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
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
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
9. Consider establishing--or joining--a Peak
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
11. Become familiar with the following websites that are all
focused on dealing with Peak Oil, now and later:
Beyond Peak http://www.beyondpeak.com
A guide to self-sufficiency. Living sustainably with Peak Oil
and economic collapse.
Busby Report http://www.after-oil.co.uk
U.K. survival in the 21st century.
Community Solution.org http://www.communitysolution.org
The community solution to Peak Oil.
Independence Journal http://www.independencejournal.com
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 http://la.postcarbon.org
Peak Oil activists in the Los Angeles area.
Oil Scenarios.info http://www.oilscenarios.info
An excellent site with detailed information on five different
Peak Oil scenarios, ranging from Pollyanna to Head for the Hills.
Permaculture solutions to Peak Oil, climate change and other
Post Carbon Institute http://www.postcarbon.org
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 http://www.survivingpeakoil.com
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.