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, August 22, 2010


21 August 2010

miles biked-46 (lost and confused)
water used- 7.8875 gallons (7.1125 surplus)

Today, Garden's of Eagan (an organic farm which supplies my co-op with a lot of their produce) put on an event of touring the farm and buying local (Farmington) foods.  The farm is about 35 miles from Uptown Minneapolis, and our plan was to leave at 10, leaving 3-4 hours to bike down, tour the farm and bike back in one day. We loaded up with a burley trailer (thanks Jim) and my solar-powered bike stereo (made for the bike across Iowa this year).  

 Well..... we didn't end up leaving till about 11:30, and (optimistic as we were) didn't write down very clear directions to get there.  About 12 miles into the trip we got lost the first time (around the airport and had to backtrack a few miles.  Another 7 or so miles later we (again) realized we had taken a wrong turn which had sent us 5 miles in the wrong direction :/  At this point, with another 15-20 miles to go, we realized we weren't going to make it to the farm before the event was over (especially hauling 40 extra pounds between the trailer and the stereo) and sadly, sat under a tree by this Lockheed Martin to contemplate our situation over dry bread and an apple.  While sitting there being sad about our situation we noticed a Granite City restaurant/brewery across the street.  Granite City advertises that their beer is locally brewed even though they are a Midwestern-wide chain restaurant. There are signs on the doors of "Support your local brewery".  We decided to check out this self-proclaimed local beer.  We ordered a few drinks and an excited waiter came over and (because we were really sweaty and bike-ish in general) told him we had biked here from Minneapolis.  He was really excited about this and it gave us the idea that restaurants should offer some kind of discount to people who arrive by bike.  This would help both the patrons of the restaurant (they would be healthier) and the restaurant itself (they wouldn't have to provide as much parking, and would probably sell more food and drinks because people would be more hungry and thirsty after biking :) )  We asked him about the beers we had just ordered (because the building wasn't nearly big enough to be brewing 5 different kinds of beer).  He explained that the beer was actually brewed in a central location and just fermented in each local Granite City location.  While this is better than some options, it certainly shouldn't be labeled as "local".  These labels can be very misleading and frustrating :/ 

Needless to say, we didn't stay for a second semi-local beer, and instead headed back to make a truly local meal. 

(Those of you who were thinking about going and couldn't, its really for the best, next time Garden's of Eagan! We will find you! Ha, sad.)


 The design of the stereo is from an instructables: with some modifications to fit my bike and such. I haven't tested how long it last continuously playing, but on the week we biked across Iowa with it (at least 5 hours of riding every day it didn't need any extra charge). It is a 5 watt solar panel (about $50 on Amazon) which trickle charges a 7amp battery and that feeds the speakers/amp. The entire thing can be switched on with the black switch in front and has audio and usb cable holes on the front to plug and charge my Ipod which is attached to the top tube of my bike with industrial velcro. Its heavy (about 20 lbs) and fits in the milk crate on the back of my bike.


  1. That radio is definitely now on my projects list!

  2. You could be qualified for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  3. You might be qualified for a new solar program.
    Click here and find out if you are eligble now!