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Oct. 11th, 2004 | 11:34 pm

So that Guardian UK article linked to on slashdot, about the rate of CO2 emissions accelerating over the past two years was kind of depressing. Admittedly only a couple of years isn't enough to be certain of anything, but it certainly doesn't bode well.

Though the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas most recent newsletter peak oil is knocking on our door. There item 429 lists several pieces of evidence for peak oil, such as Of the 48 largest oil-producing countries which BP lists, which account for at least 98 percent of world oil extraction, only 17 were past their peaks as of 1993 but 31 were past peak as of 2002, not counting Denmark and Angola, which may have peaked that year. and Decline has set in among many major producers. In each year 1993-1997, at least 30 major producing countries showed output increases. The tables have turned. Output declined in 29 major countries in 2001, in 27 in 2002 and 22 in 2003. Yet oil prices in this period were much higher than in 1993-1997, and rising. So was consuption. This, surely, is a strong sign that economic forces alone do not govern how much oil is extracted and that geological reality, i.e., resource finitude and depletion, is starting to take over.

Of course if I think about these things too much I start to go back to the apocalyptic world view of my parents and start assuming that the society I currently live in wont survive. My current best guess most places on earth would like like the conditions of a poor third world country or failed state. Assuming the greenhouse effect doesn't run away and fry all of us.

And at that point I start feeling like a paranoid survivalist, and want to know how to grow food, defend myself with armed and unarmed combat, treat injuries and disease, and how to build stuff.

Though surviving a collapsed ecosystem would be "challenging".

It is a good question of how much effort to put into survival training versus just enjoying the moment. Simple things like storing some water and food, and making an emergency kit seem pretty reasonable. Buying a gun and taking a martial art seem more questionable.

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Comments {4}


(no subject)

from: migaz
date: Oct. 15th, 2004 12:27 pm (UTC)

adding this post and the previous together:

This issue of peak oil scares me, I'm really scared about it.

And at that point I start feeling like a paranoid survivalist, and want to know how to grow food, defend myself with armed and unarmed combat, treat injuries and disease, and how to build stuff.

My problem also. If you believe peak oil has arrived what to do then?
I also so agree the basic out-line of the problems you mentioned:

1 Food
2 Defense
3 Health
4 Manufacturing

and add two more:

5 Choosing people
6 Energy source/Energy consumption model

It is a good question of how much effort to put into survival training versus just enjoying the moment.

Task of learning this first four items seems colossal.
It would be a full time job. In the case of item number 4 I don't know even what to study: how low tech should I go back? Stone age? At minimal you need a level of technology were you know how to build a replacement for every thing.

It is a good question of how much effort to put into survival training versus just enjoying the moment

Key question; The lords of the last days... Besides you have to enjoy or you will be mad. And feel guilty not to have enjoyed while you could.

Now if you imagine a world with no oil:

Simple things like storing some water and food, and making an emergency kit seem pretty reasonable

doesn't sound very reasonable (what to you do when the supplies in your kit run out?)

And linking up with the book about Frailty, how will you stand up in a world with a collapsed society with out a good training in martial arts and warfare?

(I haven't started taking classes in martial arts...)

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Diane Trout

(no subject)

from: alienghic
date: Oct. 16th, 2004 12:08 pm (UTC)

After getting over my initially fears that everything would collapse suddenly without warning I started to realize that a lot of the world outside of the G8 looks like an energy limited world.

As time progresses, things like power plants either run out of fuel or parts, if the problems are primarily economic, then it takes longer for people to repair or do maintenance.

So my current model of a peak oil collapse looks more like that of Iraq where the infrastructure was weakened from years of sanctions and then what was left was blown up. The stories I've read suggest they still have a few hours per day of electricity or water service.

I'm currently envisioning things to fail starting with sporadic interruptions that grow in frequency.

Storing water buys me some time to implement an alternative way of gathering water. Perhaps using plastic trash bags to either desalinate water or collect dew. (Though I should probably test those things first.)

I'm also planning on picking up a ceramic backpacking water filter soon.

Having the kit allows me to respond to more immediate disasters (like earthquakes), buys time during periods of instability, and gives me time to transition to alternatives if/when the collapse is permanent.

Though your step 5 is a really good point. Learning how to do everything for your own survival is really challenging, but with a group you can spread the cost of learning all the required skills out.

