Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Monday, July 9, 2012

convince me peak oil and climate change isn't happening

For the past few weeks now, Toni and I have been immersed in discussions around peak oil, climate change, a post-industrial world, the collapse of civilization and other fun topics. We have been reading and sharing everything we can get our hands on (and there is quite a lot of material), and most of our conversations of late have turned to this topic.

Basically, life as we know it now is about to come to an abrupt end, we will all have to live on less, much less than we do now, and that is going to mean living with less electricity. Less gas. Less money. Less manufactured food.

The midwest has been experiencing extreme heat coupled with no electricity. I read a story about people who had no food in their pantry so they went to the nearest gas station - all that was left was Cheetos and Gatorade.

If you found yourself without power for an unknown amount of time, how long could you last? How much food do you have in your home? How much water? Not just for the people in your house, but your pets?

In the news tonight, there are rolling blackouts in Alberta - as in people are being asked to reduce their energy usage in the Canadian province that produces the most energy in the form of fossil fuels. Does anyone else see the irony in this?

 My sister lives on a chicken farm in Alberta, where even a five second interruption in electricity, especially in the heat of summer, could be catastrophic. The birds live (well, maybe not live, but "are raised") in barns that have fans going to maintain a steady temperature. This is, in fact, how most mass-produced poultry is raised - not in green pastures but in buildings that require fossil fuels to power. Without fossil fuels, this type of agriculture is not possible. (Admittedly I see this as a good thing, as I have now seen how happy chickens are supposed to live).

I don't want to sound alarmist, but this is alarming. Climate change is real. And yet, I forget that even though I now have a fairly decent grounding in understanding the reasons why solar and wind energy won't save us (they require massive inputs of fossil fuel and there is no real infrastructure to get them up and running, much less material to maintain these modes when they begin to deteriorate), I realize that not everyone else has also come to realize this or even wants to believe it is happening. North Carolina, the state I'll be moving to soon, has passed a law banning evidence of rising sea levels. Figure that one out.

To add salt to the wound, everyone knows that economies are collapsing left and right. People are going bankrupt. Municipalities are going bankrupt. If you ever wondered what your municipal taxes paid for, you (if you live in a town that goes belly up) will soon see what that money paid for. Garbage collection. Recycling. Policing. Parks. Libraries. Water and sewage. What will happen if cities can no longer manage these things? You can bet some enterprising corporate entity will swoop in and demand high prices for these services that no one can afford.

If provincial and state governments or federal governments go this way, what then? Say goodbye to health care, education, social services, always the first to go in Canada and the US in a crisis.

I'm not really doing any of these major topics on which volumes have been written much justice here, but my point is in wanting to convey, just as Toni did in her post, that collapse is not some thing in the future, it has already begun.

I am taking this summer as my summer school to get immersed in collapse preparedness. I have time to read, after all, so I am reading much of the same material that Toni has been reading.

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