30 October, 2008

Preparing for the Post-peak Oil World

Creating a Post-Peak Future Worth Living Into
Posted by Gail the Actuary on October 29, 2008 - 10:06am
Topic: Sociology/Psychology
Tags: future, leader, original, peak oil, role [list all tags]
This is a guest post by André Angelantoni, known on TOD as aangel. He
is co-founder of PostPeakLiving.com and co-founder of Post Carbon
Marin, his community's effort to prepare for peak oil, and a former
executive coach and business consultant. He wrote this article to give
people one way to navigate through the forced transition to a post
peak world we are all going to experience.

The future most people are living into is beginning to disappear. The
financial crisis threw the first punch, but oil depletion will deliver
the knockout blow. The moment people realize that the society they
have known their whole life can no longer function the same way
without the energy provided by oil, it will become glaringly apparent
that the future will be very, very different. It's not just that we
will no longer have fresh food flown in from around the world. Some of
the fundamental assumptions held by people living in the rich
countries will no longer hold:
• many jobs that have never existed before will once again no
longer exist
• retirement, a phenomenon only a century old, will disappear
• accumulating "wealth" will be out of reach for most people
• most children will no longer be able to attend institutions
of higher education
• diseases and conditions that are easily treated now will
once again claim lives

Once a person has realized that these and many more futures will no
longer exist, they will ask themselves the following question: If the
future I've lived with my whole life will not longer occur, what will
my future be?
People will react in many different ways as they consider the
question of what their future will be. Some people will become
resigned and despondent, others will become resolute as they
concentrate on the job of making sure they and their family are
sheltered and adequately fed. Still others will become happier as they
leave the rat race and simplify their life. If you are considering
this question, hopefully you will realize that creating the future
rather than waiting for it to happen to you will give you a better
result. That's what this article is about.

Before continuing, I am going to outline a principle that is a part
of the coaching model I use. It is not the only model in the world,
but it has worked consistently for me and my clients.

Your Future Gives You Your Experience of Now
In this article, I will operate on the following principle:
The future a person lives into determines how they operate in and
experience the present.
This may seem counter-intuitive to you because there seems to be so
much evidence that it is the past that gives us our experience of now.
For example, don't we feel proud of our accomplishments — and didn't
those accomplishments happen in the past? Don't we suffer from events
— and aren't those events in the past?

To see that it's our future that gives us our experience of the
present, try this simple experiment. Imagine you are holding a lottery
ticket and are about to check the winning numbers. You might be
interested and cautiously optimistic. As you read the winning numbers
you realize that yours is the winning ticket. What is your experience
at the moment you realize you've won the jackpot?

If you are like most people, you will be surprised and ecstatic. But
has anything — in physical reality — changed in any way? No, it
hasn't. But the future you see before you has completely changed and
your happiness comes from a new future filled with a life of leisure
or travel or the finest things in life.

The same principle operates whenever a future changes. Whether it's
agreeing to marry someone, getting a new job or facing a serious
illness, in all these circumstances the future determines how you
operate in and experience the present.

What about those past events, the accomplishments and tragedies?
Don't they impact us in the present? They certainly do, but the impact
comes from how they have changed the future that we live into because
those events happened. I'll leave it as homework to the reader to
determine the future that is created when we experience an
accomplishment or tragedy.

People who panic when they learn of peak oil see a terrible future for
themselves and society. Although I didn't panic when I first learned
of peak oil, I did experience a feeling of dread. I looked into the
future and saw the possibility of social turmoil and hunger. This
seems to be a common reaction, and most people move through the
experience in hours or days as they gradually see that the gloomy
future is not inevitable.

Gloomy Futures Are Useful — To a Point
Gloomy futures are often conjured up by your brain without your
permission or guidance. Your brain is simply an associative machine
that took in the idea of oil depletion, recalled images from its past
(perhaps including a Mad Max movie), and plopped the result in your
mental lap. Although it may have you prepare in ways you wouldn't
normally, this gloomy future can also paralyze you and turn you into a
morose individual unable to experience the joy there is and will
always be available in life.

If you are unsatisfied with the future your brain invented for you,
you will have to create one yourself.

Quality of Life vs Standard of Living
We're almost ready to discuss how to create a future worth living
into. I'm going to make one more distinction that should help the
transition. With the loss of inexpensive and plentiful oil you are not
just confronting the loss of vacations in the Tropics. It will look
like the sudden loss of much more than that. But what is it you are
losing, exactly?

At this point it's valuable to get yourself clear on what you are
actually going to lose. If you don't stop your brain, it is likely to
say, "Everything!", send you down a dark tunnel and leave you there.
But you aren't going to lose everything; you aren't even going to lose
the most important things, as you'll soon see. That's because almost
every person tends to make one fundamental mistake (myself included
when I'm not paying attention).

We tend to confuse what economists call "standard of living" with
"quality of life." The two are not the same, no matter how many
vacation advertisements try to convince you otherwise. The standard of
living index measures the number of things a person can purchase or
possess. This is again useful only to a point. Beyond the very basics
of life, like food and shelter, we want things not for the things
themselves but for what they give us at an emotional level.

