Leading the Way to a Low-Energy Future

This is a guest post by Megan Quinn Bachman.

The failure of the Copenhagen climate talks taught us one thing—that hoping for intelligent responses to climate change from the world’s governments is an exercise in futility. It’s just not going to happen in time.

But my disappointment in government leaders in the U.S. and elsewhere is matched by my admiration for a new influential group of Americans, whom I call lifestyle leaders—for they are taking matters into their own hands, such as through building gardens, weatherizing their homes, getting rid of their cars, moving off-grid, bartering with neighbors and joining Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.

Top Ten Careers

Believing this group may hold the key to the rapid dissemination of low-energy lifestyles among the general public, I conducted an online survey on two sustainability-oriented listservs in late 2009 of 2,005 of those who have made changes to their lifestyles in response to climate change, peak oil and other environmental threats.

What have these early adopters done in response to these threats? More than two-thirds of survey takers said they cut purchases, bought more local goods and services, conserved energy in their homes and put in a garden. One-sixth have started new careers, such as a truck driver who became a permaculture teacher.

And these early adopters are reaching out to others. Nine out of ten are helping others to make similar changes, mostly by talking to people and modeling sustainable behaviors. Take the case of a 40-year-old man from Pennsylvania, who helps his neighbors grow their own food. “Our goal is to produce an example of what suburbanites must do to survive the collapse of our current system,” he wrote.

What were the hardest changes to make? Driving less and changing their diet, both a product of bad habits. “Not jumping into a car every time I turned around,” was how one respondent, a 52-year old man from rural Wisconsin, explained it.

What To Do? Other barriers to effective action were cost, especially financing expensive home retrofits and renewable energy systems, lack of support from one’s family, especially when it comes to diet change, and lack of community and societal support, particularly when local food products and mass transit services were not available.

Understanding these barriers is critical—for if these exceptionally motivated individuals are held back, we can assume other people will have similar difficulties. These findings may help us all to learn what to expect.

Lifestyle changes

The good news is that it hasn’t been all hard times for these lifestyle leaders. Many changes have made their lives better, like adopting a low-energy and local diet, gardening (which was frequently described as “fun”) and walking and bicycling more. More than three-quarters of respondents reported greater happiness satisfaction or personal growth since embracing new ways of living.

Those lifestyle change leaders making the more significant reductions in fossil fuel use are pioneering a new way to live on this planet that everyone will eventually have to adopt to preserve climate stability and survive the end of the fossil fuel age. Some survey findings that may help those working to accelerate awareness and action among the general public are:

  • People are driven to act in the face of global threats largely by a sense of right and wrong – their conscience – with some encouragement and inspiration from books, movies, media programs and articles.
  • Emphasizing the positive consequences of particular lifestyle changes, and focusing on health and wellness benefits and a simpler, more satisfying life may be more effective ways to encourage change than promoting financial savings.
  • The lack of support from one’s community and family and lack of assistance with overcoming unhelpful personal habits and attitudes are more significant roadblocks to effective response than not having enough information on what actions to take.
  • Growing one’s own food is a popular and transformative way to begin living a more sustainable lifestyle, and may lead to a new career opportunity and the development of more community support.
  • Most people do not feel they need to measure the impact of their lifestyle changes, but some think such feedback would motivate and assist them with doing more. Setting goals, even without measurement, is extremely helpful.
  • Nine out of ten people plan to make additional changes, including starting or expanding a garden, installing a renewable energy system, or working with others in their local community to make broader, more systemic changes.

Instead of waiting for the results of the next climate change summit in Mexico, why not get to work as individuals and communities? Ultimately whether we meet carbon dioxide reduction targets or not comes down to what we do, or not do, as energy consumers.

As a 59-year-old rural Kentucky man said in the survey, “Though I don’t have much faith that we as a nation, or world, are willing to make the needed changes, I believe we must work toward those changes...The only true way to fail is to not try.”

Megan Quinn Bachman did this survey as part of her course work for a master’s degree in earth and environmental education at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio. For a complete report on the survey’s findings, email her at megan@ecowatch.org

I switched from the corporate world to farming. Love love love it.

Family is rarely mentioned on TOD. I am fortunate that I have siblings that are enough of a like mind that we have been able to cooperate so that we divided/bought back some of the family farm when our parents died. Some have relocated here, some retiring here, and others maintain property here. This idea seems foreign to many Americans these days, and I consider this a liability when I look at the rest of the world. The idea of a family cooperative lends social capital to a group. It implies continuity and is the original "commune". Consider reconnecting with family and establishing familial goals, combining skills and purchasing power, and watching each others' backs.

Consider reconnecting with family and establishing familial goals, combining skills and purchasing power, and watching each others' backs.

+10! I've been reconnecting even with family members that I haven't spoken to in a long time. It has been a positive experience over all. But no, they don't get Peak Oil...

We are embarking on a Transition Initiative in our county which accomplishes what the article calls for at the community level.

Yep. Me too in regional Australia which is why I don't spend nearly as much time here on theoildrum. Too busy now :)

Love your website Christian! We need something similar here. What web builder package are you using?

I am teaching my daughters basic skills .... including how to shoot a gun.

I wish more people taught their daughters how to do things like that, too many just do things like competitive dance and cheerleading. Not sure how well those activities are going to hold up or help them in the future.

Ahhh, come on now. Competitive dance and cheerleading are VERY important to the health and well being of the average High School Girl. Don't you realize, that they will be scarred for life, scarred I tell ya, if they can't climb that social ladder and be popular.

That's why, Kansas City is closing 50% of the schools in the District.

KCTV5 - KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City, Mo., School Board voted 5-4 to close 26 schools in the district, while emotion and racial tension filled seeped from the decision.

At the moment the audience realized which way the vote was headed, emotions reached high levels.

"We must make sacrifices," board member Joel Pelofsky said.

Some in the audience screamed back, "Not our children!"

So the teachers and faculty will have time and money for Cheerleading........ARGGGGHHHHHH.

competitive dance and cheerleading

...is all teamwork, exercise and good fun; a healthy part of any sustainable society. Enjoying life is a pretty important survival skill too.

I did not do the tech work on the site, but it is using wordpress, which I have used in the past, and it works great.

Thanks Christian, I'll give it a go - T

Termoil (I assume you are the same one from PO.com),

He's using Wordpress.com, not to be confused with Wordpress.org, a much more capable open source blog that one self hosts. The former is easy to start and run, though does not have all the bells and whistles as the latter.

One thing we did was to forgo plain comments under the blog and instead direct people to a forum we set up, as blog entries tend to be temporal in nature. The forums target specific subjects in the subforums and act as a sort of knowledge base.

We've just started a pilot run this last week, so we're just getting off the ground (still running tests on calendar notifications, etc).

Thanks Will, I'll check it out. - T

The "switch" has been of much challenge to me, primarily because of family's insistence on "sticking with BAU" while it remains.

