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We watched The End of Suburbia last night and were -- I don't know what the right word would be here -- dumbstruck. Of course I've read and seen a lot of other things on the subject of overconsumption and how we are destroying the environment, and I had heard of peak oil before, but this was the first time I really followed an explanation of it from beginning to end.<br><br>
So, for anyone else interested in this, what do you think? Have you taken steps to prepare for the post-peak era? I'm interested in discussing this!
 

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You know, I'd like to discuss it but honestly don't know a whole lot about it.<br><br>
We are the sort who generally stay prepared for weather emergencies and buy in bulk to get good prices, etc. We have a lot of self-sufficiency skills and are interested in honing up and learning others as well.<br><br>
I'm off to check Netflix to see if the film is available.
 

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Imo Peak Oil is a stepping stone to greatness. We have dozens of viable or proven alternatives, but we ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT adopt them on a grand scale untill we have to.<br><br>
The main problem with sustainable energy is that it threatens the super rich. Once they have no options left, we will get sustainable energy production, but never before.<br><br>
I think the next thing we will see a lot of is biomass thermal depolymerization. Currently it costs about $80 per barrel to manufacture oil from waste (trash, turkey waste) At $80 it is actually a small profit at the current price of crude, after buying the waste. As crude becomes more expensive, municipalities will likely set up their own thermal depolymerization stations and produce oil from our vast and over loaded landfills. The light crude can be distilled to gasoline, but diesel is much more efficient.<br><br>
Thanks to the new NanoSolar, a solar farm is comperable in initial startup and 1st year operating cost to a coal plant, with 20 year returns being significantly better than coal. They just can't keep up with demands on cell production yet.<br><br>
Largely all that needs to happen is for a solution to become economically viable, it will be adopted very quickly. Thanks to high energy prices, those times are comming quickly. I don't see peak oil as the end. I see it as the kick in the butt we need for a new era.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KariM</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10310757"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm off to check Netflix to see if the film is available.</div>
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It is, but it's at my house right now! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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If you're interested in a very interesting, readable and free 'primer' on peak oil, I'd recommend this blog:<br><br><a href="http://www.casaubonsbook.blogpost.com" target="_blank">http://www.casaubonsbook.blogpost.com</a><br><br>
She's a bit more cynical than I am about how much peak oil will affect our ability to us technology as a society, and about hunger and food production, but she talks a lot about the issues and is extremely well-informed. Plus, she's readable and fun which a lot of peak oil stuff I've read isn't. And it's really nice to get another mama's perspective.<br><br>
We're not going as far as their family has in getting prepared, but we are doing some things... mainly, working on being able to provide for ourselves with as little in the way of inputs as possible. We're gardening, seed-saving, building soil, and buying local as much as possible. We're lucky that we're living in a place that has a great deal of food security, but we've chosen not to move places like the west/south west because of a lack of ability to provide for a decent diet (and water) locally.<br><br>
Longer term, we're thinking about ways to build or remodel our house to use drastically less utilities... mainly electricity, heat and water -- we're focusing on straw bale, masonry heaters, passive solar, etc. We're still a few years away from doing anything about it, but knowlege is never a waste, right?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Belleweather</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10312457"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you're interested in a very interesting, readable and free 'primer' on peak oil, I'd recommend this blog:<br><br><a href="http://www.casaubonsbook.blogpost.com" target="_blank">http://www.casaubonsbook.blogpost.com</a></div>
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That link didn't work for me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Me neither, and I'd reallylike to read more. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<a href="http://www.casaubonsbook.blogspot.com" target="_blank">This link</a> should take you to Sharon's blog.
 

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Okay, I laid the baby down and only have the toddler climbing on me.<br><br>
If I had the cash to prepare, I would find an 80's diesel vehicle (ie. Mercedes) and get set up to make biodiesel.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Usually Curious</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10315492"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Okay, I laid the baby down and only have the toddler climbing on me.<br><br>
If I had the cash to prepare, I would find an 80's diesel vehicle (ie. Mercedes) and get set up to make biodiesel.</div>
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Peak Waste Veggie oil production is significantly lower than peak oil. It is only a matter of time before McDonalds restraunts reclaim waste oil for their food delivery Big Rigs, for instance. Even in our current state of things, it probably takes 2000+ people to make enough waste veggie oil to run 1 BioD car. So like maybe 1-2 per community, and after "fast food" is no longer viable, goodbye reclaimed bioD, hello BioD made through De-polymerization, meaning it will take much more sophisticated equipment than you can have at home.<br><br>
Imo, in a "Mad Max" type scenario you would be far more likely to have a "driving" future if you had a more modern Gasoline vehicle that could be easily converted to run on alcohol... Alcohol is very simple to make, and can be made from rotting fruits/veggies as well as other things you can just "pick up off the ground". I could convert most modern cars to run on alcohol in about 15 minutes. 3-4 hours if you want to do it right. An E85 compatible vehicle (many "fleet" Fords with the "FFV" logo from the mid 1990s, most big GM vehicles 07 and later) will run on alcohol with almost no modification.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ShaggyDaddy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10322062"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...I could convert most modern cars to run on alcohol in about 15 minutes. 3-4 hours if you want to do it right. An E85 compatible vehicle (many "fleet" Fords with the "FFV" logo from the mid 1990s, most big GM vehicles 07 and later) will run on alcohol with almost no modification.</div>
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How long would a 1985 Volvo 240DL and a 1991 Saab 9000CD take you? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Some interesting thoughts<br><br><a href="http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/51" target="_blank">http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/51</a><br><br><a href="http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/121" target="_blank">http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/121</a> (warning this one has some swearing)
 

