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December 18th, 2009

Decline USA - Emerging Wiser
Ted Ollikkala (declineusa.wordpress.com) Quick Facts

Published by: Ted Ollikkala

Main Areas: Sustainability, Career Planning Career Focus: Author, Speaker Foreward The writing is on the wall; has been for some time. People are starting to wake up to the larger picture and realize that change is imminent, foreseeable, and imperative for survival. Who’s survival? In a nutshell: yours. From a global perspective: mankind. This site is an attempt to disseminate information that will help you to take appropriate action based on informed choices and higher wisdom. It also seeks to balance the naive temptation to fall in with the ‘doomsday crowd’, the selfish ’survivalists’, the ‘apocalypse prophets’, the ‘miracle scientists’, or any of the other special interest groups which have formed. Each one of us wants to feel important; to leave behind a legacy that will add to the sum total of the human races’ posititive karma. Studying the content of this site is an excellent beginning. You are invited to freely contribute ideas, facts, news items and opinions to this work in progress; a live community of free-thinking problem solvers who will prosper into the new renaissance of civilization on the other side of the coming ‘dark ages’. *** Ted Ollikkala has written feature articles and interviews with Guy Finley, Alan Watt's son (Mark Watts), Progressive rock Artist Paul Whitehead, Australian musician Orianthi Panagaris, Christian mystic Sister Choo Thomas (Heaven is So Real), Patricia Bragg, Comedian Tim Sample, and others on TEDUCATION.com (70,374 visitors since 2005). Ted is an avid photographer with more than 4,040,434 all time views on Flickr.com/photos/teducation and contributions to National Wildlife Federation and UNESCO Thailand. A former engineer, early childhood education specialist, nursing assistant, holistic artifacts dealer and communication skills lecturer, Ted brings a wealth of experiences and a unique perspective to his writings on spirituality. He currently lives in Singapore and is the owner and main contributing author of declineusa.wordpress.com/

Table of Contents
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December 18th, 2009

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The World is slowly going insane The Decline of American Civilization Something gnawing away at you? Establishing a personal breaking point

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The World is slowly going insane « The Decline of American Civilization
This can’t be happening. Life is supposed to be good. But all around us (US) the quality of life is turning downhill. Most of us have realized this already, watching it from the extreme comfort of our well manicured lifestyles once thought to be immune from all forms of contamination, bugs, terrorists, and the neighbor next door. Because the change is so gradual, it will only become a shock to each and every one of us at some point. We don’t all get the shock at the same time. Some got it years ago, like Al Gore. To say that he was ‘ahead of his time’ is true, but eventually the USA and the rest of the world will ‘wake up’ and heed the ominous signs that have been there all along. The average person doesn’t like to be shaken from his comfort zone (security blanket/living sofa/two SUV garage) and they pity people like Al Gore who are out in their underwear running around icebergs. Who needs it? “Such is not for me”, they cry. But like a tsunami, those who don’t see it coming are not the last to know. They are only the first to be surprised when it hits without warning, so it seems. HOW TO BE SANE It’s not easy to be wise, and waking up early can be a curse if the world isn’t ready. Be kind, rewind and don’t rock the boats of others. Be humble, wake them gently with kind words and high contrast facts. Separate the wheat from the chaff, and be persistent. Don’t turn radical. The sky is falling; yes – but don’t rush out and cut off the chicken’s head. There’s plenty of time. We cannot rewind, but there’s a renaissance and sense of creative challenge to manage those aspects which are under our control. Most of the concern is about currently manifesting conditions that will play out their consequences beyond our lifespan. We will suffer hardship and misery as one, as will our succeeding generation. As John Lennon so simply proclaimed in 1970, “Give Peace a Chance” now applies in a broader sense to the world’s socio-economic and quality of life index regardless of race, religion, or nationalistic affiliation. For better or worse, we’re in this boat together. Make the most of what resources we’ve got at our disposal, and leave no stone unturned. A little Zen philosophy can work wonders

Survival Tips: Learn some basic skill that you can trade with 5 Austerity Measures for 2008 6 6

An Open Letter to all Americans (Dec 27, 2008) When the Grid Fails – Zero Growth This is NOT about Global Warming 7 8

October 2008 Meltdown. What’s ahead – the next 5 years What a Way to Go: life at the end of empire 9 Who Killed the Electric Car – sonypictures documentary 10

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Why would Ted Turner mention the word cannibalism? 10 The End is coming… but when? A Guide to Disaster Planning 11 12

An Endless Supply of Future Resources 13 I’ve Seen Sunny Days that I thought would Never End How the People will react 14 13

Paul Thompson – The Twilight of the Modern World [pdf] 15 What to do when the rioting starts 15

11th Hour Action; the movie, the community, free screenings 16 Suicidal thought of the day: They’ve just discovered more oil – now I can relax! Americans gear down for $6/gallon gasoline 17 What if? Luxury Tax on SUVs Future Car Awareness EIA at Odds with Peak Oil Peak Oil – Pick a Curve Volunteering and Creating Jobs What Would I Do? 18 18 19 21 22 23 16

Something gnawing away at you?
We will go down in history, if there is one; as the generation that squandered it all. America was blessed with abundance of clean air, rich soil, pristine lakes and rivers, and we were able to live off the land. No, wait – that wasn’t us! That was the first generation of Americans; the indigenous people – the
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native Americans, living in harmony with their ancestors and the cosmos. ENTER THE COLONISTS ‘We’, are the incoming wave of settlers, so-called colonizers, arriving from Europe by the boatload from 1584-1776. We brought with us little technology. In fact, we were quite ignorant of how to live in the New World. Without help from our Indian brothers in 1621, there would have been no Thanksgiving. In fact, there would have been no Plymouth Colony – we surely would not have survived the winter. Once we got a foothold in America, our sponsors back in Europe were experiencing a breakthrough of their own; the Industrial Revolution – which was to change the structure and purpose of society right up to the present time. Eventually, our sponsors – let’s call them the Ruling Elite, got greedy. THE INDUSTRIALIZATION OF AMERICA The indigenous populations of the USA, Central and South America were literally worked to death and their resources stolen (cotton, gold, furs, sugar, molasses, tobacco, lumber, etc.) and shipped to Europe as raw materials for mass manufacturing, and sent back to the colonies at higher prices. Tariffs and import taxes were tacked on by the powers that be and the early corporations such as the East India Company became rich and ever more powerful.

over this the new mobility and kept rolling our money into new investments. Growing faster than could be supported, consumer and investment driven greed burst the bubble on Black Tusday in 1929 and we had to start all over again. A chance to make a fresh start! As there’s nothing better than a war to stimulate the economy; luckily one came along (WWII) and soon the American economy was humming along once again. Sure, there were resource shortages to cope with, but patriotic spirit was high and people at home banded together like never before. Women supported the munitions industry and planted victory gardens. Although the war was far from home, our boys were over there spilling blood to protect the American Dream.

http:// historicpelham.blogspot.com/2005_11_01_archive.html http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch1en/conc1en/ tradewinds.html Exploitation by greedy corporations and non-democratic governments reached its culmination when slaves and opium became the top traded commodities of the world. Of course, slavery was abolished and opium made illegal. (However, it’s interesting to note that the top commodities these days are still drugs, with the addition of arms/weapons). Now back to the people putting their roots down in America. We built a democratic government, overcame a serious internal squabble (The Civil War) and everything was generally ‘cool’ (uneventful) up until the era of coalfueled and steam-powered ships and locomotives gave way to gasoline powered automobiles circa 1903. http:// www.ausbcomp.com/~bbott/cars/carhist.htm THE FIRST GREAT CRASH AND RECOVERY A dramatic new era of prosperity overran America, the ‘roaring twenties’. Like a kid in a toy shop – we went ga-ga
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I hope you’re starting to draw parallels at this point. 65 years ago, our present leaders were just growing up. They have witnessed the dramatic transformation of American civilization. They have also experienced the effects of war. They have been living the American Dream from day one. But the most impressive breakthrough was the post-war rebuilding of America. THE BABY BOOM PLAYGROUND Someday, looking back; this will be recognized as being the point of no return – when we crossed the threshold of common sense and committed ourselves to a lifestyle of unsustainability. Suburbia was born, new and exciting products were available for consumption, and the American Dream started all over again. The most highly prized consumer goods were televisions, refrigerators, and the ultimate personal transportation machine; the automobile.

December 18th, 2009

Published by: Ted Ollikkala

http://www.raisethehammer.org/index.asp?id=175 http://www.californiaclassix.com/ archive/61_Lincoln_c232.html ENTER OIL DEPENDENCE The temptation to develop, abuse and squander a God-send of a resource; the ultimate energy source: abundant, cheap, easy to find, easy to transport; was irresistible, of course. The benefits would never end, it seemed. Literally overnight, an entire lifestyle was built on oil-based and oil-powered products. And continues to grow. Let’s skip a few decades, shall we… and get to the point. Let’s see what we got here: Americans have saturated themselves with suburban homes and personal automobiles to the point that they have been purchased on credit; people have overextended themselves in order to obtain these items. But, come to think of it – homes are bigger than we need. Cars are too big too. Bigger is better. Up-size, sir? Of course. Be a good consumer. Only $20 a month, sir. I’ll take it… HICCUPS AND SIDE EFFECTS Nothing is free, and if it sounds too good to be true, well… sorry to say that a society totally built on a limited resource is going to be limited in its growth. Limited by land, limited by the size of the population craving access to the goodies, limited by buying power (money). Pressured by its enemies who also want a fair share of a global resource. The earth is sick, call a doctor! Erosion, ozone depletion, irregular weather patterns. Take a pill. The burning of fossil fuels has poisoned the earth where it came from. Taking millions of years to form under incompletely understood circumstances, all it took was a brief period of a couple of centuries to squander and use it up. But not just use it up; but ruin the host that created it! Neither man nor the earth will ever be the same. My God, what have we done? – to quote my favorite Talking Heads song. To learn more about the problem and to become part of the solution; google for “Peak Oil”. That would be enough to keep you busy for the rest of your life! Prepare yourself for the inevitable. Prepare yourself to cope mentally and physically with living with less. Prepare for shortages, price increases, rioting, more resource wars, and unbelieving people sitting in their SUV driving 2 hours a day between their oversized home, work, and Walmart. It’s time to wake up, America Inspired by Matt Savinar

