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, November 22, 2010


Oil creates the illusion of a completely changed life,
life without work,
life for free. 

The concept of oil expresses perfectly the eternal human dream of wealth achieved through lucky accident.

In this sense, oil is a fairy tale and like every fairy tale,

a bit of a lie.

Ryszard Kapuscinski (quoted in Crude by Sonia Shah)

deepwater horizon 4.20.2010

1 comment:

  1. Hi there. Good on ya' for doing this AND making it available for people to read about. I am wondering if you know about a "day" that might exist (think "Bike to work day")to celebrate local resilience and raise awareness to our dependence on fossil fuels and how we can relearn how to live without it. I would like to start a real dialogue about how to bring such a day about. I sent the same question to Apartment Therapy Re-nest and asked them to contact you as I don't want to post my email here. I'll try registering and see where that gets me! - Rob