Category Archives: oil

Homesteading, Camping, Madness and more Conversations on Collapse

A friend emailed me a few months ago, and I’m just getting around to posting it now. We were going back and forth about climate change and peak oil. Both of them seem to be crazy issues that very well may impact civilization heavily.
Here is the email I received.

I feel as if there should be another side to the Evolver front, something much more concrete. Yes the Urban homesteading thing is good and important, I’ve even thought about storing up seeds for some prolonged emergency. I also have to wonder if I’m going insane.

I feel like there might be a need, either in myself or in the world around me, to relearn concrete skills like building things with your hands, or making things. How do you build a wall? How do make your own fabric/sew. Things that indicate self reliance, seem to be an important issue overall, but it almost seems like in the near future, things like: how to get clean water, how to feed yourself if you arent able to go to a grocery store, will become very important.

Then I have to stop myself and wonder: Am I just buying into the madness? If so, I feel that I’m doing so in a reserved way. Yes I have camping gear, and its all pretty new and usable. No I’m not going to get the most expensive sleeping bag and a economical backpack, and waste 500 bucks on a tent, that seems overkill. But yes I’d like to get a decent tent for camping purposes, or just in case I need a shelter asap, and that I can put it together and get inside it you know?

I dont think we’ll be forced to hide in our houses with the shades drawn, doors nailed shut, but it seems like a wise thing to have ready no?

I guess the good thing about going crazy, is that you don’t really know it.

How do we balance our daily commuter lives, and also plan/think about the coming changes to civilization? Big questions and big answers should be asked if we want to respond intelligently.

Personally, I’m working towards becoming debt free, and having a useful skill set that would help get me through some craziness. Maybe I’ll learn first aid? Maybe an EMT class?

Who knows. While we still have fossils left to burn, I plan on taking advantage. Seeing the world, and learning/experiencing as much as possible.

Japan, Nuclear Energy, and a Smaller Scale Future.

Well, when they say low amount, you know, you need one millionth of a gram of plutonium inhaled into your lung, to give you cancer. They are measuring the external gamma radiation, running around with Geiger counters. But that doesn’t give you any indication at all of the kind of isotopes which make up the radiation that they are measuring. They don’t know what they are talking about.
Dr. Helen Caldicott – March 25

Nukes in this age of climate change and panic have been pushed by many as the only solution. I tend to think that we are in a position where we can use a suite of known and yet unknown (un-popularized) solutions to solve the energy and climate crisis. Dr Caldicott in this video voices clearly some of the many thoughts she has on the nuclear issue regarding the 2011 Japanese incident which threatens to poison large portions of the planet… if not all of it.

Maybe it is time for more small scale projects to be rolled out, instead of increasingly dangerous solutions. For example this nickel hydrogen reactor pushing 2.5 million watt hours.

It isn’t just about the planet heating up from climate change anymore… its really about not poisoning the earth that grows our food for us… if we poison it enough, where else can we go?

How can we work towards this? How can we work ourselves off of the coal / nuclear habit? Its going to take time, and I’d love to see a Manhattan project sized initiative working us out of this very dangerous slide on which we find ourselves.

More data on Japan here –

Peak Everything? Time for a transition

The Earth is showing signs and our science giving us data that clearly indicates human survival on the earth necessitates that we (collective speak here) willingly impose limits on expansion/growth to allow others to have access to necessary resources in the future. Peak Everything (video) is now a reality, along with its good friend anthropogenic climate change. The global economy is based on never ending expansion, and due to peak oil, water (video), and resources, humanity is faced with tough and dire questions.

How do we go forward from this? I think re-localization through the model of Transition Towns is one of the most positive ideas that is being acted on around the world to make real change.

In the summer of 2009, I wanted to get some training on the model. I did some email magic and Tina Clarke (a long time activist) came to Boston to give a weekend workshop called ‘Training for Transition’. Here I got to meet plenty of people who were also looking at this data, and wanted to take some sort of action. This workshop gave hope.

The model (oodles of details here) empowers local social movements from the bottom up. It is a permaculture based model for re-localization. People start small, and empower each other to do what they want to do on the very local scale. The closer to home the better. Great results have been had so far, and there are more transition initiatives happening every day.

Personally I haven’t started or been involved with a movement yet, primarily based on not knowing where I want to reside. In the near future, I may get the ball rolling locally in New Hampshire, but maybe my efforts will exist more on the internet side (other than my gardening at home).

Tina Clarke and I are working to start a website titled Transition Together. It is named after project that is currently active in UK neighborhoods. The aim is to have people work in small clusters to become more resilient, self reliant and community oriented. This is achieved by sharing crops, gardening tools, and machinery. I have a bunch of media (podcast photos and videos) begging to get on the site, and soon it will be. If you are interested and have any questions on the project, feel free to ask.

Treehugger on Peak Everything