Establishing a personal breaking point
Everyone has a personal breaking point; “that’s all I can stand, I won’t take it any more!”. Knowing this limit before external circumstances arrive and ‘dump a problem on your head’ can greatly aid in your ability to pro-actively seek out and identify coping strategies and solutions. Let’s take an example. A person’s personal breaking point cannot usually be detected until the breaking point is very near. We must truly be walking ‘the razor’s edge’ in order to catch a glimpse over the side and peer down into the consequences. It’s a game of cat and mouse played with consequences; tagging a series of causes and their subsequent effects to test if the ice will break or not before one dares slither across. This example involves food. At what point does an overweight person finally make a firm and unwavering commitment to lose the fat and become a healthier person capable of sustaining and increasing both physical and mental energy for a prolonged period (say… a lifetime)? Certain side-effect benefits in the minds of some are inadvertently used as prime directives in obtaining their goal (the right thing for the wrong reason). A dieter may say that they’re dieting to save money on clothes, food, or to ‘be like the rest of the myopic beautiful people’ who haven’t realised that true beauty is on the inside. All of this is fine and good; but in order to leave a legacy of any merit, to be a role model for others, and to support a collective mindset of
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survival of the fittest in an environment of decreasing natural resources – that person should have integrity of value; the right action for the right reason. THE MEDICINE MAY TASTE BITTER, BUT IT GETS THE JOB DONE Certain friends of mine, Patricia Bragg and the Bragg Healthy lifestyle* advocate a life-changing regime of permanent healthy eating to achieve superior health, longevity and super powers of mind, body, and spirit. While the plan is all spelled out and easy to understand; and the results documented in countless cases; it typically is followed by only the most resolutely determined practitioners. As it involves a change of habits and getting past commonly popular misconceptions (such as: fasting is a starvation diet and not healthy), the lifestyle is a hard sell in a world of inexpensive, conveniently prepared foods that are chemically treated and over-processed, which do little more than satisfy cravings for sugar and ends up poisoning the body with toxins. Since most people satisfy short-term goals in relation to being the shortest distance between two points, only a person who has experienced the near-fatal consequences of a lifetime diet of processed and chemically treated food is likely to reach any type of ‘food breaking point’, which usually ranks quite low in personal priority. Why bother taking any extra effort to eat ‘right’, they say. Now take a scenario in which global economics, genetic tampering of organic lifeforms, and increased transportation costs have combined to make the food you eat (i) scarce (ii) unhealthy – causing allergies, impotence, and disease, (iii) extremely expensive; let’s say about 45% of your family’s budget. THE ALTERNATIVE If there were a low-cost alternative that were safe, affordable, and enabled a person (you) to have increased life expectancy, diminished or cured common ailments as headaches, joint pain, and lethargy – and supported the original ecosystem established by Mother Nature over millions of years; would you take it? What if this new way of food consumption also supported communal farming, non-dependency of imports from third-party nations (possibly hostile), ownership of basic commodities, and environmental friendliness. Would you take it? How many Americans are extreme candidates for such a program? Obesity in proliferating in the United States: 3.8 million people are over 300 pounds, over 400,000 people (mostly males) carry over 400 pounds and the average adult female weighs an unprecedented 163 pounds!* Why not take it now? What are you waiting for…. to reach your breaking point? (i) The Bragg Healthy Lifestyle. Source: bragg.com (ii) Obesity Statistics: Number of Obese Americans Increasing

Survival Tips: Learn some basic skill that you can trade with
This is a great exchange of ideas on what to expect and practical means of coping. Not for the feint of heart (pun intended). “Expect to see a continuance of inflation at around 15-20% per year on those things that really matter like food prices, fuel prices and health insurance. Expect to see housing prices drop to reflect actual value, not status value. Expect to see austentatious McMansions sit on the market waiting for buyers at nearly any price. Expect the utilities costs of heating and cooling large, wasteful huge carbon foot print houses and businesses to play a significant role in changing what people perceive as desireable. Expect to see solo occupant commuting become an increasingly less attractive option for many people in many areas. Thus suburbia and the commuter jobs that support it will likely become increasingly less attractive or economically viable, even with drastic home price reductions. Expect precious metals such as gold to be vastly overrated in their ability to weather a true economic downturn. Expect to see food prices transportation and labor costs. more accurately reflect

Expect small scale local organic farming to once again become a desireable profession. Expect to see widespread cuts in jobs that are largely makebusy corporate type work. Expect to see palpable evidence that a country with no serious industrial capabilities cannot sustain itself as a “service economy”. Learn how to really get along with your neighbors in a manner that’s beneficial to everyone. (Do you even know your neighbors?) Learn to grow your own food, or at least a significant portion of it. Learn a trade skill that has true persistant need in any economy. Learn to make your own bread. Learn to can your own produce. Learn to raise chickens to supply your family with eggs and meat. Learn how to fix and maintain bicycles and motorbikes and scooters. Learn how to live without “services” to perform everything for you from fixing your bagel and coffee in the morning to fixing your method of transportation.

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Learn how to live on vastly less resources. Water, Electricity, Gas, Oil, etc. Learn how to do your own research, and then share what you learn with others.”

16. Dust off the bicycle in the garage and use it for short trips 17. Buy a scooter or Vespa for in-town travel 18. Pay off your debts 19. Get your money out of the stock market 20. Don’t buy what you can’t afford 21. Buy what you need, not what you want 22. Take up a hobby that pays 23. Simplify, simplify, simplify! 24. Stop competing with the Jones’ – cooperation will get you further 25. Learn to be more self-sufficient 26. Prepare an alternate way to heat your home More ideas: KNOW SOME MORE? PLEASE COMMENT

Austerity Measures for 2008
When the word ‘austerity‘ (wikipedia) is mentioned, people think back to the Great Depression and a temporary reduced standard of living brought on by economic consequences. They also think of Wartime Austerity; rationing, victory gardens, and saving rubber, nylon, etc. In 2008 the New Austerity (Time Magazine) basically means having a tighter budget due to recent increases in the price of gasoline and food. Middle class families are feeling it. Lean times are ahead, tighten your belt, the new minimalism, less is more – that kind of stuff is in store, for the long term. How long? Until the earth is healed. Until people stop squabbling over resources and learn to be more efficient and share. Until consumption balances supply, like back in the old days. How old? Before the industrial revolution; that’s how long it’s been since humankind truly lived in harmony with his surroundings. Not many people live like that these days, but there surely is a growing movement in this direction. Here are some ideas culled from various sources regarding possible austerity measures to help anyone cut costs, not only to save money today; but to safeguard the future of society and the balance of nature while she starts to heal from centuries of abuse. 1. Eliminate frills from your weekly grocery shopping 2. Shop at a budget supermarket and/or buy generic 3. Combine errands (no more driving to the 7-11 for a pack of cigarettes) 4. Vacation close to home or vacation at home. 5. Leave one car in the garage 6. Shop at the Salvation Army or local Goodwill Store 7. Eat out less often 8. Stop being a ‘good consumer’ (you don’t really need any more junk, do you?) 9. Buy local produce 10. Learn how to cook 11. Start a backyard garden 12. Borrow how-to books and novels from the library 13. Watch video of your choice (active) on the Internet instead of on the televsision (passive) 14. Don’t buy a new television set (especially a flat screen plasma home entertainment system) 15. Act as if your nation is in wartime; make do with what you have – mend and repair

An Open Letter to all Americans (Dec 27, 2008)
Dear Fellow Americans The mass media (talking heads on the television) would try to sugar-coat the depressing news they have to deliver night after night. They would also have us subscribe to the naive notion: “Obama will fix it.” This is very misleading. The media want to be able to say “The worst is over” / “The housing market is hitting bottom” / “Things will turn around soon”. You will hear these things every day in the newspaper and on television. However, there is a much bigger picture: the facts are out there, and some very smart analysts, and members of global think tanks are not afraid to tell it like it is. Basically (and realistically) these think-tanks are able to project very reliable trends (in black & white). They will tell (sometimes for a fee) what can be expected so that people will have a chance to plan ahead and not be caught unaware, or make poor life choices (in employment, major purchases, investments, or choice of community). The popular myth that the mass media is trying to push now (as is the government) is that more stimulus packages (bailouts) are the solution. They are not. Basic economics clearly states that one cannot borrow forever and claim that to be profit. Anyways, whoever is getting the bailout money (and the U.S. Government is not disclosing this information) – is not using it as intended. The banks who get it are not lending it out to customers. You can plan for a US default on their loans, and a very likely devaluation of the dollar likely in summer 2009. This would be followed by the issuance of a new monetary system in the USA, to be called the Amero. It’s already being readied: http://english.pravda.ru/world/ americas/02-12-2008/106779-amero-0
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Read your Wall Street Journal & New York Times. They won’t sugar-coat the bad news. Here is one stand-up example I can pass on to you so that you and your family and friends can be prepared (for the worse). If it never gets as bad as they claim, no harm done – right? Better over-prepared (at least in mindset, knowing mentally what to anticipate) than underprepared. Here is the important link: The bottom line, from my understanding – is not to expect recovery (growth) for between 3 and 10 years. A lot may happen in between as well (social rioting, more joblessness, currency failure, army activity in the homeland, energy shortages, etc.). Just keep your eyes open. Cheers and not cheers

