Sunday, January 08, 2006


Several People have asked me what steps they might personally take as a global peak in oil production looms on the horizon. I thought I'd take a Several minutes this morning and write down a few suggestions.

1. Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about what's going on in the world around you especially as it pertains to Peak Oil. Peak Oil used to be dismissed as a discussion amongst doomsayers. It is however being more widely recognized as an actual phenomenon due to occur now or in the near future. There is plenty of information available on the internet. Don't take any individual perspective, including mine, as undeniable truth. You'll be amazed at how much of what's going on geopolitically, commercially, financially, etc. makes more sense once you examine it through this lens. One great tool I've taken advantage of is the ability to download audio from sites like Global Public Media. I can listen while working at my computer or burn to disk and listen in the car. The more you know the more prepared you'll be as changes unfold.

2. Get out of debt. Anyone who has watched the price of oil triple since 2001 will understand that a peak in global oil production will hurt the economies of both the United States and the rest of the world. Remember the U.S. economy is predicated on growth and if the amount of available energy shrinks so will our economy. This pain will be especially acute during the initial onset as panic and fear replace logic as the peak arrives. The less you owe others the better off you'll be as the markets scramble to sort themselves out. For an additional discussion on financially preparing for Peak Oil check out Bubba.

3. Sell your high gas mileage vehicle. As the price of gasoline increases you don't want to get caught with a V8 engine that gets 16 miles to the gallon. It will be increasingly expensive to drive and impossible to sell. More fuel efficient vehicles will be in great demand and lines to purchase them will be long.

4. Examine your proximity to the necessities. How far do you live from your place of business? How about the nearest grocery store? Your child's school? The hospital? Could you get around on foot or on a bike? Do you have a bike? What about mass transit stops near you? Examine your alternatives to driving.

5. Spread the word. If you're convinced or even moderately concerned about how Peak Oil will affect you and your family, share this concern with others. I expect you'll be surprised at how many other people are waking up the realization that our current western lifestyles won't continue to increase materialistically forever. Go further if you'd like and host a screening of the End of Suburbia. How about informing your government representatives and officials. If they don't know they need to, especially on a local level.

6. Lastly, choose hope not fear. Long-term fear is disabling. It's great when you need to flee from a fire but not so helpful when considering appropriate responses to crisis. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." And as my new friend in Leeds put it, "We live by hope." The future will be what we make of it.

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