The Oil Drum "Meet Up"? has had 45 million page views and 19.8 million unique visits since its inception. While I don't rule out the possibility that 90% of these were Porge and Oldfarmermac, I suspect that the people that have at least stopped by occasionally over the years to learn and/or contribute number in the hundreds of thousands. Below the fold I ask for interest in, and technology/logistical suggestions on, how we might choose a "TOD" day, enabling anonymous people around the country that have found themselves here based on their understanding of world events, to meet in real life, in their own locales/regions around the world.

To me, theoildrum has been of value in several respects. One, it allowed for high level discussions on resource depletion and related issues with a high signal/noise ratio. Two, it has been like an interesting puzzle, a Rubiks Cube of Modern Civilization if you will - connecting various new dots between energy, ecology, debt/economy, the environment, etc. and internalizing how they all fit into the bigger picture of what we are facing has been interesting and fun. Third, it has served as a home for those aware of the broader implications of being part of an infinite growth paradigm as it intersects with physical/social limits - it is comforting to have a place to speak with your own tribe, generally speaking. Fourth, the integration of the topics discussed here, might accelerate social change (using energy differently, thinking about the future differently, etc.) in ways that will put some or all of us on more benign footing than the default trajectory. I suspect most of us that spend some time here do so for some combination of the above reasons.

The purpose of this Wed/Sat Campfire series on TOD was to go beyond mere discussion on the technical aspects of resource depletion and focus on a)actual social and human capital via skills and local change and b)discuss large unanswerable questions about how resource depletion will change the future. I know there are many people reading this site in Wisconsin and Minnesota, as I have met them at various conferences, but how would others, short of wearing corny T-shirts announcing "I read theoildrum", be able to connect with eachother, perhaps at a minimum to meet new friends and a social support group, but possibly to better leverage needed social change in their own communities/regions.

My technology skill-set is about a 2 on scale from 1-10. I know there exist sites like where people can set up meetings locally for like minded individuals. But is there some better way?

Please share your thoughts below the fold on:

-Would you be interested in meeting local people that perhaps also frequent this and similar websites but don't know how? Or would you prefer just accumulating information/watching?

-How could this be accomplished? Can TOD, without expending too many resources, act as a clearinghouse of sorts to assist this effort?

I don't know the viability of such an effort, but this thought has crossed my mind a few times. For all I know, my neighbor reads TOD and I have no idea. (Then again probably not...;-)

I'd like that. But I'd like to suggest a bi-coastal national meetup first.

I'm in if there is a mtg. in Vancouver, Canada ... j.

Well I would like a group to get together with. I am on Vancouver island, BC Canada. Would not be able to travel far, on a fixed income, but if one is set up in Vancouver I would try to get there.

It would be great to meet some like minded people from my community to share ideas for personal preparation.

I am hoping that someone recommends a web service that would make it easy for us to form groups by very small geographic regions.

In the spirit of fossil fuel reduction, I am not interested in geographic areas larger than a few miles in radius.

I am hoping that someone recommends a web service that would make it easy for us to form groups by very small geographic regions.

Dare I say it... Facebook?

TOD has a Facebook group with 507 members. David Goldberg (?) set it up and is the admin.

Yeah, it's a good size group. Why so many Italians? Friends of Ugo?

My partner and I created a web tool for ridesharing to events which handles the micro-geography and privacy requirements.

I've created an 'event' page for TOD.

When you join, you move your marker to your location, and your email address gets masked to maintain privacy. There's room for a little blurb.

There are male and female markers, but obviously just ignore the vehicle markers and the meeting dates.

You don't need to join in order to contact people, you just click on the marker and email address.

Here's what it looks like when it's used:

Here's the page for TOD: Event Link


Very easy. takes < 5 min. Thanks!

If people could find out what TOD users were local to them, they could make contact. But there are privacy issues.

I am aware of at least two energy posters who live in my area. They are probably unaware of my location. One seems to have views that suggest we might prefer not to meet. l have enjoyed personal associations with members of Zero Population Growth and Planned Parenthood in the past. I have also encountered internet friends in New York City, Seattle, Hawaii,Oregon and at two ASPO meetings. I particularly enjoyed meeting Walter Youngquist among many other ASPO attendees. At the moment I have no particular interest in a local or regional group but would probably show up if one were held.
--The Pickens Plan people have attempted to encourage local groups. I doubt that they have encountered much success, save perhaps for the large town hall meetings.
(I hope that the political scientist Michael C. Lynch doesn't discover this typo!. " has had 45 million page views"

Yes, I too discovered that a regular poster here has moved with his family to within five miles of my home! As an added plus, he's not an obvious loon - in writing, anyway.

I've tried and failed at this before, but I'm convinced that there must be a safe and positive way to do this kind of intentional community building.

So how about I just pipe up and say, "Southwest Portland!" and see who responds. We don't have to give up our anonymity right away - we could temporarily spin off localized subgroups to see if there's common ground.

I'm interested in your answers to questions like, do you use GMRS radios? Do you have skills and/or supplies in sufficient abundance to trade? What are your thoughts on the merits of bugging out vs. sheltering in place given the emergencies that we're likely to see here? And how about pooling resources for group buys of supplies - or land?

We did the meet-and-greet at the downtown Powell's a couple of years ago. Was fun, Jeremey from the Portland Peak Oil crew showed up and lively debate ensued between him and Eastbay from I announced the event here but no one else from TOD put in an appearance; or hardly anyone else, for that matter. Peakoilers are a solitary crowd, it seems. Or they are in these parts, anyway, despite PDX having its vaunted Protocol in place.

This evening I drove almost 100 miles round trip with my wife to see Earth Day. The movie was about what is discussed here daily on The Oil Drum. I had to drive so far because this is a small independent film. The Tragedy of the Metroplex is playing in a neighborhood close to you, therefore if you want to see something worth watching you might have to drive to get there depending on where you live. The film was great but when I stood up after the credits and I waited for the lights to come on there were less than 15 people in the theater and 90% of them were my age (age 54). I live in North San Diego county so I have to go into the city to see independent film. I imagine that if you live in Alabama or Mississippi you might have to go to another state.

Finding people who follow or are interested in these issues is important because the scale of the problems are so monumental that without synergistic movement we're going nowhere. Face it right now we are considered the fringe. How do you create a network of people who are of "your tribe", as Nate puts it, interact and share ideas?

For christ-sake 40 years ago they started Earth Day with typewriters and copy machines. Today we have the internet. The Oil Drum is the one format where small events and speeches can be sponsored nationally. Promote more events and in broader localities. If you have interesting formats with individuals such as Heinberg, Erlich, Greer or Kunstler you'll attract a large number of participants. I'd go...but maybe I'm the fringe of the fringe.

But The Oil Drum has to take the initiative or it won't happen.


Hello Nate,

I suspect my Asphaltistan would have a very small group:
Ariz. State University: Global Institute of Sustainability [GIOS]
When I individually type,, into their search engine feature = ZERO

Overshoot, Jay Hanson, Olduvai Gorge, Garrett Hardin, Albert Bartlett, Catton, ASPO = 0

Kunstler = 1 hit

Peak Oil = 2 hits

I got too depressed after that to continue. You would think GIOS would have 1,000 of hits on the above. They have never responded to my emails either.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Why am I not surprised about ASU. UNV in Reno might as well be on a different planet.


Hello from Scottsdale, Bob.

Dave Howard

What the hell are you talking about?

Totoneila is commenting on the lack of people who are aware of peak oil in the Phoenix area. Even the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU is clueless.

There are lots of fancy software tools to help folks meet regularly. But those of us that are only occasional readers/posters don't need another web site to keep track of. Instead, I would recommend the following:

Post a Meetup thread just like this one about once a month.

Folks in individual locations can then create subthreads to hammer out the logistics.

I'll start one for Seattle

Anyone want to get together for lunch in Seattle on Monday, September 28? I recommend getting together at Hales's Ales in Fremont -- "Think Globally, Drink Locally."

-- Jon

I'm in San Francisco. Why don't those of us the city or Bay Area agree on a date, time and place to meet. Say, Tommy's Joynt on Geary + Van Ness some time later this month or next?

