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And so it begins?

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Mar. 1st, 2004 | 09:31 am

Venezuela threat to cut US oil.

As production continues to lessen the oil producing states will having increasing power over those who are still dependent on oil. Considering saudi arabia no longer has spare capacity, we have just entered this world.

We must decrease our dependence on oil.

Short term ideas. Combine errands, turn your car off instead of idling it for more than 30 seconds, walk or bike. Reduce meat consumption (to lessen the amount of grain that needs to be harvested, which reduces fertilizer and fuel use).

Medium term: switch to hybrid cars, increase penetration of mass transit. Buy some solar panels, even if it's just to recharge some rechargeable batteries.

Long term: redesign cities to encourage walking, bicycles, and electrified rail. Switch to urban organic farms.

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Comments {10}

[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

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from: artemii
date: Mar. 1st, 2004 09:38 am (UTC)
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so what's gonna happen when only a fraction of people in this society do these things? (beyond ones who already do)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Mar. 1st, 2004 10:39 am (UTC)
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we'd start with a bidding war for oil, which means someone (the poorest people) wont be getting oil.

My hope is that by encouraging some people to start switching now means that it will be easier to do the technology transfer to the more stubborn people are forced to change.

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secretslip

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from: secretslip
date: Mar. 1st, 2004 10:09 am (UTC)
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In this post you seem passionate but not offensive.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Mar. 1st, 2004 10:39 am (UTC)
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yay! progress

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Mar. 1st, 2004 10:28 am (UTC)
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Where's all the electricity coming from? Nuclear plants?

That seems like a potentially huge political issue (rather than a thing you or I personally can do to save the planet), but still.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Mar. 1st, 2004 10:42 am (UTC)
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Currently most electricity is coming from natural gas on the west coast and coal on the east coast.

Though we're running out of natural gas as well. And if we decide to liquify coal to use it as fuel we'll rapidly run out of that as well.

I'm envisioning something like the retooling of american industry like WWII or the great depression, where it has to be a mix of both individual and societial changes.

However since our current government seems rather sluggish in responding, it seems like we need to start changing even without their help. For instance these people are putting together a rather sustainable life style.

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Mar. 1st, 2004 10:51 am (UTC)
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Envision a future that you'd be happy with. Does it involve us using radically less energy, or producing tons of abundant energy without using petroleum products?

The latter seems more realistic to me. (Well, except in the apocalyptic crash scenario in which 80% of the population dies, in which case the survivors would be using a whole lot less energy.)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Mar. 2nd, 2004 12:22 pm (UTC)
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My utopian version is a that we live in vastly more efficient cities, to achieve that efficiency requires cities like car free cities, with an emphasis on locally produced organic foods with a minimum of calories from meat products.

There would no longer be such a thing as waste, everything unwanted would be recycled.

Energy would probably be produced from solar, wind, or tidal forces. We would have policies that discourage the human population from further growth, and we would take steps to minimize the gap between the rich and poor.

To me that is the most ethical path, it minimizes overall suffering while providing a society that isn't depleating the natural capital required for its survival.

Maintaining our current lifestyle in a sustainable manner is unlikely to happen. We can't afford to continue loosing valuable crop land to cities that sprawl to support automobiles.

We have had little progress on building electric vehicles that compare favorably to todays vehicles. Given the energy losses from electrical storage and the remarkable lack of effort put into developing renewable energy supplies it's unlikely we can produce enough power to duplicate our current lifestyle from purely renewable sources.

Since I expect we will slide some distance toward the apocalyptic crash before we do anything, I'm hoping that my utopian scenario can be constructed out of the ashes of our current society.

Though given the depleation of water supplies and topsoil fertility I'm really expecting widespread famine.

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[you'll find a light, find a friend, find a way]

(no subject)

from: artemii
date: Mar. 1st, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC)
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actually in the east coast it's increasingly from natural gas as well. (this is putting even more of a strain on dwindling natural gas supplies)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Mar. 2nd, 2004 12:06 pm (UTC)
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That's depressing.

I wonder what new england will be using for heating soon.

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