by Edmund Fitzgerald
When fuel becomes outrageously expensive and impossible to get, many things we take for granted today will become obsolete or unavailable. But all is not hopeless; this situation will open doors for many entrepreneurial activities, some of which you might start working on now.
Check out our list of Post Carbon Business Ideas to become inspired: Post Carbon Business Ideas (64 KB pdf)
See also: Edmund’s Recommended Energy Sites
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I’ve been asked to provide links to my favorite peak oil and other sustainability sites, so here’s a sampling:
Individual Writers of Merit
- George Monbiot
- James Howard Kunstler
- John Michael Greer: ArchDruid Report
- Sharon Astyk: Casaubon’s Book
- Carolyn Baker: Speaking Truth to Power
- Dmitry Orlov: Club Orlov
“The Crash Course seeks to provide you with a baseline understanding of the economy so that you can better appreciate the risks that we all face. The Intro below is separated from the rest of the sections because you’ll only need to see it once…it tells you about how the Crash Course came to be.”
In this video, you will learn about:
- Intro (on this page, above)
- Chapter 1: Three Beliefs (Time: 1:46)
- Chapter 2: The Three “E”s (Time: 1:38)
- Chapter 3: Exponential Growth (Time: 6:20)
- Chapter 4: Compounding is the Problem (Time: 3:06)
- Chapter 5: Growth vs. Prosperity (Time: 3:40)
- Chapter 6: What is Money? (Time: 5:55)
- Chapter 7: Money Creation (Time: 4:19)
- Chapter 8: The Fed – Money Creation (Time: 7:13)
- Chapter 9: A Brief History of US Money (Time: 7:14)
- Chapter 10: Inflation (Time: 11:48)
- Chapter 11: How Much Is A Trillion? (Time: 3:28)
- Chapter 12: Debt (Time: 12:32)
- Chapter 13: A National Failure To Save (Time: 12:06)
- Chapter 14: Assets & Demographics (Time: 13:41)
- Chapter 15: Bubbles (Time: 14:10)
- Chapter 16: Fuzzy Numbers (Time: 15:52)
- Chapter 17: PART A: Peak Oil (Time: 17:52)
- Chapter 17: PART B: Energy Budgeting (Time: 12:15)
- Chapter 17: PART C: Energy And The Economy (Time: 7:05)
- Chapter 18: Environmental Data (Time: 16:22)
- Chapter 19: Future Shock (Time: 8:02)
- Chapter 20: What Should I Do? (Time: 19:48)
Post Carbon Institute helps individuals and communities understand and respond to the environmental, societal, and economic crises created by our dependence on fossil fuels. An explosion in human population and consumption–fed by cheap, abundant energy–has brought previously unimaginable advances in health, economies, transport, and communications. But this growth has come with an equally unimaginable cost. We now find ourselves in a world of declines, including:
- global oil, natural gas, and coal production
- climate stability
- fresh water and fish stocks
- food production
- biodiversity and habitats
- economic activity
Like it or not, we are here. All of the environmental debts for society’s century-long industrial fiesta are coming due at the same time, and at a moment when the world is reeling from a profound global economic crisis. The converging challenges of energy scarcity, climate change, resource depletion, and economic collapse mean that we have just one last chance to put ourselves on a path towards true sustainability.
Post Carbon Institute is dedicated to helping families, communities, governments, and businesses understand and manage the transition to a post carbon world. Our aim is to bring together thought leaders and replicable best practices in such a way that both the challenges and solutions are approached holistically.
These are unprecedented times, ones that will test our courage, capacity, and commitment. Many families and communities have already begun the journey toward low-consumption, equitable sustainability. We hope you join us
Mission Statement: The Oil Drum’s mission is to facilitate civil, evidence-based discussions about energy and its impact on our future.
