How You Can Prepare for Peak Oil

Concerned about Peak Oil, the looming, ever-increasing shortage of oil? There are, unfortunately, no solutions to the Peak Oil crisis--at least none that will actually happen. The primary solution to the Peak Oil threat would have been for industrialized countries, particularly the United States--the biggest consumer of petroleum products in the world--to switch from being petroleum-based societies to sustainable energy societies. And to re-design their societies to lessen the energy needed for transportation, manufacture, agriculture, electricity and all the other uses for which we currently so desperately rely on oil. In 1981 Ronald Reagan took office as president of the United States. One of his first acts was to remove the solar panels placed on the White House by his predecessor, Jimmy Carter. With that one action, the energy future of the United States was clear. Those who followed him, both Bushes as well as Bill Clinton, continued to keep the United States on the petroleum-guzzling track to energy, economic and societal collapse. The creation, and stunning acceptance by the American public, of SUVs didn't help. The U.S., and most of the industrialized world, is addicted to oil. China and India are now fellow addicts with a potentially bigger habit that the rest of us combined. Meanwhile worldwide oil production will peak--or has peaked already. Thus: Peak Oil. But your community--and most especially you--can do something to lessen the local effects of Peak Oil: 1. Familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of Peak Oil, and decide how seriously you want to take the threat. (You may decide it's not much of a threat at all.) Remember that it's the effects of Peak Oil that are of concern. For example, it's not a question of how you are going to get to the supermarket to buy food. It's how the food is going to get there. 2. Read one or more of the basic introduction and guides to Peak Oil. 3. Familiarize yourself with some of the major Peak Oil websites . 4. See a movie about Peak Oil. At this point, we particularly recommend "The End of Suburbia". 5. Read a book on Peak Oil. 6. Join an Internet forum so you can discuss Peak Oil with others 7. Find a group near you and get together with others who are also concerned about Peak Oil. 8. Sign a petition , join an activist group, or contact a politician urging that they take action to deal with Peak Oil. The longer they wait, the less they can do, but at least they can do something. 9. Consider establishing--or joining--a Peak Oil community. 10. Find ideas that will help your current community prepare for Peak Oil. We recommend Beyond Peak. One of the most important of these ideas is g ardens. Plant your own or work with neighbors to start a community garden. For example, see what they're doing in Vancouver, B.C.. You can--and should--also support your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. Most provide regular deliveries of food and, at some, you can even pick your own food. Here's full information. 11. Become familiar with the following websites that are all focused on dealing with Peak Oil, now and later: Beyond Peak A guide to self-sufficiency. Living sustainably with Peak Oil and economic collapse. Busby Report U.K. survival in the 21st century. Community The community solution to Peak Oil. Independence Journal Sustainable living news for "exurban living"--getting along at the edge of the Western resource-intensive lifestyle. Life After the Oil Crash Website for the author of "The Oil Age is Over". Los Angeles Post Carbon Peak Oil activists in the Los Angeles area. Oil An excellent site with detailed information on five different Peak Oil scenarios, ranging from Pollyanna to Head for the Hills. Permatopia Permaculture solutions to Peak Oil, climate change and other environmental crises. Post Carbon Institute Learning to live in a low energy world. An educational institution and think tank that explores what society might look like without oil and gas. Includes community activist effort. Surviving Peak Oil Grass roots ideas for survival. 12. Anything you do to help yourself, your family, your friends, your neighborhood and your community prepare for Peak Oil will be valuable, even if Peak Oil effects are not as serious as many expect. The more your community is connected, self-sufficient and sustainable, the better. And you'll feel better because you're taking positive action.