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how are you responding to peak oil?

Home Forums SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES Peak Oil – where are we headed? how are you responding to peak oil?

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 112 total)
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  • #493300
    mistyhollowsmistyhollows
    Member

    Wazza post=308229 wrote: one day we’re all going to need our neighbours – and we don’t get to choose them.

    So true Wazza. I think that’s where community comes into it so much and surrounding yourself with people with similar interests. For us that’s living in a rural area where people live similar lifestyles.

    I mentioned to hubby last night about a windmill to pump water up from the dam :laugh: :laugh: He said imagine what the neighbours would say then :laugh: :laugh: Out with the gumboots, overalls and piece of hay out the corner of your mouth and the straw hat. Yeeha! I think I may need that ship to the island Dixibelle :laugh:

    #493301
    diannedianne
    Participant

    Wazza post=308229 wrote: If I talk about Peak Oil, that labels me as a tree-hugging wanker. If I talk about the ever-increasing price of fuel driving up farm production costs, that’s perfectly rational and acceptable. We have a general agreement that if and when diesel hits the $2.50 price mark we’ll look at growing our own bio-crops and put in a cooperative digester to process them into bio-diesel, but to these guys Peak Oil is still a whacko greenie conspiracy theory.

    Hey Wazza, would love to hear more about your plans to grow and produce your own bio-diesel. Understand if you dont wont to give out all your secrets but this would make a great thread. or even a helping pointing finger as to where to look to find out more. Ive read up about “diesel trees” but these are a very long term thing, so would like to find out about shorter term ideas.

    #493302
    WazzaWazza
    Member

    Our forebears grew oaten hay to power their horses, so growing crops to make biodiesel is simply revisiting the past. There’s no secrets involved, Dianne, the process is straightforward. You need to decide on a suitable grain crop, you need a crusher/press to extract the oil and a biodiesel processor to turn it into fuel. Canola is a popular biodiesel crop and 1 hectare will produce around 350 litres of biodiesel. Canola used to be regarded as a waste of time in Queensland, but new varieties are showing considerable promise. A small-scale canola oil press suitable for our needs (10-15 small farmers) costs about $10,000 and a processor about the same. However, within those three requirements there’s a lot of homework to be done and we’re still assessing what’s best for us.

    #493303
    RobyneRobyne
    Member

    I just read Wazzas writing it is so true we live in a growing area and find a lot of the main farms have been broken up and sold off on 5-20 acre lots and the new owners have put grape vines on. A friend who had his farm up till a few months back said that the world has no idea of living off the land on their own. Its all supermarkets and if we don’t grow it the supermarkets are nothing.

    I bought up the subject of peak oil at morning break last Friday [ we only work 1 day a week] One woman said it was the government that was scaring us into believing it will happen and it will never a few agreed with her. She lives week to week. When I asked how many could live off of what they had in their house for a month no one put their hand up. The most a couple had was 2 weeks worth. I asked what would they do if they couldn’t their asnwer was just go to the supermarket and get what they need for the 2 weeks. I asked what if there was no fuel for the trucks to bring it the 100ks down here. The first woman said I was a dreamer.

    I don’t consider I am I have looked at things for a while now and we need to be prepeared as the fuel cannot last for ever and if farmers grow fuel crops where is the food going to come from I certainly don’t want to ate crap from China that is sent here

    #493304
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    Wazza post=308263 wrote: Our forebears grew oaten hay to power their horses, so growing crops to make biodiesel is simply revisiting the past. There’s no secrets involved, Dianne, the process is straightforward. You need to decide on a suitable grain crop, you need a crusher/press to extract the oil and a biodiesel processor to turn it into fuel. Canola is a popular biodiesel crop and 1 hectare will produce around 350 litres of biodiesel. Canola used to be regarded as a waste of time in Queensland, but new varieties are showing considerable promise. A small-scale canola oil press suitable for our needs (10-15 small farmers) costs about $10,000 and a processor about the same. However, within those three requirements there’s a lot of homework to be done and we’re still assessing what’s best for us.

    Hi Wazza

    That’s a fair bit of investment in both equipment, space and land for the biodiesel. Particularly land. I’m guessing that even a small property would go through way more than 350l of fuel each year so to support 10-15 small properties you would be looking at, what, maybe 20-30 hectares minimum? If that’s good agricultural land, what does that do to your food security situation? This is what they are finding in Europe with their mandatory biodiesel quotas – its taking over food producing land and pushing food prices up.

    Also, what’s the storage properties of the biodiesel? You would be producing a lot at harvest time then needing to store it for the rest of the year. That’s more investment in tanks, shed space etc.

