The White Man’s Peak Oil Pie-Eating Competition

The world is made up of a lot of stupid people – most of these people are white, stupid white people. And funnily enough, most of the mega-corporations in the world are run by white men. Now there are a lot of people who are white and not stupid, I’d hate to alienate all white people, but I’d have to say, (and note at this point, before you call me a racist pig, that I myself am white), that for the most part, the stupidest people in the world are white.

Continue Reading →

The Missing Number – Peak Oil

There is a sizable community of energy pundits who, after reviewing oil production records, believe that world oil production peaked last year (2008) at 81.73 million barrels of oil per day. Many in this community follow the discussion at a site called The Oil Drum, where no topic is off limits – as long as it relates to energy future, which if you haven’t worked out yet, just about everything we do or touch exists because of cheap abundant energy. Unfortunately, this number and the impacts on society, culture, the economy and development are being ignored by the media and the general population.

Continue Reading →

Canada’s Sub-Prime Situation and Peak Oil

While the following article represents some of the least investigative of all investigative journalism that I’ve had the pleasure of…

Continue Reading →

Peak Oil Transitions

I’ve heard a lot of apocalyptic talk around the topic of peak oil. The way society moves towards a reality of energy descent could be smooth or rough, depending on how prepared communities are. One group of thinkers, led by Rob Hopkins, who is a doctoral student at Plymouth University in England, is the Transition movement…

Buildings & Grounds: A Guide to Making the Transition Away From Oil – Chronicle.com

A key tenet of the Transition movement is establishing resilience, or the ability of a place to endure and absorb shocks – everything from food-supply interruptions to economic downturns to energy crises. The degree to which we are dependent on oil is the degree to which we are vulnerable, Mr. Hopkins says. I suppose broadly speaking, trying to support what food production exists is central. Linking producers and consumers is central. And also trying to reintroduce urban agriculture and the rethink of the land around the towns is central. Trying to move energy generation more into the control of the community is seen as very important, as is designing for the end of the private motor vehicle – its days are numbered already. Rob Hopkins has a book soon to be released that may interest some readers…

Continue Reading →

Post Peak Oil Isolation

[adsense:200×200:1:3]

One of the realities of a post-peak oil world in many communities is going to be isolation. For much of British Columbia for example, the population is so dispersed within hundreds of river valleys separated by mountain passes or long winding roads. Even cities that feel connected today may be difficult to cross without cars.

You may feel secure today knowing that the Safeway is just down the road, and Target is over the other side of town, but how would you get there without a car, and how would the goods get there without trucks? The economy we so enjoy today relies almost in it’s entirety on oil, and lots of it, to get the food and goods we purchase to the stores, to get us to and from work, to get us to the stores, it all revolves around a continuous, cheap supply of oil.

Without oil, we will become isolated. Goods will not get to us, we won’t be able to get to the goods either in some cases. The bananas I buy in the middle of winter in BC for 59 cents a pound will be a vague memory. Consider this example of pricing: following a cyclone in Australia that wiped out about half of the banana plantations on the east coast, the price of bananas went to almost $20 a kilogram, and in some cases more. This was a case where the supply had diminished to increase the demand, but what if the supply wasn’t the limitation… what if the transportation of goods in a timely manner was the limiting factor? Then it would no longer be viable for the transportation to continue, as the food would go off while still in transit, before it could be purchased. 

Dealing with this isolation will require a new breed of frontiersman and women, ready to take on the challenges associated with the limits of distance.  Years ago, the pioneers that inhabited these valleys in the Kootenays knew about isolation, and they farmed and harvested locally accordingly to survive.

Are the cities of today ready to turn themselves back into farmland to produce the food they require to survive? Will our current political boundaries mean anything or be relevant in a changed environment and economy, or will geographical ones make more sense?

I hope we can adapt smoothly to a new reality such as the picture I’ve just painted, perhaps technology will save us from ourselves, but I’d hate to rely on it. What are your thoughts?

Continue Reading →