Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SO... I went off the crazy end...

SO I finished another documentary last night and seriously, at the end, I was very "doom and despair".

I must be gullible. I reread my last post this morning and had to do a little self calming.

*breathe in, breathe out* Cup of coffee, some more reading time. This time focus was researching "Peak Oil Debunked".

One case in point, that I missed, is that most of this hype I am just now reading about was years 2004-2008.

Well folks, it's 2010. 'Nuff said right?

Then I was reading about politicians using Peak Oil as a scare tactic. (It works really well too, might I add.)

Bottom line, I still believe that this oil crisis COULD be a valid scenario. But now I want to discuss the "Rule of Anyway". I have taken the term from "Depletion and Abundance", however it is something I have long since believed and practiced, just never had a name for it.

Think of it in this term:
I read some crazy survival blog the other day that had this hype growing for saving nickels (the reasons being that it will be a good source of currency in the future for reasons listed in this particular blog). So I said to John, "Why don't we start saving nickels?" He responded in a manner of saying I'm nuts. :) So I responded by pointing out one little fact.... "If we save nickels and this scenario pans out we win. If it doesn't, well shit, we have a crap load of nickels saved, cash em in and we can take a vacation. We win again."

That's how I define the "Rule of Anyway".

SO if I keep Peak Oil in the back of my mind, and still move forward with a more simple lifestyle, how can we lose???

Most of the steps that doom and gloom people say we should change, are actually just common sense things that could benefit us in the end.... here are some awesome examples:

1. STOP DRIVING (Peak Oil Suggests)
-- How is this a bad thing? Start walking, start riding bikes, start staying home more often.... positive results with OUT regard to Peak Oil? We become more healthy, we lose weight, our hearts work more efficiently, we save money by not spending it on expensive vehicle repairs and upkeep, we save money by not buying gas, we save money by staying home, period.

-- Start learning about vegetables, fruits, grains, and all things that we can make for ourselves. Again, not a bad thing either way right? We are educating ourselves about food, it's nutritional value, and how much work goes into the substances we put into our bodies. It's obviously more healthy for us as well. In the end, we are smarter, more capable, more healthy, and we save money, again. You can not argue with the fact that a pack of seeds is much more cheap then buying 1 tomato! I have 5 tomato plants right now. It cost me roughly $1.00 to plant them. I use recycled rainwater, our own compost, and free sunlight to nourish them. And they will provide me with an overabundance of tomatoes to feed my family with. How is this not better then driving to the grocery store and paying OVER $1.00 a pound for a non-organically grown tomato?

-- Once again, not bad for us at all! Did you know that you can recycle rain water? Did you know that it can cut the costs of your water bill drastically? We use ours so the kids can have water gun fights, so that we can water our garden and flowers, to clean our feet off, etc. etc. Also, cutting back on AC and using natural heating methods in winter... AWESOME for saving money on bills, which in term reduces our dependency on Big Bad Companies. How can we lose? Really?

-- Well this one is a no brainer. Why NOT learn basic survival skills? Why shouldn't we teach children or ourselves how to start a fire from nothing? Why not learn basic first aid? These are all things that at some point in our lives, may become a very useful piece of information to have on hand....

-- This is just important period. We take for granted every day the fact that whatever we WANT, poof! Drive to the store and it's available. Well why? Why don't we take the time to learn how to construct or build with our own two hands? There is something to be said about human ingenuity and imagination. It is in fact, how we have found ourselves in this little dilemma no? The human brain, the capacity for learning and using it, is infinite. I know that I certainly don't want my children growing up thinking the world can just be handed to you, it makes the brain stagnant. Use it, or lose it.

Well, there's 5 for now. I could go on with a huge list but in the end, the "Rule of Anyway" is a good rule to live by.

If we, as a society, could start functioning in a less needy and more intelligent way of living it can do SO much for us! So many things that plague us could be eliminated if we get back to the core relationships between us and the earth! Some other common sense rationals for this.... Say we start encouraging more walking and outside activities for our children, more education about their food, more education on how to grow it? We could slowly eliminate childhood obesity, ADHD, ADD, ODD, childhood disease! Say we do the same to ourselves? We could eliminate the dangerous chemicals we put into our body! We could see a decline in adult obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, even CANCER!

Say we work our asses off to learn how to live NON-dependent to the companies that control our daily lives such as the water companies, the energy companies, the local Wal Mart??? (John-- pay attention) Well shit! We could learn how to live with LESS MONEY! You know what this means right? For those of us who HATE the daily 9-5, this is KEY! We could WORK LESS. We could enjoy life more. We could reduce the cycle of stress that keeps us from spending play time with our children, learning time with our children.... we could spend our days in an unhurried life, instead of work, rush, work, rush, just to pay some bill that provides us comfort for a short time, until we have to return to the work and rush cycle. Our attitudes would improve, our relationships with each other and our neighbors would improve. Our blood pressure would drop, our mentality would improve. You can't tell me that weeding a garden (which is a job) is far more stressful then getting up, going to work everyday, to be taxed, to spend that money at the grocery store, to fill us with non-nutritional food and line the pockets of CEO's of big companies. Can you argue with that? If you can, I'm open.....

