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Immediate Threat – Oil Shockwave Scenario

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  • #252544
    roadwarriorroadwarrior
    Member

    “Oh no, not another peak oil thread” I hear you all moan. “It’s just going to be another debate between roadwarrior, bullseye, jennifer g, db346, humbug etc etc, with the same argument between techno-fixes, hydrogen, the economy and oil field depletion blah blah blah.”

    Well, no.

    This is different. Nobody can deny, regardless of how much of an optimist they are, just how close oil supply and demand are to each other, and how if we haven’t already reached peak oil, then it’s going to happen very soon.

    Major oil fields all around the globe are encountering steep decline rates, and new fields are a lot smaller, will reach their own peak earlier, and decline even faster.

    This leaves the world in the nasty situation that if there is some problem regarding oil supply, there really isn’t any spare capacity to pump extra oil into the market to take up the slack. There is debate that Saudi Arabia is able to pump more than what they currently are, between 2-4 mbpd, and this is being used to prevent the threat of Iran using their oil as blackmail, turning off their supply and sending the world into an immediate oil crisis at the drop of a hat.

    But the Middle East is an amazingly complex political and geological region. The risk, now that supply is peaking and demand is only being constrained by a weakening economy (which ironically is being caused by oil peaking), is that anything that even slightly interrupts oil supply for a short to medium term within the middle east could cause catastrophic economic and social problems.

    There are no, and I emphasise this, absolutely no technofixes that can come online fast enough to help us in a sudden crisis.

    Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to determine how vulnerable you are to a sudden oil crisis.

    You must take into account that the majority of our diesel fuel (or the oil to refine it) comes from other countries. Australia may be self sufficient for LPG, natural gas, coal, and ultra-light sweet crude, however we do not have the ability to supply ourselves with enough diesel fuel to sustain agriculture and the economy. We have the technology to convert coal into synthetic diesel, however we do not have the conversion plants and refineries built to do it.

    So look at your life, your lifestyle, your house and location, your job, and the food you eat, and perform a hypothetical assessment of your vulnerability to an oil crisis. Factors you should include are the distinct possibility of imposed fuel restrictions by the government, social unrest, looting supermarkets, disruption of the health system and reliable supplies of medicines, home invasions, maybe even bread lines.

    Personal security, food security, financial/job security and health could be scored separately on a scale from 1 to 10 to help you quantify the issues.

    Remember it is not necessarily the responsibility of the Government or Police to protect us. What percentage of crime do the police actually prevent? The majority of the time they are making arrests AFTER the crime has been committed. That doesn’t help the person who has already been stabbed, murdered or raped. It is our responsibility to protect ourselves.

    rw

    #469311
    roadwarriorroadwarrior
    Member

    Taking my own advice…

    Personal Security – 6

    Food – Short term 8 (food stockpile), medium term 4 (access to hunting nearby).

    Finances/Job – 7

    Health – 3 (reliant on some medications for quality of life, but not neccessary to live)

    #469312
    grumpy3grumpy3
    Member

    RW. The numbers are they just the importance on the scale 1 to 10.

    Dennis

    #469313
    DocDoc
    Member

    “Oh no, not another peak oil thread” I hear you all moan. “It’s just going to be another debate between roadwarrior, bullseye, jennifer g, db346, humbug etc etc, with the same argument between techno-fixes, hydrogen, the economy and oil field depletion blah blah blah.”

    Yep, exactly what I thought, amongst other things.

    More copy and paste threads, links to stuff, more reading and arguing. On and on it goes. Information overload that leads to people just not getting the point in the end.

    Another thread I have to keep an eye on. 😐

    But then, this may have a different twist. :shrug:

    tolerantingly yours

    Doc 😉

    #469314
    roadwarriorroadwarrior
    Member

    No, it’s a self rating as to how vulnerable I’d be to those factors. So like personal security, I have ways to defend myself, which is good. But that is balanced by the fact that I’m in a moderately dense suburban area, and no amount of defensive ability can give complete protection.

    1 is a bad rating. 10 is very good.

    #469315
    roadwarriorroadwarrior
    Member

    Yep, exactly what I thought, amongst other things.

