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)

Friday, September 17, 2010


15 September 2010
I got called out by my thesis committee the other night drinking a beer.  Most beer made locally isn't actually 'local' because many of the crucial ingredients (malts, hops) are from all over the country and world.  In search of a truly local beer we will be having a local dinner where everyone brings a local (Minnesota) beer/wine.  The catch is I am trying to get everyone to research where each brewery sources its ingredients.  For example, St. Croix Brewing Co is the first beer in the nation to ferment with pure maple syrup (which have plenty of locally).  It will be interesting to see if there are any truly local beers (all ingredients grown and harvested locally). 

Following is a list of local breweries/wineries that I have discovered over the course of this project, I'm sure there are more.  Also, many of these breweries offer beer in growlers (jug beer) which are returnable-thus creating no waste! 

_Surly (Brooklyn Center, MN, no relation to bikes)
_Lift Bridge (Stillwater, MN)
_Town Hall (Seven Corners Minneapolis)
_Great River's (St. Paul)
_Brau Brothers (Lucan, MN)
_Cold Spring (Cold Spring, MN)
_Finnegans Irish Amber (one produce one beer, but 100% of profits to to help the working poor and at rish youth, brewed by Summit)
_Fulton (Minneapolis's newest brewery)
_Lake Superior Brewing Co (Duluth, MN)
_Mantorville Brewing Co (Mantorville, MN)
_Pig's Eye Brewing Co. (St. Paul)
_August Schell Brewing Co (second oldest family-run brewery in the US, survived the prohibition!)
_St. Croix Brewing Co (St. Paul-first american beer fermented with pure maple syrup)
_Vine Park Brewing Co. (St. Paul-growlers only?)

_Alexis Bailly (Hastings)
_Cannon River Winery (Cannon Falls)
_Carlos Creek Winery (Alexandria)
_Falconer Vineyards (Red Wing)
_Fieldstone Vineyards (Morgan)
_Forestedge Winery (Laporte)
_Goose Lake Farm (Elk River)
_Luedke's Winery (Princeton)
_Minnestalgia Wines (haha McGregor)
_Morgan Creek Vineyards (New Ulm)
_Northerm Vineyards (Stillwater)
_Olde County Winery (Lake Lillian)
_Saint Croix Vineyards (Stillwater)
_Santiago's Winery (Alexandria)
_Scenic Valley (Lanesboro)
_Winehaven (Chisago City)
_Beven's Creek Vineyard and Nursery (Carver)
_Crofut Family Winery (Peterson)
_Glacial Ridge Winery (Spicer)
_Great River Vineyard (Lake City)
_Millner Heritage Vineyard (Kimball)
_Post Town Winery (Byron, MN)
_Salem Glen Vineyard (Rochester)
_Two Fools (Plummer)
_Whitewater Wines (Plainview)
_Winterhaven Vineyard (Janesville)
_Woodland Hill Winery (Delano)

 Surprised that we have wineries in Minnesota? So was I.  Many of the wines are made from Frontenac grapes, which are a local cold-weather grapes.  Check out your area for local wineries, I think you'd be surprised.