When I first became aware of Peak Oil in the Spring of 2005, it was by this site, ‘Life After The Oil Crash’. At first, like many Peak Oil Skeptics, I thought it seemed an unlikely story, but I checked reference after reference and bought every book that Amazon.com had on the subject.
Inevitably I came to the conclusion that Peak Oil is a reality, and the only debate for me is WHEN not IF. Pretty soon I had set up Google alerts for any Peak Oil news, and every few days I would be sent an alert. Now, 18 months later, I get a dozen or more a day. Peak Oil is now becoming very well known as a term in the media, and the coverage is now growing like a snowball down a mountain side.
So what did I do once Peak Oil became a reality for me? I rushed out and did deals, buying large amounts of solar panels, selling most of them on eBay and keeping the remainder for almost free. I was quite lucky because they seem to be in short supply now and are even more expensive. And I’m sure they’ll be getting more costly all the time too.
Then I converted our hot tub and swimming pool to solar water heating, installed a wind turbine, replaced all the lightbulbs in the house with curly, energy efficient ones, changed all the thermostats with programmable ones set to 80f in summer and 70f in winter, and so on.
But now I’m a bit slower and wiser, although I’m glad I got all that done because our electricity bill the previous July was over $1,000, this July I got it to under $300 – and that’s in deep South Texas. But, like I said, I’m slower now. I think Peak Oil will build slowly for some time, like a stretching elastic band. We’ll think it will keep on stretching and stretching – until it snaps!
Not being a scientist in any way other than as an amateur, I have come to some opinions. I believe that even if Peak Oil did happen around Thanksgiving 2005 (as many have suggested), I think we are still in a time of plentiful supply. A time when higher prices can stave off demand successfully. After all, gasoline is only $3.00 or so in the US as I write.
In Europe, thanks to high taxes, it’s been over $7.00 a gallon for quite some time. This shows that the US will probably be OK even at prices up towards $10.00 per gallon. Although lifestyles may subtly change: One trip a fortnight to the supermaket instead of three per week, sharing rides to work and so on. Again, things Europeans got used to a long time ago.
So, if I were to hazard a guess, I think we’ll be pretty much OK until around 2010. But I think the elastic will be fairly taught by then. My plan right now is to ensure self sufficiency of power (virtually done), water (we have a well), sewage (we have a septic system) and food. I haven’t started on the last one yet. That’s the next project. I’m going to learn how to make a vegetable garden sufficient to feed the family, probably like our grandparents would have had.
You know, it’s only really since after the Second World War that we started buying ALL our groceries from supermarkets anyway. I don’t like the idea of slaughtering animals so maybe I’ll trade vegetables, or eggs if we get some chickens. If you are wise, even if you think Peak Oil isn’t coming, it wouldn’t hurt you to do some of these things too. You’ll save money and eat healthier too – so it’ll be good either way.
Which leads me to this site. With all the rising tide of Peak Oil news it seemed time to document it all as it happens. Whatever the news has to offer, for or against Peak Oil, I am putting it on this site. One day it may be a useful resource for historians. Then again, maybe many of the other sites will be gone and the links won’t work, but hopefully the introductory paragraph to each story will be enough.
Speaking of the Second World War, I wonder how many people 70 years ago really thought in 1936 that another world war was coming? It must have seemed possible, but everyone thought, no, the Germans will be happy soon, they are just trying to make up for the humiliation of losing the First World War. Indeed, political leaders visited Germany and came back Hailing Hitler as having peaceful intentions, until Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 – and then, all of a sudden the world changed.
I think Peak Oil is a little like that. Nobody thinks it could cause misery as bad as the Great Depression. Why, it’s simply unthinkable. And anyone that does think that must be a survivalist nut! But that’s not the case. This time the scientists are leading the rallying call, and they have facts on their side. The politicians are doing nothing because if they give us bad news we’ll vote them out. So the information has to be somewhere, and this site is one more place it can be found, even if it doesn’t survive through the other side of Peak Oil.