Antoinetta III

I'm game. I just met Andre from TOD last Sunday, also a Bay person.

I'm in the Bay as well.

Well, the San Francisco (SFO) / San Jose (SJX) / Silicon Valley / Oakland / Bay Area is quite a big place and many many TODders are probably out here, whether merely lurking or actively commenting.

Funny that somebody upthread said "Fremont" and then all the CA Bay Area people piled on.

I think the first poster said he was in Seattle.

As for myself, I'm down in the South Bay, but not sure about the value of a meet up.
Right now, just busy trying to hold on to the day job.

I'm in Santa Clara and always have time to meet fellow doomers

I'm in the North Bay.
Would love to meet up with some like minded folk in the area.
More so for casual meets than formal presentations...

Though I try to travel only very locally these days.

email in profile
- Ron

Nate- I assume you would host the Vermont meeting at your house. In which case I would be happy to attend.

LOL - that is crux of issue. I'm not sure I would want to host such a meeting - perhaps after I got to know some people -but believe it or not, I'm pretty private. If not for Robert, I would still be thelastsasquatch.

Many years ago I was on a PO in Burlington - but things have progressed well beyond just oil depletion. On the one hand I intend on meeting more people locally, but that has nothing to do with whats ahead - I want to do this because I write/talk about substituting social capital and time for financial capital and novelty. I would like to be able to walk that talk, as hard as it is to get out of my routine.

I'll post something if I have anything in VT. Perhaps a small lecture and roundtable discussion near Burlington. VT has alot going for it.

Be great if you get something in VT. I need to get out of this dump called Rhode Island for a few days. Tent cities in Providence and Woonsocket are telling me it time to head north. ;-)


As you probably know, what you are calling social capital here is very much related to time. Not as much as it used to but Vermonters don't automatically throw out the welcome wagon. Also, as you probably know, Chittenden County is only vaguely considered part of Vermont.

I'm pretty private. If not for Robert, I would still be thelastsasquatch.

Just to be clear, I didn't "out" Nate. I just told him that he would write stuff that he would be proud of, and he would gain more credibility as Nate Hagens than as "thelastsasquatch." Personally, I think "Nate Hagens" has allowed him to have more impact than he would have had if he had remained anonymous. How would the video clips of Nate work as he gives lectures? In this next clip we have thelastsasquatch giving his views on oil depletion?

Those were my thoughts when I tried to talk him into coming out. There is nothing wrong with being anonymous; I was anonymous for years when debating against Creationists. I wrote some papers on beneficial mutations that were very well-received. I saw them referenced and spread around the Internet. I even debated some of the big name Creationists. But I never got any credit or built any credibility from them because I was anonymous. It was that experience that convinced me to give up anonymity when I started writing about energy. But you give up some credibility in order to preserve privacy. It's a trade-off, and sometimes anonymity has great benefits. Personal attacks, for instance, are much easier to shrug off if you are anonymous, and you don't have to worry much about some fruit cake making death threats.

RR - I wasn't blaming you -sorry for the implication - your suggestion to use my real name just had unintended consequences - as you say - there are tradeoffs.

That is one of my biggest beefs with spending time online - we have evolved wetware to protect our reputations - much of this works unconsciously as detection modules of others intent: facial expressions, nuances, tone, unspoken implications, etc. Online it is different as all we see are sentence structures - it is further complicated by the risk/reward of a person making strong statements or predictions - those who are anonymous, if they really blow it, can just start over at little cost, or fling mud at someone they disagree with in crafty ways, both options they don't have with their real name. I fear that as events unfold there will be many more such elements in online space, some just wreaking havoc out of spite. Again, TOD is just post-peak in a microcosm - cheap liquid fuels enabled cheap transport, and people could be a bit unscrupulous at small cost to themselves - if their reputation was tarnished they'd just pack up and move from Chicago to Seattle and start over. This won't always be so, so social capital near home is going to increase in importance - in Game Theory terms, we will have more opportunities/iterations of interaction, and will by defintion defect less quickly because there are fewer places to defect to.

In any case, some of us have to use our real names - somehow I became one of those...;-)

OTOH internet anonymity facilitates actual discussion. Just one example: anonymous polls show that over 50% of New Yorkers have the opinion 9/11 was an inside job. A far, far lower percentage would be willing to go public or sign their name to such a statement (it didn't help Van Jones any even after he recanted his sin). Employers and prospective employers, government agencies, etc.etc. are felt to be a threat by the average person, a threat to be respected. This is exactly why people like Charlie Sheen gain so much respect (almost all in private) because for every Charlie Sheen there are probably 1000 who would express themselves publicly in similar fashion but are refraining because of fear of personal cost, or a belief that there is nothing to gain and more to lose by expressing what they have concluded to be reality. Another example: the organized religion movement is huge in the USA-exactly how huge would it be if belonging to e.g. the Baptist church led to decreased employment opportunities and was a career killer for any politician? The Baptist church would be meeting mostly in secret, with a far smaller number of members, and those would be the actual believers. It costs nothing to voice conventional, widely held and rewarded opinions, which is why such opinions are usually the only ones publicly expressed. They are not opinions at all, they are the reciting of a mantra in an attempt to curry social and financial favor IMO. Again IMO blogs have become a place where unpopular opinions can be expressed freely (they are not wanted anywhere else).

There's such a thing as over thinking, over analyzing, Nate.

Blogging under one's real name is orders of magnitude more stressful. I flat-out wouldn't be commenting if not for TOD's general acceptance of semi-anonymity, and I suspect this is one part of the TOD "magic formula". The sort of things often discussed here would be difficult for many, and for a host of different reasons.

To blog in your own area of expertise and be subject to immediate public (and sometimes scathing) "peer review" from those who aren't necessarily your peers is courageous but exhausting. To do this when you're on the cutting edge of the intersection of disciplines - like Nate tends to be - must be like walking a tightrope most days. I salute his presumably high cortisol levels.

The subject of "fame" vs "anonymity" is an interesting one, and I've generally found the latter to have a lot more utility, to preserve more options, in most situations. It's counterintuitive, but it can be true.

So saying, having core oildrum personalities like Nate and RR take the more difficult path has absolutely added a lot, and we've all benefitted thereby. Thanks.

Blogging under one's real name is orders of magnitude more stressful.

Since several assignation attempts having been foiled by the temptations of New Orleans (and our street layout), I do not find it so.

OTOH, several really interesting and useful contacts have been made.

Perhaps it is the cultural attitude down here, or ... but I have found no real stress in being open about who I am, etc.

I do pity the "dirt search" team that has to go through all of the posts on the internet by AlanfromBigEasy looking for attack material :-)

Best Hopes,


# Pun intended with assignation

Blogging under my real name has gotten me invitations to conferences and meetings with higher profile public figures. So far the stress has been pretty minimal. The effect on my day job career has been non-existent.

I know the real identities of some people who have to use pseudonyms due to the nature of their work. But most people who use pseudonyms do NOT need to. If they used their real name nothing bad would happen to them.

I'll only go to Nate's house if he apologizes for that crack about my t-shirt.

What if we all posted our individual geographic locations In my case I'm in Hollywood Florida
I'll add an email address to my profile if anyone would like to contact me personally.

I see NOliver had the same idea.

What if we all add our geographic locations to our profiles, could someone at TOD create a database that we could all reference to see who is in our general area?

Would like to meet up to. Around the SF Bay area.

I'm a newcomer to the site. I'd just like to know how to ask a question and have your subscribers comment on it.


Ask it in the Drumbeat threads -each day they are compiled in the morning by Leanan.

If your question is relevant/germane to a particular thread other than Drumbeat, you can also post it in its comment area. Am I correct in saying that?

Say, nice idea for a campfire.

TOD is an interesting place. I came for the information and stayed for the sanity. I'll check back occasionally even when I stop being a "regular" here, I'm sure, if circumstances allow.

I'm not a networker; if there's an opposite, that's what I probably am these days. Networking is what I have an italian wife for. Yet I've occasionally thought I'd like it if all TOD participants could all just pull up stakes and take over a country somewhere, and then arrange transport like the elves leaving middle earth.