instead of replacing – this will hit those businesses and even entire suburban shopping malls which represent the iconic American Dream. It also hits automakers and multinational corporations. Technology is also going to take a hit. Those gratifying devices and electronic playthings will fall by the wayside when putting food in your mouth and getting to work become the order of the day. Development of essential technology should be focused on solving the enormous energy and environmental catastrophes that threaten extinction of life on earth (including humans). Barack Obama: “The engine of economic growth for the past 20 years is not going to be there for the next 20. That was consumer spending. Basically, we turbocharged this economy based on cheap credit.” But the days of easy credit are over, Obama said, “because there is too much deleveraging taking place, too much debt.” A new economic turbocharger is going to have to be found, and “there is no better potential driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy … That’s going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office.” (source) EMBRACING SUSTAINABILITY, LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS The name of the new game in town will be sustainable development. Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future. (Wikipedia) It implies controlled and limited growth, and even no growth at all. An analogy would be the average Joe in the USA who lives paycheck to paycheck, who cannot and does not have any money to invest, and who feeds his appetite for consumerism on credit. Average Joe the Baby Boomer has been fooled into thinking that the equity in his home during the housing boom added to his net worth, but now guess what? The market giveth and the market taketh away. And it has taken away his rainy day money and retirement funds with the severe losses suffered by 401K plans, once again courtesy of recent Wall St. action. LOCALIZED COMMUNITIES WILL BE THE KEY TO SURVIVAL No more credit. No more equity. Living hand to mouth and simply getting through the month when the cash (if there is any) runs out will become the norm. And it will be done on a localized system of bartering and ‘doing favors’. America will survive, but there will be many changes. For one, the people must learn to co-exist and cooperate with their neighbors and value the various skills that are represented in their community. The government does not have the resources to prop up every person, business, bank, insurance company, hospital, auto dealership, school, town, police force, etc. as well as maintaining the complex set of public utilities such as
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When the Grid Fails – Zero Growth
by Ted Ollikkala Sunday, 26 October 2008 THE END OF STOCKS, CASH, AND CREDIT What will happen when the recession firmly kicks in, and businesses that cannot expand their growth and/or make increasing long-term profits see their stock worthless (stock has no intrinsic value anyways, it’s just a piece of paper) as there will be no investors willing to fund a company showing no promise of a return on their capital. The stock market is indeed doing just that; ‘cleaning house’ in the NYSE slide that precipitated the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, enactedon 3 October 2008. Do we realize that it will be pointless in the future to buy stocks or speculate in all but a few companies that provide nationally or internationally essential commodities? CLEANING HOUSE / CLEARING THE WAY FOR A NEW ECONOMIC MODEL Many businesses (including banks), due to greed, overextension, risky credit or unsound business practice are ceasing to exist. Many consumer businesses, including the neighborhood Hallmark Store, Cake Shop, and Baby Boutique are also folding but for different reasons, that is by virtue that they were founded on a principle of providing non-essential services and/or products which were easily overlooked in times of prosperity. Consumers with expendable income used to treat themselves regularly to items that were intended to make life more convenient, or more sophisticated, or just to keep up with technology (planned obsolescence). Trading in your car for the latest model every several years was one such mentality. The same goes with Blackberries, High Definition Television, and replacing VHS with DVD. GET READY FOR A PARADIGM CHANGE When cash is tight, salaries are cut, employees are laid off, and consumers are forced into taking austerity measures, such as being frugal in their purchases, repairing and recycling

December 18th, 2009

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electricity, water, sewage, and rubbish removal. There’s also the transportation infrastructure to worry about; road and bridge repair. When food cannot be delivered outside of a several hundred mile radius for whatever reason; unavailability of fuel (gasoline), non-acceptance of letters of credit which guarantee delivery of goods, or non-operation of food companies – it will be the farmer’s markets that sustain the vast majority of Americans. Smart towns should allocate public land for public vegetable gardens and support local economies and convenient bartering of services. DOWNSIZING All of our lives we have been taught that infinite upsizing will make us happy and satiate our desires. Now it’s time to go back to the frugal virtues learned from the Great Depression of 1929 and the austerity measures of World War II for one reason and one reason only. Do not blame the economy, do not blame energy prices; they are mere symptoms of a raging disease, the systematic and controlled rape of our planet. The one reason is overpopulation; the earth is not big enough to sustain 6.7 billion people who live in segregated socio-political countries. Should worse comes to worse and humanity is unable to band together and cooperate it will be too late when the earth cleans its house.

• health and disease immunity • social security payments • access to clean water in America • price of basic commodities • racial harmony • religious tolerance • class structure (rich vs. poor gap) • and more… We need to familiarize ourselves with the positive feedback loops that have kept these systems stable up to this point in time, calculate the likely ‘triggering circumstances’ that will eventually throw each system into a degenerative cycle, and identify coping mechanisms and logical, effective, and permanent (not temporary fixes, patches) solutions even in the face of being deemed unpopular or likely to be widely resisted. Once the urgency of the overall situation (the decline of the American and Global way of life) is firmly grasped and no longer in denial, the point of critical mass to overcome (i) hesitancy and (ii) the selfish behavior of individuals, family, community, and nations – will be achieved.

This is NOT about Global Warming
For you environmentalists (mentalists of the environment) who may be reading this blog, I have a few words of advice: Think out of the picture. Yes, global warming is part of the picture – but how about the rest? As we all know, the world is an intricate system of inter-related micro and macro-cosms. Thanks for continuing to plug away in your niche. Without your help in sending out the warnings and full-time efforts at influencing political leaders to mandate forced changes in energy consumption to reduce our individual carbon footprints, our job of warning the USA and the world about the coming decline of civilization would be much harder. OTHER SYSTEMS IN DECLINE A nudge over here in the environmental sector will cause ripples over there, and so on and so on. The chain reaction effect cannot be disputed. So what are these other ‘cosms’ and why should we be concerned? I am no expert in economics or politics (nor do I want to be), and I will rely on specialists in those fields for advice; but it is not necessary to be an expert to make sense of the overall picture and identify appropriate steps of preventive and corrective action. • banking • real estate • use and price of petroleum products • quality of food supplies

October 2008 Meltdown. What’s ahead – the next 5 years
Trickle down Economics What goes on in Washington, Wall Street, and behind closed doors in the Halls of Europe will be affecting the average American in just a few short weeks. Be prepared and do the needful, as they say in India! Are you grasping the scale of the October 2008 economic crisis? Once the damage takes its toll (the kitchen is still burning), most experts agree that it will take about 5 years for the economy to show stable signs of recovery. We’re in for some big waves in shallow water lined with sharp rocks. Lifestyle changes are in store for the following groups of people: hockey moms, Joe Six-Packs, Red Sox fans and small business owners (thanks Sarah Palin). Your life will be influenced by following ten factors: 1. Banks are not lending anymore and if they do, even people with good credit are not being approved for loans. 2. Expendable income (excess cash) will dry up for the average person. People will have to live within their own means, i.e. – without credit, paying cash for everything or bartering. Non-essentials and luxury goods will have no market; no one will buy them because they will be focused on managing the essentials (housing, food, heat, transportation). 3. The jobless rate is likely to go as high as 10% (currently it is 6%) 4. Thousands of non-essential businesses will declare bankruptcy and cease to exist.
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5. Even established businesses will be subject to money freeze-ups, unable to meet payroll and basic weekly/ monthly operating costs. Lack of cash to fund deliveries may cause shortages of essential commodities. In fact, the state governments of both California and Massachusetts are actually facing meltdown and requesting bailout money from the Federal Government. 6. Local or Federal government may step in with rationing / allocation measures to ensure fair distribution of food, gasoline, home heating oil, etc. 7. People will be forced to accept lower salaries / reduced work hours (same effect), or be under-employed (note: this does not mean unemployment) in industries that require unskilled laborers. In other words, people will have to accept whatever work is available in their local area. 8. Credit card companies are likely to slap on reduced credit limits to prevent further borrowing. 9. Housing prices will continue to decline until they reach prebubble levels (another 10-15% from what they are now). We’ve not seen the bottom yet. Foreclosures will increase as more mortgage holders will be responsible for making payments on a house that was valued at a rate 30% higher than current market values. 10. Fundamental shift of the American mindset; to accept hardship and mutual cooperation to get out of this mess. To do what it takes. The American Dream just got postponed, although everyone still seeks prosperity in the long run. References: Hard Lesson: Americans Tighten Wallets (11 Oct 2008 – ABC News) Crisis hits home as consumers curb their spending (6 Oct 2008 – New York Times) Mall Vacancies Grow as Retailers Pack Up Shop (6 Oct 2008 – The Wall Street Journal) Fed Orders Emergency Rate Cut of Half a Percent (8 Oct 2008 – Washington Post) America’s next nightmare: middle-class foreclosures (8 Oct 2008 – Financial Post) States’ plans face meltdown (10 Oct – The Associated Press) Ted Ollikkala Singapore

What a Way to Go: life at the end of empire
The independent film-makers are at it again. And they’re doing a bang-up job! Who? Sally Erickson and Tim Bennett.

This movie, ‘What a Way to Go: life at the end of empire’ should be seen in every high school classroom in the USA.

