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THE Transition Phase Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Revi » Tue 05 Jan 2010, 13:22:52

We have some dairy farms like that. They are trying to be mini CAFO's.

These young farmers are smart and are doing a great job, though.
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Ecological Transition

Unread postby Doly » Wed 24 Mar 2010, 14:59:43

This is related to peak oil, but tangential enough that it's best to put it on the open topic forum, I think.

I have just started a blog called Ecological Transition. Let me quote myself on what it's about:

Ecological transition is just a name for a simple idea.

Einstein said once: "You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew."

The world has a big, serious problem right now, and it's so big that it doesn't have a single name. There are names for aspects of it. Some talk about climate change. Some talk about fossil fuel depletion. Those that see how big the problem is may tell you that we are reaching the limits to growth on our planet, and relate it to population figures, inequality, ecological imbalances... If you have read Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken, you have a rough idea of how big the whole issue is.

Many have noticed that you need a different mindset to deal with these problems. Many agree that some kind of collective action is needed to deal with them.

But you don't see very often a coherent framework, some place that helps you understand the theory, see how socio-ecosystems work, and apply that knowledge to your day-to-day actions when you are trying to find local solutions to the global problem.

This site is an attempt to provide that coherent framework. It will need your input to grow, especially your questions and showcases of your successful results.


If you want to read more, see http://ecologicaltransition.blogspot.com
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Re: Ecological Transition

Unread postby davep » Wed 24 Mar 2010, 15:04:42

I've just skimmed through your blog and it looks very good.

I'll try to take a deeper look later. Thanks.
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Re: Ecological Transition

Unread postby mos6507 » Wed 24 Mar 2010, 21:04:40

Seems like you've got your work cut out for yourself. I've thought about drafting out a document sort of like this but it would just be lifted mostly from the transition and permaculture handbook so I didn't want to attempt to reinvent the wheel.

I think it's a healthy thing, though, to write down a sort of guiding principles document, a political platform or philosophy, if you will. A lot of us spend too much time criticizing the status quo and not enough time formulating alternatives.
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Re: Ecological Transition

Unread postby Ludi » Thu 25 Mar 2010, 16:06:49

Looks good! :) I hope it will include a lot of action as well as theory.
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Re: Ecological Transition

Unread postby Doly » Sun 28 Mar 2010, 14:16:14

A little bit from my last post there:

What is a network? It's just a way of looking at any bunch of things or living creatures. If you decide that, instead of looking at each element, you are more interested in studying how they relate to each other in some way, you will call it a network. If the elements are computers, you call it a computer network; if they are living creatures, you may call it a food web; and if they are people, you call it a social network.


The rest, on http://ecologicaltransition.blogspot.com
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Re: Ecological Transition

Unread postby MTO » Tue 06 Apr 2010, 12:39:19

New opportunities for oil and gas investment blossomed yesterday as President Obama announced a plan to lift the long time ban on offshore drilling in the United States. The decision was not made lightly, the President said. He went on to assure Americans that “we’re going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy.”

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Re: Ecological Transition

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 06 Apr 2010, 12:44:00

I love the way these bots drag up old news. Ecological transition? Hahaha :twisted: The only possible ecological transition I can imagine at this late date involves 7 billion people becoming 1 billion people.
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I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Ayoob » Wed 18 Aug 2010, 04:55:39

It's happening right before my eyes, this year. So much has happened since going down the rabbit hole about six years ago, knowing that the industrial age is temporary. It's still shocking that we're going to lose so much so fast and get so poor. It's going to be a hopeless age for many, I know I struggled with it quite a bit.

I'm not a greenie or a kumbayah specialist at all. I'm a capitalist pig, love the profit motive, pave the rainforest and put Americans to work, right wing Republican. I just recognize that we're actually fucked for real despite all the technological advances that are coming our way... we're still going to lose industrialized business and go back to the 1850s in the matter of about ten years. It's hard to asset-allocate a mutual fund portfolio to do well under those circumstances.

I want the best life for myself that I can have under any circumstances. That's my focus.

It's working out OK for the most part. The hardest work is yet to come, but I've made a lot of ground in the last few years. I've been gardening long enough in terra cotta pots to have had a bad year. And I've realized that my selection of pots was arbitrary and not the most productive, so I should update my selection of tools. That was interesting. I'm looking at greenhouses next.

I definitely owe the greenies an apology for bagging on the gardeners so much a couple years ago. You guys were right all along, it's true. It's geographically specific, but you can always move to an area that is geographically specific for gardening if you believe that's the way you should go. My decision to move was motivated heavily by the availability of water, but I'm sure that soil quality is going to be a primary indicator of life satisfaction years down the road.

My family is looking at the possibility of mating a greenhouse with a people house for purposes of feeding and heating. That could work well in our climate.

I've come to understand that the vehicle of the future is the bicycle, and that's OK. I'm not planning on trying to figure out how to build a battery powered minibus... hopefully somebody will figure it out. If not, that's OK. I'll bicycle to where I want to go.