That said, I'm pursuing the following out of that list:

1. Farming - 1.5 yrs now, but not enough $$$ to feed family's BAU needs and lifestyle
2. Activism - I meet a bunch of farming enthusiasts in the city. I write extensively on the topics of energy, economy, environment, etc.,
3. Renewable Energy - Trying to create a consulting profile for myself - utilising my existing skills from the Internet industry to boost awareness and sales of renewable energy products
4. teaching - trying to get a part-time teacher job at a school nearby

The only problem is - people around me think I'm "worrying too much". What they don't see is tough times ahead. What they don't realize is redundancy is resilience.

Sunson list shows the great dilemma with preparing for peal oil & global warming. The current cost of energy make them unviable.

Short term economics says to optimise use the cheapest resources instead of dearer resources. In the west that mean using energy with automation to minimise labour.

So low energy farming can't compete. Someone got to work off farm to make ends meat, Sunson's consulting and teaching.

Til the crunch comes, people need to realise the off farm activities will play the bills.

gnoll - So right. The current infrastructure dominates the economics of the situation and will for ... however long it does. Transition Initiatives are good intentioned but completely naive as to the dominant economic drivers of distribution of goods and services. This fact could be over come if the movement had 10, 15, 20 years to organically evolve, but we don't.

"...off farm activities will play the bills"

Plug in ever increasing unemployment into the equation.

This is not just doomer talk. My point is people need to face reality and demand change. Get you head out of the sand and demand a radical shift not just a "transition", otherwise the transition you get will be from citizen to serf.

Get you head out of the sand and demand a radical shift not just a "transition", otherwise the transition you get will be from citizen to serf.

Demand it from who? Demand only comes from consumers. Real change comes from producers. The transition movement is about changing ourselves from the former to the latter. That is how we will achieve the resilience we need. They tried the radical shift approach in the Soviet Union. The only way they got it to work was to shoot or starve and bascially enslaved (serfdom) the entire population. The people demanding the radical change of course were the ones doing the shooting.

Be very, very careful what you wish for.

World is dying by economy whether a super power country or the third world. The problem which should be tackled is the people's condition. One of the most disastrous reason that needs to be determined is Health of the people. If anyone wants to enjoy healthy life can take a look around if there is something helpful :)

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catastali mutui

gnoll - So right. The current infrastructure dominates the economics of the situation and will for ... however long it does. Transition Initiatives are good intentioned but completely naive as to the dominant economic drivers of distribution of goods and services. This fact could be over come if the movement had 10, 15, 20 years to organically evolve, but we don't.

"...off farm activities will play the bills"

Plug in ever increasing unemployment into the equation.

This is not just doomer talk. My point is people need to face reality and demand change. Get you head out of the sand and demand a radical shift not just a "transition", otherwise the transition you get will be from citizen to serf.

Great post; it's something I think about a lot these days.

I'm not sure I buy that "activism / volunteering" should be #2, or even be on the list at all. It may be something for pre-low-energy times, during the transition, but after a transition I doubt it would make sense to have those as "career"s.

If the point is that people will make a living in a lot of ways besides getting paid in cash (i.e. that "volunteering" will buy people access to the generosity of other people who can feed and cloth them) then I tend to think that the list is more or less correctly ordered.

"volunteering" will buy people access to the generosity of other people who can feed and cloth them"

Kind of like preachers, priests and monks. At least the shaman had good drugs.

Prior to and since retirement I have had four volunteer jobs, They involved assisting an energy researcher, the local police department, a medical library and a public library, All required use of my automobile as well as some out of pocket expenses. All were fun, interesting and educational. But I would hardly equate them to gainful employment. I also wonder about alternative medicine which can be associated with quackery. Why not go for a real scientific skill, nursing for example.

I also wonder about alternative medicine which can be associated with quackery.

"Alternative" is too broad a category. Anything from christian faith-healing to science-based herbalism (via ethnobotanical data and subsequent lab testing) can be put into it. I have not gone to any health professional, nor taken any over the counter or prescribed medications for over five years, substituting healthy habits and appropriate herbs when nessesary. Any willow's (Salix species) bark, when boiled, is chemically equivalent to aspirin. I have self treated for: asthma attacks, bronchitis, "sore throught", common cold a few times a year, pneumonia (i know it was this, even though no physisian diagnosed it, because I have had it dosens of times in my life and know quite well how it feels), innumerable cuts, scrapes, bruises, burns, blisters and mosquito bites. I highly recommend anyone in the USA to get a copy of "Native American Ethnobotany" - an exaustive, easy to crossreference compilation of the subject.

" I have self treated for: asthma attacks, bronchitis, "sore throught", common cold a few times a year, pneumonia (i know it was this, even though no physisian diagnosed it, because I have had it dosens of times in my life and know quite well how it feels), innumerable cuts, scrapes, bruises, burns, blisters and mosquito bites."

With the occasional exception of asthma and smokers bronchitis, these are all conditions that often get better with no treatment.


You need to hear this and take this to heart:

You're a goddamned fool. If you're having "asthma attacks, bronchitis, "sore throught" [sic] common cold a few times a year," AND "pneumonia," and you haven't even relied on a physician's diagnosis, then you have big, big problems--not only physically, but mentally.

You are submitting yourself to quackery and are inviting death.

Note: I'm a part-time EMT. I have witnessed death as a result of asthma. You DON'T want to go there.

There are no "alternative" medicines. Something is either medicine, or it is not.

There are no "alternative" medicines. Something is either medicine, or it is not.

Homeopathy & Nutritionists vs Real Science! Dara O'Brien


We use herbal medicine when applicable. I use a couple of prescription medicines for seasonal asthma, but we grow ephedra and I use other herbal preparations when I can to reduce reliance on the "standard" medicine. Nothing wrong with using herbal medicine, after all many "standard" medicines are derived from herbal sources or were originally herbal-sourced.

Here in western Massachusetts we grow almost all of our produce in our garden and geodesic-dome greenhouse. Our house is heated with wood — a woodstove and a wood-gasification boiler with 600 gallon heat-storage tank in the basement — and the greenhouse has a woodstove for supplemental heat. My wife has 17 years of experience in organic gardening and learns something new virtually every day. This is a BIG blindspot, imho, in many people's plans. "Well, when tshtf I'll just plant a garden." Not. Do it today and find an experienced gardener/farmer to mentor you. Our weak point is the continued need for electricity, hopefully we'll be able to install enough PV to power the basic functions of the house: Water and heat circulators. Also our dependence on an outside source of firewood as we only own a little more than 2 acres. We may be able to buy a nearby woodlot, but don't have it yet.

