocrite alert: Yes, I buy things).
What we are facing is entropy, the 4th Law of Thermodynamics, and the world’s most historical case of “What goes up must come down”. No amount of “Sex in Advertising” is going to fix this one, kids. (Unless what you are advertising IS sex, which I anticipate will happen as people grow desperate for food). The only thing I’m not sure about is how long it will be before a person can get a handjob for a carrot.
Now enjoy this video.
I just returned from a week of traveling your many roads, camping in your beautiful woods, and perusing your many small towns. On one end of the extreme, I slept in an emergency cabin made for stranded hunters in the woods. No electricity, running water, or even a lock on the door. On the other end… I also stayed in nicely furnished cabins with a shower and a cooking stove.
Let me tell you, survivalism gets old within the first few days. And admittedly, I’m not boasting I did anything other than go camping. I even went camping pre-loaded with food and water, a hunting knife and lots of good books. I rented a Jeep that was easily refueled at the many gas stations along the way to and from the woods. I was redirected from a 50,000 acre forest fire by helpful rangers. That may not be survivalism for you back-wooders, but for a city boy, it’s a whole new world.
What it means is that I faked survivalism and fled the city with the best of plans. But here’s what I learned along the way:
– You need ice for your cooler at least every two days if your perishables aren’t to perish
– If there are shortages of gas, you may not be able to flee farther than a couple hundred miles from your present location
– Spilling lamp oil inside your vehicle makes breathing super fun
– Invest in Coleman stoves and propane while you can
– Trees and rocks DO fall in front of you on back mountain roads
– Small town economies want your money but they don’t want you
– Headlamps Headlamps Headlamps
– Freeways suck until you need them
– Knowing martial arts is wise
– Poachers like to ride in back of trucks to hunt deer at night
I could go on, but the ultimate lesson is that even if there was some sort of massive energy crash, running from your home won’t matter for very long. Being on edge and distrusting anyone who rolls by your camp as a potential adversary truly sucks. Also, Unless you already live in a small, self-sustaining community that would band together to keep out the droves of people fleeing the city, you may be turned away from their road blocks. Or road pirates could easily pick you off from any of the roads you travel.
All in all, it comes down to people doing what’s best for themselves and their families as we head off the energy cliff. And since everyone is so underprepared for any kind of immediate crash, it would probably be a bloody mess after just a week or so, no matter where you are. People have to eat and drink to live, period. So, while I do my best to kick start more localization of economies, I guess I’m going to go have to also build an ark and learn some kung-fu.
My hope is that we have time for a transition.