Community screenings are indeed being organized around the world as this unique two hour documentary hits hard and hits deep right where it counts; at the heartstrings of humanity. “What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire is not Just Another Eco-tastrophe Movie. It’s a personal, poetic, and challenging cultural analysis of the mess Western and rich capitalist societies are in.” source A middle class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American Lifestyle. source
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December 18th, 2009

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The documentary is in four parts: “Waking on the train“, “The train and the tracks“, “The locomotive power“, and “Walkabout“. So, in a well organized fashion, in just over two hours, the film thoroughly explores elements of our planetary predicament: how we got into it, how bad it is, and what our prospects are for recognizing our collective dilemma before it’s too late. One gets the clear sensation of needing to immediately save our planet for the approximate half of today’s living species that may still be around in a few decades. source: Culture Change Letter #159 – May 20, 2007 Contributed by Jan Lundberg [pdf]

websites dedicated to promoting the DVD and upcoming sequel, ‘Who Saved the Electric Car’. Sony Classic Movie site – includes stereo trailer, and lots of great interactive Flash tutorials

Who Killed the Electric Car – sonypictures documentary 2006

Paul: Who killed my electric car? (Special to CNN) Editor’s note: Alexandra Paul is an actress best known for her four years starring in the television series “Baywatch”. She has been driving electric vehicles since 1990 and is a founding member of Plug in America. Paul can be seen in the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?”. Do something. Own one

“It was among the fastest, most efficient production cars ever built. It ran on electricity, produced no emissions and catapulted American technology to the forefront of the automotive industry. The lucky few who drove it never wanted to give it up. So why did General Motors crush its fleet of EV1 electric vehicles in the Arizona desert?” Apple trailers This is shocking, and almost what you’d expect from our government being in cahoots with the auto and oil industries. To think that we could have had ten or twelve years of tried and true electric car technology starting in 1996. If this isn’t a cover-up, I don’t know what is! This documentary is about the birth and death of the electric car. As the two girls in the promo trailer exclaim; “I didn’t know about this – did you see it on tv?” Well, I for one didn’t know about it either – but luckily a fellow blogger recommended it. Released on the same weekend in 2006 as ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, this detective style documentary is especially relevant today, with gas prices at record highs. Today we should be able to resurrect the technology and popularity of a new type of hybrid electric car for a generation of green commuters and consumers. There are many excellent

Why would Ted Turner mention the word cannibalism?
Don’t listen to the bloggers. Don’t listen to OPEC. Or politicians – especially politicians! Listen to the big three: American billionaires Ted Turner, Richard Rainwater and Warren Buffet. These men sit on top of the world, and watch it with respect to their own interests. But what would these interests be? Once a man has accumulated such vast wealth and all of the material possessions that money could possibly buy – there are a couple of things that cannot be bought: 1. Good Health 2. Life Extension 3. A Clean Environment for your grandchildren So why have these men stuck out their necks, risking public ridicule; to speak out on issues of the future, a future beyond their reach – dealing with energy, overpopulation, food shortages, and global warming (they’re all related)… TED TURNER

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December 18th, 2009

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I think Ted Turner set forth the urgency best, although he shocked more than a few people, appearing in April 2008 on the Charlie Rose program (PBS) when he said: Rose: “What will happen if global warming is not addressed immediately?” Turner: “Not doing it will be catastrophic. We’ll be eight degrees hotter in ten, not ten but 30 or 40 years and basically none of the crops will grow. Most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals. Civilization will have broken down. The few people left will be living in a failed state — like Somalia or Sudan — and living conditions will be intolerable. The droughts will be so bad there’ll be no more corn grown. Not doing it is suicide. Just like dropping bombs on each other, nuclear weapons is suicide. We’ve got to stop doing the suicidal two things, which are hanging on to our nuclear weapons and after that we’ve got to stabilize the population. When I was born-” CHARLIE ROSE: “So what’s wrong with the population?” TURNER: “We’re too many people. That’s why we have global warming. We have global warming because too many people are using too much stuff. If there were less people, they’d be using less stuff.” source Note: At the end of the show, the host – Charlie Rose made the following comments about guest Ted Turner: Rose: “You’re a remarkable man..I enjoy your company. I think the life you’ve lived with passion, independence, a sense of great, great, and deep concern about the world we live in is remarkable.” What Turner said in reply was highlighted by Rose at the beginning of the hour: “I love this planet. It’s worth saving. I mean, it’s worth saving.You know, I know we’re the same people that did the Holocaust, but we also did the Mona Lisa and Beethoven`s Fifth Symphony. I mean, there is so much — this world — we can’t turn it into a cinder. We’ve got to protect it for ourselves and for our children. And it’s worth fighting for. And that’s all I’m doing, is trying to fight to help save humanity.” Turner even admitted quite candidly: “It`s been a long time since anybody caught me saying something stupid.” source RICHARD RAINWATER Another prominent billionaire, Richard Rainwater (wikipedia), in an open letter to Texas newspapers about Peak Oil: Why Aren’t You Listening? (April 2006) declared: “In my opinion, the US media have two choices regarding the Peak Oil issue. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, you can now have either your honor or the status quo. If you do nothing regarding Peak Oil, you will soon have neither the status quo nor your honor.” source

To appease people who may have been put-off by his sudden urgency, Mr. Rainwater even added a ‘no-kooks clause’: And he cautions: “It’s not raving. I promise I am not a kook.” source WARREN BUFFET Mr. Buffet is fairly optimistic about the state of affairs, and to that effect he has begun buying up energy companies and railroads, which in the future will be critical in moving food and other essential commodities. “Whatever that (oil) peak is, whether 5 or 10 yrs, the world will adjust, and we will think about it. Adjustments will cause demand to taper off. I don’t know how much oil is there, but there are lots of barrels of oil in place. We never recover total potential. We may have better engineering recovery in future. It is nothing like an on and off switch. You may still have enormous political considerations to get access to avail oil since it so important. There is nothing you can do over short period of time to wean world off oil.” source He was, however – called both ‘crazy’ and ‘a good guy‘ (by no less than Diane Sawyer) in November 2007 when he testified before the Senate Finance Committee on taxes. In spite of this, I suggest you heed the words and actions of these influential men because (i) they are not political controlled, (ii) they are highly likely to know something we don’t, (iii) they have extraordinary visionary powers and finally; I sincerely believe (iv) they’re trying to help the rest of us. Your all crazy if you think peak oil is not real, or that it can be mitigated in any way. Look at the mayham that just a short term oil shock can bring, look what it does to prices, the economy. Now imagine that, never ending……..never……… and every day it got worse, and worse, and worse. How long before things break down enough to make the LA riots everywhere……..all the time……it’s over baby…….and there won’t really be much die off……..it will be more like kill off. The world of Mad Max awaits………but wait………it gets worse…… all those bikes and cars and trucks they still had…..they will all wear out………break down…..no more parts……..nobody will be making anything……a matter of time before everything is either broken……..or unable to be used through lack of fuel or power. It may take 500 years……..but mankind will cease to exist……..thats the true transition……..a transition from a human dominated planet………..to a no human planet

The End is coming… but when?
Everyone on the planet knows that the oil will not last forever. The current American way of life will not last forever either. What prevents any urgency about finding alternative coping mechanisms or making preparations for the life adjustments that will come about by ‘chain reaction’ due to the most volatile commodity in the history of industrialized society (first it was wood, then coal, now oil) is the burning question: WHEN?
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December 18th, 2009

Published by: Ted Ollikkala

Best estimates these days about a shift in the quality of living point to serious change or possible collapse of the system within our lifetime. Older folks, the so-called baby boomers; now in their 50s will see these manifest within the current generation. Young adults brought up in the ‘me generation’ will live through more of it, and will suffer idealogically nearly as much as the baby boomers. Psychological suffering will be extremely traumatic for both groups of these people in American society because a total way of life, everything that these people in the USA were brought up believing was true; unending growth and unlimited profits for those with determined drive – will be taken away by external circumstances. The American Dream will live on but the means with which to accomplish it will be totally redefined- and not for the better. Like a dam which begins leaking, the first impulse is to patch the cracks and simply plug it. It is assumed that whomever built the dam, even if it was engineered by people from the previous generation, knew what they were doing. Dams are built to last forever, right? And so as the logic goes, with proper maintenance, they will. So when the industrial revolution in the 1700s transformed all societies of the world; and the efficiency of that new system was proven over and over as initiating a progressive and enduring cycle of scientific breakthroughs and economic benefits – no one questioned the foundation upon which it was built. That foundation required the productive harnessing of the earth’s resources to provide power for the engines that would outperform and replace inefficient human labor. In the short span of 300 or so years, like a dam that was built on unstable ground or on an undiscovered earthquake fault, this system of global industrialization has started showing signs of severe damage that cannot be permanently patched. Early small-scale industrialization ran on water power, and the burning of wood. As the scope of industry expanded, larger amounts of power were required and those original resources became limited or insufficient. Enter coal and oil. Coal burning furnaces, soot, and Mary Poppins’ chimneys of smoggy London are a thing of the past. Coal had its problems and still does. But once commercially available refined petroleum products such as gasoline, oil, and diesel fuel, etc. became plentiful and more importantly, cheap; a second generation of machines took root. The new machines were not efficient, mind you – but they were affordable and could be mass produced. Once every house had electricity, consumer items of convenience such as refrigerators, gas powered stoves, washing machines, lawn mowers, and personal automobiles proliferated. Time era is now late depression through WWII. Further technological innovations such as radio, television, commercial aviation and calculating computers were just being invented. The USA produced much of its own oil and the oceans were explored to discover new sources to ensure that the dream would remain alive for a long, long time. Experts both inside and outside of the oil industry have been telling us for years that eventually the point would be reached at which oil and petroleum products are consumed faster than

they are discovered and produced. And as demand outstrips supply, of course prices will rise. Consumers at first are able to absorb this basic increase (they worry foremost about filling the tank of their automobile and pumping home heating oil into their furnaces at home), but as the ripple effects induce increases in the cost of commodities both directly and indirectly related to oil dependency; their food prices will be affected as well. Oil does not even need to run out completely. There can still be plenty of oil in the ground, but there would be a permanent energy crisis if that oil cannot be pumped out of the ground fast enough or it ends up costing more than a gallon of gasoline to produce a gallon of gasoline. THE EYE OF THE STORM One might ask where is the safest place to be when prices spiral out of reach and international war (World War 3) breaks out for control over the remaining stockpiles and production facilities of both food and oil? Two groups who will always have access to energy sources, military power, and have leverage enough to barter / trade when the US dollar is worthless are the very sources of the undermining problems themselves! They are (i) the oil cartel membership and (ii) first world governments and their military forces. These two groups will provide for their soldiers and production/transportation/research needs as if the world depended on it. The world will not get a ‘fair shake’, especially third world countries who remain at the mercy of the mighty powers that be, but if you want as much security as is likely to be provided in a worst-case collapse of human civilization; then be in the employ of government or the oil industry. Those who adopt survivalist tactics and set up self-sufficient homes or communities outside of society, while not dependent on the global economy or demand driven pricing of basic commodities would still be at the mercy of the armies of the world, who may resort at some point to confiscating land, gold, food; or extracting tariffs or taxes based on these commodities rather than cash. In a sense, this situtation reverts back to the feudal system.