I have been a chimney sweep for over 30 years and my wife has been a gardener for 17 years. Her business took quite a hit in the last two years, but mine is pretty recession-proof as people burn more wood when the going gets tough. However at this point I depend on a gas-powered van. I have fantasized about converting to wood-gas, or getting a mule and wagon, but so far just a fantasy. But we are doing what we can to encourage others and example a different way of dealing with needs and a less extravagant life.

I wonder what would happen if Obama gave a speech like this?

There would be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I don't know but when Carter did it back in 1979 the country elected Reagan. Don't hold your breath.

But there is no North sea, Alaska, and Mexico oil to wake up to this time in "Morning in America".

More like "Good Night" America.

Don't miss understand, I supported Carter. But I do think there is still one more round before we get to peak. It's called Iraq, $80 a barrel and 5 to 10 years from now.

I agree with you if they do have the reserves that I suspect.
I have made that guess here before more than once.
The more I see and think about, the more I think this is going to be a plateau and our real problems are the fact that we are being run by criminals and parasites.
That is the problem we need to correct immediately.

Or Jevons Paradox. SUVs get twice the mileage as `70s cars, even though they're twice as big and powerful. Further efficiency gains will be incremental rather than sweeping, and prohibitively expensive due to diminishing efficiency returns. So, more growth was from the efficiency which we can't do this time around either. Knowing this, Obama would be wise to give such a speech.

So, more growth was from the efficiency which we can't do this time around either. Knowing this, Obama would be wise to give such a speech.

Efficiency standard in China is 37 MPG. Most cars there are 1.6 l or less.

Yes, the problem with discussions that focus on this scale is just that ... they don't scale, or at least no one has thought of the scaling implications. This will be pundit fodder first, well before it gets to the president's lips. And to get to the serious analysis level we really need to understand shifts in work patterns at a macro scale.

Low energy future hmmm smaller living spaces, closer in hmmm how do we make that happen. .... The only thing that will fix the US population density problem is to change SFR housing to multi family unit on "ALL" homes, all across the country. It will bring out the capitalist in all of us. The new home housing industry will really collapse and transform into a remodeling industry. Simple rules like three bathroom homes can become a Three family unit ..... or 2000 sq ft home => 2 1000 sq ft 2 bedroom units.

Stand back and watch what happens. In five years we will be a new society using 30% less electricty and 30% less gas ....

That sounds like how they live in parts of Asia. No thanks... I'd rather purchase a 3300 sq ft house on a 5 acre lot in Wyoming.

More likely we'd have 30% less electricity, 30% less gas, and a 50% unemployment rate. I'm not sure why teaching would be a good career either, I can imagine many school districts laying off teachers and having students telecommute.

Nope, afraid that is not going to happen. I plan to get there first and buy up all the lots and make you work as my serf.

What? You think that can't happen?

I don't believe that a new feudal period is going to work.
All the "ownership" is is a piece of paper and without either compliance or enforcement it is worthless.
I know how I am going to view this crooked legal system of unfair contracts and intimidation.
Sure there are many sheep that will just roll over and go along but there are also many confident people that have self respect that will not.

Yeah, I know. I was just doing some ribbing. I have no desire to be a feudal overlord.

It is silly to me, the individualistic attitude, and the assumption that one can own land in the first place. It is time to reformat the brains that got us into this mess.

I wouldn't knock the feudal system too much anyway - it was a pretty successful solution to the problems of the time that real individuals were faced with. In the beginning it flourished because it met most people's needs; when it wasn't the best solution anymore it fell to pieces.

Here's a different point of view regarding use and ownership of land and nations.


Using LAND:

Any person can use LAND. Attention is directed to the logical relation between persons and the rights of persons. Persons should be treated as persons and therefore as having rights. If we deny this assertion it goes wrong: here is a person, but this person should not be treated as a person, or: here is a person, who should be treated as a person, but not as having rights. Therefore we can only talk about persons in a way that makes sense if we know that persons have rights.



Borders between nations, and nations as such, are ideological constructions that exclude other persons socially and prevent them from sharing land, water, food and other resources. To exclude other persons in this way is not in compliance with the fact that persons should be treated as persons and therefore as having rights. It makes no sense to talk about persons and persons' rights if persons are not allowed to participate in society, stay on the surface of the earth, drink the water etc. If we want to respect persons and persons rights' we must try to share the land and resources of the world.
It is not possible to accept borders between nations or nations themselves and at the same time respect persons and persons' rights.

Either you believe in human rights or you don't. If you don't then you have a problem. Because with 7 billion persons on the planet you are going to be sharing the commons whether you want to or not. Building walls to keep out your neighbors isn't going to be a long term solution. Those walls will be knocked down unless you open the gates...

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Bob Dylan

Hi FMaygar,
I am fully aware of the fact that my own folks were immigrants only a couple of centuries ago, and I think my new Mexican fellow citizens who are getting to be pretty thick on the ground around here are mostly dsalt of the earth type folks-I would certainly would rather have a Mexican tradesman or doctor for a nieghbor than a lily white banker or lawyer.

But It seems to me that most of the people here on this forum who know a lot of biology tend to forget it and substitute politics for it when they start taklking about borders and immigration.

Human beings mostly won the war against the rest of the environment a long time ago.

The name of the game is INTRASPECIFIC competition these days.

As a realist , i predict that those who favor open borders and more immigration arepushing a growing snowball UPHILL which will soon become so massive that it not only can be pushed no further;it is going to start back down the hill and obliterate the people politically who werepushing it in a huge backlash.

Please note that this is merely a prediction;but I am utterly convinced it will come true.

So far the people who vote and make the decisions in the US have mostly seen the arrival of lots of new people as a net benefit to thier own personal balance sheet and even to the balance sheet of the country.My buddies who are teachers have been more than happy to have a Mexican yard boy for a few bucks an hour cash. The manager of the local furniture factory been glad to have a few dozen lined up -the more applicants for a job, the less he has to pay to fill openings of course.

But nowadays maybe people are beginning to see this sort of thing as a race to the bottom.

I just talked to a computer programmer a day or to ago whose job was outsourced to India a while back. He is no longer in favor of globalization, and is honest enough to admit that he NOW understands the situation of all the former workers employed in offshored manufacturing jobs.

Some of us my be old enough to remember the defition of a newly minted conservative which was current a couple or three decades back:

Newly minted conservative-a liberal who has just recently been mugged. ;)

Every body please remember that I hold to quaint and personal version of conservatism-I am not a republican,a neoconservative, or even a paleo conservative.


For the record I'm a realist too and my comment wasn't intended to be US centric at all. I've been around the globe a bit and I've seen what happens when masses of people are dislocated due to war, resource depletion or politically driven genocide. I don't think the US will be immune from these pressures in the long term. I also fear that unless we start preparing for these changes voting or lack thereof won't be the deciding factor.

I just say what I think the writing on the wall is saying and I could well be wrong.


I am hispanic.

I do back you up 100% on ending all immigration. We can't be an immigration country forever. We'd have a more stable population if ALL immigration came to an end.

