PREPPER EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS
To be completely honest with you, I had envisioned Peak Oil as another Y2K, although about twenty times worse ( with the power out at midnight in the year 2000 one could expect mass die-offs immediately from the weather. A bit of a safety valve. With Peak Oil, there would be much more mayhem by many more people fighting in desperation much longer ). An immediate panic as the oil ceased to flow in prodigious quantities, everyone screaming and panicking like the end of the movie Miracle Mile, assholes and elbows as it were. Yes, I’m being slightly dramatic. But I did see us as having collapsed quite a long time ago. I didn’t really see a decade or two of economic disaster first ( we are in year eight of Peak Oil Global Version here in 2013 ). And while I was blind to anything other than total collapse immediately, it seems most folks are blind to anything other than Business As Usual ( even survivalists, and that is Pure D embarrassing ). They take the stop gap emergency measures we have used to forestall collapse and use them as a magic talisman proving in their minds that the collapse shall never happen at all. Because mankind denuded his environment so many times before and survived, even prospered a time or two ( England going from trees to coal which at the time seemed a step back ), and because we have been absolutely blinded by 500 years of western civilization surplus, few can comprehend anything but prosperity full speed ahead ( even with an economic depression they see absolutely no way we could ever run out of finite resources ).
The US pulled all the global surplus corn ( that’s maize to you Limey’s ) and turned it into a pathetic substitute for 10% of our gasoline ( since ethanol delivers less BTU’s per volume than gas, your ten percent is delivering about 7% equivalent- a 3% cut in power for more money! ). As first seen in the Mexican Tortilla Crisis, then all across the Middle East, poor folk everywhere revolted against price increases they literally couldn’t afford for basic sustenance. Rather than ending the ethanol program and bribing stability everywhere, Obammy The Kenyan just continues to trash talk governments and send troops everywhere insurrection flares up-which is pretty much everywhere ( of course, in his defense, it might be too late now and there isn’t enough corn to do the job. After all, our gasoline consumption continues to fall, so if we continue to grow less corn few actually notice. Just blame the drought on $10 a pound beef ). The issue at hand isn’t even ethanol alone but the increase in petroleum price ( which is just fuel to food ) AND the continuing weather issues globally ( it isn’t Gore Warming-locally our worst summer on record was 1917, long before we started burning all this dinosaur juice- it is a return from a benign weather period to the normal chaotic all over the map kind ). Ethanol is just the cherry on top of the crap sundae.
While using half our corn to replace a mere 10% of our gasoline is really stupid, it has a hairlipped cousin called Frac Oil. Frac Oil and Frac Gas ( natural gas, not gasoline ) have been around for decades, but back then no oil man right in the head would have suggested it was a good idea. While Texas Sweet would have returned a 50 to 1 energy ( energy return on energy invested, EROI ) ration, fracturing was a dismal single digit to one. It isn’t a new technology, it is a bottom of the barrel technique, on par with stripper wells ( old wells with very low output ). Don’t get me wrong, it is better than nothing. We went from domestic production of five million barrels a day to six because of it ( with ethanol thrown in, ignoring the increased energy required for both which might make the whole thing a net energy sink ). Of course, we use almost twenty million a day, so it sure as hell ain’t Energy Independence like so many claim. Fracking is very expensive and a well can drop in production as fast as 60% the first year alone. It isn’t a hundred years of supply. Perhaps five. With a lot more investment for a lot more wells.
I’ll admit the market, the gooberment, The Powers That Be, whoever, did an admirable job kicking the can down the road energy wise. One always pays a price of course. There Ain’t No Free Lunch. We’ve had a huge cereal surplus here for a long time ( previously turned into meat and dairy and sugar, so from oil to corn to 70% of America’s food ). By turning to ethanol we gave up that surplus, doubled our food prices and threw the entire Third World into political chaos ( oil price increases worked as a rationing system mostly there, so they get oil scarcity first, making domestic production problematic, then food import price increases ). At a time when global grain production is being hit by bad weather we turn to grain for fuel. It keeps the suburbs alive, or at least on life support, but the price is soon to be paid. The First American Caliph doesn’t have enough troops to extinguish all of the brushfires he started ( yes, Bush The Younger started the ethanol fiasco, but Obammy kept it going ) and pretty soon, if he keeps up his stupidity mistreating the military ( forcing units to accept female combatants, treating all returning troops as if they were dangerous psychos and etcetera ) he will have to rely on mercenary troops which are much more expensive. In the long run, ethanol creates many more problems than it solves. The frac oil, beyond local pollution and possibly increased earthquake activity, will cause some disruption such as diverting drilling resources from elsewhere, but in the end will be of little account other than the blinders it pulled over the public’s eyes and the false hope it dangerously birthed.
All of my links and information: http://jamesmdakin.blogspot.com/2013/05/info-page.html