Saturday, April 30, 2005


I was thinking today about the concept of survivalism. Actually, I have thought about it often throughout my life. I admit, during the Clinton years of prosperity, I let my guard down. I think it was Kunstler's essay that slammed me back to reality.

The idea that our way of life, our standard of living, will improve is everyone's hope. Thinking that we may never have a life any better than we have now is okay for some but an uncomfortable proposition for many. The notion that our standard of living and level of safety will inevitably decline, maybe suddenly, can incite downright panic. Survivalism, as I understand it, addresses this insecurity and is nothing more than extending the notion of self-defense and self-preservation to a greater or lesser degree.

Most of us trust the government to come to our aid in the event of a large scale disaster. After every hurricane, tornado, or flood, FEMA steps in and the recovery is underway. Most people will ride it out with the only self-preservation being that they made it to the “safe room” in the house where there they had stored a gallon of water for each household member.

There are those that would be more prepared, the survivalist types. Stylistically, these people range from the family with a few weeks food and water stored in the pantry almost incidentally, because there were some great deals at Costco, to families with a wooded retreat stocked to the rafters with dehydrated, and freeze dried food, propane and gasoline storage in bulk as well as a well stocked armory. At the first sign of impending disaster, they would head for the retreat just as they had drilled a hundred times already.

One would think that of the three strategies mentioned above, the latter would offer the greatest chances for survival. I suppose in a temporary and regional crisis that would be true; the retreat is well stocked and the members are all trained. When the crisis has passed, they go home and rebuild.

However, the impending disaster of running out of cheap feul is neither temporary nor regional; it is permanent and global and nobody will be coming to the rescue.

Soon the government will run out of gas. Soon it will run out of stored grain, the production of which is heavily dependent on oil, but not before they cannot deliver the last of it. So, do the survivalists win? Unless they have a ‘Plan B’, no. They will run out of food too. If they relied on bullets for hunt for food, well, bullets are a finite resource. Did their stoves run on propane? Ooops. Did they drive there? I hope they can quickly convert their pick-up trucks to firewood, because this gas station is about to close shop.

So, what is Plan B?

Friday, April 29, 2005

Peak Oil

In my opinion, what we are soon to go through trumps any of the political crap slinging going on these days. I suppose an enlightened administration, supported by an enlightened people could come up with some amazing and progressive Energy policy. A full on, balls-to-the-wall diversion of all our resources, financial, personal, spiritual, joined with much sacrifice might give us a smooth transition into a non-petroleum world.
Let's face it, it ain't gonna happen. Check out some of the well referenced Peak Oil links to the right.