Building walls and manning them with machine-guns is the only answer. India is keeping out the Bangladeshis, we will keep out foreigners too. I'm not sharing my shrinking pie.

The no border, hippy nonsense is easy to spout when you have food on your table and a job to go to. The solution to overpopulation and limited resources is NOT to let anyone in who wants to come.

Everybody above.
Up until now the corps wanted the cheap illegal labor.
That is why the borders are porous all the BS about secure borders is just more fodder for the media watching fools.

That's very true. People want to have it both ways. They want immigrants to leave and do cheap labor.

It's just like taxes. They don't want to be taxed, but they want to keep all of their services. So we borrow and spend.

Aint that America.


I think you are absolutely correct. Cheap labor supply for all kinds of business activity is the reason we have so many illegal immigrants. I know that Floridian is itching to man his 50 cal but don't think that will really do much good. He should point his big guns at the people who enable the cheap labor trade. There is no technical reason that hiring illegal aliens could not be identified and strongly discouraged.

However, I keep asking: how many people do we want in the US by 2030 or 2050? Once the US actually has an official policy regarding population within it borders, then we can talk about where these people should come from. Personally, I think many forms of immigration are good for the country - I just want to see a target of perhaps 150M humans in the US by the end of the century.

Legal immigrants are a serious problem too, H1B visas have ruined the IT industry and post-1965 general immigration has been a disaster. The "Cheap" farm labor is covered under H2A visas. We'll see how long we'll need to outsource farm labor though, the way this country is headed who knows.

I don't have exact statistics, but most people who were there at the time would tell you that Silicon Valley and the tech boom were made by the H1B visa. There were people from everywhere at all levels - only the venture capital was largely US.

I'm anti-immigration for population reasons, but the tech boom is a IT industry is a bad example; if we didn't let it happen here, it would have been Britain or Canada or Germany or some other country at the cutting edge. The big problems came after the crash and 9/11, when they largely went home, taking their experience and skills with them.

The tech boom was a bubble, not a boom. H1B visas have made it difficult to get a good IT job in this country today, they have depressed wages as well. Companies like Microsoft like them because they are cheap.

Hi daxr,

I'm anti-immigration for population reasons

I tend to agree. However, if we could manage our population at a rational level, I would welcome a diversity of people. I've worked and biked in many places in the world and I'm really hard-pressed to explain why people who were born in the US, with US born grandparents, are "special" in any way. Another time we might explore the advantages of having a diverse population (given a sane cap).

Information technology (IT), as defined by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), is "the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware."

Although the formal definition of IT includes software development, it actual practice IT most often refers to things like data management, networking, and management/administration of systems within companies and corporations. Although some of these jobs were impacted by H-1B visa folks, that was not the major implication of this program because these jobs tend to remain on-site and last for long periods of time. Jobs that could be sent off-shore were affected to a much greater degree - programmers and call-center people were very much affected.

Many of the foreign workers who were stationed here were the coordinators for companies back in places like India. Consulting companies here were charging $80 per hour for roughly the same expertise available in India for $20 per hr.

But, there was a bigger issue: the US was not training programmers in sufficient numbers to meet the demand for software development projects that were popping up all over from the 80s onward. Colleges were cancelling course sections because too few students wanted to enroll in things like computer science. Once the initial glamor of "computer programming" wore off and kids found out that programming was more like mental ditch digging, they starting avoiding these courses like a dead raccoon.

I was a guy who needed 50 technical programmers ("C" language) in the early 90s - I could not find people with the necessary skill level and availability at any price. My choice was - lose my job or go to India and get the programming done. On one hand, I felt uncomfortable about the whole off-shore thing, but, on the other hand, I got to know many fine people who were working very hard to provide for their families - they had no evil agenda to subvert the US - they just worked hard in school and wanted a job - where they were also willing to work hard.

Meanwhile we had lots of young people here who preferred to study marketing, advertising, social studies, etc. instead of the hard science stuff. There are lots of reasons for all this situation, but I don't think it is simply a matter of building walls to protect US jobs - its more complicated.

Porge, you frequently have excellent points, though I would offer another perspective here.

In situations where democracies or even governments collapse, what emerges? Look at Somalia, where warlords reign in a feudal system, even though there is a token government standing. What happened in Afghanistan? It has been parceled up to warlords, and even the President's brother is making land grabs.

Will we see such collapse in OECD nations? Maybe none, maybe a little, maybe more here and there. Mexico is struggling to avoid collapse right now; perhaps they will succeed, perhaps not. Even Greece is having a very difficult time.

We might have a soft landing to a lower standard of living (perhaps roughly equivalent to the 1950s or 1920s). And then again, we might not, and devolve into resource wars, whether militarily or economically.

Hi porge,

A long time ago, in a land far away (well, it was near the shore of Lake Superior about 40 yrs ago) we owned an 80 (got it for back taxes - about $1,000). We soon found out that our so-called "ownership" meant nothing to the local folks - we were just some f@$king city people who had no real rights to be there.

We had a couple of beaver dams on the 80 that we really enjoyed (even if they did cut down a lot of Aspen trees). The locals liked to break a hole in the dam, set traps and wait for the critters to come fix the hole - end of beaver. We soon learned that protesting any offensive behavior by locals could have very nasty consequences - like a beating or a burned down cabin - or both.

This experience made me a bit more reluctant to seek refuge in the remote back woods.

Where is the law Drew?

Warning for under aged.


I'm not sure why teaching would be a good career either, I can imagine many school districts laying off teachers and having students telecommute.

It's kinda hard to teach spearfishing or blacksmithing over the internet...there are some things that do need, one on one, hands on, interaction to be taught and learned. I'll bet if you did move to a 5 acre lot in Wyoming you'd quickly find that you need to learn a few new skills and that someone would still need to teach them to you.

Though we can probably eliminate a lot of MBA programs and the teachers who teach those.


Megan Quinn Bachman for PRESIDENT.

#11 career - Communications?

#11 but I think should be near the top of the list. I sure would like to save on a lot of the walking, to find out the last one was sold or that they didn't need any that day, that any Kunstleresque world would require.

"The failure of the Copenhagen climate talks taught us one thing—that hoping for intelligent responses to climate change from the world’s governments is an exercise in futility."

The failure of the Copenhagen proves that you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Man made/CO2 induced global warming is a giant hoax perpetrated by those who wish to take your money and freedoms away from you.

The world is much more likely to run out of extractable hydrocarbons before CO2 induced warming becomes a reality.

New York City was covered by ice 1 mile thick a mere 11 thousand years ago. Is there global warming? Of course! Is it caused by man? No Way! The only consensus that exists is a consensus of politicians and the "Scientists" that they fund.

"Is there global warming? Of course! Is it caused by man? No Way!"

OK, Einstein, what is causing it?

LOL, this I gotta hear.

