Trends To Watch As Peak Oil Continues

March 19, 2008 at 1:14 pm 10 comments

As the CEO of a technology company, Peak Oil analyst, and sustainability trend spotter, I want to point out some blazing examples of trends presenting themselves as we continue to try and overcome our sustainability / survival challenges.

Peak Oil Solutions and Technology
It is only a matter of time before Internet software completely reprograms human behavior. The Mega-Pillars of the Internet, including Google, Microsoft, MySpace, Facebook, etc. will continue to duke it out with one another for primacy. In order to achieve this, they will continue to suck up the ideas of small start-ups that offer true innovation. There will also be sneak attacks and some of those small startups may even sweep the legs of the big pillars. I would tell you who they are but I want to make my money first.

This trend will continue as each mega-pillar also creates applications marketplaces by fostering open source programming environments for their users. Essentially, these behemoths no longer need to pay as many programmers, since they have users doing all the hard work for them. Applications that have real value filter their own way to the top, just like a good rock band. If enough people like you, you get famous.

Then, the big boys simply assimilate that cool new functionality into their mega-pillars that already have the eyes and ears of millions of registered users. This way, they can gain mass adoption in an instant, while fledgling startup companies either get acquired or go belly up after their ideas are stolen.

After a period, people will stop listening to government leaders and just start doing their own thing to survive. After all, they will have all the tools necessary to live sustainable lives at their fingertips. One example of this trend is how Google has assimilated the routes of government controlled transit.

So if you live in Portland like I do, you can now bypass the Tri-met website and simply use Google’s transit tool to plan your entire trip. As more of the Mega-Pillars begin to assimilate the functions of government, people will begin to rely on themselves and technology to self-sustain. Expect to see cool things such as people using their cell phones to see who in a particular neighborhood is selling or trading for eggs.

That means over time, government will become less necessary as sustainable systems better support themselves.

Edisble landscapes
We haven’t even buried the corpse of capitalism yet, but I will go out on a limb to say that as we find an equilibrium for allowing people to remain in their homes, we will need to use permaculture to hyper-relocalize our food systems and ecological foundations.

I see more and more policy planners paying attention to people that know a lot about the earth. As these gurus become consultants, we will see exciting designs as wealth meets sustainability. It will become much more than Hollywood trying to “Green” the Oscars. Landscapers that combine the law(n)s of nature with sheik design will be guaranteed a market. And worm poop is the new black gold.

The fun part will be seeing the labor market fight for jobs to help people do the conversion! How amazing will it be to see teams of neighbors working on permaculture projects together?

Need an example? Check out these two videos:

Overcoming violence in society
Ok, so crime is on the rise as the economy crashes. Or if someone actually lets loose a nuke in a city somewhere, it will suck tremendously. Or, if climate change ramps up so fast we all perish, then poop-on-a-stick. But to say that we just sat back and watched it all go down without even *trying*?

No way. I believe in America’s pioneering spirit, and that we are beginning to witness a journey within ourselves that frees us from the bonds of violence, and allows us to find happiness in appropriate food, shelter, and transportation systems.

We can’t help it if the financial system crashes, but we can help what we do about it. While the economies of the world are set for implosion due to peak oil, we should be set for an explosion of freedoms. Freedom to get out in our yards to make our soil rich and full of nutrients that plants love. We can explore the amazing freedoms of beekeeping, local food processing, board games, bike riding – a whole lot of reasons to keep on living.

Just because we all have guns doesn’t mean we have to use them.


Entry filed under: Advertising, Profits, Solutions, Sustainability, Technology, Trends. Tags: , , , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa B-K  |  March 19, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I want to throw yr blog down and kiss it.


  • 2. peakoilboy  |  March 19, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    There is a strict Lawns to Gardens MAKE OUT POLICY

    1) You shall not make out with the blog for more than 5 minutes

    2) Anyone making out with the blog for more than 5 minutes might seek additional assistance

  • 3. gellywen  |  March 20, 2008 at 4:51 am

    Thanks for this… I’m feeling inspired! Lately I’ve been thinking that economic and environmental trends are taking us to the same place – a sustainable bottom-up economy grounded in the home and our ability to support ourselves.
    I really enjoy your blog – though I’ll leave the blog snog thing to Lisa.

  • 4. peakoilboy  |  March 20, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Thank you gellywen!

    You have many reasons to be inspired. This is the best time of our lives – we actually have the chance to prove we are smart monkeys after all!

    There are bound to be countless Darwin awards handed out as we descend the oil peak, however simple living is proven to be a soul fulfilling venture.

    Wait until Bright Neighbor hits the streets…

  • 5. Jason  |  April 11, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Man, what we don’t need to hear is another bout of mid-century wishful thinking. Fossil fuels, which powered the rise of middle-class optimism, were to create a just society and look what happened. We have only to look at past evidence of how humans behave in scarcity to forecast what will occur. Our civilization rides on a thick layer of oil and, once that oil flow ceases, frightened and hungry and mad with mis-entitled rage, civilization will consume itself in an orgy of violence and mayhem. Please give up the tired new-age twaddle of peace and harmony that will descend upon the Earth once the cheap oil runs out. Get real.

  • 6. peakoilboy  |  April 11, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    “We have only to look at past evidence of how humans behave in scarcity to forecast what will occur”

    Jason, there is no doubt about what you are saying. I would rather, however, live in a town of optimists that a village of folks with your attitude. But knowing some kung fu isn’t a bad idea.

  • 7. Hawver  |  April 14, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Love the blog, but have to disagree with your misplaced optimism about the future. Once the crash happens and the cheez doodles stop showing up on the Wal Mart shelves, we have about 24 hours before the food riots and slaughter begin. I’m all for us having gardens in our back yard, but we’ll need shotguns to keep them.

  • 8. peakoilboy  |  July 8, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Well, I believe I understand markets.

    We will fall, we will crash, but we will rebuild. We don’t need oil to survive, eat well, and transport ourselves.

    If you want to kill someone because you can’t fly to Grandma’s for under $1,000 anymore or because you don’t have people skills, you have serious issues.

    Oil is just an excuse to be inhuman at that point. Meat is an addiction and when people need it, there will be rabbits and chickens for sale or barter.

    People will sell or barter worm poop. Labor will be needed for farming. Security details will be needed. People who like to cook should be the designated cooks.

    What’s your skill? What can you do? What do you like to do? Good – we have a job for you – you will be fed and your family will be housed.

    Children under should 13 eat free. Healthcare should be provided to all citizens, but healthcare should not mean prescriptions for pills. Children over 13 should enter an apprenticeship to learn valuable skills. Adults over 18 have no excuse if they aren’t willing to help one another before they tear one another apart.

    Google Sorghum. See why that beats the snot out of corn when making ethanol.

    So shame on your poor attitudes, Jason and Hawver. This is America, and while it is full of genuine assholes, I don’t believe a mass of people are going to kill one another off without trying to fix the problems first. People will choose to try and help one another first. The middle class will not jump straight to barbarism.

    Look at our country’s desire for change – so we can do the right thing. People aren’t crying out for low gas prices, they are crying out for security that conforms within the lawns of nature. They want to be happy, and know their kids will have a planet next year.

    Shame on you. I have people to help, and do not appreciate your doom. Go away.

  • […] 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 […]

  • […] acting as its own currency and market. If you will remember in March 2008 when I wrote the Trends article Peak Oil Trends, I predicted that we would see the Internet moving in and encroaching on the […]


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