21 September 2007

Peak Oil and living the simple life

I try to be non-political in my blog. I don't really see the point of talking about what should be done when everyone has such widely differing views on most political topics. I am usually suspicious of bloggers who write about what everyone should be doing but don't appear to be doing anything themselves. I try to be more practical here, I try to show how living a simple sustainable life will help all of us, no matter what the reason for living that way.

However, I listened to a radio broadcast (podcast here, her bit is half way through it) the other day and am still thinking about it now. It was about an Australian woman and her response to Peak Oil. Her philosophy is almost identical to mine and she clearly pointed out why we all need to prepare for ever increasing oil prices. So I thought that just this once, on this important subject, I'll talk about a political subject. If you don't want to read, that's fine, come back tomorrow when I'll be back to the more practical but this topic does effect us all.

Peak Oil is the point at which the global extraction of oil reaches its peak and starts to decline, and the cost of extracting oil goes up. The problem with this is that there are very few new oil discoveries and countries like India and China, which both have huge populations, are now using a lot more oil. China's population is currently on 1.3 billion and India's is now 1.1 billion. It is predicted that in the next 50 years, their combined population will be 3.5 billion. The population of the US is now 301 million and they use most of the world's oil. The US projected population in 50 years is 420 million.

And there is no more cheap oil.

So as oil production is decreasing there is a massive increase in demand. No doubt many of those newly affluent people in India and China will buy cars and use a lot more oil, but cars and fuel aren't the only thing we have to worry about with Peak Oil. Peak Oil is also about food and the irrigation and transport of it, as well as the products that are made with oil, like plastics.

For me, Peak Oil means that I need to provide as much as I can for myself. No one can predict what will happen in the future, but I'm sure that if oil is increasingly expensive, food and groceries prices will rise, so will the price of fuel, electricity and gas as well as many other things that we all use. We all need to be well informed, so find out as much as you can about Peak Oil. If you don't believe there will be a problem, do some research and see what you find. I think there is no doubt, but everyone sees things with different eyes.

Once you're informed, or if you already are, you'll need to work out a plan for your own family. Part of that plan should be to skill yourself in as many areas of food production, cooking, preserving and home management as you can. Everyone needs to reduce their debt as much as possible or get rid of it completely. The future will be much easier if you have no debt.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that food production and home management are my main subjects. Peak Oil is one of the reasons for that but I also believe that living a simple life is better for us and the planet than the product driven lifestyle that I left behind. This simple life is more enriching, it satisfies the soul, it makes me a better person and it's an easy way to live. So my blog will continue to discuss how to live well in your own home and I promise not to return again to the political without a compelling reason. So let's get on with it, let's learn how to live well.
Blogger Template by pipdig