The earth has gone through many warming and cooling cycles in the past. At the moment we happen to be in one of the inter-glacial periods, thank God. BTW it has been proven that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere today is on the low side of normal and not at all abnormal. It has been a LOT higher in the past and the climate did not flip to some unrecoverable state.

Read some of the views presented here to get the other side of the story. Normal media channels do not even try to present a balanced view of the science.


Climate change has been blown out of proportion by the media. Yet they don't dare mention peak oil. They attempt to paint things like algae and ethanol as future "green" fuels that will perpetuate happy motoring.

It is no accident that the media have made global warming their main focus. It is all part of the progressive plan towards "One World Government" and the redistribution of wealth. I personally would rather distribute my own wealth than have George Sorros or Al Gore do it for me.

Redistribution of wealth? You really ought to look at the artificial wealth distribution in the USA.

Read that and you can see how the role of compounding interest plays in creating wealth disparity. If you think there is anything natural in that, I would like to know. This entire artifice is being propped up by the powers at the top. Suffice to say, on strictly entropy terms, the amount of people with ultra-high incomes should probably be a couple of orders in magnitude less than it is now.

The reason the right is so scared about George Soros is that he wrote a seminal book called "The Crisis of Global Capitalism". The econophysicist McCauley said this about him: "No one knows yet how to mathematize what Soros tries to teach us about markets". http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0606002

They scapegoat Soros because they ultimately fear what he has to say.

I read your blog post and I think you are absolutely correct that compound interest is an artificial process that does not map nature at all.
It is obvious that the current exponential debt swindle system was developed by the people with money to keep and increase their share of "wealth" and power.
Compound interest should be abolished for starters and then the currency should be put back in control of the people and not criminal bankers.
The BIG LIE of the rigged financial/monetary system will fail when physical growth is no longer possible and then new ideas will be entertained.
The problem is that anyone in a position to effect change will be the one that will lose the most by doing the right thing.
So the crimes will continue until the system fails.
I still contend that he only way we are going to get back in sych with the ecosystem is to use energy as the measure of economic activity. The greedy hairless monkey won't do it though.

Thanks Porge,
The most interesting thing about this research is that the mainstream economists will by and large deny deny this finding.

I did not come up with it on my own; the physicists who are studying the macro economy as an ensemble of interacting agents have deduced this from the statistical profiles. I added a bit on how to generate the income distribution profile. Overall, I think the interpretation is solid.

Everyone who is interested should read articles on "econophysics" whenever they can. And this is not the quantitative analysis that is being used on Wall Street -- it is more akin to understanding economics behavior and dynamics than on trying to make money from it (ala game theory).

Your analogy to energy is quite apt. One thing that the econophycists understand, and the mainstream economists are clueless about, is that the laws of conservation of energy hold, but the laws of conservation of money do not. Money can be generated at the drop of a hat through credit mechanisms.

I can see how the outcome of a switch to an energy-based economy will make economics much more understandable and therefore controllable, Perhaps technocracy at work?

I know that energy based currency would work but the problem is that people will initially see it as a lose of freedom.
We are sooner or later going to have to bite the bullet and make some sacrifices.
The Great Irony is that a economic system that attempted to provide the essentials of life to each and every citizen as a birth right would actually provide much more freedom than the current dog eat dog system we have now.
What can I say except that people are stupid.

"One World Government" and the redistribution of wealth

Peak oil, in general (as peak energy) means that less resources will be available for things like governing the world at any intensive level of control, and "wealth" is on pretty shaky foundations already...

yep daxr

my take on any world governing[plans]; won't be enough energy what/whoever works, or hopes for.

the one bad aspect is that some kind of governance would be the only way IMO to keep the horror of nukes from being thrown, at least regionally.

also might do some addressing of GW. But, world governance goes against our hard wiring re communicating & 'getting along'. We are going local, but it will be awfully nasty getting there!

P type Guy, you One Worlders crack me up. In case you haven't noticed the general public isn't afraid of global climate change, they are afraid of terrorists. You can't make people give up sovereignty for something that is going to happen slowly in 100 years, but you can make them numbly take off their shoes in the Airport Checking Lines. You need something visible that happens now like 9/11 to scare people in that way. Heck we have even given up habeaus corpus for the sake of being protected from terrorists like the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber. To get one world gov't you need an attack from aliens so the whole world has the same foe. When I see the first alien attack I will know the one worlders are going for it with the biggest false flag ever generated.

BTW are George Soros and AL Gore paying people to take out blow torches at night to melt the glaciers? You OWG through Global Warming people crack me up. Watch out, the blue helmets are coming..... yeah right.

Copenhagen was to be one of many little steps to cede our sovereignty to the UN. If you think that one day we will wake up and find our voter registration cards replaced with ones from the UN you are sadly mistaken. No, our liberties will die a death of 1000 cuts. This sad and painful process will continue for all the "best" reasons until our flag is replaced and our heritage squandered.

No PTG I think one day we will wake up with no country much less the feeble UN having enough oil to run an empire any more much less a worldwide empire.

How much oil would it take to keep a world government in power? The age of empires is over.

The age of empires is over? Maybe temporarily, yes, but empire will be with us as long as agricultural humans are. I am not making a claim that agriculture and empire go hand in hand, but it seems to me (and Gwynne Dyer in his excellent book War) that agriculture seems to be the only real requirement for an empire.

Agriculture may be the only real requirement for empire, but is empire required for agriculture? When the Roman empire conquered England did they conquer an empire? Did they conquer people who farmed? I think the answer is that Britain was not an empire but they did practice agriculture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_Britain#The_Late_pre-Roman_Iron...

My point is that an empire is per http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empire
1 a (1) : a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority; especially : one having an emperor as chief of state (2) : the territory of such a political unit b : something resembling a political empire; especially : an extensive territory or enterprise under single domination or control
2 : imperial sovereignty, rule, or dominion

Even hunter-gatherers often do some agriculture.

But that doesn't fully address the issue. I believe there will be no more empires because not only have we depleted the oil but we have cut down most of the old growth forests that could make good sailing ships. We have used up most of the ground water that could be pumped by hand. We have polluted our oceans, soil, rivers and have no more huge stocks of fish that can be easily scooped out of the oceans. We have altered our atmosphere to the detriment of future food growing. We have built nuclear power plants next to oceans where rising sea water will invade. We can't even deal with the nuclear waste we have now. We have dammed up rivers or built levees so that the silt no longer creates the rich soil of the deltas. When the dams crash the silt behind them will be washed into the oceans. We have destroyed the marshlands and mangrove swamps that used to protect against hurricanes and tsunamis Parts of the world are covered with Depleted Uranium. The coral reefs that nourish a rich biodiversity that fed humans are dying. If humans survive the crash, they will have tribes that gather, hunt and grow a bit of food when they can. No empires, we have used up the stuff of empires.