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assuming the Volvo is the normal mechanical fuel injection variety(I owned one of these excellent cars) all you need to do is bore out the injectors (takes a tiny drill bit), generally without the proper equipment to measure engine performance and air/fuel ratio I would drill out 15-20% bigger. The main problem is the rubber hoses and seals for the fuel system. Assuming I had an auto parts store it would take 10-20 hours to convert it. Assuming no auto parts store, it would probably last for 1-2 years burning alcohol before the fuel system started to leak. 1990s+ cars were designed assuming we would have 15% alcohol in our gasoline (which we do) so their seals are not eroded by alcohol.<br><br>
Car engines tend to last a lot longer when running on alcohol, but fuel mileage is lower. Many models of cars can handle normal daily driving on alcohol without a radiator or coolant, because alcohol burns so cool.<br><br>
The SAAB on the other hand would need a simple tune, or even a resistor on the Mass air flow sensor, because it is a turbo vehicle most of the "loss" of gas mileage and horsepower can be recovered by increasing boost levels. A Saab turbo would be an excellent candidate for conversion, because you can go one of 2 ways. You could keep the current fuel configuration and lower the Turbo boost cycle, get lower horsepower, similar fuel economy, or you could increase fuel and increase boost and get similar performance. The fuel system is electronic, which means it is very easy to modify.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kathirynne</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10322499"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">a 1985 Volvo 240DL <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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i really miss our 80's 240dl. it was an awesome wagon.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ShaggyDaddy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10322756"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The SAAB on the other hand would need a simple tune, or even a resistor on the Mass air flow sensor, because it is a turbo vehicle most of the "loss" of gas mileage and horsepower can be recovered by increasing boost levels. A Saab turbo would be an excellent candidate for conversion, because you can go one of 2 ways. You could keep the current fuel configuration and lower the Turbo boost cycle, get lower horsepower, similar fuel economy, or you could increase fuel and increase boost and get similar performance. The fuel system is electronic, which means it is very easy to modify.</div>
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My Saab isn't a turbo. (does that make it easier or harder to convert?)
 

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non-turbo is harder, but still direct ignition and electronic fuel injection. However, I thought 1988 and on "CD" models were only available as turbo... also I thought 1990 and on had the 2.3 turbo motor which is a coveted and strong motor.<br><br>
Keep in mind that alcohol is still considerably more expensive and running your own still is a felony and the revenuers will come break down your barn door... so it is truely a "mad max" scenario, after the government has fallen.
 

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Sarah, just wanted to let you know that DH and I watched the DVD last night and thank you so much for mentioning it!<br><br>
He's going to use it in a college course he teaches this semester.<br><br>
What shocked me was how low our natural gas supplies are getting. I knew about petroleum, but I guess I didn't think it through to other fossil fuels. That really made us think about decisions we'll be making in the upcoming months. We had toyed with the idea of getting a wood burning stove and now that's been made a higher priority as are solar panels. It will be some years before we're able to afford enough panels to supply all of our electricity, but we're ready to babystep our way NOW.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KariM</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10376495"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Sarah, just wanted to let you know that DH and I watched the DVD last night and thank you so much for mentioning it!<br><br>
He's going to use it in a college course he teaches this semester.<br><br>
What shocked me was how low our natural gas supplies are getting. I knew about petroleum, but I guess I didn't think it through to other fossil fuels. That really made us think about decisions we'll be making in the upcoming months. We had toyed with the idea of getting a wood burning stove and now that's been made a higher priority as are solar panels. It will be some years before we're able to afford enough panels to supply all of our electricity, but we're ready to babystep our way NOW.</div>
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I'm glad you both liked it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> I actually teach 7th grade, and I thought about showing it to them, but I think it would be a little too scary and over-their-heads for 13-year olds.<br><br>
We want to get solar panels too, but the expense.... I'm hoping that comes down sooner rather than later!
 
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