I'll work on it, but in the meanwhile, I'd like to encourage folks to please add email contact information to their member profiles. It's easy enough to get a fairly-anonymous email address these days, and it could facilitate just the sort of meetups this keypost discusses. Or to enable you to receive a low-profile memo on just which country we're taking over.

I have no need to meet local folks - while "international" remains possible I'll stick with that - but I'm also not opposed to it, as long as I'm in reasonable control of the flow. Sane and well-motivated folks are good to know wherever they pop up.

I hope TOD remains what it is, but would love to see ways in which personal contacts could be made more easily. Anonymity has its place and is underrated, but some contacts are worth making. I suppose it remains to be seen whether TOD can work that way... but it's probably worth a try.

Working as a chimney sweep I participate in an online listserv for sweeps and knowing a person's location sheds light on what they have to say. Circumstances in SC are different than in MA. If we all remain completely anonymous our input doesn't carry the same impact. Knowing that Airdale and others heat with wood (for instance) makes a difference to me because it tells me something about where they live even if I don't know the particular area.

I agree it makes a lot of sense to have a Campfire thread on a regular basis to facilitate meetings for whoever might want to take that step as well as email contact in profiles.

I live in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. In the rear window of my work van is a "poster" about Peak Oil with listed which opens many conversations about PO, and a few words about PO and a link to TOD is part of my full business signature on emails. Trying to spread the word, and probably there are others in my area. Meeting might be interesting.

Let's do it.


We all need a slap upside the head once in a while to wake us up and get us out of the ruts we haven't noticed.Thank you Sir!

One of the best net anologies I have heard is that it's like a modern gold mine-you sift must sift thru many tons of rock to find an ounce of what you are looking for.

Tptb have no incentive to get the OD message out and obviously most people who check the net for news have no idea who or what in respect to this site.

Your window sign is just a misplaced bumper sticker.

I'm a person of VERY limited means but if but if I can buy a hundred bumper stickers that say something to the effect of "If you're looking for answers try the oildrum .com" I will buy a hundred and put them where they will be seen.For years to come.

(I suppose the necessary work has been done to protect the use of the name from opportunists.)

Another idea might be to try to obtain a mailing list of librarians, science ,social studies,and history teachers and send them all a mail asking them to mention the site in class sometimes -it would be an incredibly good homework resource.

There are professional publications for teachers that might be willing to run a few small ads or an editorial to help publicize the site.

In sofar as meetups are concerned I would love to meet just about every body who posts here but my circumstances are such that I cannot travel for any reason other than an emergency due to family obligations.

I might be able to get to a one day affair if it is located within a half days drive of either Roanoke Va or Charlotte NC.

My computer skills are almost non existent so somebody please tell me- is it practical for the site to add a dedicated thread here and there that does not close-a sort of discussion group thing?
I do understand that money is an issue.

If not maybe some of the people who participate in such groups might be of interest to this comnmunity could post links to them.

If we all remain completely anonymous our input doesn't carry the same impact.

It's good to hang around and pick up information that people decide to put out there. Getting to know them based on what they choose to say isn't bad. Being assessed on substance and not reputation is a reasonable dynamic.

If we all put up our full bios, it might tend to inhibit free-ranging discussion. Sure as heck would in my case. And if every comment were permanently archived to a person's primary identity, it could limit their actions in the future in many ways.

It's nice that people get to decide just how much to share.

If we all remain completely anonymous our input doesn't carry the same impact.

Maybe with outsiders. When I'm skimming over comments and see, say, "Engineer-Poet" or "Metalman" I pay particular attention, knowing that these people are exceptionally knowledgeable. Their choice of anonymity isn't a problem for me, they well may have valid reasons for doing so - work related issues, for instance.

As for respectability, blogs are considered declasse by the traditional research community, but we're not conducting peer reviewed research here, except on an informal level. The informality is one of the main strengths of blogs, you get input that just wouldn't be obtained otherwise, free of the constraints of a formally prepared paper; and with the opportunity for considered/detailed thought that can't really happen in most conversations. It's a multimedia form of correspondence.

I'm in Ulster County, New York State - in the Catskills. Somebody here on TOD even has a "Catskills" tag, so I know I am not the only one! But a Catskills/Berkshires scope could work. Meet in Chatham or somewhere like that?!

chatham would work for me. i've been splitting my time between montgomery county (west of albany) and westchester.

I"d also be interested in a meet 'n greet. IMO, a traditional conference would probably be best for the first meet. Roundtables could be extremely productive. After that we could do regional meetings that are networked together in real time.

It's an interesting thing to think about. Of course, the entire strength of a forum like TOD is not having to be limited to local interactions.

Moreover, those of us who others take to be "natural leaders" (which is to say, competent) have a tendency to be elected to be in charge of anything which springs up locally if we participate at all.

There's also a seeming diversity among TOD readers in why they visit; some (most?) are looking for investment tips, others want to relocalize, still others may be radical enviros, or social idealists hoping for a golden age of egalitarianism springing from the aftermath of overshoot. This diversity is one of the site's biggest strengths. It'll be interesting to see what sort of meetups might come of it.

Here is a link to a carpooling site. It uses location to suggest possible fellow carpoolers while maintaining privacy until you set up a face to face meeting . Something similar should work for meeting local fellow TOD readers.

"How could this be accomplished? Can TOD, without expending too many resources, act as a clearinghouse of sorts to assist this effort?"
Given that the TOD community is internet based, would running an IRC server, or having an official channel on efnet be a good way to have random discussions with like minded people?
(i'll hang out in #oildrum on efnet just to see what happens)
Links :

edit: was previously pointing to freenode, but that server tends to be software development orientated)

This post feels serendipitous to me as I was meaning to email a moderator pleading my own frustrations at not being able to find and collaborate with the like-minded.

I think it is more likely that certain individuals on this site have specific motivations for wanting to meet up. We can all commiserate about PO, financial collapse, etc. digitally. But the younger cohort (myself included) are hamstrung by financial limitations in making our physical preparations.

The wise (and lucky) might already have land, machinery, hand tools, skills, knowledge, experience. The under-30 crowd, generally, do not. Yet, many of us are enlightened to what is coming, and getting desperate to find somehow, someway to prepare ourselves. Pooling resources seems necessary at this point.

There is value in arranging a meet-up, but it ought to have a stated purpose instead of getting together face to face for some beers. I'm drinking a beer right now, still anguished over how I am going to get myself *security*.


Anywhere in New Mexico or Texas would work for me- I'm sure we're pretty scarce around here except perhaps for Austin.

Albuquerque, NM recently started a transition town Link. We are just getting started so I don't know when the next meeting will be.

What to talk about? I would emphasize population. Someone else might emphasize conservation suggesting that at the next meeting we avoid traveling across town on any vehicles other than bicycles or light rail. Eventually I would get bored and attempt to shift the conversation to issues like those more often discussed at The Automatic Earth or to items such as the comments on Jonah Lehrer's blog about computational efficiency - Kasporov vs. Deep Blue.

Hi Robert,

I would emphasize population. Someone else might emphasize conservation suggesting that at the next meeting we avoid traveling across town on any vehicles other than bicycles

I would like to ride my bike and talk about population :-)

I really conflicted about this meeting idea. One one hand, I've had very poor experiences at meetings with local folks who have been aggressively involved in political action. Even though we seemed to be on the same side of the political fence, the intensity and diversity of agendas did not result in much camaraderie - I've stopped attending these events.

On the other hand, TOD does generally have a narrower agenda and it would seem that the likelihood of common interest would be greater. I guess my vision of a successful meeting would be a very casual "round table" of 5 or 10 folks, drinking wine and eating cheese (beer and brats as an alternative) and just talking about who we are and what interests we have. It might turn out that we could share knowledge or resources - or just find a new bike riding buddy who feels the planet would be a happier place with only 2B humans.

I definitely agree that TOD regulars should put their email and general location in their profile.

Hello - As a new Vermonter who formerly attended a terrific peak oil group in Atlanta, I'd be very interested. Except, being Chittenden County, does that still count as Vermont at TOD? ;-)

Carole I rather doubt the vast majority of TOD people would have the slightest idea what you are talking about which is probably just as well.

