From a financial perspective oil is the equivalent of credit. It allows us, energy-wise, to live above our means for some 100 years until it runs out. Around 50 of those years, maybe more, are now behind us. If you’re older than 60, you probably do not need to worry about this too much. If you are younger, or you care about someone who is, you definitely should worry.
I trust people here are sufficiently well-informed to know what peak oil is. I am not going to repeat what has been abundantly covered over the past five years. (It wasn’t in the news or on TV (I suggest getting rid of it), of course, but it was and is all over the internet now.)
The ERE blog is useful as an EARLY stage preparation for life after peak oil because the reduced level of expenses and the financial fund will allow much more maneuvering room than someone who is stuck in an obsolete profession (auto company marketing manager?) and needs money to support a high level of expenses (energy use). The blog (but especially the book) is even more useful because taking responsibility builds up a resilient and consilient way of life that will fit any structure/way of life. Compare this to the standard advice seen everywhere which only serves to supply technocratic tools to the system.
That said, I don’t write much about peak oil beyond that other than to say that you will save money by preparing for the changing reality and being prepared for the new reality, you will make life substantially easier for your self (and even save money).
[I note, for example, that in the current recession, many people lost their jobs and they are therefore struggling with their financial obligations and paying for all their stuff. If they had heeded the advice here, they would not be struggling at all.]
Here are four videos [1, 2, 3, 4], which is a technological solution in the INTERMEDIATE stage. This will work insofar society can keep providing enough energy to run these gadgets, in particular as long as society can build and repair the microchips that run them. In the short term and the intermediate term, they will save tremendous amount on the utility bills. This will add up to tens of thousands of dollars over the years. It will also save the atmosphere, somewhat.
Those who don’t adopt these measures will be dealing with rising heating costs (see this post how to eliminate heating costs), rolling brown outs, high gas prices, and rising water costs and shortages; just like they are currently dealing with underwater mortgages, unemployment, cutting back, etc. This will be hard to deal with for anyone who is used to seeing all resources as something to be wasted as fast as possible: Modern humans, present company excluded.
For all intents and purposes, you can consider these energy saving undertakings investments which will likely have a much better return than anything you can achieve in the stock market over the next several decades.
Originally posted 2010-06-11 08:33:33.