This era in history may be remembered as the "Peak Age", a brief time when nearly all materials used to power and create our society reach the maximum extraction and production potential. Past this point, all of these resources become increasingly difficult to extract until they are no longer economically viable resources to be using. There are hundreds of examples of resources, currently embedded in our industrial society, which have reached their peak in the 50 years surrounding 2010, but the one which will most impact our society is petroleum.
The goal of living for 100 days without oil is to understand the extent of our dependance on oil in American society today. Specifically, how it will affect my life, as a 25 year-oil living in Minneapolis, MN. By using myself as a metric I can take a close and conscious look at where oil dependance occurs in all aspects of our daily lives : How we transport ourselves from one place to another, what we eat, how much waste we create, how water is cleaned and transported, where oil is used as; an energy resource, in conventional medicine and for hygiene and how oil affects how we entertain ourselves and communicate with others. By demonstrating how someone would be forced to live without using any oil resources, outlining both what the sacrifices will be as well as the benefits, we can can identify the many systems which will have to be re-designed in a world without cheap oil, and explore a new way of living in which we live in an energy balance.
(At the bottom of this page is a link to my version of a flow diagram of 'Where Petroleum Exists in Our Daily Lives' (using information from the Energy Information Administration-Annual Energy Review 2008 fig 5.0 Petroleum flow) click and zoom to enlarge)
Monday, August 30, 2010
I wish I had some good pictures of today because I got to impose my lifestyle on my old roommate Beth for the weekend who was visiting from San Francisco! I admit I had a couple slips, I HAD TO, HAD TO take her to my favorite restaurant in the city (Himalayan Restaurant on Franklin), definitely not local.
We had a pretty perfect (almost) no oil day in Minneapolis. Wake up to a breakfast at Common Roots (local restaurant close to my house), no coffee. We walked to Hidden Beach (East Beach) on Cedar Lake. It always surprises me how quickly you can walk places that I think are much farther away. Because my bike is my primary form of transportation, I really don't walk anywhere farther than 5-6 blocks away. Because of this, I always think it will take a long time to walk somewhere 1-2 miles away. The walk to Hidden Beach is 1.8 miles and it only took us 35 minutes however. Although our dinner wasn't local, we DID bike there (4+ miles away). Minneapolis has one of maybe the largest bike rental program in the country (largest?) that was just started this summer here.