In summation, the "Rule of Anyway" sounds to me like an awesome way to live and be.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Follow the Scenario That Makes Sense to You

I said I was back to blogging and I totally meant it! Yes, it is hard to find the time to do it most days but I'm going to start making that time now :)

So as I've been reading and watching even more documentaries on this impending crisis unfolding in the world, my mind is sort of "stuck" on what I need to take from of all this information, as well for all of the MIS-information out there too.

Finding accurate information on these topics, mentioned in the post prior, can be difficult. I am, after all, just one small person in this GREAT BIG WORLD. I have no special clearance to government information. I haven't went to college to study economics, physics, anthropology, biology, etc. I'm also not God. I can't predict what will happen to the future of the world. (Side note: I wouldn't want special clearance from the government because I wouldn't want that responsibility, nor the dangers from knowing information that is powerful. I also would love to go back to college to study these topics but due to rising cost of education, I can't afford to, probably never again in my life time.)

So I do the best I can with what I have. I have a moderate intelligence level. I have a library and the capability to buy books. I have the Internet. Plug in a Google search for "Peak Oil Crisis", "Climate Change", "Fossil Fuel Extinction", and the result will be endless amounts of information. Some of the information is good, some of it is bad. The hardest part for me, reading all of this information, is finding out if the writer is reputable. This weighs in heavily for me. Is it just some lunatic writing to scare people? Is it a qualified scientist that has spent years studying facts? Or is it someone like me, who is still trying to figure their shit out?

Irregardless, I read and read and read. Now, I may be a newbie to this but I have come up with 4 scenarios that I could see unfold here, which are 4 in MY OPINION, coming from all this information out there....

1. Lets start with the big dog. Let's say everything we read about Peak Oil is dead on correct. We will run out. This will lead to rising costs of oil (which is in and used to make EVERYTHING we have in modern day society), which will lead to poverty, which will lead to the break down of American Society as we know it. This in turn will lead to the governments of the world fighting over what is left of our oil, to try to sustain their own well beings as a nation. This will lead to War. We have big weapons now. We have nuclear weapons. If a nuclear war came to fruition, adios. There is no us, there is no plants, animals, etc. The world would be gone.

2. Ok, lets take Peak Oil at fact again, yet get rid of the nuclear war aspect. We run out of oil. This will still cause massive breakdowns in every aspect of our lives. Everything around us that is NOT from the earth will suffer. There will be no more cars, no more travel, no more roads, no more mass produced food, no more electrical systems, no more water systems, etc. etc. etc. Most people will fight internally for the power to have these things. Society will breakdown. Hunger, starvation, disease, and death will ensue to those who are ill prepared and non-educated. We will be thrust back into "Little House on the Prairie" days in a very short time.

3. We will discover an alternative fuel method (And all though we may discover a new method, it is now conducive that this method be "green" due to the "Climate Change" problem we are also facing). Yet, our lives will still drastically change. This new method has to COMPLETELY take care of everything that oil once took care of. This new method must take the place of not only what we use to travel with but also what we use to MAKE all these things we travel with or use in daily life.

4. Life is fine. Oil is going to last forever. We will keep carrying on just as we always have. Climate Change is a myth, so is the economic crisis. Everything will work out in the end.

Those are the 4 scenarios I think about when thinking of this situation. There are many more out there still, I just don't have the time or space on this blog to write each plausible scenario down. It's endless.

So which scenario do you chose to believe in?

Here's my own personal breakdown.

Number 1. If this happens, I'll say good bye to the world, just as the rest of us will most likely do. I am neither prepared nor knowledgeable about how I would have my family and myself survive a nuclear war. Nor am I going to start building some amazing bomb shelter that I could supposedly live in for a very long time to ensure survival. In my opinion, survival of this is impossible, given the unknown facts about radiation poisoning and nuclear winter.

Number 3. I say good luck with that. I would be accurate in saying that all nations combined have the best minds available working on this solution as we speak. And to date, no one has the answer. I know my husband personally holds to the hope that we will figure out nuclear fusion soon. I would love to hold on to this hope as well, all though I believe our lives will still change drastically.

Number 4. Are you living in a cave? No wait, just your own personal happy place. So be it.