    More copy an paste threads, links to stuff, more reading and arguing. On and on it goes. Information overload that leads to people just not getting the point in the end.

    Another thread I have to keep an eye on. 😐

    But then, this may have a different twist. :shrug:

    Yeah I thought I’d give you a break. It’s another way to discuss the same things, from my own biased perspective of course, without the arguing. It does, however, have it’s own merit. A sudden crisis is a very real possibility.

    Some people, like myself and many others on here, want to talk about these issues to find solutions to prepare for what we feel is coming. We can’t discuss these things if we are constantly defending our own point of view.

    So come on Doc, you’re watching this thread. What’s your own rating and how could you improve things? You might have great food security (10), but can you stop someone else from taking it (3), or are you in a community where you’d all look after each other (9)?

    #469316
    edensgateedensgate
    Member

    OK, I’ll play.

    My family are definitely living with our heads in the sand at this point in time, although we are trying to live an ‘ethical’ life. I find the whole climate change/peak oil conundrum very scary and stressful. We are so fortunate, in our lifetime, to not have had many ‘lifestyle disruptions’. I remember the power strikes in Qld in the early 80s when I was a kid; a few storms have disrupted services, a few floods; the recent transport strikes didn’t really bother us much.

    But something on a bigger scale would be devastating, yet I know we’d be in a better position than many. Makes me realise that relationships with neighbours and status in your local community would also be a factor in your family’s continuing survival post-disaster.

    Question: how long is ‘short term’ and ‘medium term’? Are we proposing weeks, months, years?

    Personal Security

    6 …We live in a semi-affluent area with a lot of food resources. We’re not a close nit neighbourhood but the local school, SES, bushfire brigade, Lions, etc, draw a lot of people together

    Food

    Short term …Several weeks of basics in the pantry, though we’d want for fruit an veg depending on the season

    Medium term

    Not sure. We have staples like arrowroot and sweet potato growing in the garden, a stockpile of seeds. Living where people keep cattle, pigs and sheep. We’d get by on my gardening if I was more vigilant about caterpillars *eyeroll*. We could trap rabbits, etc. We also have lots of neighbours to barter with/buy from. In a disaster, I do wonder whether our neighbourhood would pull together. We are a family of seven, so a lot of labour available if necessary.

    Finances/Job

    8 …We could manage without income for a while.

    Health

    8 … Our family has generally good health. One extended family member uses meds to control a condition, but could survive without. Another family member is in a nursing home. Don’t know what would become of her without power. :shrug:

    #469317
    edensgateedensgate
    Member

    Just realised tho’ that if we couldn’t get LPG we’d be very limited in our cooking options! We’d have to build ourselves a wood-fired option quick smart, and then, where the heck would we get enough wood to fire it up every day??

    We have black-out batteries so could use electricity for a couple of days.

    #469318
    dixiebelledixiebelle
    Member

    Some people, like myself and many others on here, want to talk about these issues to find solutions to prepare for what we feel is coming. We can’t discuss these things if we are constantly defending our own point of view.

    Thank you RW.

    Why is there a “Peak Oil – Where Are We Headed?” section on this forum, if not for us to discuss it!! Discussion and debate are important ways to learn… preferably without semantics, or striving to one-up others. It would be nice to have a discussion without be asked to post a link or reference to every book, documentary, blog or article you’ve read, to validate your point and ideas.

    your life, your lifestyle, your house and location, your job, and the food you eat

    Personally, I know right now, our family could last a few weeks in terms of basic food, hygiene, medicine, keeping warm and sanity… I think our breaking point would be food, provided we were healthy. Depending on how society was acting, our security would only be a problem if we needed to head out for food or healthcare. Being able to get money out of the bank might cause us problems (to buy anything that was still available, like food or medicine), though we do have small amount of cash available. The more we work on being able to provide more food and medicine for ourselves, the more we need to work on security too!

    #469319
    chookenchooken
    Member

    Economic meltdown does seem inevitable — I have no quibble with the heart of this topic.