A Guide to Disaster Planning
MuseLetter #192 / April 2008 by Richard Heinberg Resilient Communities: A Guide to Disaster Management Resilience: The ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune; buoyancy; the ability to absorb shocks. The following is a proposal to help make communities better able to respond to the coming economic shocks from resource depletion, beginning with Peak Oil, and perhaps also to shocks from other causes (such as the ongoing subprime mortgage and credit collapse). In searching for a name for the strategy, I have settled on the phrase “Resilient Communities,” which comes with considerable baggage—useful baggage in this instance. Once I have described and discussed the proposal, I will offer some background materials regarding the terms resilience and resilient communities, mentioning some other
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December 18th, 2009

Published by: Ted Ollikkala

projects that have used the same title or that pursue similar goals. Making existing petroleum-reliant communities truly sustainable is a huge task. Virtually every system must be redesigned—from transport to food, sanitation, health care, and manufacturing. Some fine efforts are under way in towns such as Kinsale, Ireland; Totnes, England; Portland, Oregon; and several cities in northern California to catalog the needed changes and initiate the transformative process. The Powerdown Project, Energy Descent Action Plans, and local Climate Protection initiatives are all important efforts in this direction. However, even in places that began such work two or three years ago, actual oil dependence remains largely unaffected. The transition that is required will take many years, huge shifts in both private and public investment, and fundamental changes in public policy at higher levels of government in order to succeed. Do we have enough time? Will the investment capital be available? read the entire article

and sustainable groups can use. People won’t only dismantle infrastructure out of altruism or because getting rid of industrial installations and detoxifying those sites will benefit future generations (although that is the case and many people will do it for those reasons). People will do it also because it will make immediate personal and economic sense. (Even now, “everybody’s doing it”.)

I’ve Seen Sunny Days that I thought would Never End
AN INNOCENT CHILD OF THE SIXTIES As James Taylor sings in ‘Fire and Rain’; things don’t always turn out as expected. When I was growing up as a child of the 60’s and early 70s I had only the slightest inkling of world events. Someone was always starving somewhere, I knew there was a war in Vietnam, and that man had landed on the moon; but until 1973 no mention had ever been made of gasoline shortages.

An Endless Supply of Future Resources
WHEN THE INFRASTRUCTURE DOESN’T FUNCTION ANY MORE; SIMPLY DISMANTLE AND RE-USE IT Came across an unusual point of view in my Peak Oil survival research; actually if you really think about it – it makes a lot of sense (from In the Wake) “I like the idea of people dismantling centralized infrastructure to build useful tools for their own communities. A lot of post-apocalyptic genre movies show old factories and stores and gas stations abandoned and left standing to rust. But that’s not going to happen, because there is too much useful stuff in them!” – Aric McBay If and when the crash occurs and energy is no longer available (permanently) to power society’s infrastructure; we must learn how to live ‘in the dark’; without power and lights, probably running water, etc. We must also learn how to live among the relics that once supplied convenience and comfort for our daily lives, most of which we took for granted and never gave a second thought. The relics will get “in the way”; taking up valuable space. Some uses will be obvious (shelter, scavengeable replacement parts) but others will require some knowledge, skill, and ingenuity to make practical uses of these ‘mountains of metal’ or ‘ribbons of asphalt’. Dedicated and specialized, several Post-Oil groups are in the process of compiling survival information for those future days. It is very overwhelming how much there is to learn, and no one person can learn it all. The applications hardly seem relevant; the scenarios don’t even exist! For example; how to melt aluminum and reshape it into other, useable items. I will leave you with a final thought from Aric McBay : Similarly, when a large, complex society breaks down I expect that some people will specialize in breaking down the infrastructure into smaller parts that small

photo source: Gondwana Man – A New Zealander’s journey to a sustainable future The lore of the open road; including annual ‘See America’ family excursions and the ‘We’ve got us a Convoy’ trucker/ CB radio craze left a very large imprint on my perception of freedom. To many a teenager in those days A SET OF WHEELS = FREEDOM. The magic age was 16 and a half in Massachusetts to get a driver’s license permit. Life was good. At the age of 18, I had missed the draft – it had been made voluntary. My summer job, would you believe; was working at an outdoor drive-in movie theater. Sex, Cars and Rock n Roll served up from the concession stand every night until 1am. FREEDOM ON TWO WHEELS My first motorized wheels were those on a yellow Batavus moped. I moved up to a Yamaha dual-drive on/off road motorbike, then a Kawasaki 400cc street bike. That one got me all the way to the laid back lifestyle of California. Throughout college I had always been able to borrow the family wheels, sometimes the station wagon, sometimes the Datsun hatchback. But I always had wheels. While I was earning ‘big money’ from my first job as an engineer and had some to burn; I actually had two vehicles – a 4WD Jeep Cherokee and a 1972 VW bug. I would drive them

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alternately and park one of them in the yard of my roomates’ house. Life was good. VOLUNTARY DOWNSIZING All good things come to an end; and based upon a purely personal decision I decided to downsize my life. It was time to see what was hiding in the other neck of the woods. I left my cosy engineering company (they begged me not to) and retrained myself for another career in the humanities; teaching. I ditched the Jeep, kept the classic bug – and restored it. I worked out an arrangement to live rent free with a couple by taking care of their children. Then I retired for a year at the age of 34. I took up organic gardening and macrobiotics; and went camping a lot. No wife, no girlfriend – part owner of a house, living in it and transforming our modest acre in the country into a private Victory Garden. The end of the world was not in sight, and there was no war (just skirmishes and occupations). Life was good. I never bought much, clothes a couple times a year from thrift shops, and daily food and gas was about it. OUTSIZING My natural curiosity expanded to include the lives of others in the Global Garden. Wanderlust took me to Southeast Asia, leaving personal transportation behind for the final time in 1997. In the decade since; a global mindset has lifted the fog of conditioned bias from my homeland and I think that I’m starting to get the big picture: trying to support, feed, and harmonize 6,664,629,754 people on this planet.

I feel that it is my duty to inform and educate others in time, so that they can make adjustments in their lifestyle. We will need a well-informed and collectively cool (calm) body of innovators to lead the general population to the next phase; living in a post-oil society. My favourite word (its so musical) is ‘esperanza’. That’s Spanish for ‘hope’. I have shared my personal story in this hope; of inspiring others that adopting voluntary change is imperative to cope with the Sunny Days of the future. Don’t wait to be pushed; take it upon yourselves! Ted Ollikkala Singapore

How the People will react
When confronted with possible evidence that the quality of life in the USA is undergoing irreversable degradation leading to personal hardship, extreme inconvenience, and a forced change in lifestyle, such as facts, figures, and competently analyzed statistics; there are several ways in which people will tend to react. These reactions are: • Denial • Greed • Hatred / Blame / Ridicule • Tolerance • Paranoia • Indifference • Jealousy • Escapists / Quitters / Suicide • Hoarders • Complainers • Sentimentalists • Optimists • Rationalists • Religious fervor A deep schism will polarize Amercian society. Optimists may be severely impeded in their ability to problem solve and bring about corrective and preventative measures by the actions of people unwilling to contribute to the common good. MENTALITY THAT GOES AGAINST SOCIETY People who have a ‘me-first’ mentality may not able to sacrifice/share their time, energy, compassion and material goods including personal property (land, housing) for the sake of a larger group. At some point society may break down into localized communities if and when central government is unable to function efficiently. In agriculturally sustainable areas people
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http://www.xist.org/default1.aspx Trying to find enough energy to run all of the factories, ship all of the goods, and take those people around town 365 days a year for the rest of their lives. And now I hear that it won’t be as easy to continue producing our civilization’s main source of energy. It will never be as cheap as it used to be, but there will still be plenty. It just costs more to get it out of the ground. THE COMING OIL CRASH It’s the long term prospects that are truly horrendous. Take away that energy too quickly and everything that runs on it, whether directly or indirectly will collapse. Take it away gradually and human ingenuity is likely to cope better, but not without tremendous upheaval and strife. Remember how vehement Americans get when you take away their God given rights; the right to drive a car, the right to fill up their tank at whim, the right to live an hour away from work, etc. SOUNDING THE CALL I am preparing myself to downsize yet once again, preparing for hard times ahead. Because I am a teacher by profession,

December 18th, 2009

Published by: Ted Ollikkala

will band around farming communities from which they will derive foodstuffs. There would be an exodus away from cities where transportation and the sheer quantity of humans requiring basic necessities is too dense to support any type of trade infrastructure. In the absense of official policy; without government regulations being enforced, and lack of an organized police presence – safe conduct becomes the responsibility of the individual citizen. Human rights violations would, unfortunately equalize the balance between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ accomplished through loss of life and abuse. In such a chaotic state of affairs many communities will fail; focusing the rigors of daily existance on hand-to-mouth survival. It would be difficult under these circumstances to organize any type of cohesive leadership that would act responsibly. THE REAL NAME OF THE GAME Having painted such a scenario; can we not see immediately that the name of the game is to create a majority of optimists? Some see the approaching decline of civilization as a prolonged period of suffering, while others, resigned to the fact that it won’t go away – have opted for hope, optimism, rising up to the challenge, banding together to create a new future, and emerging eventually to a re-birth of humanity. One might say that the deck of cards is ‘about to be shuffled’.