Going down the energy slope when 6 billion people no longer have oil to burn to keep them warm or cook their food, do you think they are going to refrain from harvesting what trees are left so that a future empire can build chariots and boats. And when the trees are gone we are toast.

Pe_Type_Guy, I think you're at the wrong site. Your comments are missed at http://www.rushlimbaughforum.com/

More info at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbZNnrIBcbE

And that is why Hillary killed Vince Foster, he knew about this plan that Al Gore was forming with the European Bankers and the Queen of England.
The Queen lent Hillary her black helicopter to hide the gun in Lenin's Tomb.
What other explanation could there be?
Inquiring minds want to know----

Funny, the last lot of news media I heard about climate change was about how it wasn't really happening, and it was all a con. And why is it that you provide us with political soundbites in media sized doses while telling us how the evil media is on our side.

I would say that climate change belief is in the minority yet, somehow we have become a massive corporate campaign, involving every media outlet and every government in the world. While also simultaniously running several undercover conspiracy plots to turn America into commie-nazi-hippie land.

What power we appear to wield. I wonder then why we are so unhappy with our presentation in the media, at copenhagen and in the world of politics.


Richard, you show a lack of compassion when you refer to people with mental deficiencies as "Idiot". Pehaps, instead, you could recommend some good courses in science, math and logic.

Nope, christian + conspiracy theorist. Only one thing they want...to be persecuted for their beliefs. I shall therefore throw him to the lions.

Hey Pe_Type_Guy, go to www.scienceblogs.com/pharyngula they LOVE talking about religion and sometimes even global warming there.

OK Richard, I suppose you are right, but I hope the lions don't suffer somehow from this meal.

One world government?

You can't be serious.....

Call me a moron, but i still think that peak oil and climate change are part of a master plan to use the one to cut the other, use CO2 emissions as a basis to raise taxes/fees on energy, cutting consumption. When did the government or media care what happened to the environment? This AGW just doesn't make sense (from a political/media view)... Its so overplayed that there has to be more to it... In the end we burn everything, so if you think that emissions are causing warming, buy more shorts, because humans, most of the 7 billion, will do anything to make it another day... I'd burn the dirtiest radioactive mercury emitting dioxin spewing coal to keep warm on a cold Jan night :)

Call me a moron,...

OK! If you wish. But in case you aspire to a higher status try listening to Naomi Oreskes' talk.

Knowledge can be transmitted though intelligence unfortunately can not...


"thank God"

Enough said by the expert in faith

What a world!!! The mere mention of God and you are categorized as an ignorant zealot.

Well my fine feathered friend just remember this. With out a God there are no morals. Without morals you only have the law to guide you. Under the US system of law you have done nothing wrong unless you are proven guilty. Thus the bankers and politicians that took our money are free to plunder again and OJ did nothing wrong.

What a world!!! The mere mention of God and you are categorized as an ignorant zealot.

Which one of the 2,850 known deities are you talking about? http://www.godchecker.com/

This week I'm kinda partial to the Australian RAINBOW-SNAKE GOD: The Great Creator Serpent, in charge of Fertility, Growth and Refreshing Rain.

And no, she wasn't the one that convinced Eve to bite into the apple. That old mythology is just plain dumber than rocks.

Grand site FMagyar - here is Edward Current telling how he is covering his bases by converting to Every Religion (Just in case) He's a hoot - most of his videos are excellent. The funny thing is that the comments on some of his videos indicate that some people don't realize he is mocking religion...they think he is for real. Just like some right wingers think Stephen Colbert is a right winger. Right wingers and religious fanatics are so internally focused much of the time that they can't see when they are being mocked. :)



Yeah, I've seen some of Edward's other videos :-)

Hi FMagayr,

Thanks for the link. But, never-the-less, this thread starting with the P guy, is getting depressing. I shall spend a few moments worshiping Dionysus (aka Bacchus) to renew my spirit.

-With out a God there are no morals. Without morals you only have the law to guide you.-

Wasn't no atheist politicians that created those laws now though was it...

So excuse me if I don't ask the god who killed everyone and everything but Noah's tribe for moral advice. It might however explain the selfishness and lack of concern for the environment I see from such christians as yourselves.

All "believers" have a monopoly on God, and morality as well. This why they have spent much of their time killing each other. Eliminate the competition, their imorality and their false God.

One doesn't need a God and the fear of hell to have morals. Morals are learned behavior within ones self on how to respect others. God is uneducated mans answer to his unknown. Faith is the lazy man's answer to education. Fear is used by the powerful to control the masses. And as far as the picture below, morals stand no chance.

I am not really all that religious, Therefore I must have no sense of right and wrong and must be suspect as a result.

I am guilty until proven innocent.

Many millions of moral Buddhists are that way without a God. While I suppose Buddhists are as corruptible as any other human, I am willing to bet that they have killed far fewer fellow humans than Christians or Jews or Muslims or Hindus. Buddhists are magnanimous on the subject of God. They don't deny the existence of gods, it is just not a very important question for them. How will knowing whether there is a god or not help me be a more compassionate person engaged in right action today? (For what it's worth I was a theology major in college in the wayback time)

I consider Buddha to be a God or at least a God equivilent. Buddhism happens to be a fine example of religion providing moral guidance to it's followers.

"I consider Buddha to be a God or at least a God equivilent."

Well, that merely demonstrates the limits of your understanding of Buddhism, Buddha, and maybe God too. I'd mention spelling, but then I'd probably misspell somthing.

You need to work on your sense of humor.

Yeah, cool web site. I especialy like this:


Science has a pretty good handle on what the mechanisms are that warm and cool the planet. Vulcanism, variations in orbit and orientation of planet earth, solar activity, CO2 and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (from some source), etc. Which one applies? It can't be the simplest explanation: humans are burning stuff and putting billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere while massively reducing the planet's capacity to sequester said CO2. So it must be something else.

For arguments sake assume climate is destabilizing for natural reasons. Adding the combustion products of a couple of cubic miles of sequestered carbon per year on top of that is probably a really bad idea.

Barrett, your reasoning is right, but you are off by at least an order of magnitude, it's TENs of cubic miles (oil, coal, soil organic matter and peat (not the small amounts in Ireland but the bigger amounts that oxidize in land clearing in Malaysia, Indonesia etc)).

Wow! That's a nice pic....,

What does it have to do with this discussion?

It was on the first page of the "credible" link above (questioning AGW). I couldn't figure out why either. I guess if Xena is concerned about AGW then it can't be true.

Hahaha!!! That's the one link I clicked on when I went to the website. Xena says AGW deniers are sociopaths.

And yes, I wasn't just reading it for the articles...

Some kind of warming that science can explain :-)

You know..., I always had a prefernce for Xena's sidekick

Did you know Fox news is part owned by a Saudi prince ? To appoint his son as the next ceo - Murdoch had to get Saudi prince approval, and you guys listen to what they say on Fox ... !