A meet-up could be done around a lecture or movie or just pizza and beer. The important thing is to select a day that everyone meets. I'll volunteer Nate to do a presentation and we all hook in via the internet.

I've been trying to push folks around here (and a couple of other folks) to get a TOD show on ustream for a long time ( We can do it virtually pretty easily, but it's really hard to get these folks who are already doing so much to do even more... :)

Yes, Debbie. If walking the walk, then as much as possible should be done via internet. To avoid overloading the stream, have groups meet in offices, homes or rented space (to help preserve privacy) with an internet hook-up. If wanted, a surreptitious way of spreading the password might be devised.

Stream a movie (I'd love to see Blind Spot) or a presentation or three with net-wide discussion via some communication software. With only a few dozen nodes, there should be few glitches. Some pre-planning with regard to technical specs would be needed and perhaps tutorials for those not familiar with whatever software is used. (Skype can handle something like 20 connections, for example, on one "call," the software is free, and calls computer-to-computer are free anywhere in the world.)

This way, a much larger group can meet overall while small regional groups can have a chance to actually get to know each other a bit at the same time. Of course, they may choose to extend the meet either before or after for a bit of frivolity.

Town Hall internet style.

I'm currently in Detroit. Will be here till at least the 26th.


Hey Debbie. I wanted to go your permaculture talk with Larry Santoyo a few weeks ago, but I had another event. Then I got sick that night and missed everything that weekend. I'll look for more events in OC. If you want to come up to LA, we have a good size Transition group going.

I'll be at the AAPG (American Association of Petroleum Geologists) eastern section meeting in Evansville IN from this Saturday through next Tuesday morning. If any TODers are going to be there as well, we ought to be able to find a time to get together for a chat over a drink or two at the Sunday evening icebreaker, or on one of the field trips being run on Saturday and Sunday (I'll be on both of them), or perhaps after the talks on Monday night.

I realize that the subset of TODers who might be at a petroleum geology conference is probably small, but hey, I'll be there, not just going on the field trips, but giving a talk (poster, actually) on Monday as well, on some structural aspects of a couple outcrops of the Marcellus Shale in western Virginia.

I suppose one could use something like - it is essentially a sort of social networking mapper. Apparently google maps is underneath it all.

I used it some years ago - took me a while to remember what the site actually was.

If people choose to, they can put their email address and location (e.g. city or region) in their profile. I've had a few people contact me that way over the years. There have been very few assassination attempts. :)

This is an excellent idea. If I recall correctly, either the Post Carbon Institute or lifeaftertheoilcrash had some sort of google type map set-up to enable folks to contact their neighbours (or maybe I'm thinking of the motorcycle forum I belong to (?)).

BTW, here in Red Deer, Alberta, we're screening the documentary "What a Way to Go: Life at the end of Empire" at the Snell Auditorium on September 29 at 5:45 pm.

Red Deer is probably about as close to where I am - Kamloops, BC (BTW, its a native word, or First Nations for "where the rivers meet").

There is one suggestion for a meetup and one curious observation. We probably won't be able to get TODers together in any larger group due to simple logistics. Instead, there are plenty of local PO groups and we could continue our involvement with those people and informally represent TOD. We have the Vancouver Peak Oil Executive with an eclectic mix of people, (including an original founder of Green Peace), and being a somewhat irregular contributor to TOD does carry a bit of weight. I can tell you that in "Absurdistan" (BC), TOD is well respected - so don't screw it up!! ;-)

Some call it Absurdistan because of the local eco-politics and resultant policies. We have a natural energy resource base that any jurisdiction would be envious and all they can do is argue over ways not to do things because "those awful Americans to the south will own our waters and let rampant, evil corporations take over our public infrastructure." Yes, it similar to the health care reform discussion going in the U.S. right now.

The larger interesting point in this discussion is the sense of locality and attachment. Reading between the lines, what I see is that people like yourselves will work very hard to maintain life and civilization where you are should TSHTF. This is why I don't put much credence to the dystopian outlook that civilization will collapse, hungry murdering mobs will decimate the landscape, and a few survivors will continue on in a low-tech, Amish-like lifestyle. On the contrary, should the U.S. southwest become increasingly uninhabitable, people will move back to Cleveland and Buffalo. Sure, they won't have the theoretical inflated value of real estate that should never have been constructed in the first place, but adjustments will be made and society will continue to function as best it can.

I think this is an interesting real-time experiment to test the local solutions and expectations.

BC_EE, you state that

I don't put much credence to the dystopian outlook that civilization will collapse, hungry murdering mobs will decimate the landscape, and a few survivors will continue on in a low-tech, Amish-like lifestyle.

and you give as the reason why:

Reading between the lines, what I see is that people like yourselves will work very hard to maintain life and civilization where you are should TSHTF.

Sorry, but did I miss something there? You are seriously suggesting that the collapse of civilisation etc will be prevented by "people like yourselves working very hard [in unspecified ways] to maintain life and civilisation [etc]"?

I would go on a backpacking trip. Anybody want to join that?

I backpack frequently (just returned from 3 weeks in Colorado and Wyoming).
Where are you at?

Indiana. The Amtrak goes to West Glacier from here. I have been thinking about taking a couple of weeks off and heading that direction next summer. It is four days round trip by train for me so that would leave five-seven days to backpack the area. Any ideas better than that?

That would be great to go with somebody with more experience. I have backpacked some in Alaska, Isle Royale, and a couple of other spots around the Midwest but I don't make it out much.

I'm a former Montana resident, and it is a great place to backpack. Still big mega fauna around. Glacier is a very monitored place to backpack, but beautiful. The Bear Tooth's are incredible.
Lets keep in touch.

HT, please email me at goghgoner at yahoo dot com and I will respond from my regular email.

Goghgoner - Heading to the Porcupine Mountains next month. Never been there, have you? If so, any recommendations for hiking/running trails? email me offline...


I changed my profile to include location and e-mail address if anyone in the Reno area wants to get together for a little gab fest.

I really don't think that much can be done at the local level to slow down the tsunami headed our way but sharing ideas eyeball to eyeball has to be a good thing.

Letting local TOD readers get together for a beer is a valid function - I'm sure many of us come here for the relatively lower level of delusionality than in those people we usually interact with.

But there may be another interesting angle to think of: the creation of superorganisms.

Now I'm sure I'm using the term wrong - such a cool term must have an agreed-upon definition but I'll resist the temptation to google it.

What I mean is that many of the future scenarios often discussed here, as well as problems to be solved for the world, are ill-suited to the efforts of single isolated individuals. Some of these situation could be dealt with better via artificial extended families or similar arrangements.

For instance, a person who is land-rich but has no money might do well to ally with an old city person with a couple million bucks, with some people with farming know-how, with a few war veterans, some young folks with that boundless energy, and others with various skills. All of a sudden you might have a very survivable situation for all of them. Yet such a thing wouldn't be likely to hold together unless there was a shared sense of prep for tough times coming up, and the information on TOD could be a nice screening tool.

In a similar way, activists of various stripe might meet here. Sure, there are other sites where activists hang out together, but TOD readers tend to have self-selected for better-than-average correspondence between their mental models and the way the real world works.

So is there a place for a TOD:SuperOrganism section where unlikely alliances might take shape? Where someone with 80 acres and no money can put out a personal ad for a banjo player/blacksmith, a retired hedge fund manager with extra money, a ham radio operator and a half-dozen concubines? I think it'd make entertaining reading even if it didn't accomplish anything.

Just a thought.

"Letting local TOD readers get together for a beer is a valid function."

Don't forget the half-glass Peakoil Shoutout. Anybody caught forgetting has to buy the next round! :)

I'd definitely be up for some sort of get together - as you can see from my username I made no attempt to hide my general area - somewhere in the lovely rolling mountains of New York.

I attended a screening of the movie "Blind Spot" yesterday and had pretty much my first meet-up with other PO aware people - the attendance was disappointing but probably not unexpected - still I was finally able to meet some other people face to face who don't quite seem to fit in with the rest of the country in its current delusional state. Although the topic doesn't exactly make you the life of the party I have to say that actually getting to talk with others who "get it" provided a rather immediate and substantial psychological boost. For this reason I think some kind of TOD meet up is a great idea.


