Archive for February, 2008

Peak Oil Is Here: How Will Young People Deal With The Next “Great Depression”?


By Randy White
Editor, Lawns to Gardens

Oopsy. Looks like America was caught off guard from reality. I still am in awe some “News” outlets are still debating whether a recession has arrived.

1) What schools did they go to?
2) Don’t send your kids there

Just today, oil scored a new high price record at $101 a barrel.

The logic of OPEC’s argument makes no economic sense. They report:

“Market analysts say OPEC producers might cut production in response to the slowdown of the US economy, which is world’s biggest oil user.”

Excuse me, but does that make any sense? Have we seen a drop in demand? Why would they decrease the amount of oil when the demand is rising? To me, this screams geological realities and market distributors making excuses for an inability to add more oil to the market. And that constitutes post-peak. Here is another comical take on peak oil, this one is from MSNBC:

“Oil futures shot higher Tuesday, closing above $100 for the first time as investors bet that crude prices will keep climbing despite evidence of plentiful supplies and falling demand. At the pump, gas prices rose further above $3 a gallon.

There was no single driver behind oil’s sharp price jump; investors seized on an explosion at a 67,000 barrel per day refinery in Texas, the falling dollar, the possibility that OPEC may cut production next month, the threat of new violence in Nigeria and continuing tensions between the U.S. and Venezuela.”

See the contradiction? Wake up to real economics, folks.

Since the new Depression is most definitely here, and it is only going to get worse before things get better, how are young people reacting?

Young people do not have to be defined by their age. Normally, youth is associated with inexperience and naivety, which is why they are often discredited by the more entrenched, ‘experienced’ adults, right?

But what happens when that experience turns into obsolescence, and the adults themselves have attention deficit disorders? To me, it would imply that they are losing control and don’t know how to solve their problems.

The most amazing thing happened the other day. I was home and there was a knock at the door. Two young giggling women opened their introduction with: “Hi. We’re a little short on Rent this month, and were wondering if you had any soda cans you might want to donate?”.

I must be turning into a bit of a scrooge, because while I invited them to go through my recycling containers, I certainly wasn’t about to give them money. Not after they showed up on my front porch with their cell phones in hand.

So it makes me wonder – just how are clueless dolts in America going to handle the severe lifestyle changes that are coming? Many people have never dealt with Trauma, choosing rather to tune out into whatever entertainment experiences have kept them distracted from dealing with pain. It’s always the easy way out, trying to take pills to mask symptoms rather than getting in shape.

Only something is different now, isn’t it? It sure is getting harder to live the same way, isn’t it? But, “like, everything’s gonna be all right though, won’t it dude? Won’t we be able to keep dancing like they do in those TV commercials, and keep buying all the neat products and services they tell me to purchase? If only I could afford it.”

Sorry kids, financial stress is just the beginning. Wait until you have to grow your own food. Ha! If only you knew how awesome gardening is, and how much food we can produce on a small piece of lawn.

I would like to know when people are going to put the math together and start waking up to the fact that money is about to go bye-bye and we may have a crash of civilized life. I just hope the Internet remains operational – I see it as one of our only hopes for communication and keeping things civil.


February 19, 2008 at 3:51 pm 14 comments

Egads! More Peak Oil Wareness. Oh, the Humanity!

For any late comers to the game!

And just one more reminder…

February 11, 2008 at 12:18 am 1 comment

More Peak Oil Solutions As Entrepreneurs Kick Into High Gear

Peak Oil means that we will be refocusing our social efforts on creating ways for people to become better socially connected in MeetingSpaces. Already social networks are jockeying to become the Neighborhood tools of choice that allow people to survive locally.

After all, life is about to become much harder, so we will need ways to use less energy while creating social tools to make living with less travel ability more worthwhile. And with stale beer, bands, and ideas not getting people into the door anymore due to a decrease in consumer spending – venue owners are now willing to take more risks.

I see advanced, localized MeetingSpace trends popping up all over the place, now that technology has become cheap enough to get really creative with it in venues. Check out this video to get an example, and just imagine the possibilities if they installed a floor that generated electricity by people dancing on it.

Or imagine using a device like this new touchscreen technology as a learning application in MeetSpaces, teaching people how to do urban farming while giving them something beyond present learning technologies.

Take also, for instance, the hot new trend in Portland. At Mt Tabor on Hawthorne, Portlander’s are attending “Middle Thursdays”, a night dedicated to YouTube Karaoke and movie-screen sized Guitar hero.

Peak Oil Guitar Hero

Instead of requesting songs, attendees submit their favorite YouTube videos and have access to their own private theater and bar. There are frequent breaks to have “Guitar Offs” between the party goers as well.

To ensure there is seriousness among all the fun, at least one video containing a peak-oil communications message is shown. Attendees can coordinate carpools, get creative with night bike riding, pay carbon offsets for the evening’s electricity usage, and make sure to recycle all of the waste. Even food scraps are collected to add to compost.

Peak Oil bike

It seems as we make the transition to a less oil-dependent way of living, we can try to have the best time possible. With enough creativity, positive attitudes, and proper consumer behavior, we can slow down our waste and also use fun opportunities to teach people how to make peace with the earth, each other, and their pitiful attempts at mastering Guitar Hero.

February 4, 2008 at 1:22 am Leave a comment

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