Man made/CO2 induced global warming is a giant hoax

...of course you do realize you're just repeating political talking points, which are easily (and comprehensively) refuted by evidence-based arguments. Its still beyond me why anyone bothers...the facts are available, and reality is what persists whether its believed in or not.

If you really don't "believe" in global warming, I think there's a market trading futures in it, and with pretty long odds (and so good returns!) for the "against" crowd. Of course, in that case you'd want to act as if the sky was falling, then cash out when everything turned out just fine.

A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step. To spread the word that ever increasing resources are a thing of the past and everyone must confront the fact of a shrinking economy resembles that journey with the exception that it is one step forward and two steps back. Among Americans the thought of a reduction in "our way of life" causes a pronounced psychosis. After trying for the last five years to gently inform people of what is coming, making available Tainter, Kunsler amd others I find that most (all) people treat the idea as another Jonestown, the visitation of the Mother ship or the coming of the end times as predicted for the Iraq war. So if you have sucess with your families wonderful. But there is no hope for 98 per cent of Americans.

I know people who are growing some of their own food, and who have baskets from the local CSA delivered every month, that don't really talk about Peak Oil or Climate Change. It is a process of seeing all the things going on and feeling like you need to do something about it, that gets them to change.

I deal at times with people who have a pack on their back and walk everywhere they go, If given the chance to Have a chunk of land to grow things on they'd jump at it.

Given you left out 2% of Americans that lets us work with 6 million people, I bet there are more than that that are thinking about changing things from what they once were. Given that we have about 16 million people without jobs or only working part time.

"Our way of life" changes about every 20 years, or in shorter time spans, it depends on who you ask.

Luckily I have family that knew most of this stuff before I told them the latest things I was reading about online.

BioWebScape designs for a better future.

Penury, You have discovered the same thing any of us found out when trying to spread the word. People do not want to hear it, and will do anything, in the way of mental gymnastics to avoid confronting it.

Among Americans the thought of a reduction in "our way of life" causes a pronounced psychosis.

Well then think of it as emotional maturation instead. Even spoiled little brats have to grow up at some point.

What an absolutely STUPID ___ article. "Global Warming"... LOL! I didn't think idiotic articles like this were posted here, and survived the criticism. For anyone with a smidge of maturity and common sense, articles like this are bad reflection on TOD; makes the other stuff suspect. :(

OK - member for nearly .5 of an hour. You are an expert in all things geophysical.

Specious statments by trolls, what a new idea!

If you have ever read here long enough, you'd know that the Climate Change topic does get hashed about from time to time. It is not the main thrust of this forum, but it is part of the issues of the day, so it is open to discussion, just like anything else the world is talking about, that relates to FF use.

I've been on the site off and on for over 4 years, and in all that time I don't think a week has gone by that it has not been talked about, so your claim of concern is, well nice but specious none the less.

BioWebScape designs for a better future,
ps, Yes I know I forget not to feed the trolls, Throws out an old corncob!


There ARE other news sources other than FauxNews, Limbaugh, and fringe blogs.

Did you know, for example, that MIT did a long term, multidisciplinary study of global warming and discovered that they had underrated the temperature climb by a factor of 2?

Here is a graphic from that report that shows the percent probabilities of future temperatures with and without a global policy to reduce carbon emissions. Anything over 2 degrees C is considered to have detrimental effects on the ability of the world population to have adequate food and fresh water, which means a significant population dieoff (if peak oil didn't do so already). Interestingly enough, those who are activists for "Right to Life" don't understand that they are undermining their own position in several orders of magnitude...

How stupid is someone who calls an article 'stupid' for including the phrase "global warming" when the article DOESN'T contain the phrase "global warming"?

So I guess your official position is that you do not know if there is global warming or global cooling but you are 100% sure that "climate change" is caused by man and his release of CO2.

That's a strawman. The statement that has been signed by the science academies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Russia, China, Brazil, India, and Mexico says it all;

"Climate change and sustainable energy supply are crucial challenges for the future of humanity. It is essential that world leaders agree on the emission reductions needed to combat negative consequences of anthropogenic climate change at the UNFCCC negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009...The need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable.".


My official position is simply that you misquoted the article and that you are a troll.

Well I am not the person who "misquoted" the article. Also, you have to admit that global warming morphed into climate change when the news came out that the last decade was really colder than the the previous one. If you want to write a serious article don't start it with references to Copenhagen and the UN.

The reason that I even bother to post here is that the real worry is peak oil and not unproven man made climate change. They both have different solutions. Planting trees and needlessly sequestering carbon will have no beneficial effects unless CO2 emissions are really the true problem.

Not only have we reached peak oil we have reached peak wealth and we MUST spend money only on projects that have proven return. The US cap and trade bill will do little but make the insiders more wealthy!

Copenhagen is little more than a world wide Cap and Trade bill.

"the last decade was really colder than the the previous one"

Either you are completely under the spell of false propaganda (the above is not true) or you are a troll.

Will I strongly suggest that you broaden you news sources and not solely rely on The Sierra Club and Greenpeace.

Hide the Decline,


And I strongly suggest you broaden yours and not rely on Fox News.

try realclimate.org

Well I am not the person who "misquoted" the article.

Yes, you are.

Dear Megan,

I participated in your on-line survey and forgot all about it, until you informed me of the results by e-mail last week. Really appreciate it.

Nice! My "day job" is a combination of #'s 3, 4, 6 and 7.

The world is full of unexpected consequences. While Peak Oil will no doubt cause a dieoff at least in one aspect it is reducing deaths. Since we don't have good statistics on how many died from exposure in tent cities this winter we don't know if it evens out. None the less here you have it - less gasoline used, less traffic deaths.


Highway fatalities dropped 8.9% last year, says DOT

Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer, On Thursday March 11, 2010, 8:31 am EST
The U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday that traffic fatalities in 2009 reached their lowest level since 1954. Highway fatalities totaled 33,963 nationwide last year, according to the DOT, a drop of 8.9% from 2008, when deaths on the road totaled 37,261. The government also said that the fatality rate in 2009 declined to 1.16 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled -- the lowest rate ever. This is down from a rate of 1.25 fatalities the prior year. The DOT also said that fatalities have been in decline for 15 consecutive quarters, through the end of 2009. Traffic deaths reached a "near-term" peak in 2005, then plunged 22% through 2009, the government said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed the decline in deaths to its campaigns for increased use of seatbelts and against drunk driving, as well as safer roads and safer vehicles.

I wonder how this reduction breaks down as to actual causes-the total is probably most closely related to fewer miles total driven and maybe somewhat lighter traffic. But the per mile rate is what interests me most.Could it be a combo of lighter traffic and safer cars?possibly also influenced by draconian traffic enforcement in order to raise funds thru tickets?