What to do when the rioting starts
It doesn’t take much to start a riot. Once the trigger point is reached, watch out. In an age where access to common resources is likely to be limited and availability scarce or non-existant; we need some guidelines to live by. Man’s worst enemy is not himself; it’s his neighbor! A riot, by the way – is defined as follows: 1. A wild or turbulent disturbance created by a large number of people. 2. Law. A violent disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled for a common purpose. 3. An unrestrained outbreak, as of laughter or passions. Americans are more familiar with mini-scale riots; bar brawls, road rage, jealous spouse; but we actually have very limited experience with the real thing. Rioting requires a consensus that something is horribly wrong or deemed to be a personal injustice and demands immediate, violent action to resolve. It is part of the fight or flight syndrome; in which excess adrenaline is manifest by the human body. PACIFIST ALTERNATIVES TO RIOTING 1. When people are rioting about food; you’re in the backyard garden harvesting 2. When angry people in their cars are queued up for blocks waiting to fill their tank or for the gas station to open; you’re riding past on a bicycle. 3. When heartbroken people are forced out of their homes; you take them into yours and build community sharing and pool resources. 4. If you have what people are serious wanting (food, money, transportation, basic neccessities, clothes) you offer to provide in exchange for their goods or services (bartering) 5. If ignorant people put up a fuss; train them in the proper manner. 6. Value the intellectual as much as the laborer; society needs both to survive. 7. Possession of money has nothing to do with character. 8. Don’t abandon the elderly; you need their life experience and wisdom 9. If people can’t get what they need; help them improvise an alternative.

Paul Thompson – The Twilight of the Modern World [pdf]
“When considering what to do about the upcoming collapse of modern society, we have to be aware of what will happen. When speculating on the future, we can envisage four stages which can be defined by the three factors of energy source, interdependence and security.”

download PDF (12 pages)

10. If an idea works for you; maybe it will work for others. Share and educate. HOARDING 1. It’s OK to hoard. This makes you a ‘one-stop service center’ for that particular commodity. As long as you treat the commodity as a central supply for your particular community you’re performing a valuable service. Some people will hoard
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metal scraps (for reshaping into other useful items); while some will collect and distribute non-perishable foodstuffs (canned, preserved goods). 2. Transportation will be worth its weight in gold. Keep the lines open with proper security, maintenance. Collect a fleet of efficient vehicles for distribution of essential supplies. This includes trains, pickup trucks, and bicycles. DEBTS 1. Labor bondage / indemnity / work camps will be used by creditors against default on their loans. It’s a heck of a lot more useful form of ‘punishment’ than putting people in prison! The people need not suffer in their bondage; they will gratiously accept this alternative of doing ’community service’. UNEMPLOYMENT 1. No one need be unemployed. There will be a drastic labor shortage as most labor-saving, automatic, and manufacturing machines will be unable to operate or in disrepair during a prolonged energy crisis, fuel shortage. 2. Apprenticeship will re-establish itself as a better hands-on method than formal education as specialised skills are always in demand (blacksmithing, repair of hand-tools, farming, food processing and preservation, etc). Moreover, it’s localised and requires no central institution; operating autonomously and independently. PLEASE ADD TO THIS LIST.

leader Mikhail Gorbachev, physicist Stephen Hawking, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, and journalist Paul Hawken, the film documents the grave problems facing the planet’s life systems. YouTube – The 11th Hour Trailer Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans’ habitats are all addressed. The film’s premise is that the future of humanity is in jeopardy. The film offers hope and potential solutions to these problems by calling for restorative action by the reshaping and rethinking of global human activity through technology, social responsibility and conservation. Scientists and environmental advocates such as David Orr, David Suzuki, and Gloria Flora paint a portrait for a radically new and different future in which it is not humanity’s intent to dominate the planet’s life systems, but to mimic and coexist with them. Wikipedia The movie has spawned an army of action oriented organizations. The point is, if you want to get involved – the movement is spreading. For example, check out The 11th Hour Action Community: “The 11th Hour Action Community helps individuals and communities connect with each other to help find solutions that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, increase the use of renewable energy, and slow down consumption of natural resources.” More than that; this is a go-all-out effort – targeting the hip social networking sites: Basically, it boils down to this: RE-EDUCATE THE PEOPLE OF THE PLANET IN THE BASIC LIFE-NATURE-CYCLE THAT GOT US HERE (*BEFORE WE GOT NUMBED BY INSATIABLE CONSUMERISM) Check it out.

11th Hour Action; the movie, the community, free screenings
First of all; you need to know about the full-feature film documentary, “The 11th Hour“ (what a beautiful website!) released at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2007, and now available on DVD in the USA.

Suicidal thought of the day: They’ve just discovered more oil – now I can relax!
How many times have we heard this one? It seems that every time someone tries to publish an optimistic article either denouncing peak oil or predicting that prices ‘must’ go down, the inevitable arguments begin in the comment section. In a world where peak oil theory is gaining respected acceptance at all levels (including government), such an article is likely to get ’shot down’ pretty quickly. The commenters leave no doubt that dissent in the ranks cannot and will not be tolerated. Why? Because we’re all in this global oil boat together. We all drive cars, we all depend on oil-fueled transportation to deliver our consummables. And we heat our homes with oil. All egos aside; and all numbers aside also please; can we get down to the real business at hand? A PEAK OILERS BEST FRIEND
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Much wider in scope than Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, this one takes on all of the demons that humanity has created and will convince you that they’re about to tear us asunder. In other words, destroy humanity itself. Coming from such luminaries, this documentary is not to be taken lightly: With contributions from over 50 of the world’s most prominent thinkers and activists, including former Soviet

December 18th, 2009

Published by: Ted Ollikkala

People who’s hobby it is to comment on articles and blog postings like to use their secret weapons to swiftly discredit the posters and win arguments. Being widely read, I come across the same numbers time and time again. Here’s an example: “Consider these facts: According to Matthew R. Simmons, author of “Twilight in the Desert — The Risk of Peak Oil,” and one of the testifiers before our Energy Committee, oil accounts for 95 percent of our transportation energy and is increasingly being used to make consumer goods. In 1995, the world demanded 70 million barrels per day (mbd), and today we demand 88 mbd. World crude production was at about 69 mbd in 2003, 74 mbd in 2005, and is currently at about 73 mbd.” source Facts are facts, no matter the source – but some of the claims made by peak oil denouncers, such as: “That brings us to speculation. Evans observes that since September 2003, the total number of open crude oil futures and options contracts rose by 364 percent. Meanwhile the global demand for petroleum rose by just 8.2 percent. “So the futures and options market has become more important than the physical supplies in driving the price,” concludes Evans. ‘We are seeing investment flows into the oil market that don’t have anything to do with the demand and supply of oil.’” source While seemingly presenting ‘facts’, such people are merely trying to link some numbers from one side of the equation to something not neccessarily related. The logic is not sound. The cause – effect relationship is not substantiated. POINTLESS COMMENTS There are other types of pointless comments, such as the ones offering unsubstantiated evidence and/or premature assumptions: “With untapped resources in ANWR and North Dakota, I think the prediction of the “end of oil” is a bit premature.” source It gets better (nerdspeak): “Peak oil Predictions have been around for 150 years, they have proven wrong time and time again.” source Hold it, people. All of this is besides the point… the game is up! SHORT TERM HAPPINESS IS FOR NERDS Enough of this endless twittering – the issue at hand is this: Oil prices are currently higher than they’ve ever been. Who knows where the price of oil will go in the future? That’s uncertain. But short-term fluctuations are not the ‘big picture’. The mentality of people who focus on these two factors really hurts everyone: 1. I want prices to go down and stay down 2. I want more oil to be discovered so I can sleep well at night and continue my gas-hogging lifestyle

Numbers aside (you can throw around all the numbers you like now; have a nice ‘food fight’) and speculation aside also; WHAT ARE YOU PERSONALLY DOING TO ALLEVIATE DEPENDENCE ON OIL? All talk and no action is still ‘no action’. Action without talk is foolishness. The purpose of talk is to gain consensus on the scope of the problem, agree on baselines, and formulate a plan accordingly. There will always be peak-oil deniers; fate will take care of them – or as Matt Savinar conveniently states in http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/ ‘Deal With Reality Or Reality Will Deal With You’ – Matt Savinar I plead with energy conscious bloggers and authors to put aside our differences and agree to work together. Dissent in the ranks cannot be tolerated; leave doubters to their fate. Work with people who want to survive and who want civilization to survive. GREEN CLUB ORGANIZATIONS One further note: no need to clean up the earth. The earth has the combined wisdom of the ages and knows what to do. All we need to do is remove the source of her poisoning, one step at a time. Green people need to become ‘energy people’. Wildlife people need to become ‘energy people’. Food people need to become ‘energy people’ because energy lies at the root of mankind’s current problems. Agree? Time to take action!

