Saturday, April 9, 2011

Maintenance

In the two months since I last blogged, my interests have been something like what follows:

1. RPM Challenge. Album is this pile of awesome. Also, hosted the RPM Seattle listening party. Which consisted of music, beer, hummus, and Luther sitting on the floor showing our guests a truly impressive display of feline sloth, even for him.

2. Transition movement. I'd describe it as an attempt to make a low-energy future for ourselves before it's foisted upon us by peak oil and climate change. Jess and I are rank beginners and, in the words of the movement, have a lot of re-skilling to do. We want to start growing something this Spring, and I'd like to learn carpentry and food preservation. We've been meeting with a group at our church to read and discuss The Transition Handbook.

It's sort of startling how dependent we are on oil — not just energy, but oil specifically, and not just oil even, but cheap oil. When people talk about Americans having to adjust to a “new normal” economically, part of that is tied up in the physical fact that oil isn't going to be had at 1990s prices again and we almost certainly won't have a substitute. The other part of it, of course, is the fact that our economy, consuming far more than it produced and practicing economic imperialism, could never be sustained for that long even with a steady input of cheap oil.

I'm not as convinced as some people that we've bought our last cars. But I'm also not convinced of the opposite. I think it's possible that middle-eastern oil booms have been slowed by government interference more than in the US, and thus that they won't show the rapid peak and decline that we had. Either way, learning new old things (as opposed to Old New things) will be good.

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