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Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby theluckycountry » Fri 06 May 2022, 16:15:40

Newfie wrote:Article about the infrastructure cost to tap off shore oil. These platforms are truly huge.

https://gcaptain.com/shell-drill-offsho ... ket-years/


That's an impressive ship alright, it's no wonder the average person out there sees no problem ahead as far as oil supply goes. I am retired now, but seem to have less time, if that's possible, most of it spent in activities that consume energy, and lots of it! If I behave this way, as many on the forum do no doubt, what hope is there for de-growth when all of us consume as much as we please.

I ordered a new muffler for my new bike, I don't need it, nor did I need the bike, I just want it. It will have to cross half the circumference of the Earth on a jet transport and then with other goods be piled onto a diesel burner to bring it up North, then a gasoline burner to bring it out country to my door. I'm happy with that because I know individual efforts are pointless, always have been. I'm glad this forum cannot be viewed by non-members lol.

Interesting story about the flock of teenagers Newfie, I have never seen such but I imagine I'd react the same way, I'd hope I would. Interesting how she ran off with them, the world is a crazy place.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby JuanP » Fri 06 May 2022, 20:38:46

theluckycountry wrote:I ordered a new muffler for my new bike, I don't need it, nor did I need the bike, I just want it. It will have to cross half the circumference of the Earth on a jet transport and then with other goods be piled onto a diesel burner to bring it up North, then a gasoline burner to bring it out country to my door. I'm happy with that because I know individual efforts are pointless, always have been. I'm glad this forum cannot be viewed by non-members lol.


I Couldn't agree more! The same goes for Plantagenet's traveling, and the rest of us enjoying the rest of our lives as we see fit. I understand that people who believe things could get fixed might consider us selfish for not making those sacrifices, but they would be completely pointless, IMO.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 09 May 2022, 11:53:59

JuanP wrote:
theluckycountry wrote:I ordered a new muffler for my new bike, I don't need it, nor did I need the bike, I just want it. It will have to cross half the circumference of the Earth on a jet transport and then with other goods be piled onto a diesel burner to bring it up North, then a gasoline burner to bring it out country to my door. I'm happy with that because I know individual efforts are pointless, always have been. I'm glad this forum cannot be viewed by non-members lol.


I Couldn't agree more! The same goes for Plantagenet's traveling, and the rest of us enjoying the rest of our lives as we see fit. I understand that people who believe things could get fixed might consider us selfish for not making those sacrifices, but they would be completely pointless, IMO.



I completely agree.

Congrats on your new bike, Lucky. There are few things more fun then blasting up a windy road on a motorcycle. Happy trails to you.

And Happy Victory Day to you, Juan. May all the freedom loving peoples of the world find their way to peace again.

Cheers!
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Doly » Mon 09 May 2022, 14:22:12

I understand that people who believe things could get fixed might consider us selfish for not making those sacrifices, but they would be completely pointless, IMO.


It isn't about whether things can or cannot get fixed, if you ask me.

It's about these two things:

1. After TSHTF, what would you rather tell people: "I was trying to do the right thing up to the last moment", or, "I decided I would just be selfish"? Considering that after TSHTF people are going to be little interested in selfish individuals, your survival chances are better if you try to be as unselfish as you can for as long as you can, especially in ways that you can prove you were unselfish. As long as your altruism is compatible with keeping your survival chances high, of course (which may require you to be pretty selfish at times).

2. After TSHTF you are going to have to do without a lot. So you might as well get some practice. But then, when it comes to some things, you may think it's much better to have them than to do without.

Basically, "it's pointless" is what people who pose as believers in doom but don't actually believe it like to say. The only way that attitude is consistent is if you also say: "By the way, I have a specific suicide plan for when TSHTF because I don't want to live through it."
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby JuanP » Mon 09 May 2022, 16:10:25

Doly wrote:
I understand that people who believe things could get fixed might consider us selfish for not making those sacrifices, but they would be completely pointless, IMO.


It isn't about whether things can or cannot get fixed, if you ask me.

It's about these two things:

1. After TSHTF, what would you rather tell people: "I was trying to do the right thing up to the last moment", or, "I decided I would just be selfish"? Considering that after TSHTF people are going to be little interested in selfish individuals, your survival chances are better if you try to be as unselfish as you can for as long as you can, especially in ways that you can prove you were unselfish. As long as your altruism is compatible with keeping your survival chances high, of course (which may require you to be pretty selfish at times).