Americans gear down for $6/ gallon gasoline
It’s finally sinking in; Americans have begun implementing fuel conserving measures. Although economically inspired, as opposed to coming from a sense of compassion about dwindling resources, all-in-all this is a good thing for the planet, and for an American civilization that is totally dependent on cheap oil. THE WAKE UP CALL IS $4 / GALLON With a majority of Americans believing that high fuel prices are here to stay, and expecting them to go even higher (54% say they expect gas prices to reach $6 a gallon in the next five years) – they are very quickly changing their driving habits. It’s been a tough road to get the energy conservation ball rolling, previous nudges (Katrina, 911, Invasion of Iraq) did little more than rouse the people’s curiosity. Americans must wake up and take measures such as a personal energy policy, to save and stretch and reuse these unrenewable energy sources, which are slowly running out in the face of unrelentless global demand. IN THE NEWS These days increasing media coverage is given to this very important topic: How is America to wean itself from oil driven transportation (both personal and delivery of commodities)? Peak Oil expert Matthew Simmons has even gone so far to say that “Oil firms are in liquidation“. It’s actually a new term for
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what he and others have been saying all along; it’s all downhill (production) from here. The only thing going up is prices. AN ENERGY OPPORTUNITY Every cloud has its silver lining, and so – we hope; will the energy cloud. A ‘just-in-time’ transition to more efficient living arrangements, more energy efficient forms of transportation, and good old-fashioned neighborly sharing should get us through the oil doldrums in good fashion… unless something like a global economic meltdown, severe depression (yes, as bad as the 1930’s) and/or an oil war breaks out. But be wary; even in fair weather all may not be so rosy. When you listen to Warren Buffet, you’ve got to be on edge when he says: ” So I think we’ve got to do everything we can in alternative areas, but I don’t–I do not see that as a cure-all at all. ” (full transcript) Nobody seems to know yet how ‘inconvenient’ the energy shortage will get, or which are the best alternatives to adopt. All do agree however, that change takes time, new technology needs an infrastructure to plug into, and that oil consumption must be cut or at least downsized to match current production levels. DOWNSIZING IS GOOD Let’s do what we can in our own way, and when we find something that works, educate others and bankroll our combined mass energy savings to multiply efficiency. We will teach by example. Downsizing, mininizing, economizing will become the next trend. After that, it will be ‘localizing’, minifarming, and self-sufficient communities. It’s a long road ahead, and will go on for several generations until the planet is stabilized. That is, the planet is once again brought into equilibrium with the demands of mankind.

Now consider some alternatives (the good news): 1. The cost of public transportation per year is substantially cheaper than the cost of owning a vehicle 2. Public transportation is heavily subsidized (almost free) by the SUV and gasoline surcharges. 3. The availability of high speed, modern public transportation is expanded to connect every city in the USA. 4. A new form of ‘clean/green’ personal transport is introduced. While extremely fuel efficient and nonpolluting, it has limited capacity and speed. However, at slower speeds it is safer than most current cars. Do you consider that most Americans would consider the ‘good news’ to be a fair compromise in the attempt to wean them off of a craving for SUVs and to be more environmentally friendly? While we may have a choice over selection of transportation modes we may not have the ability to regulate the price of its fuel source. Such a tangled web we weave, but we do the best we can (i) SUVs spew out 43 percent more global-warming pollutants – 28 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon of gas consumed – and 47 percent more air pollution than the average car. Source: SUV Report, Global Warming – Sierra Club (ii) OPEC members control 3/4’s of the world’s oil reserves, Saudia Arabia alone controls a quarter of the total. The US has 11 years worth of oil reserves while Saudia Arabia has 261.8 years, and Iraq has 100. Source: The Economist, 6/29/02

Future Car Awareness
This is my definition of a car (has been for quite some time): CAR – A piece of metal with four wheels that gets you from point A to point B. No more, no less! No need to compare it to anyone else’s car. Strictly practical, affordable – I’ve got enough hassles in my life without worrying about a ‘car’. A car is a personal transportation device; soon to be restricted. It will be highly regulated/taxed, and limited from full participation in the great American automobile race. It may even become an ‘environmental crime’ to use one excessively. AUTOMOBILES WILL BE PARTIALLY BANNED Roads previously reserved for private automobiles will be given over to commercial traffic, unnecessary travel will be penalized (via tolls, license renewal taxes), and people will simply give you ‘dirty looks’ if you’re seen driving alone! Think it won’t happen? Think again… The private automobile is a luxury we can no longer afford. Not monetarily, but environmentally. We’ve got to save what gas is left for the important jobs; such as trucking, farming, and public transportation. There will be a changeover, and it’s already happening. CHANGE IN THE STATUS QUO

What if? Luxury Tax on SUVs
Let’s look at a possible near-future scenario in the USA; the implementation of an imposed mandatory luxury tax on SUVs. Suppose that due to any combination of fall-out effects from either (i) global warming* and/or (ii) shortage of oil supplies* (gasoline) certain laws were to be enacted by federal or state government. NOT THE ONLY TAX Yet this would likely be only the first of a long-list of cutbacks and forced curbs on useage imposed on American society as global decay of civilization spreads uncontrolled. The purpose of these restrictions is not driven by economic supply and demand; rather they are brought into being when voluntary efforts fail to improve a situation or when scarcity of survival items causes extreme hardship. Consider how you would react if the following restrictions were placed on the American public (the bad news): • Luxury Tax on SUVs: $1000 per year • Gasoline rationing: 200% surcharge and limits on consumption (25 gallons per week) • Issuance of rationing cards for purchase of gasoline

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Driving a car, no matter what type – will no longer be ‘cool’. On the other hand, however – people will applaud if you’re seen on a Vespa motor scooter or other electric / hydrogen / or hybrid vehicle. They’re likely to ask “How many miles per gallon do you get” or “Where can I buy what you’ve got?”. Driving an oil-fueled combustion engine powered car is similar to smoking on an airplane (not to mention being illegal). People (and the atmosphere) will inhale your emissions and be poisoned. “Did little old me do all that damage?” Impossible, you might think. Now multiply yourself (times how many millions) and tell me that don’t add up to significance. THE CONSUMER IS RIGHT (UNFORTUNATELY) Car manufacturers will build whatever Mr. American public wants to drive; they don’t really care! They will create sporty, luxury, off-road, convertibles, or any-other-damn thing (including Hummers) that you dare to drive. Let’s send a message to the automobile manufacturers of the world that we’re interested in buying transportation devices that don’t create harmful carbon emissions or use up excessive amounts of energy getting from point A to point B. The key to change is NOT to regulate the automobile manufacturers by slapping on emission controls and regulations. Change must begin at home with the drivers themselves. They must adopt alternative methods of transportation. The most effective (and fastest method) is simply to cut your driving by 30%. The most effective (and fastest method) is simply to cut your driving by 30%. Indeed, note that the scenario of continued abuse of the pollution generating personal transportation machine, is independent of the price of fuel. How much more likely are we to go back to our heavy pattern of abuse (which has always been glamourized in car company commercials as part of the American Dream) if oil prices fall back to previous levels ($14$35 a barrel). THE END IN SIGHT One final argument. If we do manage to find a sustainable non-carbon fuel source to power our personal vehicles; there are still the twin evils of over-use and congestion on limited access roadways. The solution to THIS problem used to be: build more roads. NOW the answer would rationally be: use fewer vehicles.

EIA at Odds with Peak Oil
GOOD NEWS OR DISINFORMATION?

What’s this? The US Government is telling us not to worry; oil prices – although currently at record highs, will be slowly declining. However, in the long term there is likely to be tremendous stability in world oil prices all the way up to 2030, with prices ranging only between $42 to $180 per barrel.

The EIA is a government agency funded by US tax dollars to “provide timely and comprehensive information” to Congress and the American people on critical energy issues. The EIA’s “Operating Principles” call on the agency to “Act with a sense of urgency,” to “Always tell the truth,” and to “Do the right thing.” (SOURCE) The EIA’s latest statistics (March 2008 ) suggests that Peak Oil problems are “decades away … not years away.” Peak Oil theorists such as Matthew Simmons, Matt Savinar, Colin Campbell (who is quoted on the poster below) all disagree. The EIA slides are from: Why Are Oil Prices So High and Where are They Going?
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Subject: Petroleum, Forecast, International Presented by: Guy F. Caruso, EIA Administrator Presented to: Global Finance Forum Washington, DC – March 11, 2008 TRUTH OR DARE The EIA has been heavily criticized by Peak Oil theorists, namely The Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas (ASPO-USA). ASPO-USA is a nonpartisan, proactive effort to encourage prudent energy management, constructive community transformation, and cooperative initiatives during an era of depleting petroleum resources. In fact, ASPO-USA is absolutely furious; accusing EIA of ignoring evidence, refusing to open a dialogue with Peak Oil Theorists, and conducting a dis-information campaign. The most heavily cited evidence is this poster (pdf) The forecast accounts for ‘high’, ‘reference’, and ‘low’ economic growth; but nevertheless the EIA is telling us that production will continue to rise for many years to come. In contrast; the peak oil theorists are predicting poor and/or negative economic growth and a decline in production. So when will production eventually start to decrease?

Take a look a the information provided on this EIA poster more closely:

Note that the ‘optimists’ (EIA, CERA [Cambridge Energy Research Associates], and Shell) represent US government interests and oil companies, while those estimating a closer date for decline in production are the ‘independent analysists’, many of whom are seasoned veterans in the oil industry without political ties. The gap in predicted dates is substantial, but the oil companies are starting to listen.

