Sunday, February 14, 2010

Conspiracy rant and permaculture

I watched an interesting video the other night. This video was a documentary style interview with a whistle blower/conspiracy theorist named Michael Ruppert. For anyone who may read this and find themselves curious or for myself should I decide I'm interested in watching it again here,, is the link. For those of you who don't have 80 mins to watch this guy talk, he has a website, blog, and newsletter here,

This guy has credentials, facts, supposed past run ins with the CIA, big government, all sorts of things. He seems a bit paranoid. I felt a bit more paranoid after listening to his story but I normally get way too caught up in interesting movies.

So, basically we're going to run out of oil. To hear him tell it, pretty soon. After his rant on what we use it for, I realized that it (oil, petroleum, etc) is likely the 3rd most important form of matter on the planet behind water and air. We use it in everything! Sure, I'm being overly general when I say everything but oil seems to touch,either directly or indirectly, everything we see. In fact, if you think about it long enough I'm sure you could indirectly relate oil to every material things we use in our lives. If it wasn't made from oil, it was transported to us, stored in, purchased with, or driven on something that contained oil. Our medicines, food, clothing, cars, gas, computers, cell phones, toothpaste, plastic bags... anything plastic or rubber, pesticides, products we use to fix our hair, faces, feet, teeth... to write with, type with, record any type of data with be it historical, educational, or today's to-do list is affected by our access to this crap. We are using as much of it in our time as we ever have and we are creating as much of it as we ever have(as in we're not). Imagine running out of water or air. It's hard. I can't imagine not having access to a substance that has become so intertwined with my life that possibly only those two things are more constantly present in my every day-to-day. It's hard because I don't readily know how to and probably because on some level I don't want to. Who wants to admit that they have been so swayed by the ramblings of the latest conspiracy theorist? I don't. Who wants to be the only one who is still buying Walmart out of bread, milk, and batteries believing a blizzard is on its way even though the meteorologists say there's nothing to worry about? Again, not I.

Ruppert's peak oil analysis is frightening. I suppose that's the reason he's labeled a conspiracy theorist. But peak oil is very real, and very out there. Google it. You will find, what many consider, legitimate news agencies reporting on peak oil, getting sound bites and quotes from professionals and academics who know this thing is real. I think the only debatable aspect at this point is how much time do we have left. I know I'm half way kicking myself for buying my last vehicle thinking that if this thing hits in the next ten years, my pampered, dream car is going to be a worthless dust and vermin collector. But my more positive side reminds me that this could be years down the road or beyond my life time if steps are taken to curb consumption. Then I ask myself, am I willing to take the necessary steps? Would I bike to work, or trade in the car for an EV or invest in solar panels, go green and organic, buy the reusable shopping bag at Walmart and save all of those plastic bags? The answer is likely no, unless this problem is smacking me in the face with $2.50 per gallon gas prices. Which sucks btw, both the gas price and the lack of motivation I, and probably a good 70% of the rest of Americans, have for a problem like this until it directly and persistently affects my day-to-day. Not preventive maintenance for us. It's likely going to be a hurricane Katrina-ish event. No work on the levees = a lot of swimmers.

I personally don't know how to swim in the post petroleum world. I can fish a bit, but how many other people are gonna be on the banks of their local river throwing whatever they think will lure and hook a fish into that water. Let's just say everybody. I was at one time a pretty decent shot with a pistol or a rifle but the only deer that would be caught in my sights would be saved by the headgear his deer pals make him wear so he doesn't hurt himself when he's out of his harness. I can put a seed in the ground but I have no idea how long it takes to grow, when a good time to plant it would be, or how many of those things I should plant to keep me alive for more than a week once I harvest them. Oh and if I did learn that I need a crap ton of them to keep me alive, then how do I keep the stuff from going bad or from being food for the creatures whose hearing keeps them from hearing the train wreck, me, that stumbles around trying to get close enough to shoot/trap them. Yes, I'm over exaggerating a bit. I am confident that I could learn well enough to survive but survival will no longer be: wake up, go to work, deposit cash, go to Walmart, rinse and repeat.

So, I'm reading about permaculture, its in the title of this blog, but probably the smallest portion of it. It seems too good to be true though it does make sense on some levels. You basically create a small ecosystem using mostly edible species of the required players: vegetation, critters, critter-eaters, fertilizers, etc, etc. Pests, predators, fertilizers, habitats, vegetation, growth cycles are mostly naturally occurring and supposedly yield greater amounts of food per acre than our current growing methods. I have a hard time envisioning myself letting a venomous snake hang out in my forest/garden so I can grow a few veggies, but I suppose it may be a necessary evil. The end result is a self sustaining, self maintaining, totally organic garden with layers of food, not just in the ground. There's no pesticiding(if I just made that up... who cares), no artificial fertilizing, little to no digging, no real expenses (after the initial setup) and little to no work. We let nature do it's thing and kinda help it out once in a while and we get to eat. I'm thinking about getting this started should I ever decide to buy a house or property. If we have oil for the rest of my life then I'll eat plenty, healthy, and cheap. My grandfather, when faced with the decision to either invest a large amount of money into his chicken house or cash in his chips so-to-speak, decided that it was best to keep working with the birds. He wasn't doing it for the profit over the investment. He told me that while the money would come in to pay the expense, like it always had, he had a feeling that in the future that house may be what feeds our family. Look up permaculture sometime. Of the models I've seen so far, the one constant... is chickens.


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