    But as a parent with one severely disabled child I have no hope at all of surviving catastrophe. Might as well count me and my kids as dead. So what’s to discuss? We’re alone, police can’t help (tell them to solve my house-break 10 years ago, or the one 8 years ago, or the car theft 6 years ago), we have one acre surrounded by greedy suburbia, and we don’t get out much to forge links with other people because we’re changing nappies and dealing with chaos in the home.

    The bottom line is, those who are going to come out best are most likely going to be those who put their heads down, rape the planet, reap the spoils, and have enough money to build Fort Knox and stuff it with unperishable food (while maintaining the country retreat in the highlands). They’ll emerge in time to organise a military and assert control. Renegade self-survivors will still be in a minority, and still subject to whatever system evolves out of the mess.

    Instead of focusing on how individuals are fortifying themselves, maybe you could focus on how communal groups get built when the net keeps us together and yet splits us apart (we forge friendships online but neglect ones in real life)? How can we make tangible links? How can we share our skills so that not all of us have to be well armed road warriors?

    :shrug:

    #469320
    dixiebelledixiebelle
    Member
    #469321
    dixiebelledixiebelle
    Member

    Instead of focusing on how individuals are fortifying themselves, maybe you could focus on how communal groups get built when the net keeps us together and yet splits us apart (we forge friendships online but neglect ones in real life)?

    How do you know people are not also doing that?

    How can we share our skills so that not all of us have to be well armed road warriors?

    Today I am holding my second meeting of The Urban Homesteaders Club, today I am doing a workshop on Seed Saving.

    #469322
    edensgateedensgate
    Member

    I like to think we’d be surprised at how communities would pull together in a disaster. The storms almost two years ago in Brisbane definitely gave me hope that we, as a society, are capable of wonderful things collectively.

    #469323
    roadwarriorroadwarrior
    Member

    chooken wrote:

    But as a parent with one severely disabled child I have no hope at all of surviving catastrophe. Might as well count me and my kids as dead.

    Would you mind if I offer some advice specific to your situation? Having disabled children, or disabled elderly parents will certainly make any crisis situation harder, to the point where it may almost feel impossible. However if you have a little bit of time, and a small amount of funds to prepare, you should at least be able to increase your chances of coping with something at least in the short term.

    The first thing I tell people they should do is to have a supply of canned foods. Complete meals in a can are better than individual ingredients because all they require is reheating rather than cooking.

    I’ve never understood the stigmata associated with having a stockpile of canned food. In this society you are considered a nut-job by the majority of the population if you admit to having one.

    In most societies though, you’d be considered either very sensible or very fortunate to have a stockpile of food in case of bad times.

    I have a big stockpile of both canned foods and grains, and I’m proud to admit it.

    One can of Coles home brand meal-in-a-can costs around $2.50. Put one in your shopping basket every time you go to the supermarket. They don’t have a used by date, but I’d use a permanent marker to put the purchase date on them and would consider throwing them out after 10 years.

    1 can each week for a whole year gives you a modest supply of food that will help you get by in tough times. Peak Oil or no Peak Oil, the economy is headed south and welfare is never guaranteed if the government can’t pay it’s debts.

    chooken wrote:

    Instead of focusing on how individuals are fortifying themselves, maybe you could focus on how communal groups get built when the net keeps us together and yet splits us apart (we forge friendships online but neglect ones in real life)? How can we make tangible links?

    How can we share our skills so that not all of us have to be well armed road warriors?

    This is an extremely good point. I may be patrolling my property each day to keep the looters out, but then a wear a hole in my socks and I start to get blisters. In exchange for someone to darm my socks, wash my undies and clean my camo gear I might help keep an eye on you too.

    Or a better option may just to lie low, board up the front door and pretend nobody is home.

    There is always hope as long as you don’t allow sadness or depression from stopping you thinking of a solution.

    Having a local community of ethical people would be invaluable in a crisis.

    #469324
    roadwarriorroadwarrior
    Member

    edensgate wrote:

    I like to think we’d be surprised at how communities would pull together in a disaster. The storms almost two years ago in Brisbane definitely gave me hope that we, as a society, are capable of wonderful things collectively.

    All it takes is one act of random kindness in a disaster to bring out the best in people.

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