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Peak Oil – Pick a Curve
THE RIDE TO THE TOP As far as I can see; we all agree on one thing – that once we hit the peak, it’s all downhill. The ride up to the peak has been well documented, but the ride down, we are warned – is likely to be bumpy and very unpredictable. However, once this situation has been taken in and PO is treated with the respect that it deserves; your life will never be the same again (read by Aaron Wissner). Cars and gas stations will never look the same. Bumper-to-bumper commute traffic will give you time to muse about being in the ’same boat’. A WIN-WIN SITUATION, IF EVERYONE ACTS NOW But no matter which theory you subscribe to; acting on Peak Oil is a win-win situation, it can’t hurt to implement some downsizing in your life, to lower your carbon footprint, to start a garden, to bond together with your community, to replan a more aesthetically pleasing suburbia, to treat gasoline as the precious resource that it really is – and to realize the extraordinary value you get out of each cup. Its a good idea to think about gasoline by the cup (rather than gallons). Why? Well, Peak Oil proponents like to compare a delicious cup of fresh perked gasoline to American’s other staple; the morning cup of coffee. Which do you think costs more? Gasoline is just about the cheapest liquid you can buy in America! You are free to act or react to Peak Oil; or not to act at all. As Matt Savinar says: “‘Reality’ will take care of you”. POSSIBLE REALITIES (ONE OF WHICH IS GUARANTEED, SAYS THE PIPER)

Note the last sentence: “Opinions on the effect of passing Hubbert’s peak range from the faith that the market economy will produce a solutionto predictions of doomsday scenarios of a global economy unable to meet its energy needs.” One criticism of the market economy producing a solution is that ‘classic market economy’ assumes that supply balances demand. So what happens when an increase in demand (coming from India and China’s huge thirst for energy) cannot keep up with (i) current oil production levels or (ii) artificial limits forced on the production of oil production by wars and/or OPEN controls? Even if EIA is accurate in its forecast, the consequences could be disastrous if global demand (or any single country’s demand) exceeds the amount available. There won’t be enough oil to go around. At any price. Most peak oil theorists argue that due to these unpredictable factors (war/terrorism, OPEC, strength of the US dollar, economic stability, recovery of the sub-prime situation) the chances of demand encountering a decreased supply is highly likely. In fact, this is what accounts for the present surge in oil prices (May 2008). THE POINT IS NOT “WHEN IS THE PEAK” There is no risk that we are running out of oil but chances of being able to match the projected growth in demand over the medium term with a rise in production is being seriously questioned (abstract of a paper entitled: Peak Oil, A Reality or Hype? by Mamdouh G. Salameh) My hope is that all parties concerned maintain peak vigilance over the situation as events unfold and to remember one important maxim: it’s better to be over-prepared than under.

(graph courtesy Gail Tverberg) According to Peak Oil theorists, not all is necessarily ‘doom and gloom’ (I will tell you a secret; we like to see who can dig up the ’scariest’ daily news, hoping to hit the motherlode – and narely a day disappoints! (Read Let’s play “Peak Oil Shock Me” by Kurt Cobb) Richard Heinberg, from “Peak Everything“: “Who among us hasn’t fretted over the likely impacts of societal collapse on oneself, family, and friends? Of course, it’s perfectly sensible to make some preparations. We should have some food stored, we should be gardening and making efforts to reduce our energy usage and need for transportation. But

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the obsessive thought that it’s not enough can be paralyzing. What if financial collapse proceeds to economic, political, and cultural collapse; what could one possibly do to insulate oneself in that case? Tough question. There are too many unknowns. No matter what we do, there can never be a guarantee that we will be immune to the consequences of Peak Oil and Climate Change.” PICK A CURVE You have a choice of curves (Dry Dipstick Scenarios page , OilScenarios.info); from optimistic to total panic, and a few inbetween. However, even practical doomsayers like Matt Savinar, Richard Heinberg, Matthew Simmons and Colin Campbell all hope they’re wrong; but then again say that it’s not likely.

3. And look at more news at Peak Oil in the News (thanks to Dry Dipstick) In the meantime, hang on for the ride of your lives…

Volunteering and Creating Jobs
Forget the old paradigm (employer - employee serfdom relationship). Here's what you do (you have more control over the situation than you might think or are conditioned to think): You basically have the power to create your own job. 1. Identify a need in the community (you've done this) 2. Make sure the need matches your passion and at least some aspect of your present skill set 3. Do your homework. Find out everything you can about the organisation. Talk to people who are connected with it to gain their valuable insight. They will be flattered that you took the time and energy to do this (it shows you care!) 4. Create the job by going up to the person in charge 5. Inform them of the gap that you have identified in their organisation (a need for ?) 6. Offer to fill that gap out of a sense of ethical compassion 7. Point out how efficient it would be for them to take you on (win-win situation, right?) 8. Say: I will be here tomorrow to get started. What time shall I come and who would I report to? 9. After that, let them know that you will develop a plan to get what needs to be done, done. Assume 'some' authority over your focus area, no matter how small/big it is. Be tactful, helpful, integrate with the team, and avoid stepping on anyone's sensitive toes. Develop healthy relationships and avoid the tendency to complain. You may need these contacts later on! 10. If you can manage people, get to know the staff and assemble a task group 11. If you can manage resources, then do an evaluation of where the group is wasting materials. Save them some money or get the materials cheaper. 12. Even if you don't know the skill set well (gardening, animal care) offer to team up with someone for mentoring / assisting / apprenticeship 13. Make and keep your promises/comittments. Arrive early, dress well, smile and be polite at all times. Just because they're not paying you in cold hard cash (they might) doesn't mean your impression and punctuality isn't any less important. It's probably more important!

OilScenarios has done an excellent job of documenting a series of five different scenarios: ACT RESPONSIBLY Your survival plans and daily thinking will be influenced by which scenario you adopt. Initial scenario, that is – because until the trigger point is reached; it’s anybody’s (educated) guess. More importantly, it is critical that you are able to adjust your personal strategy to follow the actual developments at they unfold. STAY ON TOP In fact, events are unfolding before our very eyes. Right now. For example, this popped up in front of me today and nearly knocked me off my chair: Eco-Anxiety: A Call to Action Sarah Anne Edwards, HopeDance And So It Begins… The signs are all about. Each day there are more, and they are escalating in seriousness. • Delta Airlines is significantly cutting its number of flights this summer. • Flights that aren’t full in time for take off will be cancelled. • Middle-aged white-collar workers in their 40s and 50s are moving back into their parents’ homes for shelter. • Twenty-four states are now paying $4 or higher for gasoline. Therefore, to stay on top of things: 1. Read Energy Bulletin 2. Then check The Oil Drum

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14. Once you know the ropes, be as independent as possible. Don't be a strain on their manpower. They will appreciate this mucho. 15. Become 'invaluable' (someone they can't do without). At all the volunteer positions I ever had, I think I worked harder (or at least more efficiently) than the regular employees (but without coming off as a 'show-off') and they appreciated my enthusiasm and genuine commitment. That's all I can think of for now. This is an exciting opportunity to start a new outlook on life. Think of it as a temporary unpaid internship (read: free on-the-job training). This is basically how I transitioned from being an engineer in the USA (by choice, I burned out) to becoming first (1) an certified early childhood education provider and (2) a certified Communication Skills teacher in a community college. Now I happen to live in Southeast Asia (well before all of this doom started, but I'm glad to be here and not THERE). Life isn't work, and life isn't money. It's putting a roof over your head and food in your belly and maintaining health. Do it by whatever means you have at your disposal, including barter. The old rule used to be: Do what you love - the money will follow. Not sure what will follow now. Identify at least three back-up tasks that you can offer in addition to the main need / duty you are going to fullfill for the organisation. Be a jack-of-all-trades (or at least make it appear that way).... Don't forget the other needs of organisations:

What Would I Do?
If I were young, mid-20's American and did not have to worry about * A stable, well established career * Money in the bank (not to mention, no debt) * Family ties (taking care of elderly parents) * Spouse ties (unmarried) And I knew that hard times are coming (for the whole country, starting now with governments going broke / insolvent (New York, California)). Etc. etc. etc... I would think twice about planning for my future. I have mobility. I have freedom. I have more choices than 90% of Americans. Let me make those choices 'smart'. *** THE OLD RULES ARE NO LONGER VALID The Old Rules = American Dream (climb until you reach the sky) *** The Negative People I know (and don't know) are losing their jobs or having their 1. salaries cut 2. hours cut 3. unpaid holidays People I know already out of work

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Publicity Maintenance / repair Administration Plain old manual labor Cooking Cleaning Delivery Puchasing / procurement Answering phones Writing correspondence Painting (as in houses) Graphic design Webmaster

1. cannot find a job 2. become under-employed (same as over-qualified) 3. go back to school for a 'practical career' The Positive People in general are downsizing: * re-using, repairing, recycling * sharing expenses (housing) * doing things themselves * cutting back on non-essentials * getting back to basics (gardening, sewing, cooking) This is the new normal. There is no end in sight (and it is likely to get worse) Danger Zone I don't take on new debt 1. because I may not be able to pay it back 2. I may be a candidate for debtor's prison 3. The banks aren't lending anyways 4. The credit card companies are ruthless and heartless
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5. The US dollar may crash 6. There may be hyper-inflation (this could work to advantage, though) I clear off my old debt * As fast as I can * Reason (2) * Reason (4) * Reason (5) I don't buy a house now * Because the values keep dropping (another 20%) * Home ownership is no longer the investment it used to be * I can't get credit (welcome to the club) * I don't take on new debt I make myself as self-sufficient as possible 1. I live near to where I work 2. I grow my own food, or get it locally 3. I am active in my community (organizing co-ops for bartering, trading) 4. I help people to help themselves (teach skills, form support groups, share resources) I prepare for the worse * Don't keep all your money in the bank. Have substantial cash on hand for emergency (such as a bank holiday) * Stock up on a couple months food (canned, dried, beans, rice) * Able to survive without electricity (off the grid, if the grid goes down) * Able to survive without a car (gas shortage, price increase, rationing) * Replace paper money with items of tangible value (gold, food, gasoline, medical supplies, toilet paper) – the things that people will need in an emergency! * Form a neighborhood patrol / vigilante group to keep an eye on each other's property * Identify items that will be hard to get in the future (medical supplies, medicine, generators, batteries, candles, ways to cook food and heat your home, etc.) I re-learn basic skills * First aid * Reading (ancient pastime) * Sewing * Cooking * Canning / Preserving

* Repairing household items * Meeting my neighbors * Volunteering * Self-defence Nothing wrong with any of these. Back when times were simple and uncomplicated and the family was king, a man knew his neighbor, and let a little imagination fill the time. I unlearn bad habits: * Buying luxuries * Driving everywhere on a whim * Watching mindless television * Believing everything the Media says * Following the crowd (called being a 'sheeple') There is a 'slow crash' going on in the USA. It won't happen overnight, but look how much has changed just since September 2008.

FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of ecological and humanitarian significance. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http:// www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Original material copyright 2009 Ted Ollikkala, Singapore.

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