I'm in the Cooperstown region.

Another TODer from upstate outed himself to me via email.

We have enough to form a conspiracy now!

That is awesome news - count me in...

Of course in some parts of upstate Peak Oil rates pretty low on the kookiness scale.

It's all relative :)

And don't forget Jim Kunstler is over in Saratoga springs.

Hey Rethin -

Nope - couldn't forget about him...

Perhaps we could meet up at that fine little brewery over in your neck of the woods.

By the way - if you'd like to contact me directly my profile has been changed to reflect an updated e-mail address (I sort of forgot about the original one I used when I first registered at TOD and it no longer seemed to be accessible).


if you are talking about ommegang, i'm in.

I sold my house in Vermont, and after spending a year in Amsterdam and another year in Westchester, I now live in northern Dutchess County, NY. Would be happy to attend a TOD get-together. Don't know the secret handshake though.

Send me your email. I'm putting together a mailing list for Upstate TODers


The email address in your profile doesn't work.

I'd love to meet with people however possible. And easy way to do this is arrange a meeting place and post the time and place on TOD.

I'm in Beaverton Oregon now and a there are a lot of peak oil aware people in the area.

For me at least my own thoughts have moved towards what to do after the peak. This gets personal quickly but a general discussion of post peak living strategies is probably fruitful. Esp if you consider ways that are good regardless of how things turn out. The obvious one of heading for the hills and growing your own food is not all that obvious actually. Given the price of land in many parts of the country and world and issues with actually making money farming going into debt etc etc things get very cloudy very quickly.

These are the sorts of issues that are great for discussing as a group and don't fit well into a web format. Esp as I said you would pretty much have to divulge personal info you don't want to splash across a global website.

So far one of the interesting conclusions I have reached is the need to become self employed it seems regardless of the route you take post peak developing some sort of business that peak oil resilient pops out as the common theme.

But this gets into issues like health care for your family etc etc etc. In a crashed economy having your own business that can bring in money is fantastic however pre-crash your facing very stiff competition and problems simply providing for your family if you strike out on it alone. And of course a business they may well be lucrative post peak may be marginal at best pre-peak.

I could of course go one for ever on the subject but in the end I think that getting like minded people together to bounce around ideas is probably a great thing and it needs to be done. And in many ways this goes back to Westexas's ELP (Economize Localize Produce) concept great in theory but developing it esp if you want to go beyond your own family is difficult. Like minded or not your often talking about partnerships or other business ventures with all the resulting problems.

Lots and lots of stuff to discuss !

[A] general discussion of post peak living strategies is probably fruitful. Esp if you consider ways that are good regardless of how things turn out.

Jeff Vail, John Robb and Kevin Carson's thinking regarding this have all been very interesting, but there's a huge gap between the theory and the practice. Start-up capital and ongoing expenses remain serious practical obstacles; the demands of living in a Market-based society present major barriers to opting-out of the growth economy. Needs some serious attention IMHO.

The obvious one of heading for the hills and growing your own food is not all that obvious actually. Given the price of land in many parts of the country and world and issues with actually making money farming going into debt... And of course a business they may well be lucrative post peak may be marginal at best pre-peak.

These are very important issues to bring up (Todd's homestead reality-check piece a couple weeks back was very illuminating), but you're right that they are highly situation-specific and very difficult to discuss in-depth outside a local face-to-face setting. I've also been wondering about the practical feasibility of growing your own food; financial and property concerns aside, would it even be possible to independently cover your own caloric requirements? A lot of sustainable farming info really focuses on high-value vegetable and fruit cultivation; what about basic staples? What's the Time/Calorie ROI for permaculture and forest gardening? Haven't seen this fleshed out thoroughly; have heard it's possible to feed 4 people per acre if properly designed. Anyone have more detailed data on this on this?

CNC and machine fabrication are great examples of the disparity between pre- and post-peak business profitability; could probably extend this statement out to all skilled trades.

Lots of PO-aware people in Beaverton, eh? Oregon sounds better every day... The post-peak Republic of Cascadia seems to have serious potential.

Yep your starting to roll around some of the issues. Having left LA for Oregon which was a smart move all around its kinda like now what :)

I moved up here because I felt that it was a region where food would generally not be a issue you need a garden but its one of the most productive places in the world. If people end up starving in Oregon I can't imagine what the rest of the world will be like.

Having made the leap I'm crossed the most obvious hurdle i.e get to and area thats naturally close to sustainable abundant food and with the hydro plenty of electricity. In fact if Oregon conserved and only produced the electricity it needed and added some PV and wind to the mix it could even knock down many of the dams in exchange for replenishing the Salmon.

Not that I don't need to continue changing but I moved up in late August to late to really plant and just put in a few winter veggies. And I'm still just renting for a myriad of reasons.

Right now in my opinion as long as we have high tech we will have mobile phones these days all but the poorest people on the planet have one and even the poor have access to one. I'm in the mobile phone business so I'm focusing on trying to leverage my skills to work on my own.

So my most basic post peak plan was recognizing that my skill set would be useful pretty much to the point of total collapse but also recognizing that depending on working for a company was difficult esp as I work on other post peak plans like getting a farm or other business going. The net result was that I try to become independent in my trade before making other decisions.

The other side of course is to aggressively cut day to day living expenses so I can bid low for contracts but this hits the medical insurance issue fairly quickly. In fact as my own business person medical insurance would be close to if not my top expense and its not easy to cut.

So... :)

Yeah F2F meetings for people thinking about post peak living and the transition period would be dang nice.

How long the dams will stay up sans maintenance is something I'm curious about: Bonneville Dam: Economics. I don't think we'll revert to using the Cascade locks anytime soon out of pity for some fish, either.

Maintaining and operating the Bonneville Dam costs about $10 million per year. This number is likely to increase in real terms (cost goes up with inflation) with the addition of certain projects such as improvements on the fish passage. When the costs involved in repaying the Treasury are added to the costs of maintenance and operations, the BPA ends up paying about $62 million per year.

The Bonneville Dam is also very important to the commercial sector of the northwest's economy. The dams along the Columbia and Snake Rivers allow imports and exports to travel 465 miles inland as far as Lewiston, Idaho. Because the Bonneville Dam is the first of a series of large dams on these two rivers, it plays an important role in the transactions of products traveling upriver. In 1997, the Bonneville lock granted upriver access to nearly 11 million tons of commodities.

I've read that the John Day Dam is in pretty sad shape, so might be the first to go in a Weissman style World Without Us. Some of the soil beneath the navigation lock is soft and the structure shifts as water levels change; also they used low quality concrete when it was built in the late 50s.

I may be too late to the thread, but for Portlanders (OR), Portland Peak Oil has mostly morphed into Transition PDX. PPO still has some meetings but most of the personnel and meetings are now under Transition auspices. Transition Town initiatives are about community survival rather than just individual or family survival, so not all TODers will be interested, but that said unless you are a hardcore survivalist I recommend checking out your local initiative (links elsewhere on this thread). In Portland, we are having an Open Space day and keynote the night before next weekend, Sept. 25-26. (See and scroll down a little.) After being in the formative stages for the last year or so, the intent is to launch a larger movement, linking with partner groups and starting up topical groups (food, energy, etc.) as well as neighborhood/community Transition groups, all of which will develop and work on implementing Energy Descent Action Plans. Hope to see some of you there.


One market niche for workshop size machine shops is high end classic and exotic car restoration. The whole motorsports, petrol-head culture could not be more diametrically opposed to Peak Oil, but I think a few of us might come out of that world.

Any other options for preserving machinist skills?

Is that what you do to earn bread?
I am a little bit that actually I am a lot that way.
My brothers are freakin mechanical geniuses.
My uncle was a NASA engineer.

Don't worry you will make out OK.

No. I took a machine shop and welding class in college when I studied engineering, but my metalworking skills are basic at best. I do know how these critical skills are undervalued in the BAU economy, and not sure what I could do about it besides dropping everything to apprentice or stockpiling machine tools. With all the engineers on TOD maybe we could use a Campfire on preserving machinist skills?

i like that topic.