2. After TSHTF you are going to have to do without a lot. So you might as well get some practice. But then, when it comes to some things, you may think it's much better to have them than to do without.

Basically, "it's pointless" is what people who pose as believers in doom but don't actually believe it like to say. The only way that attitude is consistent is if you also say: "By the way, I have a specific suicide plan for when TSHTF because I don't want to live through it."


I didn't decide to be just selfish; that is not what I wrote. I don't think it is selfish to try and enjoy your life. We are all different. I just said we shouldn't be concerned about other people considering us selfish, particularly since most of those people are no better than us.

My wife and I chose to live a childfree life. We volunteer constantly and have always done it. We also grow organic food commercially at a very small scale on a non-profit basis using regenerative agriculture methods in urban environments. We manage an off grid, educational farm cooperative. I am a Permaculture Designer and gardening educator, and I have spent much of the last decade teaching people how to grow food naturally, and creating edible landscapes and wildlife habitats, mostly in urban and suburban environments. I am retired and have spent most of the last year designing, financing, and building food forests and raised bed gardens in Miami public schools, particularly in low-income areas and teaching children how to grow, preserve, and prepare food. I have been doing this for a decade now, but I significantly scaled up my involvement this school year.

My wife and I have a 10 hectares permaculture farm in Uruguay. One of 3 that I designed and financed myself several years ago as bug out places. The other two now belong to my younger brother and my wife's cousin, who also happens to be one of my best friends. I am thinking of designing and building 5 to 10 more, and I am looking for land at the moment. My wife and I have donated money and labor to improve the medical clinic, elementary school, and senior and community centers in the area our farm is located. I have been a prepper and survivalist for decades and have many useful skills.

I just don't like people that point fingers at others. I also don't fool myself about the impact of my actions as an individual or think that anything we do as individuals will affect humanity's future in a significant way.

I agree with you completely that it isn't about whether things can or cannot get fixed, though. If I didn't believe that my life would be drastically different. I believe we need to try, because if we don't then there is absolutely no chance for future generations. There is a certain honor in knowingly fighting for a lost cause. I believe that life is all about how you choose to live it, and that people should focus on fixing their own lives instead of pointing fingers at others. Maybe I didn't express myself clearly.

I lived off a backpack from age 16 through age 21, hitchhiking across the Americas, sleeping under bridges, in farm fields, and whatnot. My wife and I lived aboard a sailboat for years. Believe me, hitchhikers and sailors learn to do without. I know how to live without unnecessary things better than the majority of humanity, particularly the wealthy. I have lived below my means all my life. Not bad for a 1%er trust fund (which I've never used for my own benefit but allowed me an undeniable freedom of choice that poor people obviously don't have) kid, if you ask me.

By the way, Doly, I want to thank you for your contributions to this forum. I consider you a very valuable member of this very small community, and I always look for your name when looking for posts to read.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 09 May 2022, 16:24:21

theluckycountry wrote:I ordered a new muffler for my new bike, I don't need it, nor did I need the bike, I just want it.


Darn right. May we all consume as we see fit, right up until circumstances force us to stop. Smoke'im if you got'im!
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 09 May 2022, 16:40:35

Doly wrote:1. After TSHTF, what would you rather tell people: "I was trying to do the right thing up to the last moment", or, "I decided I would just be selfish"?


You mean, around the campfire while eating semi-cooked rabbit? I'm thinking....there will be more important things to talk and worry about.

Doly wrote:Considering that after TSHTF people are going to be little interested in selfish individuals, your survival chances are better if you try to be as unselfish as you can for as long as you can, especially in ways that you can prove you were unselfish.


Could be. But I'm a portly guy and might not want to share my portion of the semi-cooked rabbit, and might be more interested in offing the competition for the hindquarters methinks.

Doly wrote:2. After TSHTF you are going to have to do without a lot. So you might as well get some practice. But then, when it comes to some things, you may think it's much better to have them than to do without.


As opposed to enjoying it while you've got it?

Doly wrote:Basically, "it's pointless" is what people who pose as believers in doom but don't actually believe it like to say.


Depends on how they define "doom", a quite common problem. We've got posters on this site who claimed it happened years ago. Seem any doom near you? I figure it can't have happened yet, because all the rabbits in our subdivision are alive and well and darn near tame. But once we all start picking them off with BB guns and 22's and whatnot, within a day doom will be visible, as defined by this one small local metric.