Which leads me to Number 2. This is the scenario that I wonder if it will pan out in this way. Out of all the scenarios, it is the one that I could see happen. Maybe not in my life time, maybe in my life time, whose to say? Either way, this is the scenario I chose to look at as valid, in some way shape or form. It is the reason I have put myself on "education" survival mode. Nope, not stock piling supplies in some secret retreat place. Nope, not saving gold for fear of financial collapse. Nope, not hording food in the basement to feed my family. I think education is the best form of preparation for if this scenario happens. The Rule of Anyway is how I think about this one (more to come on this rule later).

So there is my rational and breakdown of some of this information I am taking in. Maybe some of my friends reading this will think I'm nuts, maybe not. Either way, it doesn't hurt to keep reading right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shit Biscuits.... start paying attention.

Holy Cow, where do I even start?

This summer has been a li-ttle bit nutty to say the least...

Home with kids full time, took a job as the camp RN (again), and been sick. Like sick sick. (Oh yeah, it sucks too).

So in this course of being sick, I actually had to force myself to take a little time and relax... so I watched this documentary:

Wow. Blew my F'n mind.

Sure, this guy is a little wacko in my honest opinion BUT, wacko enough to make me say that what he says is frighteningly REALISTIC.

I am officially going on record stating that I am now obsessed with Peak Oil, the Energy Crisis, Climate Change, and Economics. (John actually teases me and calls me Johnny 5 because as soon as I discover something that peaks my interest, I crave knowledge... In 3 days, I have read 3 books now on these scenarios and I'm still plugging away! "Innnnnnn-puuuuut" Lol)

SO my ass is kicked. And kicked hard. This little clip put my little brain into a whirlwind of activity to say the least. Sure, there are plenty of extremist out there and there are also just as many nay-sayers as well. I'm still reading and learning so I haven't decided which side of that fence I will land on yet. Not saying I'm going to turn into the ultimate survivalist and start hoarding materials and goods, but it is time. It's time for me and my family to understand this phenomena and to act accordingly.

When I first started blogging a few years ago (my old blog) I was very excited about turning our lives into a form of sustainable living. John and I worked very hard at educating ourselves in very small steps: recycling our goods, eliminating waste, recycling rain water, becoming better gardeners, sewing, knitting, etc. etc. etc.

But as I sat down and watched this video, and all the research I have been doing since watching this video, has made me realize we have SUCKED lately at maintaining this lifestyle! It's not that we've fallen lazy per say, because we are actually running ourselves more thin then ever. We are both working more and our calendar for some reason keeps staying FULL.

And it sucks.

It's time to reinvest my mind and activities into the pattern of sustainable living that we were struggling to achieve before. It's time for us to get off the "oh-the-world-makes-it-so-easy" band wagon and get back to the more focused and hard working "persons" I know we can be.

So I'm back.

I'm back to blogging. I've said it before but I need to at this point. I feel it necessary to start this process again because if I try to keep all the material I'm learning about in my head, it has no outlet and hence becomes stagnant.

And I also aim to spread this news, like so many other bloggers out there who try, to anyone who reads my blog. As silly as this sounds to some, our lives HAVE to change. Watch this clip and read a few scientifically, fact based books on these topics and see if it not only peaks your interest or at least scares the shit out of you. It scared the shit out of me. When I look into my children's eyes and think that this scenario could come into play in my and their life time, it scares me.

So honey? Johnnie? Lover tits? Are YOU ready to start living this way again with me? (yes, my husband and I often communicate through the internet :)

Time to get my shit together!

(I also want to start a little education bit here for myself)

Books I read/am reading:
(I will be honest, I skimmed some of this book. As I was reading it, I found it followed the documentary pretty well. I also think that it takes A LOT of mental power to digest this book in entirety. Meaning, I will probably come back to this book and re-read parts of it more slowly when my brain is ready to wrap itself around every aspect this book presents to the reader.)

2. "World Made By Hand" by James Howard Kunstler (This book was pretty good! It started out really well and gives a great sense to how the world may come to be if one certain path of the Peak Oil Crisis scenario plays out. It did get a little far fetched, in my opinion, towards the end but over all it is good. The focus of this book for me was on the breakdown of our lives, thoughts, morals, and feelings, and how a new hand made world can help to rebuild these morals and turn us into better human beings. Read it with an open mind if you do.)

3. "Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front" by Sharon Astyk (I am in the process of reading this book right now.... opinion coming soon)

Things I have done, or will do, today to reduce my oil dependence/live more sustainable lifestyle:
1. Am going outside to harvest lettuce from my garden so we can have salads tonight for dinner.
2. Compost my daily kitchen scraps.
3. Turned my AC up to a minimally functioning level (no, I'm not giving the AC up yet in entirety.)
4. Keep taking kiddos to swim lessons. Everyone needs to know how to swim :)