(remove duplicate post)

Haven't seen this fleshed out thoroughly; have heard it's possible to feed 4 people per acre if properly designed. Anyone have more detailed data on this on this?

The biointensive method supposedly will produce 100% of a persons calorie needs on 4000 sq ft. So 4*4000 = 16000 sq ft which is a little more than a third of an acre.

I like this idea. I'll bet there are a lot of TOD readers in my area and I'll also bet that a lot of them would also be interested in this concept. A lot of times meeting in person is very different from meeting online.

I don't know quite how to facilitate this online, I know a bit about web sites but am not a guru. It wouldn't seem to be that difficult without expending too many resources. Perhaps find a volunteer to coordinate the TOD effort in this respect and talk to the TOD web gurus to figure out what to do? Have interested persons put their zip code in their user profile, or what? Let us know when you're recruiting such a volunteer and keep us informed.


Transition towns in the US
Map of hits by location for Transition Towns in the US*
Map of hits by location for transition towns globally
Remember, these maps are dynamic so check back it a week to see if people from this thread looked from your area.

The Oil Drum is a great place to (paraphrasing Nate):
1) Allowed for high level discussions on resource depletion and related issues.
2) Discuss complicated issues and and discover new connections.
3) Form a community of like minded folks.
4) Foster social change and help people get their act together.

To which I would add:
5) Clearing house for information.

In those respects TOD is very much like a virtual university. If you've been here for a year or two then you've earned your degree and it's time to get your hands dirty.

Go out into your community, find some people, and start a transition town or something else, anything. If you can't find anyone in your community who cares about peak oil, climate change, sustainability, mass transit, energy security, local currency, intentional community, etc. then you need to wake them up or that community is going to be in trouble. If you can't wake anyone up then it's in your best interest to move.

We are running out of time. And when the future gets here it would be nice to have something finished, a working model, a plan, something to say other than "I told you so"**

* The Oil Drum can map out the hits by location with Cluster Maps very easily. There are other hit mappers available as well.
** credit for: something to say other than "I told you so" from Debbie Cook, ASPO Houston, TX 2007. She said it much better, but I can't remember the exact quote.

I couldn't agree more about Transition Towns. I've tried a few activist and environmental groups, but Transition are the only local groups who get it (like we do on TOD) and are doing something about it. I'm just getting started with Transition LA myself. If you're in Southern California, find our events on

Hits to the map from the US up over 10% since I posted the map less than 72 hours ago.

From 1,600 when I first posted to 1,767. Lets be generous and assume that all 167 of those hits came from the TOD crowd looking for each other and 1,600 people not from TOD with similar interests. That would imply there are 10 times more non-TODers out there to work with. You don't need to meet someone from TOD, you need to meet someone from your community that you can work with, and they are out there.

How about all us TOD readers, lurkers, and contributors meet at the ASPO meeting next month? I'll be there. Nate if you are there I'll buy you a beer! I know everyone can't make it of course but this is an example of an existing meeting that can easily facilitate TOD member face to face time.

Another TOD reader gathering that is gathering momentum is the Linked-in TOD Readers Group. Here's a link to it: If the link doesn't work do a search on "The Oil Drum Readers Group" within Linked-in.

I have found Linked-in to be an interesting networking site in that you get to see what people do during the day or to pay the bills. Their technical background or past experience can lead to some interesting new ideas and connections.
Feel free to link to me if you want, and include in the "invitation to link e-mail" that you are a TOD reader.

Some people are a bit funny with their contact list on Linked-in and restrict it but I use it for past, present and future business contacts as well as for keeping tabs on other technologies I am following and care about. If you look at my profile there are lots of alternative and renewable energy groups out there that are on the PO aware spectrum. You can connect with other people by joining a "Linked-in group" then if anyone else is in a common group you can invite them to link-in with you. Once you have connected with someone, you can see who THEY are connected to. Drill down through THEIR list and see if there are people that pop up. I've found a lot of PO aware people in my same town this way who I would never met otherwise. It's a bit viral once you grok how it works.

Personally I'm trying to get a job in the renewable energy field so I can apply my talent and passion toward something I care about deeply. This is also a great place for retirees to share their contacts, knowledge, and experience if they are so inclined. So it is not just for the currently employed or for job seekers.

I and I expect other TODers will be going to the ASPO meeting in Denver. How can we identify each other? Can someone suggest a way for us to meet there?

I'll be there. Maybe we could have an unofficial breakaway session. After the last ASPO-USA in Denver in 2005, a bunch of us got together after and started Denver Energy Awareness which is still ongoing.

Here's a thought: after the "perspectives from the Oil Drum" session on Sunday, October 11, 10:15 am to 11:45 am, there immediately follows a "Break and Networking" session from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm. Bring your own lunch, hang out with each other? Maybe we could exchange what names or pseudonyms we'll be posing under to facilitate that. (Mine will be "Keith Akers.") Then somebody take a sign-up sheet and we can stay in contact afterwords. Ideally we could then identify others in the same geographic region. Just a thought.


I'd suggest lunch at a nearby venue that folks who are not attending ASPO can join in to. Oh, and a weekday would work best for me.

Otherwise, would love to meet Boulder (and Denver) Oil Drummers just for the fun and interesting discussion. Odysseus, who else?

I never actually printed any of these but I'll release the design pro bono if anyone wants to silkscreen shirts. I could add the TOD URL under the graphic.

Ride a bike or take a hike

Since TOD readers are all across the USA and even worldwide, we probably walk or drive past someone who is also a TOD'er. ,what about a beltbuckle, Tee-shirt or bumpersticker? something that expresses you are a regestired TOD'er? I am thinking of someway to convey to the world you are a TOD'er where ever you may be. Like in the way a university student would display their allegience to a certain school. Like a sportsfan might wear a jersey.

maybe just a bumper sticker saying: "registered TOD'er". since the car or truck gives more visibility when on the road, as opposed to a Tee-shirt which is not always worn everyday, but a belt buckle or bumpersticker could certainly be. or for those facebook fans, put a link of TOD on your facebook page. Or what about a TOD symbol? something that TOD'ers could put on a car/truck/facebook page/lapel pin.

Or what about the TOD including the city and state next to your TOD name?
example: Geewiz/Houston, Texas.

This may require a re-registration to include such information, but it's just an idea. but it's a start.

getting to meet other TOD'ers would be a good thing. even having chapters in the cities with the biggest concentration of registered TOD'ers.

It's all about visibility, hope my ideas help.

I like the idea of bumperstickers and T-shirts. The image of the sun setting behind the oil well pump is a good image and evokes what this is about.

Yes, a bumper sticker with the logo at the top of the main page would be a good idea. It would advertise the site, generate some revenue and allow us TOD'ers to connect. I would buy a few of them.

I'd like to get together with everyone from Darwin Australia but I don't think there is a venue in the city large enough...

Still trying to figure out how to get to Denver/ASPO next month.

Meetups are fine ... let's not waste time. Let's see if we can figure out how to set up an alternative economics forum. The precious economy matters ... peak oil ... a theory! Nobody in the 'outside' gives a fuck about peak oil.

Foolish people ...

TOD won't amount to a hill of shit until there is some interface with policy makers. If idiots like Beck, Hannity and Limbaugh can peddle vomit and influence policy, it behooves TOD to make the step to the next level.

The idea is to get Chu, Jeff Bingamen, Lisa Murkowski, Dodd, Nassim Taleb, Ilargi, (('d say Mish but he's an idiot), Kunstler ... Hyman Minsky but he's dead ... I'll come up with a list.

I'll do do my part! I'll straighten these idiots, the whole mess out. If I have to beat my shoe on the desk, I'll do it. No bullshit. Nothing but reality; I deal with reality every day, I have to hold it in my hands and do a proper job about it or I don't get paid.

Social is fine, but unless something important is accomplished, this is the swan song of Oil Drum and I mean it.

Kindof a 'Rome fiddles while Nero burns' kind of thing ... You know what I mean?

