Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why Be Prepared? part one

My closet is done enough to move clothes into so I did. The inside is painted the outside is not but I don't care. We will get the outside painted maybe this weekend. I just want to get into that ugly bathroom and rip out a few walls. Like where the old closet was in the bathroom. I am now on the hunt for a claw foot tub that is in pretty good condition. It needs to be in great condition on the inside because I don't want to put a lot of money into re-furbishing the inside just to sell this house to someone else. I don't mind sanding and painting the outside. I will probably want it painted a different color anyway. I'm thinking light blue.

In a previous post I said I would talk about preparing for what the future might have in store for us and why. Now let me say there are many different thoughts and opinions on this subject and I am certainly not an expert, but one thing I have learned is I could write a book about this subject. The information goes on forever and would make most peoples eyes glaze over. So although I may touch on a few facts and add a few links here and there I have decided not to go into the where and whys too much. You may notice that I am using Wikipedia throughout this post. I am doing so because it is the best condensed version of any one subject that I am writing about. However there are many books, articles, and news stories that I have read before attempting these post.  If anyone should have a question or comment by all means leave it in the comment section.

Problems, challenges, cause and effect. Call it what you will but society today is facing a number of challenges. Some for the first time. Some that are repeats of history. The difference today is that it seems to all be coming together at the same time. Peak Oil, economic collapse, peak food and water (yes water) climate change and over population.

Peak Oil-I think a  lot of people take this as meaning that we are running out of oil. We're not. We are running out of the easy to get oil. The cheap and easy oil. The less expensive use all you want oil. Our modern lives depend on oil for many many things that we don't even think about. Make a mental list of all the things we use oil for and I will bet you don't list half of them. Petroleum is used in everything from the food we eat to the shower gel and shampoo in the bathroom. It clothes us. We sit on it in our living rooms. We watch it on our wide screens. Pharmaceuticals, food dyes and flavors, tires, toiletries, cosmetics, appliances, building supplies and adhesives, paraffin wax and oil,  and of course fertilizers and pesticides. Without it we wouldn't go too far. It brings us foods that would only be a distant memory to most of us. Did you ever wonder what the big deal was of getting an orange in your Christmas stocking?  Use to be rarer than a star fruit or mango is today. Can you imagine digging a foundation for your house or digging a well without the help of a diesel powered piece of heavy equipment? It would take weeks and a lot of humans to do it.

Although the major use of petroleum is as a fuel, (gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil), and petroleum and natural gas are often used to generate electricity, there are many other uses. Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of three-and-a-half gallons of oil and more than 250 cubic feet of natural gas per person, per day! Those numbers change depending on who you ask of course and there is the thought also of the petroleum used in China to make stuff that the US buys. So whose tally sheet does that go on? http://askville.amazon.com/barrels-oil-day-average-American/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=728700
The world's top five crude oil-producing countries are: Saudi Arabia, Russia, United States, Iran, and China.
Over one-fourth of the crude oil produced in the United States is produced offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The top crude oil producing states are: Texas, Alaska, California, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.
About 59.5 percent of the crude oil and petroleum products used in the United States come from other countries.
 With the price of a barrel of crude poised to do nothing but go up you better figure out how your going to compensate for that because your wages will definitely not keep up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

How about the collateral damage after we use the stuff?  Who gets to pay for that? Well you do of course, silly! You get to pay to clean up the oil spills, the air pollution, and the landfills and oceans that are overflowing with plastic that doesn't degrade. Not to mention motor oil and gas that finds its way to our other precious resources, water and air, in the form of burning it off or run off from all the drips, spills and asphalt on our roads. How about fracking that uses a ton of water and pollutes that.  How about the medical problems caused by those pollutants?  (I will stop there cuz you are all intelligent readers and know what I am talking about). I see a small percentage of people getting rich on the backs of the middle guy and his family. And they pay less taxes than you do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNl6sx059bE If you don't read any of this post, at least take the time to watch this link from 60 minutes.

Now back to that closet. We built that closet with wood products held together with adhesives. Then we painted it with petroleum based latex paint. We used plastic hangers for the clothes and some of them were made from synthetic material. All this stuff was shipped to the places we bought it from using some form of fuel. I really really like my closet.

So here is the question. What is a person going to do about it?

Do you have a plan B for this one thing in your life? Even a bug out plan requires petroleum. What do you do when it's gone or so freaking expensive that you have to decide between eating or _________? (driving, medicine, food?)

So I am signing off now because my eyes are finally glazing over but I will be back to discuss the next topic which I think will be economic collapse. However my brain feels kinda overloaded at the moment. I am looking forward to your comments as I always learn something so click that comment button on the bottom of the page.


Izzy said...

Sista, we fight this battle internally almost every day. How far can your principals really take you? Can you truly be "off grid"? I dont' think so. The tools you need to sustain life have to come from somewhere. I don't have the raw materials to make rakes, shovels, etc. I need to get them from a store, that shipped them in. I don't even have access locally to heirloom organic seeds. I have to mail order them. It's such a conundrum. - Izzy

sista said...

Oh Izzy. I hope I wasn't sounding like I was beating everyone up. That wasn't my intent and if it were I would have to beat myself everyday. My intent is to get people to realize that peak oil is going to be a problem to deal with because it will affect your every day life. I can't see us giving up using petroleum completely but we can make better decisions about using it. For instance I have gone back to using waxed sandwich bags in the mans lunch instead of zip lock bags. Petroleum is still used to make the wax but less of it and the paper will degrade instead of ending up in a landfill. It's also easier on my budget. I don't buy bottled water unless I get it in a refilled container. Tools are not likely to end up in a landfill every week so if you can afford them by all means buy them. The point is to start with little steps. When the SHTF I want my dependence on oil to affect my family less. So if I have insulted anyone I'm sorry. It was not my intent.