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, October 25, 2010
DAY 66_LIVING WITHOUT OIL IS CRAMPING MY STYLE
Living oil-free is taking its toll on my stylistic expression of freshness. Temperatures have dipped into the low forties in the morning when I am waking up and biking to school (7:30 am) and our heat hasn't come on yet (as fellow Minneapolis renters can sympathize with, I can't wait for the morning to come when the radiators kick on for the first time, heating up all the old wood in this house to smell fabulously winterish).
I have been using hot water for my 1 gallon bucket shower in the morning (or heating it on the stove). Regardless, standing in a 60 degree bathroom soaking wet while sudzing up, it doesn't matter what temperature your water is, you're still going to be cold by the time you're done.
Freezing cold and deciding what to wear after this morning ritual of consistent suffering inevitably ends up being THE WARMEST THING POSSIBLE. Everyday. Which for me, as a cold body to begin with, is the same thing (with slight variations). I also have to consider the one time of day that I may warm up a little bit - when I'm biking). Biking 8 miles to St. Paul every morning without dressing in appropriate biking layers inevitably ends up in a sweaty mess.
So...thermal layers, warm socks and a fleece it is, it just isn't worth the misery of being cold all day wearing hardly anything else.
And its getting colder...
Wearing the same thing everyday does have its advantages, however. I only really have to wash base layers and socks and underwear. This makes it easy to fit within my weekly water budget for laundry (or even go two weeks without having to wash anything).