You're right mish is an idiot.
Notice that I won't capitalize his name.

Google maps is a fairly low-tech way to see where people live. And there are a couple of ways to use it as well.

The easiest way, for the user, is to add a location field in TOD account, and let people enter their latitude and longitude. It wouldn't be too hard to occasionally create a Google map showing the clustering.

The zero-work method is to create a empty google map and let people put a pin near their own location. However people would need to learn how to edit a Google map. Not hard, but at the same time too hard.

I am not in general interested in meeting - people. eek. :-)

I would like to find some way to meet up with other TOD types in my area, but am extremely reluctant to broadcast my contact details.

My past experience as an atheist Homeschooler parent has taught me the value of anonymity. Here in New Zealand the majority of homeschoolers are rabid christian fundamentalists of one flavour or another who, on learning that you are not one of their weird mob, react in one of two ways, namely: they latch onto you with evangelical fervour in an attempt to persuade you to "see the light", or they treat you as the Devil Incarnate and drag their kids kicking and screaming to some safe haven.

There is a local Transition Town group, but sadly they are also a christian fundamentalist group. I have for many years been a member of the NZ Soil and Health Association, the oldest Organic Food organisation in the (English speaking) world, but they tend to be focused on the food producing aspects only.

To be effective and enticing, I think it would need a group of dedicated TOD volunteers who could scrutinize the submitted "contact profiles" of members, and initially pass on only the profile details. Once acceptance from BOTH parties had been received, contact details could be communicated. This might sound somewhat paranoid, but I value my privacy and have been persecuted far too often by persons with their own agenda.

I would be prepared to act as a New Zealand "co-ordinator" in the following way:
1: I would not be given name/address details of the parties involved
2: I would not have the final say on giving out details, merely assessing and linking possibly compatible members.
3. my task would be to compare the submitted profiles for apparent compatibilities.
4. A senior TOD member would decide whether of not to link the members whom I considered to be compatible.

It may be that the initial screening could be automated by keywords. In my case these could be: male, separated, parent, aged, grumpy, atheist, doomer, organic gardener, engineer/scientist/manufacturer, square dancer, misanthrope, heterosexual, mildly racist, mildly sexist, impoverished, etc.

It may be a whole different ballgame from the basic TOD system, but it might also be a way of progressing what I think is our main aim, namely: how to ensure that an adequate supply of compos mentis homo sapiens pass through the approaching bottleneck to ensure a future for mankind.

Hey Merv,

Fully understand.

You never know how people in general or even family, friends or work associates will react to your clearly lunatic fringe belief in the Peakist Oil "theory".

(BTW, the Oct. 2009 issue of Scientific American has an article criticizing the "theory". Haven't had a chance to read it yet.)

Particularly because business associates might tag me as lunatic fringe and stop doing business with me, I try to keep my obviously insane, PO beliefs anonymous.

It moves nonetheless --Galileo

My past experience as an atheist Homeschooler parent has taught me the value of anonymity.

As a fellow atheist I understand where you are coming from. I have a son in the public school system in South Florida.

BTW I've run across a few Kiwis over at PZ Myers Pharyngula science blog. The discourse there is more about Science vs The Irrational and not so much about energy but you might meet some interesting like minded folks who live near you over there.

Merv, I don't understand the need for this screening bureaucracy. Put an email address in your profile. If you want an anony one then you can either buy a domain and set it private details, or use some webmail with forwarding to your usual mail. Once someone has contacted you, you use your brain to decide what to do subsequently. What's the problem?

Good idea. I'm southeast of the twin cities; Red Wing, MN, Ellsworth, WI, River Falls, WI. I'm terrible at organizing though so if someone wants to plan a hook up, I could try to be there.

if someone wants to plan a hook up

Wrong website...;-)


Not fair. Not everyone has kids or knows the new slang.
For those that are not yet tuned into Nate's comic note, for the younger set in the USA, "hook up" is a sexual liason.

I definitely would be up for it - I'd imagine, if it was even slightly organized, this group would be able to get some fantastic speakers and presentations. As well as the social benefits of the meet-up.


Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

3rd best place in the world for solar. Great geothermal. Underground aquifers.

Sunny with great beaches. Easy to get to from the Bay or anywhere else. Nice hotels, for all budgets.

What are the 1st and 2nd best places in the world for solar? I would say a slice across Australia is one of them.

I wonder how many people from Europe are reading this site...
(I'm from Belgium)

I'm in Guildford, Surrey, UK, so I'd settle for a London meet.

London anyone?

I'm based/live in London but work in Bristol for another month.

Google "Peak Oil Joining The Dots" for my 2007 view of upcoming events (commodity speculation + credit crunch 'excitation' have compressed the timeline a bit!)


I can easily visit London as well - although, we all have computers, isn't there some easy way to link up for some kind of net-meeting?


I believe we both reside in Putney SW15(recall you mentioning this some months ago, but forget in which post).

I also live in Putney SW15 and would be interested to meet up.

London is a bit of a drag but happy to chat online if anyone wants to chat from a UK perspective

I'm based in France and unlikely to have anyone with a hundred miles of me. And, to be honest, I'm not sure what the value of a meet up would be anyway, even if I was in a high density TOD hotspot. I think that we can all agree what the problems are, but when it comes to solutions, well... there'll be more of those that you can shake a stick at, but of little practical use to those preparing for post-peak.

Like memmel above I want to move on and start dealing with the gritty detail of post-peak living. I've been setting up my lifeboat since 2003 and now well advanced having moved to the right location, integrated into the community, increased self-sufficiency and set up a small organic micro-farm. But what next? That's the elephant in the room that the TOD community seems oddly reluctant to consider other than BAU by alternate means. For this we have to look to John Rob and Jeff Vail to lead the way.

The other point is that TOD is an important virtual community, but when push comes to shove, the real life community in peoples' immediate locality is the one that will count. Of course there is no problem of being a member of both communities, but a virtual community is no substitute for a real world community (ie. is the investment of social capital worth it?).

I'm in Southern Spain and also working on my lifeboat a bit like Burgundy. Only a couple of acres but plenty of water and sun plus decent soil. I also have been at it since 2003.

I'm about 1 km from OPEC headquarters right now.

Can you bike down there and ask El-Badri if he'll host a TOD retreat?

I'm a little shy, but if I happen to sit down next to him on the tram... I'll also ask for the real reserve numbers.

Encouraged to see a few European addresses here. I'm near Toulouse in the sunny SW of France.

hi from dublin, ireland.
lived in belgium for a while not so long ago ;)

East-central Alabama, USA. Rural acreage, will share. vineyfig [at] knology [dot] com. "Jim Kunstler, come on down!"

I drove down to Richmond last week with Alexis Zeigler to hear him and Tom Whipple speak. It was great to be in the same room with other like minded folks. I'm all in favor of extending this conversation to the local level. Unfortunately, the central VA Transition Network group isn't very active.

The name says it all. I'm in a rather sparsely populated area 50 miles south of Pittsburgh; probably out of range of other TOD'ers.

I was just in Pittsburgh for Netroots Nation. One of the speakers was John Fetterman, mayor of nearby Braddock. He didn't explicitly mention Peak Oil or Transition, but this is someone who gets it: urban gardens, revitalizing small towns, green jobs, youth programs, and he fought the expressway that would have cut through the tiny town and destroyed it.

I live in Portland OR. Would love to have a meet up here. There are lots of "us" here.

It would be great to meet some of the TODers in my area. However, instead of just having a social get together, I would suggest a presentation with following discussion to make it productive, focused and social obligation-free. Let’s say, someone would post a meeting agenda on TOD and offer a short presentation/lecture/latest article/whatever on a subject of interest in a chosen location. It doesn’t have to be professional (that’s the beauty of this!). I know that I would prefer this format due to lack of free time and my very private nature. Who knows maybe some strong social bonds will emerge from such gatherings. Than it’ll be a bonus! has excellent meet-up function.

Anyone is up to the challenge in Simcoe County, Ontario?

I am quite open to meeting anyone coming to New Orleans, or living in the area. I am not so keen on traveling to a meeting. I am content to live within a 3 mile radius of my home (except during JazzFest, 6 miles away by streetcar).

