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)

Sunday, September 12, 2010


10 September 2010

My daily commute is getting longer now that I am taking classes on the St. Paul campus. Three days a week I have classes on both campuses now. I live in Uptown Minneapolis so the first leg of biking is straight to the St. Paul campus (7.6 miles). This takes me about 45 minutes, I take the Greenway, cross the Midtown Greenway bridge over Hiawatha, go up some really ridiculous hills through Prospect Park and then connect to the Bus/bike transitway to the campus. The second leg is down the transitway to the East Bank University of Minnesota campus (4 miles, 15 min). Home is a 6 mile, 25 min ride down the Hiawatha bike trail to the Midtown Greenway again. This is a 17.6 mile 1 hour 25 min commute. Today, however I have a 6 hour gap between classes and went home to have dinner, thus extending my bike time to 2 hours and 15 min and 29.6 miles. Lotta biking.

We are really lucky to have great bike paths throughout the city.  The Midtown Greenway is in an old train-bed and runs under a series of street-level bridges.  It even has its own on and off ramps which connect it to the streets above.  Minneapolis has been ranked as the best biking city in the country by Bicycling Magazine, (  as well as the #2 biking city in the nation by the US Census Bureau (  We have 43 miles of streets with dedicated bicycle lanes and 84 miles of off street bicycle paths. (
Downtown bike lanes that run down Hennepin and 1st Ave are painted green and are between parked cars (on left) and the sidewalk (on right) making them safer with the buffer of parked cars on one side.   Minneapolis's public transportation organization, Metrotransit, also has several programs to help people commuting by bike.  The 'Guaranteed Ride Home' program allows bike commuters to sign up and recieve 2 free cab fare (up to $25) or bus passes every 6 months.  They are mailed to you when you enroll.

* hiawatha bridge picture from

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