Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Comes Next

Well, since it's been a while since we added to this blog, why don't I add something? Since Therese wrote, we went to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and I participated in the Transition Houston/350.org event on October 10 (10/10/10). I also have a basil and a (dying) tarragon on the desk in front of me, as well as lemon balm, basil, rosemary, oregano and sweet potato in the planter downstairs, and a gallon of mead in secondary fermentation in the kitchen.

Which kind of brings me to the dilemma I'm facing now. Events of the last couple of years have made it painfully clear that not only industrial civilization, but also the stable global climate on which it depends, are drifting towards a state of acute crisis. Very briefly, world oil production stopped increasing in 2005, and will likely begin to decline within a year or three. That means trouble for countries that import a lot of the oil they use, and America is pretty high on that list. Meanwhile, Arctic ice and glaciers worldwide are melting, and freak weather events consistent with global warming are beginning to hammer locations as diverse as Australia, Pakistan and Russia. I would bet quite a large sum of money that the next twenty years will be a time of rapid and painful change.

These kinds of problems are so large that it's hard to know what to do but watch them unfold. But I'm married now, and so I feel I have to try to take action to prepare, so that I can protect my wife, and the family we hope to have. That's why I've been working with Transition Houston, a small group of aging hippies and oil company employees who see Peak Oil coming and are trying to get ready. It's meaningful, satisfying work, but its slow and time consuming. I organized and purchased T-shirts for the group, as well as doing my best to promote the recent permablitz event. I'm proud of that work, but I think that with two weddings next year, as well as our first house to locate and hopefully purchase, I need to put the "saving the world" bit on hold for a while.

So that's it. For readers, I suggest strongly that a lower energy future is coming for most of us, voluntarily or not. Ask yourself what you could do to adapt to a lifestyle where you used much less electricity and gasoline, and also what your city would look like if everyone was doing the same thing. A few suggestions would be get a bicycle, and learn how to use it if you don't know already (this means you, Trissa!). Get a bus pass, and figure out where your nearest bus stop is and where it can take you. If you own a home and have some money to invest, high efficiency windows, roofs, and insulation are a great idea, as well as solar hot water if you can afford it.

I gotta run. I have to put away dinner (bison sausage, collard greens and hoecakes, if you're curious) and get ready for tomorrow.