    Can you rent the canola press for the harvest only? That may be a cheaper option especially as it will be sitting unused for most of the year. If you did own a press maybe you could hire it out round the area when you’re not using it.

    Are there options other than biodiesel? What about EV conversion for some of the farm vehicles? EVs have lots of pulling power as the motors give maximum torque right from a standing start and are ideal for farm use. On a farm you could do it on the cheap with lead acid batteries rather than the expensive lithium cells. Invest in a 4kw wind turbine to charge them up. Its more investment up front but once in, the running costs are practically zero. Not sure whether you can do an electric tractor though. Utes and quads and the like are fair game though.

    Ahh… well… there you go… my google-fu tells me that you can do electric tractors and apparently they are ideal for small farms – http://www.eeevee.com/tractors/TNF_article.html

    I say all this, naturally, from my comfy city arm chair (well office chair) where I often pontificate on things I know sod all about.:unsure:

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493305
    mistyhollowsmistyhollows
    Member

    Robyne post=308265 wrote: I just read Wazzas writing it is so true we live in a growing area and find a lot of the main farms have been broken up and sold off on 5-20 acre lots and the new owners have put grape vines on. A friend who had his farm up till a few months back said that the world has no idea of living off the land on their own. Its all supermarkets and if we don’t grow it the supermarkets are nothing.

    I bought up the subject of peak oil at morning break last Friday [ we only work 1 day a week] One woman said it was the government that was scaring us into believing it will happen and it will never a few agreed with her. She lives week to week. When I asked how many could live off of what they had in their house for a month no one put their hand up. The most a couple had was 2 weeks worth. I asked what would they do if they couldn’t their asnwer was just go to the supermarket and get what they need for the 2 weeks. I asked what if there was no fuel for the trucks to bring it the 100ks down here. The first woman said I was a dreamer.

    I don’t consider I am I have looked at things for a while now and we need to be prepeared as the fuel cannot last for ever and if farmers grow fuel crops where is the food going to come from I certainly don’t want to ate crap from China that is sent here

    Well I must be a dreamer too then Robyne. I know when I mention having a couple of weeks worth the groceries in the cupboards to family they brush you off. I then bought my mum an emergency pack from the local IGA which has a gov. article in it on how you should have 2 weeks worth food storage. That changed her mind. Sometimes I think people are unable to think for themselves and need to have a piece of fancy paper put infront of them to tell them what they need to do. A good example to possibly share would be the QLD floods and Yasi where when the hwy’s went out and under water the food trucks could not get through for ages and there was very little on the shelves and no petrol.

    #493306
    WazzaWazza
    Member

    Airgead, you raise some very valid points and we’re still doing our research. We’re not scientists or, God forbid, economists, just small farmers and our total land area is probably around 1000 hectares. So, 20-30 hectares for growing biodiesel crops mightn’t be too big a sacrifice for us to be self sufficient in fuel. A WA goverment study concluded that 5% of total farm area would be enough to grow crops for fuel self-sufficiency, but this was for large, broadacre farming. With us, I think we’d need to plan on 10%….. and there’s the rub, as Shakespeare put it. There isn’t an easy ‘silver bullet’ solution and it all needs to be carefully costed and worked through. If a regional biodiesel company came into the area, it might be better to buy from them, rather than than doing it ourselves. We have no philosophical objection to that. We’re just small farmers who want to power our tractors at a reasonable price….. but not unethically. We’ll never buy cheap, imported palm oil that’s killing rainforests and orangutans in SE Asia. Even redneck Queensland farmers think that’s too big a price to pay.

    EVs are a fine concept, but the cost of the lithium-ion batteries is astronomical. Just look at the price of a family car that will go just 160 kms on a single charge. Our research indicates that EVs don’t have the pulling power you claim. Trials in the U.S. say they just ain’t up to discing, ploughing and combine harvesting, and their endurance is shocking. You’d need to tow a trailer full of a couple of tonnes of lithium-ion batteries, worth a few hundred grand, to do any good. In my uneducated layman terms…. they ain’t got the grunt that a diesel engine has. And…. no problem about your pontificating from your “comfortable city armchair” about things “I know sod all about”. Jeez, isn’t that what we do on the internet for light relief? Anyway, the government (and the opposition) have stopped listening to people on the land, so maybe you guys in the city are our best hope…. as are we for your continued grocery supplies.