Doly wrote:The only way that attitude is consistent is if you also say: "By the way, I have a specific suicide plan for when TSHTF because I don't want to live through it."


If only those who have claimed it already happened (in some cases, multiple times) would take this advice. In either case, how is this for an idea?

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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Plantagenet » Mon 09 May 2022, 21:56:25

Doly wrote:It isn't about whether things can or cannot get fixed


Actually whether or not things can get fixed is the fundamental question.

If things can get fixed then every person should do their level best to push for things to get fixed.

My own view on whether or not things can get fixed is more nuanced.....I think things could get fixed but if only there are fundamental shifts in the economic and political direction the world is going in. So far the world has been much more interested in "greenwashing" the climate change issue and basically ignoring other problems like overpopulation, food shortages, and commodity shortages (eventually including peak oil).

So if the political powers just keep lying and greenwashing climate change instead of actually taking steps to reduce global carbon budgets, then no.....things can't get fixed.

Doly wrote: After TSHTF, what would you rather tell people: "I was trying to do the right thing up to the last moment",....


Of course absolutely everyone will claim they were trying to do the right thing. Even people like ex-President obama who singlehandedly disrupted the Copenhagen COP meeting in 2009 so that the world's leaders didn't sign the global climate treaty they had all assembled to sign, putting the world on the path to ever higher CO2 emissions----will endlessly claim they were trying to do the right thing. Its just human nature.

Doly wrote: your survival chances are better if you try to be as unselfish as you can for as long as you can


Do you really believe that?

IMHO thats a debatable statement.....and one that is likely wrong.

After TSHTF just about everything is going to be in short supply. If you are a good prepper you'll have food, water, fuel, shelter, ammo, etc., and there will be many many many people who don't have any of those things. Should you be unselfish and give all your supplies away to the unprepared? Or should you be selfish and keep your supplies so you and your family can survive?

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HEY YOU IN THE CABIN.....ARE YOU GOING TO BE UNSELFISH AND SHARE YOUR FOOD AND FUEL AND WOMEN WITH US?? OR DO WE HAVE TO COME IN THERE AND TAKE IT??????
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Doly » Wed 11 May 2022, 14:38:15

If things can get fixed then every person should do their level best to push for things to get fixed.


Assuming they think they can do something to fix things, which won't be true for everyone.

My own view on whether or not things can get fixed is more nuanced.....I think things could get fixed but if only there are fundamental shifts in the economic and political direction the world is going in.


I agree with you, but do you think you are able to make fundamental shifts in the economic and political direction of the world?

After TSHTF just about everything is going to be in short supply. If you are a good prepper you'll have food, water, fuel, shelter, ammo, etc., and there will be many many many people who don't have any of those things. Should you be unselfish and give all your supplies away to the unprepared? Or should you be selfish and keep your supplies so you and your family can survive?


My idea of being a good prepper is different. There used to be somebody in this forum that had as her signature: "It doesn't matter how much food I grow in my garden if my neighbor doesn't have any." I took that one to heart. Having lots of supplies isn't being a good prepper, precisely because of the problem that you describe.

My idea of a good prepper is to be somebody who thinks about the likely food and water situation in the future of where they live, and if it doesn't look good, goes to live somewhere else where food and water is likely to be in sufficient amount for everybody locally. Fuel is likely to be in short supply almost everywhere, so the important thing is to live close to your job and generally not likely to need much fuel. Shelter is not likely to be a major issue if you have already moved to a good place.

In such circumstances, being as unselfish as you can is likely to work... after you selfishly picked a good location.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 11 May 2022, 14:57:40

Doly,

Those are good criteria and surprisingly hard to satisfy.

While the USA grows more than enough food it is in an industrial manner and nature, so the vast majority of population is far removed from food resources.

Picking a spot with secure natural water is not easy due to a lot of pollution.

I would also add finding a place with minimal heating/cooling requirements. And if you can find a house intelligently situated on the plot then so much the better.

Not impossible but not easy. Certainly not common.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Doly » Fri 13 May 2022, 13:24:26

While the USA grows more than enough food it is in an industrial manner and nature, so the vast majority of population is far removed from food resources.