I have a skill set and a book of papers that will buy me international passage to just about anywhere, and I can make a living wage at my job. That was a five year journey, and I lost everything I had during the course of it. Now on the other side I have everything I ever wanted and more. And, I could lose it all today and have it all again in six months.

I feel better today than I did five years ago when I learned about peak oil and the coming dark age. I wonder what I would be doing right now if I hadn't learned about resource depletion and population statistics and the inevitability of demographics.

I honestly feel much more prepared for the future now than I was back then. Even with a very modest investment in tools, I think I'm ahead of the game with regards to third world provisional living. I can harvest the high fruit, I can heat a structure, I can preserve food three different ways with a fourth on its way in two weeks, I have stored enough high quality protein and tasty sauces to maintain a luxurious diet for about six months. I could easily stretch that to a year by adding rice, and to two years with a high carbohydrate component.

Still, I have a long way to go. I would love to have 50K to blow on a trailer built to my own personal specifications and loaded with handpicked gear, customized in and out. I would love to own a piece of land to park my ass on. If things go my way for a couple more years, I think we could manage to pick up a 20 acre parcel of fertile valley farmland with water running through it. From there, I can guide my kids and grandkids through buying a nice 24 unit building in the nearest city. There will be ups and downs on the farm, and ups and downs in the city. The idea is to build on whatever's out of favor so it can outperform on the upswing. Over decades, the family can grow wealthy.

The Jews have the right idea. Take care of your own.
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Mesuge » Wed 18 Aug 2010, 05:25:19

Ayoob wrote: I would love to own a piece of land to park my ass on. If things go my way for a couple more years, I think we could manage to pick up a 20 acre parcel of fertile valley farmland with water running through it.


Great summary, 6yrs in retrospect, btw. if this will be eventually the case make sure that the prospective property with running water allows for some gradient waterway profile , i.e. installing some microhydro, it's not that expensive ~ <1kW nominal output and it solves the electricity question, much better than PV/Listeroid setup options for many regions. Also the "surplus harvest" season can be used to power a mini saw mill etc., for added income..
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Expatriot » Wed 18 Aug 2010, 07:54:54

Ayoob wrote:I want the best life for myself that I can have under any circumstances. That's my focus.

Over decades, the family can grow wealthy.

The Jews have the right idea. Take care of your own.


Grasshopper - you have so far to go.
If the Jews have it right - and I agree with your implication as to how they, in fact, "have it" - then why have they been systematically murdered over the last 6,000 years? Why do the Jews in Israel live in constant fear in the blackening shadow of death from enemies? Why is anti-Jew sentiment on the strong increase all across the world?

What I got from your post was . . .

1. I'm going to take care of me first, to the detriment of all others, if necessary.
2. I'm going to take care of my family next, to the detriment of all others, if necessary.
3. I'm going to focus my life on making money.

My opinion is that this is a path to oblivion.
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Pretorian » Wed 18 Aug 2010, 10:14:09

Expatriot wrote:If the Jews have it right - and I agree with your implication as to how they, in fact, "have it" - then why have they been systematically murdered over the last 6,000 years? Why do the Jews in Israel live in constant fear in the blackening shadow of death from enemies? Why is anti-Jew sentiment on the strong increase all across the world?



""God has given to Goyim human looks so the Jews will not be offended by being served by the beasts"""

That is the reason. Considering that Jews (read Abraham's offsprings) had never had a land that was their own, thats quite an unpleasing mentality to tolerate for their hosts.
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby efarmer » Wed 18 Aug 2010, 10:53:59

B.S. Everyone takes care of their own first and foremost, and those who do it well and the most often run the risk of everyone else wishing to wring their necks. People who play well as part of a team prevail against those who do not. Get used to it, it is a long running theme of human existence.
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Expatriot » Wed 18 Aug 2010, 13:34:34

efarmer wrote:B.S. Everyone takes care of their own first and foremost, and those who do it well and the most often run the risk of everyone else wishing to wring their necks.

Can't agree here.
The Amish take care of their own much more than the Jews do.
But nobody I know wants to kill the Amish.
My theory on why is because the Amish treat outsiders fairly well.
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Ayoob » Thu 19 Aug 2010, 03:23:25

Expatriot wrote:
efarmer wrote:B.S. Everyone takes care of their own first and foremost, and those who do it well and the most often run the risk of everyone else wishing to wring their necks.

Can't agree here.
The Amish take care of their own much more than the Jews do.
But nobody I know wants to kill the Amish.
My theory on why is because the Amish treat outsiders fairly well.


I have a theory that this is a peak oil board, not stormfront.

Unless you're framing this in a recursive prisoner's dilemma game theory thing where we weigh the relative merits of different strategies... please take it to stormfront.

ETA: Unless you say Jews when you mean Banks. That's just funny. "I owe the credit card companies $800." is the same as saying, "I owe the Jews $800" and it's just a lot funnier calling the banks the Jews.

