Sunday, November 4, 2007

peak oil: bummer.

did anyone else attend a step it up! action this saturday? i got to the bloomington event a little later in the day because of a morning commitment, and it was fairly sparsely attended at that point. i bet more people were around when rep. hill was supposed to show up a couple hours prior. let's hope, anyway. i sat in on a couple of discussions and was grilled about how portland pays for its highly-touted public transportation systems. (is my brother bill out there? you would have been a hit at this thing.) dave rollo, from the bloomington city council, talked about peak oil and bummed us all out. here's the long and short of it: we're probably going to run out of oil. when? no one knows exactly, because lots of oil-rich countries would prefer to not tell us how much they have. (wonder why?) there are no nice liquid alternatives. current political and economic interests are not particularly interested in raising the issue. right now i can hear this echo in my head of sunday morning talking heads saying, we're completely dependent on foreign oil, and it actually means something. we're in trouble, friends. when gas runs out, the supermarkets go empty. because we truck most of our food more than 1000 miles. sound like another good reason to support local food systems? or to store food over the winter? i don't mean to sound alarmist, by any means. sorry. but while that "liberal media" tells you that global warming and peak oil are contested theories, most credible experts would advise you otherwise. bummer. conventional agriculture uses incredible amounts of petroleum for oil to run mechanized operations. it's also used for fertilizer. mmm, who wants petrochemicals for dinner? ( okay, we can all agree that we don't want to think TOO much about eating what's used for organic fertilizer, but still.) how can we step off this ca-razy merry-go-round before we're forced off by the chaos of food scarcity? community supported agriculture? more farmer's markets? move to amish country? permaculture? reduce our consumption of petroleum by leaps and bounds? a chicken in every backyard, and an aerogarden in every kitchen?

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