All assassination attempts, to date, have failed. Either distracted by the temptations of New Orleans or confused by our street layout >;-)


I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk of the two most obvious means here: Facebook and Meetup. I use both of these websites frequently, and think that they could be a great resource.

I think would be the perfect avenue for this type of thing. I use meetup to find backpacking and other groups, and have gone on trips etc. with people from meetup. You can schedule regular meets with your group, and it keeps everyone informed.

The nice thing is that you can do different things each time, and people can attend just the ones they want. You could have lectures/films or just meet for drinks or food.

Facebook also seems like a good tool for those who want to be known in real life. I am a member of the oil drum group on Facebook, but it seems to be mostly Italians, and I'm in Minnesota.

I'm also in Minnesota - the Twin Cities. I'm on a Permaculture Meetup, but I never go.

It would be nice to know people of the same click, but besides just knowing people with the same general beliefs not much seems to happen.

What do you talk about?

Using less electricity?
Buying a farm?
Less debt?
Canning peaches?

My one thought was to get some acreage and a put a well (manual pump) or something out there - and then encourage camping to such a place. I don't know what people's plans are. Stay in the city? Go to the country? Already in the country?

Personally, I need to set some real concrete goals, but I don't know which direction to go. Perhaps talking face-to-face with someone with more knowledge would be helpful.

How do you pronounce your name?

I call my dog "Doofalonius", pronounced "Doof-uh-lone-ee-us". Unless you are, in fact, Sadie, who has managed to open up a TOD account, in which case please return to your chew toy and I will be home soon to let you out.

How do you pronounce your name?

Duh-fol-own-ious; but that's probably how your dog would say it too. Probably proud to have such a fine nickname as well.

I'm in Northeast Kansas/Kansas City area. The weekend after this I will be at the Prairie Festival at the Land Institute in Salina. That is where I first heard Kunstler which led me to TOD. Any other TOD'ers going can contact me at the email address in my profile.


I used to stop and fuel up there.
You guys had the cheerleaders as plane captains right?
You always took military fuel cards and are perfectly located 1/2 way between San Diego and New England.
Small World.

I've toyed with the idea of using to set up a post-carbon type group here in Tallahassee (Florida), but thus far I've held back. I've been in other kinds of interest groups, like a philosophy discussion group when I was living in Atlanta, and while it was very rewarding, you have to screen out the kooks. For example, my last invite on was to the John Birch Society, which apparently is trying to start a local presence. Apparently the NWO is up to it's old tricks again :^) .

One good result of my readings on TOD is that I've started volunteering with a local community garden, as a way to assist and encourage one kind of local mitigation strategy. I explained my reasons for doing so to some of the organizers and they totally got it - not sure if they agree with me, but they understood my reasoning. I'm hoping through methods like these I could find enough like-minded people to get something going.

The John Birch Society? Are those guys still around? I remember hearing of them back when I was a kid in the '50s and early '60s. I haven't heard of them in decades; thought they had gone defunct years ago.

Antoinetta III

I was thinking about setting up a website for people to get in touch, as getting a nice place in the country is a lot of work just for one person.
My locations are St. Petersburg (Russia), Lviv (Ukraine) and Oxford (UK). Not many Oil Drum readers in St. Petersburg I suspect.

Tot mnye interesuet.
Oxford is the least distant place so far from my Birmingham.
Have been wondering, with a mixture of doubts and hopes, about slavic villages that are becoming depopulated.
As for setting up a website, need rather to set up a group of like-thinking people focussing on a shared conception of ways forward. That's what I have in mind at

For northern California TODers...

This isn't exactly a "meet-up" but I'm always glad to have visitors to our place in the boondocks. To see if this would be of interest to you, see my Campfire essay, A Trip to Todd's.

I'm about 3 1/2 hours north of the GG Bridge at legal driving speeds. There's a cheap motel in town or you'd be welcome to camp (tent or camper) at our place. If you are interested, email me at detzel at mcn dotorg. Include your real name, your phone number (I'm not into email correspondence) and the best time to call you.

I'm putting the garden to bed right now so there wouldn't be much to see but everything else is here.


I saw in Drumbeats that Todd got zero replies to his nice offer.

That may point out that there really are fewer "active" people than the page-hits might imply.

It could be that TOD acts as a sieve which filters out the delusional, and what we'll find here is quality and not quantity. Quality is great, and it may make TOD perfect for some purposes, but the reality may be that we're spread pretty thin in the real world.

I'm in UK Midlands based in Birmingham though not envisaging staying here for the foreseeable future. There appears to be a total lack of well-clued people anywhere around here. I haven't yet had time/energy for much effort to recruit others locally.

In the future there will be no substitute for having a group of people right there within sight and sound. And there will be no substitute for having people with the talents, skills, knowledge that are found here. So this seems a most important concept.

I'd like to see Pitt the Elder, oldfarmermac, and Neil1947 all together in a room, though not too small a room..

Hi Nate, Hello Everybody,

I was at the TOD Europe-ASPO meeting at Alcatraz. It was like a freeform seminar conducted by people that were ego free. Remarkable.
Next best thing - I vote for backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains.

I'm in NYC - is there anyone else here??

So, is anything happening in Denver around the conference?

Wonderful idea. I'd definitely love to meet like-minded folks from Bangalore area (India).

Nate, of those millions, how many just looked at a few pages then decided it wasn't their scene and never returned? I guess there would be ways of inferring that from the proportion of ip addresses only ever accessing on one day.

Anybody in Central Eastern North Carolina? (New Bern, NC)


Anyone else in the so-called "Energy Capital of the World": Houston, Texas??


Physical meetings would be great for those with academic points to discuss or those who simply like a social get-together with like minded souls.

However for those who are making active preparations, surely face-to-face meetings could simply provide unprepared people with an address of a place to run to?

Better to be cynical and safe I would say.

One of the reasons I have not been commenting on TOD as much recently is that I have made a concious deciosn to spend more time in my local community spreading awareness and launching a Transition Towns initiative. I though about how it would be good to meet up with some fellow TOD memebers but I really don't think it would be that much fun. We'd all agree pretty much that Peak Oil is going to happen and that when it does things are going to change. Well duhh! I'm far more interested now in making local preparations and building more resilience back into the community and I think you can do that wherever you live. Meeting up with other TODers would only be useful to me if if we are travelling on a path to doing something about preparing for the inevitable. I think I've had enough of debating the minutiae of what might or might not happen. Transition Towns seems to me to be the best model to get relocalisation started and I have found that talking to people about peak oil in the context of building a better community is so much easier than screaming "were all doomed".

Nate if you feel the need to meet real live folks, you need to take a really good look at what is already happening in your local area with sustainability groups and plug into that network. I think you will find the experience is very fulfilling, but it is also a little scary as you are moving from a pixelated voice on a blog, to taking real respnsibilities for real peoples lives. It is daunting but also humbling when they ask you to lead them.

Hi. So far my mitigation efforts have been small and individualized but it's a snowball and it's growing. The spouse and I are in the Chicago area but closing in on the decision to stay in place or head to NZ. Wherever we wind up, I'm ready to get started at the community level - Transition Towns or something similar. I would totally be up for meeting others close to Chicago who are involved with their own personal or community level mitigation plans. Sharing skills and experience will drastically save on time and resources. A lot of information is local, so I'm all for comparing notes with others in my area.

To chime in on a recent post -- thanks to all the staff for the hard work and dedication that you bring to TOD. As a long time lurker, I want to say that this site truly meets the potential of the internet community, especially the comments! Following along with the PO conversation these past 18 mths or so has dramatically challenged (and many times reinforced) my perspective. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in seeing the glitches in 'the Matrix' of BAU. TOD finally pulled me out of it altogether. It's a bit terrifying at first, but it's the truth, and it's reality, and that does make it so much better than the fantasy world so many are living in.

Modest proposal: The TOD should have a web page that lists future meeting dates and places for ASPO and similar organizations. Piggyback on existing gatherings to have some TOD readers meet each other.

I concider myself a regular reader of TOD but somehow managed to miss this years meeting in Italy. I only found out about it reading after reports.