    #493307
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    Wazza post=308317 wrote:

    EVs are a fine concept, but the cost of the lithium-ion batteries is astronomical. Just look at the price of a family car that will go just 160 kms on a single charge. Our research indicates that EVs don’t have the pulling power you claim. Trials in the U.S. say they just ain’t up to discing, ploughing and combine harvesting, and their endurance is shocking. You’d need to tow a trailer full of a couple of tonnes of lithium-ion batteries, worth a few hundred grand, to do any good. In my uneducated layman terms…. they ain’t got the grunt that a diesel engine has. And…. no problem about your pontificating from your “comfortable city armchair” about things “I know sod all about”. Jeez, isn’t that what we do on the internet for light relief? Anyway, the government (and the opposition) have stopped listening to people on the land, so maybe you guys in the city are our best hope…. as are we for your continued grocery supplies.

    Wazza

    You might want to look at old style flooded cell lead acid battery EV conversions. Way cheaper than the Li-ions and apparently ideal for running electric tractors – http://www.eeevee.com/tractors/TNF_article.html and here http://www.eeevee.com/tractors/index.html

    I mention EV because something like a 4Kw turbine set up would set you back around 20K installed which is the same as you would pay for the canola crusher and biodiesel processor. With the added advantage of producing a substantial portion of your power when it isn’t charging EVs. Unlike the canola processor which would be idle most of the time. And also because a mate of mine is president of the ACT chapter of the EV association so I get pretty well bombarded with EV info (http://forums.aeva.asn.au/).

    10% of your land for fuel self sufficiency is probably not too big a stretch. Still leaves some for food and some more for making a living.

    I’d be considering a stockpile of at least a years worth if you go that route in case of a failed harvest. I’m assuming you are all pretty close geographically so a single flood or local dry spell could wipe a whole crop out for all of you. I’m assuming here that bio diesel is storable long term.

    Regional bio diesel production is probably something that will spring up in areas where oil crops are possible. Maybe you should go into business. After all, you’re already buying a good chunk of the infrastructure. Run it as a co-op…

    Just for the record, I’m not completely unconnected to the land… my brother in law was a stockman up in the NT and now flies mustering choppers in the Kimberly.

    By the way, speaking of grocery supplies… what do you folks grow in your area? I’m kind of involved in a direct farm to consumer scheme – cut out the middle men, give farmers a decent price for their crops (one that means they can afford to eat). Stop both farmers and consumers being ripped off by coles and woolies… that sort of thing. Early stages yet and looking for producers who would be willing to come on board.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493308
    SurvegalistSurvegalist
    Member

    Bulk storage of the staple’s we don’t produce,spices,oils(In tin cans) and the like.

    Pressure canner(Stove top,not electric)for un refridgerated meat and vegie storage.

    I wouldn’t call it a lifeboat,cause that only applies to the sea,just a means to get by.The “No fuel” scenario might be a bit daunting as we are yonks away from anywhere,A bloody good push-bike.

    I really don’t know how bad it’s gonna get so just to be able to look after the two of us is good enough for us.Utopian communities,ever tried living in one?There not that straight forward and if the poo hits the fan a decent size “Community” will become a target,you’ll want to be well armed and be able to shuck off the Peace,love and goodwill to all men aproach at the drop of a hat.I guess you don’t get anywhere if you don’t try though.

    #493309
    AirgeadAirgead
    Member

    Survegalist post=308368 wrote:

    I really don’t know how bad it’s gonna get so just to be able to look after the two of us is good enough for us.Utopian communities,ever tried living in one?There not that straight forward and if the poo hits the fan a decent size “Community” will become a target,you’ll want to be well armed and be able to shuck off the Peace,love and goodwill to all men aproach at the drop of a hat.I guess you don’t get anywhere if you don’t try though.

    I just can’t agree with you. The one thing that shines right through human history is that during a crisis, people come together. Wars, famines, whatever, people help each other out.

    Where there is famine and war, when you look closely, the violence was there before the famine and is often the cause of the famine. That long running violence (often ethnic or tribal or religious) is the cause of the problem, not the result of the problem. If it wasn’t for the constant warfare, sub saharan africa could feed its self easily.

    Look today at the crisis in Japan. Tens of thousands dead and melting reactors. What happens? People are coming together to look after the orphans, to help out those who have lost their home, even putting themselves at serious risk to help control the reactors. We saw something similar at Chernobyl – the first responders knew they were going to die but they went anyway to save everyone else.

    The only place this breaks down seems to be America where there is something deep in their psyche that says “every man for himself”. Any hint of crisis and they seem to retreat to the bunker with a pile of M16s and a stash of tinned food.

