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Aussies Living Simply

Peak Oil?

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    I picked up Adrienne Langman’s book “Choosing Eden” again yesterday. Read it quite a while ago and thoroughly enjoyed it so thought I would give it another read.

    After reading the first couple of chapters and how her awareness of “Peak Oil” motivated her into action. It just got me thinking that it seems to have completely disappeard from the media. Nothing much on the TV at all about it.

    It hasn’t obviously gone away but there doen’t seem to be the discussion or concern that there was about it twelve or eighteen months ago.

    When is it going to rear its head again I wonder?


    Karma, It’s going to start again as the price of oil continues to rise. At the moment though, $80/b doesn’t attract enough attention, especially when a good proportion of that figure is taken up by the devalued US dollar.

    When it reaches $100/b you’ll see more being talked about it, but you’ll probably have to wait a few more years until the export crunch really starts to bite.


    There is also still a fair bit of coverage in the media in other western countries, IIRC the Economist in Britain recently ran a fair sized article about it for instance.


    I read ‘Choosing Eden” as well not long ago, when it came out with the Gardening Aust magazine. I had only read alittle about Peak Oil on ALS. DH thought he better read it, (he has just finished 31/2 years of study, so anything not medical seemed interesting) and :jawdrop: he has become totally obsessed with reading and researching (day dreaming and waking during the night) as much as he can on the subject. We have already looked into Solar/Wind power, woodstove/hotwater system, a pressure canner for the vegies, he has me growing more food and different varieties in the garden and wants a stockpile of atleast 12 months worth of food, thats just to name a few things. He says we should be prepared for any type of disaster anyway. There is information out there, but not unless you look for it, which is a shame, because not many people know anything about it, and some give you “the look” when you mention it. If anything we will have a great hobby being able to live nearly self sufficient in the coming years.


    I have just finished reading Choosing Eden. I loved it. I deliberately haven’t searched out more information as it is a bit scary. We are planning a more sustainable life anyway as DH and I have decided that we are truly happy and healthy when are working on the farm as opposed to doing the 9 to 5. If we can can become domestically sustainable we should be ok after peak oil.

    I can’t help but wondering how Adrienne and Larry are getting on now. They seem like old friends after reading the book. Does anyone know if they have a blog or something.


    I read Choosing Eden a couple of months ago and it certainly got me thinking. My garden is more productive now and I have started saving things I would have previously thrown out. I have my mums food dehydrator put away and will be getting that out to start experimenting! (could prove interesting…)


    I am not sure if peak oil will show up like a bolt of lightening from above, but clearly we are out of balance in our use of energy.

    However, I believe we may see an inverse relationship between our need for energy and an increasingly abundant supply of cheaper information.

    I was at a talk on the National Broadband Network the other night, and I heard about an interesting model for the use of intermittent natural energy sources like wind and solar. The add-on was an information link between the power generators and the micro-sites where the power was to be used, such as your hot water system, fridge, etc.

    The internet allows these two sites to ‘talk’ to each other. For instance, when the wind stops blowing, the wind generator sends a message to your hot water system, asking it to shut down until the wind starts up again. Meanwhile, your hot water system can tell the rest of the

    supply system, how hot your water is. If the temperature falls below a critical level, your hws can request enough power to lift the temperature up to a reasonable level, then cut out again.

    Years ago, I read about a smart thermostat for refrigerators, which learns the time pattern of when your compressor is cutting in and out. It was then able to fine tune the energy needed to maintain a steady temperature in the fridge. The saving was over 10% of the power bill.

    At a personal level, I also agree with earlier posts that our biological energy transactions are severely out of balance. Our waistlines demonstrate that our diet contains way too much high energy food and that we need to find ways to off-load this excess energy, such as by digging the garden.

    We also have a dysfunctional love of speed. I am really glad that the car race down on the Gold Coast, a couple of weeks ago, was a flop. We need to alter our transport culture to encourage cycling for a large percentage of our travel needs. Why can’t buses pull a big trailer that you can chuck your ‘deadly treadly’ on, when you catch the bus into town?

    I would also like to find a trailer for my bike to pull along, so that I can carry my groceries home from the shops. Does anyone have a design document for building one out of aluminium?


    busylizzie wrote:

    … he has become totally obsessed with reading and researching (day dreaming and waking during the night) as much as he can on the subject.

    Sounds like me. My wife accuses me of daydreaming all the time, and when she asks me what I’m thinking about it’s always the same thing…the end of the world.

    Tell your husband he’s got at least another 12 months of thinking this way to go, and he won’t trully come back to earth until his preps are enough so that he knows he can survive just about anything.

    Yes I’ve seen “the look” too. It’s like a secret handshake. It’s the best thing when you actually get to meet someone who thinks the same way because all other conversations seem trivial in comparison.



    Bring on Peak Oil I reckon. The whole petrochemical cycle has caused so many social, environmental and health problems. The world has an abundant source of natural energy especially wind and solar. Mini household systems are ideal as they generate in-situ power with negligable transmission loss and no need for ugly electron spewing power lines which blight our landscape. The problem is lack of commitment to research and development over most of the 20th century because of the entrenchment of oil (and other fossil fuels) in capitalist / economic thinking and the vested interests of the big oil and mining companies. (A bit similar to how modern pharmaceutical medicine squeezed out more natural methods of health care which prevent and treat illness wholistically).