Cities are never all that far from countryside that can feed them. I agree that some of the largest cities are so big that their hinterland extends impractically far. So I definitely would avoid the largest cities.

The fact that most food is heavily processed nowadays isn't so much of an issue, I think. If/when things start breaking down, people will change towards a diet with less and less processed food.

Picking a spot with secure natural water is not easy due to a lot of pollution.


That's what ignoring environmental rules does to you. But even though it's best to be in a place with clean water, a place with somewhat polluted water can be all right if you are careful to filter it.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 13 May 2022, 13:49:21

Doly ":
My idea of a good prepper is to be somebody who thinks about the likely food and water situation in the future of where they live, and if it doesn't look good, goes to live somewhere else where food and water is likely to be in sufficient amount for everybody locally. Fuel is likely to be in short supply almost everywhere, so the important thing is to live close to your job and generally not likely to need much fuel. Shelter is not likely to be a major issue if you have already moved to a good place.

I think I am pretty well set on those terms. Water comes into the house gravity feed from a spring 100 feet higher in elevation then the house. The house is heated entirely by wood grown on my land (Now My daughters land actually as I have transferred ownership) and I can and have sold logs and excess cord wood occasionally for cash. In my youth we normally had ten head of cattle of mixed ages and two draft horses at all times with the cattle providing both meat, butter and milk for the house. The land could certainly support enough of that plus pigs and chicken's which I have done from time to time. A deer or two can always be added to the freezer if needed enough to focus my attention on it. A couple of acres well tended garden can provide a years veggies and potatoes. If the grid went down my house still works but I would put in a solar system for the convenience and communications even though I have a lifetime's worth of books on the shelves.
So my needs would be: a set of haying equipment, mower, rake and baler, plus some shelters for the stock as my barns are now long sense gone other then a chicken coop, and dry storage for the winter feed for the stock would have to be rounded up and or constructed and perhaps 200 gallons of diesel fuel each year to run the tractor making the hay and plowing the gardens.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 13 May 2022, 14:06:24

Sounds like a good plan. There is a lot to like there.

My life has turned out differently, and I am a bit older. So I am much more in retirement mode.

But we are enjoying our relatively low carbon life. :-D
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 13 May 2022, 14:26:47

We seem to have strayed from the DEGROWTH topic a great deal. Thats OK, good conversation.

The general idea being to reduce usage, and still be happy.

OR to learn that happiness is not dependent upon consumption.

Clearly this is the case, yet our entire culture is centered around consumption.

It seems sooooo obvious yet so foreign.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 13 May 2022, 15:49:57

Newfie wrote:Sounds like a good plan. There is a lot to like there.

My life has turned out differently, and I am a bit older. So I am much more in retirement mode.

But we are enjoying our relatively low carbon life. :-D

I am 67 so perhaps not much younger then you.
I would not like to return to the daily chores and seasonal work required to be self sufficient on this land. It is a lot of hours and sore muscles for small returns. So as long as the retirement money streams continue I will leave it be. If inflation continues I might have to do some of it to fill the gaps but it would take a complete loss of retirement funds and the grid to get me back to full subsistence farming.
Unfortunately there are more then a few countries that have had that level of economic collapse and I would be arrogant to think it can't happen to the USA. Hope for the best for now and searching to find candidates to vote for that know what they are doing.
The pickings look pretty slim. :(
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 13 May 2022, 17:08:39

vt - Not a farmer of any kind. But my retirement plan has effectively provided the same result: no house mortgage, no car or credit card debt. Very well insulated house and some of lowest electricity rates in the country (just outside of Houston). Driving less then 3,000 miles per year now not commuting to work so gasoline costs mean nothing to us. We eat mostly veggies and fruit, so food inflation doesn't hit us. Actually, saving about $500 to $1,000 per month from SocSec check. Almost no property tax since not in Houston proper. Biggest expense is home insurance...still not bad given modest home.

Long way of saying "subsistence" is rather comfortable for us as it isn't for a lot the other 7 billion or so struggling on the planet.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 13 May 2022, 17:36:22

ROCKMAN wrote:vt - Not a farmer of any kind. But my retirement plan has effectively provided the same result: no house mortgage, no car or credit card debt. Very well insulated house and some of lowest electricity rates in the country (just outside of Houston). Driving less then 3,000 miles per year now not commuting to work so gasoline costs mean nothing to us. We eat mostly veggies and fruit, so food inflation doesn't hit us. Actually, saving about $500 to $1,000 per month from SocSec check. Almost no property tax since not in Houston proper. Biggest expense is home insurance...still not bad given modest home.

