Interesting article, linked to here:
[doomsteaddiner.net] – Boomer Doomers
There are many more doomers in America than in Europe and for good reason. The idea of an energy transition is much more accepted in Europe than in the US and as a consequence Europe is mentally better prepared. In Europe the energy transition is government program, but the US does not have an official renewable energy transition program on the federal level, the US still prefers to believe in an ‘oil glut’. Financially, the US is a house of cards, unlike most of Europe (except fruit fly Greece), mainly because Europe does not try to conquer the world. The US is owned by an elite that intends to use the resources of the US to achieve global empire, with most of the rest of the world resisting that idea, a recipe for disaster (for this reason alone we love ISIS, the other reason is that they are making themselves impossible in Europe, what no right-wing party could ever have dreamed to accomplish). But most threatening for the stability of the US state is the adventurous level of ethnic diversity, which sooner or later always leads to ethnic conflict and civil war on the very moment that the leading majority becomes a minority.
Personal note: we do recognize a lot in this article, first of all the age profile and the drive to ‘prep’. But there are a lot of differences as well. This article is very American. For us the idea of ‘peak oil’ was not discovered, but rediscovered ca. 2005, after reading Deffeyes and Heinberg. But peak-oil awareness was already present in 1972 with the release of the Report of the Club of Rome, which would determine the choice of university study (renewable energy technology).
We no longer fear that the crisis will be initiated by a sudden lack of fossil fuel, like we did when we began this blog, early 2012. The most likely crisis initiator will be a financial crash, either Greek default or crash of major US banks and/or funds, like in 2008 and subsequent chaos. We are more prepping for this than a world running out of fossil fuel during our lifetime. We are preparing for zero pension rather than zero liter fuel.
Personal prepping, realized or planned:
- Eight 250W solar panels on the roof very soon, which precisely will cover a modest 1800 kwh/year electricity consumption: super fast HP-PC (40 Watt), 26 inch HP-monitor (95 Watt), television (133 Watt for the news, a German Krimi in the weekend, but mostly for Youtube vids via Google cast), wifi (12 Watt but 24 h/day), fridge (0.2 kwh/day), freezer (0.3 kwh/day), washing machine (1 kwh/session, once a week), lights (negligible), gadgets (negligible), central heating pump (unknown consumption). All electricity consumption was measured with a $15 Walmart device like this one, which not only measures current, but also cumulative power consumption of a switch on/switch off fridge over a period of time or television over a week.
- Next year 13 m garden wall will be covered with ten 250W solar panels to power an electric heat pump, in an attempt to become complete independent from fossil fuels, although a connection to the grid will still be necessary to even out solar supply fluctuations. Additionally these garden wall panels will be embedded in a wooden casing with glass plates at the front and isolation at the back, to fully utilize (electricity + heat) incoming solar radiation and use the warm air between glass and black solar panel to directly heat the living room.
- 130 m2 garden in the middle of a mid-sized Dutch city used for vegetable and potato production, much to the amazement of the neighbors. Raised beds, much like James Howard Kunstler’s setup, more than enough food production for two persons. Last week a lumberjack cut all 8 trees in the garden, resulting in a few m3 of fire wood, unlimited solar radiation for the planned solar wall, vegetable gardening and a few hundred Watt extra radiation on the windows plus the insight of how surprisingly big 130 m3 garden actually is. Later this month a gardening center will deliver perhaps 15 m2 garden soil and a few m3 compost for the raised beds and spend 400 euro on used scaffold planks to construct the 20 cm high raised beds. With the resulting garden one can safely cancel the fitness club subscription.
- The city is still mostly ethnic Dutch, so thank God no guns necessary to prepare for ethnic conflict, unlike North-America.
- Large 240 liter freezer for a couple of months worth of storage of garden produce. Insane low power consumption of 127 kwh/year, 123 hour buffer in case the grid goes down and insufficient solar radiation.
- Curtain in the middle of the 10*4 m living room to be able to close one of two central heating radiators and further save on fuel during long winter evenings for 2-3 months (Dec-Feb).
- In a few years time batteries will become available at $100-200/kwh storage cost. Five kwh storage would be enough to substantially reduce dependence on the grid.
- Replace the cozy but thermal useless open fireplace (15% efficiency) with a ‘inzethaard‘ (85% efficiency) and have a few m3 fire wood in the garden as a reserve for very cold winters, if these were to happen ever again, which is doubtful. Or just in case Russia closes down fossil fuel supply to Europe after one stupid provocation too many. (difficult to translate the Dutch word ‘inzethaard’… insert hearth perhaps?)
- And if everything fails you can still keep yourself warm for a few euro’s/month using electrically heated clothes.
- Complete elimination of debt, including mortgage (which is easy to say at end fifties). With mortgage paid off and reducing/eliminating utility and food bills, necessary income would be reduced to 300 euro/month/person (health insurance for academics 77 euro, cable 50 euro, water, coffee, eggs, meat, municipal & property taxes), provided the car would be eliminated as well as travel. For the record, it is not the intention or even expectation to live off 300 euro/month, but just the worst case bare minimum. With say 6000 euro cash reserves, ‘you’re good’.
- Do not spread negativity and pessimism around. Do not broadcast the message that ‘the end is neigh’. Only communicate on these matters with people who are open for the coming changes. Let the rest watch American Idol/Holland got Talent. If you consider free time life’s most valuable commodity, like we do and not opening bought boxes with ‘stuff’, than the coming crisis will not only have negative aspects.