    As I write this the sun is shining bright on my tin roof and the wind is blowing quite a clip, more than enough energy to provide my energy needs. You watch the big oil companies morph into energy companies and devote R & D dollars to successfully developing “Harvestors” of free natural energy. I see peak oil as a triumph for the planet so better systems will be developed and used to provide our energy needs without the huge social, environmental, and health problems. Bring it on.


    I was just about to say that I watched something about peak oil on the tele just the other day then I realised I was watching the Relocalisation DVD that Mumchook sent me.:shy::lol:


    It will come back onto the radar when oil prices begin to spike. Seems to be a change in language happening, moving away from ‘peak oil’ and more toward ‘oil price volatility and scarcity’.

    I find through the Transition Town movement we seem to be attracting people who want to go straight to the solutions and action stage.

    Whether its because of peak oil, climate change, health, the environment, social or economic reasons, I’m kept busy with enquiries and advice on TTs.

    I’ve found the few TTs that focus on the doom and gloom of peak oil (the books, the films etc) are lagging behind the ones that are focussing on community activity.

    But we need the experts to call in when needed to tell us the day’s oil barrel prices and what this means in relations to the aussie dollar.

    Everyone has their own ‘thing’.

    But it will be back… trust me đŸ˜‰




    It’s back on the radar again.

    This week the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its annual report on current and future oil production figures. Before it was released though, several employees (one who is an ex-employee) blew the whistle on the agency saying that they are pressured by the US to produce highly inflated figures in order to not panic the financial markets and for the US to retain its dominant position in the oil stealing industry.

    Of course we’ve all known for years the figures produced by the IEA were pure fantasy, but now it has been confirmed.

    See the main story here

    And follow up stories here

    What this means is that essentially consumers (and some governments like ours) are having the wool pulled over their eyes so we all remain happy obedient tax-paying consumers. Once it becomes widely acknowledged that we are heading down the slippery slope of oil depletion the entire world government and financial system will descend into chaos as the remaining oil reserves are fought over.

    So what does this mean for us? Harder financial times. A real recession, then probably a depression, more wars in the middle east, possibly spreading to other regions.

    US dominance will rapidly decline. New alliances will be made. Lots of weird things are going to happen especially in south-east asia as China becomes a more dominant player.

    The world is about to change rapidly and most of those changes will be bad, except we may have no choice but to eat less processed foods, we’ll stop wasting money and we’ll exercise in the garden instead of the gym.

    Those people not used to the simple life are about to get a rude awakening.



    If you ever thought the Australian Government was ignorant about oil, think again. They are intimately aware of it, which is why this week they voted 31 to 6 to do nothing about it.

    Read below for more details.

    They don’t want to deal with such a ptoentially devastating issue especially when the economy is sunk and climate change is going up like a hot air baloon.

    Lesson to be learnt here: don’t rely on our Government to bail you out when the tough times arrive. It will be everyone for themselves and it’s your own responsibility to prepare for it.

    Australian Senate: Peak Oil motion defeated 31:6

    by Phil Hart

    The Government and Opposition today voted against a Greens motion in the Senate calling on the Government to plan for peak oil.

    Senator Christine Milne:

    Australia needs to kick the oil addiction before peak oil kicks it for us by driving prices sky high.

    “We must start planning now to bring on the sustainable alternatives of renewably-powered electric vehicles, both public and private, and tackle the climate and peak oil crises together.

    “The International Energy Agency whistleblower’s report is shocking but unsurprising to those of us who have watched the refusal by Australian governments to acknowledge the peak oil threat.”

    Notice of motion

    I move that the Senate:

    a) Notes that:

    i. Neither the former Howard government nor the Rudd government implemented the first recommendation of the 2007 Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee report into AustraliaĂ¢â‚¬â„¢s future oil supply and alternative transport fuels, namely, that Geoscience Australia, ABARE and Treasury reassess both the official estimates of future oil supply and the ‘early peak’ arguments and report to the Government on the probabilities and risks involved, comparing early mitigation scenarios with business as usual.

    ii. Of the nine recommendations of that Report, only recommendation 6 relating to incentives for fuel efficient vehicles have even been considered let alone addressed.

    iii. In the week beginning 8 November 2009, the International Energy Agency issued its annual ‘World Energy Outlook’, predicting that global oil demand is forecast to rise from 85m barrels per day 2008 to 105m barrels per day in 2030.

    iv. A whistleblower at the International Energy Agency has claimed “it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying” and that a “senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves”.

    (b) Calls on the government to immediately develop a national plan to respond to the challenge of peak oil and AustraliaĂ¢â‚¬â„¢s dependence on imported foreign oil.

    The Motion was defeated 31:6 with the five Greens Senators supporting the motion and presumably South Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon as the sixth supporting vote.

    The major parties are not just ignorant of ‘peak oil’. They are, with clarity of purpose, voting against any attempt to respond or even investigate further.

    Ave a goAve a go

    Hi RW,

    Bit of a sh*t isn’t it….

    Already posted about this here:


    Am currently plowing my way through “Time to eat the dog” which contains an amazing number of facts and figures about anything to do with sustainability. They analyse everything. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in this area. Apparantly the most sustainable form of transport is bike riding – on a wooden bike!

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