Long way of saying "subsistence" is rather comfortable for us as it isn't for a lot the other 7 billion or so struggling on the planet.
Congratulations on a plan well executed.

Those cheap electric rates might become a moot point if the grid goes down. Then it becomes the cost to replace it. If you need electricity to get water into and or out of your house which is typical for most rural homes today you NEED it, so you will have to go to your next best option. Same applies to heat or air conditioning. A backup plan that relies on fuel deliveries to your home by truck or pipeline might also go "toes up" in a real emergency. Solar panels that are not grid tied (or can be disconnected) are a viable addition that I am considering.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby AdamB » Fri 13 May 2022, 17:39:38

ROCKMAN wrote:vt - Not a farmer of any kind. But my retirement plan has effectively provided the same result: no house mortgage, no car or credit card debt. Very well insulated house and some of lowest electricity rates in the country (just outside of Houston). Driving less then 3,000 miles per year now not commuting to work so gasoline costs mean nothing to us. We eat mostly veggies and fruit, so food inflation doesn't hit us. Actually, saving about $500 to $1,000 per month from SocSec check. Almost no property tax since not in Houston proper. Biggest expense is home insurance...still not bad given modest home.

Long way of saying "subsistence" is rather comfortable for us as it isn't for a lot the other 7 billion or so struggling on the planet.


Now THAT is a retirement of a true prepper! But what do you do for hobbys? Strikes me that affording one's hobby is as important as just housing and feed. And 3000 miles a year? What? I can't handle that, I do 3000 miles a week when I'm in the mood, how can sitting in one place be satisfactory to anyone? Different time zone between sunrise and sunset at least! Back roads preferable of course, America is an amazingly beautiful and wonderful place away from the big cities and concentrations of people. Same with Canada.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 13 May 2022, 18:45:56

Different folks, different strokes.

I too am no farmer, and will not be at 71.

Our regime is 6 months Caribbean and 6 months Newfoundland.

The boat, outside diesel for motoring, is pretty energy self sufficient. We burn a few gallons of kerosene cooking and heating water. We burned a bunch of diesel getting back to Carribean post Covid, (calms and avoiding weather) hopefully that is a one and done event. So we just sail around, hang out here and there, St Maarten for maintenance, Dominica for nature and soul, French islands for culture.

Newfoundland is not in any way food self sufficient. But we have deep family ties there and if SHTF in USA we have a welcome spot in NL. And, as a Hail Mary we have our 168 acres on Cape Breton. Far from prime land, but it would heat us. And in the meantime it is a carbon trap.

Freaking Covid and the US housing bubble have screwed up our last 2 years which we spent working pretty damn hard. But that is over, repairs made, house gone.

What we are attempting to do is enjoy life. In the process we have thrown off a lot of baggage. Slimed down to what we really want.

Everything we own we own outright. All our major possessions, boat, cabin, land, amount to under $200k purchase. Maybe $300k with improvements. No heat bill. We do have some things we picked up like dry dock fees and vehicle storage fees. Trying to reduce them.

We are not perfect, but I have no desire to wear a hair coat.

What I am is happier owning less, using less.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 13 May 2022, 19:27:27

AdamB wrote:
Now THAT is a retirement of a true prepper! But what do you do for hobbys? Strikes me that affording one's hobby is as important as just housing and feed. And 3000 miles a year? What? I can't handle that, I do 3000 miles a week when I'm in the mood, how can sitting in one place be satisfactory to anyone? Different time zone between sunrise and sunset at least! Back roads preferable of course, America is an amazingly beautiful and wonderful place away from the big cities and concentrations of people. Same with Canada.

A prepper has prepping as their main hobby. I on the other hand have deer hunting and hand loading ammunition as hobbies along with playing darts with beer drinking buddies and chess with any opponent that cares to take me on (few of them around here lately). I used to drive 45,000 miles a year making my living. I don't miss that one bit. As I live five miles from the nearest paved road I have seen my fill of back roads. Especially during this springs Mud season.
Recently I have spent a lot of time monitoring the war in Ukraine along with my usual participation here on Peak oil. That counts as a hobby I guess.
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