We [are] near the point where new oil production cannot keep up with increased energy demand and the depletion of older oil fields, resulting in a decline of total world oil production. Because we are increasingly dependent upon petroleum, declining production has the potential to disrupt our lives through much higher prices and fuel shortages. The extent of the impact of this supply shortfall will depend on its timing, the magnitude of production decline rates, the feasibility of petroleum alternatives, and our ability to curtail energy consumption.
The goals of The Oil Drum are as follows:
- Raise awareness: Most people are not aware of the problems we face or they underestimate their potential impact. Politicians and the traditional media have overlooked the problem, out of ignorance or due to a conflict of interest. We seek to fill the information gap, disseminating underreported facts and analysis.
- Host a civil discussion: This website is a space where energy issues can be debated in a civil manner. Through the encouragement of evidence-based reasoning and logical arguments, we aim to host discussions with a depth and breadth absent from the traditional media or current political discourse.
- Conduct original research in a transparent manner: We believe that the issues such as the timing and impacts of our supply and demand problems and the feasibility of alternatives to oil can be explored empirically, in an open and honest manner. Our site draws on the fast pace of the internet and the time-tested traditions of peer review in search of the truth, whatever it may be.
- Create a global community working toward a common goal: Our society can only address a problem of this magnitude through cooperation. We seek to leverage the open nature of the internet to create a global forum for the discussion of energy problems and solutions. Your participation is welcome—if not necessary—for the improvement of our energy future.
This link is no longer valid
A Beginner’s Guide to Peak Oil
Introduction: For years, the experts have been warning of the dangers of oil depletion. They have been accused of crying wolf. This time, the wolf really is at the door.
The Real Danger
Everyday in the news, we hear of the threat of climate change. There are international conferences, television documentaries, books galore. Leaders meet regularly to discuss the issues and define programs. Yet, while climate change is undoubtedly a serious problem, the most dangerous aspects are not likely to threaten us for several decades and even then will be ambiguous in their results, bringing hazards for many, benefits for some, and little effect for a few.
But there is a danger whose consequences will be far more destructive and which will hit us much sooner. It is a danger that will affect everybody, rich or poor, wherever they live in the world. It will require enormous financial and scientific strides to defeat, strides which the world’s governments show few signs of taking. It is a danger which, quite feasibly, could lead to the end of our industrial civilisation. It is the danger of peak oil.
I recently asked a question on a website about the financial dangers of peak oil and one reply ended with this:
I remember being told twenty years ago that there was only twenty years of oil left. We are now being told again that we have twenty years of oil left. I wonder if we will be told the same thing in another twenty years!
This is typical of the level of misinformation around about peak oil. Few people seem to be aware of it and many of those who are consider it a problem for the far future. I suspect that most people asked about “how long oil will last” would place the time hundreds of years in the future. If you don’t already know, ask yourself this question:
Using the known amount of available oil and the present rate of consumption, how long would it be before all that oil is used up?
This is known as the R/P ratio in the oil business (the first bit of jargon). It may surprise you to know that in the BP Statistical Review for 2007 (using data from 2005), the length of time is 40.5 years. So, any person under the age of about thirty or forty would be likely to have to face a world without any oil.
The reality is not so simple as this but unfortunately the situation is far worse. Peak oil is not about when we run out of oil but, rather, when the production of cheap oil starts to decline. And, as we shall see, that is much closer than we think.
Mission Statement: EnergyBulletin.net is a clearinghouse for information regarding the peak in global energy supply. We publish news, research and analysis concerning:
- energy production statistics, models, projections and analysis
- articles which provide insight into the implications of peak oil across broad areas including geopolitics, climate change, ecology, population, finance, urban design, health, and even religious and gender issues.
- a range of information to help preparedness for peak energy, such as:
We welcome original content, and we especially invite industry insiders, independent researchers, journalists, specialists and activists to submit their insights relevant to these issues.
We attempt to be at all times both accurate and current. The opinions, inferences or calculations within individual news items are the responsibility of the author alone, and the editors of EnergyBulletin.net do not necessarily support them.