    I strongly believe, that like past crises, people will instinctively band together when this one hits. Especially if we can give them a nucleus to grow a community around. It won’t be utopian. There’s no such thing. There will be problems but we will get over them. And I think we’ll have a much better life than those isolated in their lifeboats.

    Cheers

    Dave

    #493310
    RobyneRobyne
    Member

    I agree with you Airgead the US has all these web sites on survival but it proved when the chips were down they all put hteir heads in the sand. Most of the work was done by everyday people to save each other the government didn’t know what to do.

    Here in Australia as soon as something happens we’re in there boots and all and we give freely to help other people out.

    Hubby has been collecting a lot of information on building things out of nothing. He likes Peter Peddles ideas. Just need him to fix my bike, Maybe one day

    I bought some more preserving rings today off of Ebay they seem to be the cheapest and I don’t have to drive to another town to pay $3.95 a packet. I also bought some more salt for stocking up

    #493311
    SurvegalistSurvegalist
    Member

    Hey dave,we don’t have to agree.I wasn’t saying that the communal thing wouldn’t work,by all accounts it could.My main concern ATSHTF was surcurity.

    I said; if the poo hits the fan a decent size “Community” will become a target,you’ll want to be well armed and be able to shuck off the Peace,love and goodwill to all men aproach at the drop of a hat.

    If for instance it was a slow but fast decline,the first ppl you would have to deal with would be the powers that be(The Govt.)If they have any sort of control try telling them to bugger off and that the community just looks after it’s self when they want your excess food or stores to feed those silly enough not to prepare for such occasions.If it’s a very fast decline,the ppl that come won’t be asking your permission.It might be all well and good to say”In times of crisis’s,people pull together”,but remember there usually is a sembilance of law and order.Oh yeah,Katrina..ppl herded into a stadium,controlled by armed homegaurd dudes,there where rapes and theft going on left right and centre.Hati,that wasn’t a good example of ppl working together neither.

    hey I also said;I guess you don’t get anywhere if you don’t try though.

    I can’t recall famine,wars or any MAJOR catastrophies happening in Australia where you could draw examples from,there was the depression but with some sembilance of law and order but remember the powers that be were hard on the unfortunate then also.

    My “Lifeboat” as you call it is way out in the bush,I can protect it and it assures me I don’t have the problem of being a “Target” by TPTB in a slow/fast downturn or by motivated criminal types in a rather nasty fast decline.

    Just posting what we are doing to stave off the problems that peak oil will bring,surcurity was #1 on the list.It was also the only problem I noted about medium/large communities trying to make it.

    It’s not a lifeboat..It’s a rather well protected fulltime retreat that hopefully will be 100% selfsustaining in 12mths.We are actually doing it,not planing it.B)

    #493312
    BullseyeBullseye
    Member

    If I were in need of producing my own oil, for running our diesel vehicles, tractor, trackloader, water pumps, by growing halophyte algae, i.e. in a saltwater pond, is one option. I live on an estuary, where saltwater is plentiful. By the by, as it so happens freshwater is plentiful here and this could be done with freshwater too. But there are droughts no matter where we live, so salt water is the better option.

    A one acre halophyte algae pond over a one year period can easily produce over 22,000 litres of oil. The algae is easily harvested, from the shallow pond, haul it out with a tractor, air/sun dry it, then all is needed to extract the oil is a typical olive oil press. The production rate I’m talking about is from a low tech operation. Up the ante with a hi-tech operation, on one acre per year and 56,000 litres is achievable.

    We use about 4500 litres of diesel per year for off property work. I couldn’t use all of the remainder of that 17500 litres of oil if I ran my 70 horsepower tractor ploughing a 10 acre paddock every week of the year.

    #493313
    BullseyeBullseye
    Member

    Worldwide crude oil consumption is approximately 5,000,000,000,000 (trillion) litres per year.

    Halophyte (saltwater) algae production, in areas not suitable for agriculture, pond irrigated with salt water or sea water, on an area the size of the Sahara desert, could in an hi-tech production produce 52,000,000,000,000 (Trillion) litres of oil – per year.

    5,000,000,000,000 (Trillion) litres of crude oil use.

    52,000,000,000,000 (Trillion) litres. Algae oil production on area the size of the Sahara.

    The oil from Halophyte algae oil production can be used for exactly what crude oil is used for.

    #493314
    BullseyeBullseye
    Member

    The used dead algae, after the oil has been extracted, is an excellent high protein livestock feed. The algae can also be used as a nutrient to feed back to growing pond algae to produce more oil.

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