Recently I was thinking about wether or not to get involved with the SCA as they include work on learning the craft skills of the european medieval period, which covers at least the critical manufacturing (bowls, cloths, weapons, and books) in a way that can be done with just muscle.

They are however lacking in farming.

As for martial arts, I'm going to learn how to use a sword soon, and I'm wondering about driving to learn Krav Maga which has the advantage of including defenses against guns and knives.

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Food for thought

from: migaz
date: Oct. 17th, 2004 10:10 am (UTC)

To organize I’ll follow the order of the 6 points:

1: Food

I thought that would be hardest part of the 6 points:

1.1 Due to our dependence of oil and natural gas to grow food today.
1.2 Because of the time and energy consuming nature of old methods of ancient agriculture.

Now I think I found part of the solution:

If I can grow all my own food like this for a period of time* in a healthy way I would say this would solve this point

* (A month? Six months?)

2: Defense

This item seems to me bigger then I thought at the time I started thinking about it. I will only address a more or less strait reply to what you said to keep it small.

Both skills on hand combat and skills with a sword would be useful.

But I think you need an extra skill bow and arrow or a crossbow.


1.1 First because it amplifies your range and give more options.
1.2 You can use that skill for hunting or deal with dangerous animals
1.3 Because you probably want to avoid close range combat as much as you can. Only as a last resort. By the same order of thought that you rather kill a threatening bear at a distance, you want the same with people. People can turn out much more dangerous.
1.4 You also want to avoid wounds.

I said warfare because martial arts without the bigger picture seem to me to lose a lot of its advantages. Martial arts work as a tool. Study of warfare would work has to know the whys and whens. Because most of the time you don’t want to fight and when you do you must understand how tools work. The tools per do not address the key issue.

3. Health

Extremely complicated

Two layer approach
3.1 Prevention
Good diet
Good hygiene
Yoga, taichi or other correlated discipline

3.2 Healing
Alopathic knowledge on trauma and orthopedics

The problem with 3.2 lies in the time consuming need to learn any of them, specially fito therapy, and you need to keep practicing. If not your field, my best answer says to learn basics and team up with someone with expertise in the field.

I don’t know yet what to do about dental problems…

4. Manufacturing

HUGE problem

The best I manage until now was to try to mark the territory:

Food, organic material (no freezers?)
Food tools
Cooking tools
Books and writing
Maybe transportation

inputs very welcome

5. Choosing People

If any Gods would accept to team up with me that would be great.

Failing so, I would like to assemble a pool of skills that would together, with over laps, were able to address items 1,2,3 and 4

But I would have to get reasonably well with them and have a high degree of trust in them and their stability to coupe with things as they change.

6. What do I use to cook the food and heat the house? And maybe to fuel a little

You basic scenario works a good starting point. Kyu ba since it suffers an embargo for a long time can be used as a show case of what might happen if things work out more or less. A bad scenario: Kyu re a with larges famines.

But I suspect as things get worse more social unrest will come.

Also the best time window to learn happens now. Then it will get difficult more and more:

For example: the internet may end of reduce in a large amount the information available and the access to it.

May problem with your model lays in the food production. Currently it depends heavily on oil and natural gas. With no food social unrest will spread quickly. Although I think I found the alternative, I can’t say if it can provide food for everyone and, if information alternative agriculture and sustainable methods can spread fast enough.

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Diane Trout

Re: Food for thought

from: alienghic
date: Nov. 7th, 2004 12:00 pm (UTC)

I've spent some time thinking about food production as well.

I remember reading that England was able to import grain from Australia on sailing ships. Grains a fairly stable and can be kept for several years if kept in a dry airtight container. Food storage faq. This is useful for holding oneself over while starting to grow food.

Depending on where you live, another important issue is water, it seems like most places are short of clean water. (There's either not enough to go around (Los Angeles), or whats there is heavily polluted (The Ganges). There are some useful ideas for how to collect rainwater.

For medicine just understanding the germ theory of disease will put you in a better place that the vast majority of human history. It's amazing how cleaning and dressing wounds with sterilized bandages will cut down on the probability of an infection.

For cooking it's probably useful to learn how to use a solar cooker, though it might also be possible to produce cooking oil from vegetable matter.

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