Especially after working on Wall Street. It's so true. The Jews are all over Wall Street, and how they love to rub two pieces of silver together... it's an ecstasy I will simply never share. I kind of wish I could. It looks so fun!

But seriously, go bag on the Jews at stormfront. ;-)
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Expatriot » Thu 19 Aug 2010, 07:39:35

Ayoob wrote:
Expatriot wrote:
efarmer wrote:B.S. Everyone takes care of their own first and foremost, and those who do it well and the most often run the risk of everyone else wishing to wring their necks.

Can't agree here.
The Amish take care of their own much more than the Jews do.
But nobody I know wants to kill the Amish.
My theory on why is because the Amish treat outsiders fairly well.


I have a theory that this is a peak oil board


You brought up Jewish culture, not me. And who disagrees with this - Few want to kill Amish. Many millions want to kill Jews. I'd reckon nobody can reasonably disagree with that statement. Is it not an interesting question as to why this difference exists?

Given that the Amish are more separatist and take-care-of-their own than the Jews, separatism is not the reason.
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Pretorian » Thu 19 Aug 2010, 09:46:44

efarmer wrote:B.S. Everyone takes care of their own first and foremost


People are generally inert and dont want to do shit if they are able to. Many do not take care even of themselves, let alone of their own. People need a motivation to get their ass off the couch , like hunger, a whip made out of a hardened hippo leather with a small iron hook at the end, or something like that. A few electronic toys and a (self-imagined) social status just arent good enough for many to get out there and push paper real hard.
People do not care and when they do, they don't want to do anything over it anyway, and when they do, they find a miriad of reasons of why they cant do it.
For example , i heard heated enviromental debates in the chat window of one of the MMORPGs. I offered to donate $5 to one of the rarest mammals that is facing extinction, in exchange for a day or two worth of "production" of just one of their "units". Most have 5-10 of them. About 1000 players got my message, possibly many more. Do you know how much I had to pay out? $0
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Pops » Thu 19 Aug 2010, 10:41:12

I know we all want to talk about our prejudices but please stay on the topic, which I think was "My Transition".


I'm a lot like Ayoob in that I'm pretty happy with our changes so far. Granted we were more CA. R.E. "expats" than PO refugees in that we "knew" the RE crash was looming and would be bad (though maybe not as bad as it's turning out) whereas PO is still a mystery. I think when I first started posting here I wasn't looking for PO trouble till sometime around the early teens, from a couple of my first posts here in early '04:
A short-term political or terrorist induced oil crunch could be devastating to this [economic] house of cards. Long term I’m still worried about the economy and my non-expert energy outlook is flat and even declining prices for maybe 5-8 years, then at first gradual then accelerating increases thereafter.

I don’t believe there will be an oil “crash” soon, but there certainly could be an economic crash as the cost of oil and virtually everything else begins its inevitable rise. That is the wild card; how long do we have to prepare before the cost of preparing is out of reach or the necessities unavailable?


In '04 oil was around $40 - today $80 (he conveniently ignores that little blip to $150!) so the "flat to declining" price forecast wasn't so good - we'll see about the "accelerating increases" by 2012 soon.


But the last two years have been a pretty good test of our transition. First, just evacuating CA was a great move, unemployment in the Central Valley is 18%, underemployment is over 25%, foreclosures and BKs are some of the highest in the country and most of the people there who are in my line of work are either tits-up or getting close.

My income over the last 2 years is a tenth of what it was a decade ago and though it's bounced back a little this year, it is good to know we can get by on $10k-$15k a year just fine - in fact we live pretty good. Medical insurance is of course a problem but I've given up worrying about it.

Energy wise, I've concentrated on conservation. We have an old house and have spent beaucoup bucks on sealing and insulating and still we have a ways to go yet. We "harvest" rainfall for much of our garden and a portion of our livestock needs. Of course we earn all our income at home so no commute and we try to keep down the number of trips to town - not always easy when you are plumbing a hundred year old house!

Speaking of which, as we remodel the old place we are trying to rebuild as strong as we can, tying and bracing everything together - foundation/wall/roof, much better than they were able to do back when. We're adding fire-blocking, vapor/moisture barrier and of course updating the mechanicals with the best we can afford.

So far so good.
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Thu 19 Aug 2010, 17:20:54

Wow....all this Jew bashing sure makes it sound like one of the big challenges post peak will be dealing with a populism morphing into a flabby fascism resembling the Invisible Empire era of the Klan. I'm lily white going back to the 1700s, so it doesn't worry me, but don't make any assumptions about what side I'll be on.
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Re: I"m part way through my transition to post peak life

Unread postby Expatriot » Thu 19 Aug 2010, 18:01:21

PrestonSturges wrote: I'm lily white going back to the 1700s, so it doesn't worry me, but don't make any assumptions about what side I'll be on.

I love it. You're lily white and you think that you'll have a choice. Let me know how that goes for you. :lol:
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