Here in sw Va the local sheriff's deptuties and state police are on the local interstate every single day with the radar hanging out the window-weeks on end ,and a patrol car every five miles or so-we have never had this level of patrolling in the past.My impression is that they are more likely to stop out of state cars-the tickets are paid thru the mail that way, no sitting in court all day for the cop waiting for the case to be called.

Lots of reasons given at the look up I did on google http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=reasons+for+reduction+in+traffic+fa...

I think this significant of a drop has to be in part due to less people driving. The unemployed are not driving much at all. Pulling even a few cars out of rush hour probably makes things safer. I think some people found when gas prices went to high that mass transit wasn't as bad as they thought it would be. I think the less driving is the only thing that could make that significant of a drop. You don't suddenly have less drunk driving, safer cars, more seat belt use etc. Your point about making up revenues with extra patrols would make sense and in the end relates to oil price but not directly

This site looks like it would give the info except its only through 2008 so far
http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx Since we had a vehicle driven miles drop in 2008 and a fatalities drop then too perhaps this site will help - I'd like to see what you conclude.

This Friday one of the people my family helps give rides to, gets their food stamps.

She before I met her was homeless, was literally the first time I saw her, face down on the floor my the elevators at the Public library. I got up from my computer and was heading home, when I saw a crowd and a body on the floor. I said a short prayer, "Lord I don't to see a dead body today." When I got to where the crowd was, they were being dumb sheep asking each other if the person were dead or not. Why do people not know how to check? I saw that I could do the hand test and placed my right hand on her left side and waited.

After a bit of a wait, I felt a slow deep breath.

I stood up said, "She's breathing, not dead." And then I took the stairs and left. And thought nothing more about it. God had answered my prayer, no dead bodies. My job was done, God takes care of most things, even when we don't think He does. (This is my Christian mindset, if you aren't a christian, so be it, but don't harp on me about it, thats not the topic of this post.)

That was Monday, I met her again on Friday, and until meeting her and talking to her and offering to help her, I did not find out she had been the person on the floor on Monday. We were again at the same Library.

For a time in 2007 she was my wife, 3rd one. Now she is living in a trailer, cheapest home you can find in these parts. Has a roommate but he is from the homeless community as well. Her medical issues are thus that if there were not free medical care in the USA( free in that if you are sick they have to take you in and help you, even if you can't pay for it.) and she were still out on the streets she'd likely be dead now.

For all us folks that don't live on the edge in our hugely filled US landscape, take note of a few things we could do to train ourselves toward using less.

Take one week to plan, then live for at least one week eating on $2.00 a day. The whole program is to also only use personal care items and food that you can supply with $2.00 a day. It begain for me as a thought puzzle for a story idea. Then I went out and tried it myself to see if it were possible where I was then living.

$2.00 could at that time buy me a lot of food, (2001), I did it again in (2005) even after food prices had risen. I have also done it as recently as 2008. Boy can you see the food prices rising over just those short years.

So TODers I give you that same challenge, plan for a week, then at least during one week Use and eat with only $2.00 per day.

What I have found is that you have to really look at what you eat, and plan well to get a balanced diet if even know how to do something like that, but learning new things is good for you. Not many people are this far down on the food chain, but a lot more are than you think. I have an aunt whose living with only her dead husband's pension money coming in and what little SocSec pays her, paying her medical costs, her power bills, car insurance and little gas, and a house note loan she had to take out to pay for repairs that were needed. She is healthy and still does sewing for people, grows just a bit of food, and helps baby sit her Great Grand kids. But the money left for food is pitched to an extreme.

The poor homeless people, the poor older people, the poor younger people, and the newly jobless people are having to learn how to live a lot closer to the bone than most of us here on TOD. Even though I live on less than $9,000 a year, I am living with others so my bills are more balanced, and even if I were living alone, I still would not consider myself poor, I know to many worse off than myself.

So take up the challenge, see how you can reduce your spending to only $2.00 a day for at least a week, remember you can go just for the food angle, or whole hog and everything you use in the personal care department as well (meds you have to take are not counted).

BioWebScape designs for a better grown food future.

£1.33 per day in England...So £9.31 per week.

Doable in England I think still. Noodles will feature heavily.

This thread has been overtaken by babbling clowns.........

That's impossible; I haven't posted yet.

My contribution:

In regard to farming (#1 on the job list), I've talked before about my conversation, in May, 2005, with the daughter of some friends of ours who was graduating from high school. I gave her my spiel about what I thought we were headed for, and she asked what she should major in. I suggested something related to agriculture, and she looked at me like I had grown a second head. She graduated last year from a well regarded private university with a degree in ethnic studies, and she is currently contemplating going to law school.

That is all the US needs, another civil rights lawyer!

Ethnic studies... great... reminds me of a "property manager" with an Art History degree. The law profession is pretty difficult to get into as well.


Who knows what the legal system will be like in ten or twenty years. I'm sure that a decline to a simpler world will have an impact on our legal system.

Most everything will sysmplify, including the legal system.

Ms Bachman's comments are well supported by what is actually happening around here. I could be pedantic about the way some of it is put, but that's just an old college teacher talking. The gist of what she is saying has a close correspondence in reality.

Farming is not easy to break into from a background of desk jobs, but backyard gardening and chicken keeping is rapidly growing. OK, volunteering is not a profession, but that hasn't stopped many people, myself included, doing a fair amount for our communities between periods of paid work. Several of my friends have gone from a yuppie life of two incomes, two careers, and barely time to say hi in the morning to one lesser paying job and a laid off partner running a thrifty household. They actually like it better.

Two family members moved in with my mother. One is retired and volunteering, one has a job , and my mother is self-employed. The three ladies are coping.


Haven't I performed several experiments on you before???


Sorry, I don't recall any experiments.

Hamster is a nickname that I share with 80,000 other residents of Bellingham, WA. The fuzzy rodent is an informal town mascot, despite all the efforts of the city council to represent us by a much more dignified totem, such as an orca whale.

Look..., as Io've said b4..., I'm hispanic....

There can be anymore pointless major then ethnic studies???

She should have gone with farming.

There are too many of the wrong types of degrees in this country.

Either stick with a real subject..., go to a trade school to learn how to fix things, or learn to farm.

I feel sorry for the father. He spent about $150,000 for four years of indoctrination for his daughter. Imagine, four years of being taught how the white male is the root of all evil in the world.

How you wandered in here is puzzling. The Rush Limbaugh fan club is at http://www.fansofrushlimbaugh.com/

It's a real shame that Air America had to go off the air. You must be devastated.

I pay attention to neither, and have no political affiliations. I do eschew the political fringe on both sides, however.

Limbaugh is a college dropout..., and a retard..., but....

Aren't you?

Megan - Thanks for presenting at our Michigan Future conference http://futuremichigan.org/presenters.htm
I enjoyed meeting you and you did a great job!