We want money to go on vacation so that we can have fun. But is it
necessary to leave town to have fun? We want to send our kids to
college so that they can "create a future for themselves." But what
does that mean? Are people who don't go to college incapable of
experiencing happiness in their life? If your children were healthy
and happy, wouldn't you have done your job as a parent? We know that
the poor can be happy and the rich can be (often desperately) unhappy.

Things and circumstances fool us into short-term happiness, and then
the happiness wears off and the cycle starts again. Have you noticed
as your income rose, your expectations rose with them? If you hadn't
noticed that, you're in the standard of living trap and you don't even
know it.

Creating a Future Worth Living Into
Now we're ready to look at futures worth living into. This future
won't be attached to things and circumstances or you'll never get out
of the trap. So, as you create your new future, remember to resist the
pull of equating being fulfilled with having things. Many people who
have been preparing for peak oil have found that their life has
dramatically improved as they have taken on new responsibilities and
learned new skills, like growing their own food, even as they started
to lower the number of luxuries in their life.

One of the most powerful ways I've found to create a fulfilling future
is to distinguish a role for yourself. Roles are powerful because they
establish a context to live in and are easy to remember. When we take
on a role, we automatically get access to all the properties that
define the role. For instance, if I say that I will take on the role
of being a loving husband, I don't have to memorize "The Ten Steps to
Being a Loving Husband." I will immediately have access to ways of
expressing that role I've heard about (like hiding love notes around
the house) and I will easily invent new ways to express the role with
just a bit of creativity.

You are undoubtedly playing all sorts of roles right now, and there
are thousands of roles you can play in post-peak oil world. Your job
is to create a new, fulfilling role for yourself. Here are a few basic
roles, starting with some roles you may want to avoid.
• The Victim. To play this role, you should complain that the
world isn't fair and that there isn't enough time to prepare. Talk
only about things that we will lose or how other people or groups are
better off than you. Unfortunately, this role isn't very attractive
and people will try to avoid you — but it is a valid role. I include
it so that you can recognize when you are playing the victim, discard
it, and choose a different role.
• The Drama Queen. Be a Drama Queen by saying, "We are so
screwed" or similar things after describing how you see the future
playing out. This can be a fun role to play, especially when
describing a Mad Max scenario in great detail. Most people will
eventually want you to talk about how they can actually prepare for
the future. The Drama Queen role can often be matched up with the
Victim role to great effect, but people tire of it quickly.
• The Bystander. To do a good job with this role, say "what
will happen will happen" whenever you hear about something terrible
happening, preferably in Spanish. This is actually a good role to keep
handy because often events will truly be out of your control, and
there is no need to get your knickers in a knot over them.
• The Leader. With this role, you see peak oil as an
opportunity to make a difference in your community and the world. You
can be a leader in thousands of ways, from starting a community garden
to inviting friends over to teach them a useful skill you know. The
only requirement to be a leader is that you create a future that
wasn't going to happen anyway. You don't need to know how to speak in
front of crowds and you don't need a commanding presence. All you need
is the commitment to create a future that wasn't going to happen
unless you became involved.
You can add these roles to any that you are currently playing
(parent, student, entertainer, etc.), and you can switch at any time.
Of course some roles will give you better results than others.

Being a leader can be an immensely fulfilling role and one I
wholeheartedly recommend, especially since we are going to need many
local leaders very soon. I'd like to see the leadership positions
filled with people who see it as way to serve the community rather
than to enrich themselves materially. But that doesn't mean you won't
get benefits by being a leader, and there should be some benefits. For
example, being a leader means that you will create your own support
network faster, and you will gain information about the world earlier
than others, allowing you to prepare better.

Many people shy away from being a leader because they think it is a
burden, but they have it backwards: the Leader role can be freeing
because small inconveniences stop being annoying — as a leader you'll
have bigger, more inspiring goals on your mind.

In this article, we looked at how your experience and actions in the
present are a function of the future you are living into. We also saw
that your brain will invent a gloomy future given no direction: To
have a fulfilling future to live into, you'll need to take charge.
Then we noted one of the most common mistakes people make: confusing
the economists' standard of living with quality of life. Last, we
looked at some roles that you might consider taking on, particularly
the Leader role.

Ultimately, the purpose of this article was to point out that many of
the roles you are playing now are no longer going to hold, and that
you will need to take charge. Take a moment and ask yourself, "What
kind of fulfilling role can I create for myself in a post peak world?"

Info on the North American Union and the Amero


the coming of the Amero


27 October, 2008

Did someone say "Martial Law?"""


Holy shit!
Who is Naomi Wolf??:


11 October, 2008


Pray for my friends and people all across this country--and indeed the
world--who are losing their jobs, their homes, and their retirements.
This is an unprecedented time in our lives.

Sympathy and compassion and solidarity for all

02 October, 2008


Just thought I'd say that....to anyone who may be wondering. I would
not have said that two weeks ago perhaps....but I am saying it now.
Life is good. Much is in the works. Hope is a powerful thing.