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Carfree Living / Oil Demand Destruction: The Story of Our Time

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Friend of mine moved out towards West Wales in keeping with all you suggest, bought a knock-down mill and renovated it with several acres to boot. Saved a fortune on current rates as to what he could buy elsewhere, however, his nearest town seems to be Llanelli (about 14 miles or so away).

 

Well that's less remote than where I am in some ways, although i'm closer to a town. I take it that he is somewhere in south Carmarthenshire, not a bad place to be.

 

Most of Carmarthenshire does have more economic opportunities than Pembrokeshire. They still have a number of functioning coalmines and smaller fields and their farming infrastructure (in terms of co-operatives) is better organised and a larger concern than Pembrokeshire's.

 

They've also embraced renewables and sustainables in a far greater way than Pembrokeshire.

 

What would concern me, is whilst he can currently live off the land and works in an energy efficiency related field, he's so remote i don't think he's thought out transport issues linked to health needs and other supplies for example.

 

I suppose, if it exists (if it doesn't, start one), then he could get all his food (in excess of what he grows) etc delivered.

If not then start a food growing/ delivery service. Of course the bigger supermarkets do this, but your choices are limited and I feel that it will become economically unviable for them to deliver to areas beyond a ten mile radius of each individual store due to the price of our friend Mr Petroleum (but that's not yet).

 

Healthcare is another matter entirely. Unfortunately for Wales we are a poor country, our health service is a lot more ragged than England's and the healthcare here in the west of Wales is particularly bad.

 

We're only half-joking when we say 'Don't get ill, because the ambulance probably won't turn up' and my favourite 'Don't get ill, cos you'll never make it out of the hospital'.

 

Of course if you look after your health, eat a more alkaline diet, exercise with good form and intensity, keep flexible etc, then your health will serve you well and you won't need a hospital.

 

Good luck to your mate by the way.

 

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Of course if you look after your health, eat a more alkaline diet...

 

I'd like to hear more about the "alkaline diet" since that seems to be exactly what I need.

Too much acid in the diet.

 

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I use the inverted commas because I don't see enough sense of direction about Britain to suppose there is any creative process going on at political levels.

 

There doesn't seem to be any (once again) clear ideas and direction on behalf of the UK government with regards to energy production.

 

All energy innovation in the UK is coming from Private Companies, who (STILL) face major battles with redundant and next to useless town councils who haven't got a clue either.

 

The UK's more like ten years behind the curve with regards to their thinking. Thank god that there are enough energy-related businesses that can at least see some of the puzzle to provide some of the pieces.

 

Finally, with regards to the U.S. Whilst their government is useless, I will say this in favour of the majority of Americans, when they grasp a situation, they tend to sort it out pretty quickly.

 

That's why I feel that America (in the most part) will adapt and will (in the most part), come out as one of the energy producing leaders and despite vested interests and an ingrained 'lifestyle', will come out of it a better stronger country.

 

Notice how west Texas has positioned itself already as the leading wind-power production facility in the States and one of the biggest facilities in the world. And this has happened within the last couple of years.

 

Meanwhile back in Britain, we are still looking around for fifty pence to put in the electricity meter.

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Yes. That is an area of disagreement- the cities.

 

Thanks, interesting answer (again).

 

It does seem to me that you are probably both right (some of the time).

 

I think it is probable that many cities will implode under their own weight. That does not mean that cities per se are completely unsustainable. London had a population of 5,572,012 in 1890 before the advent of the car so it can be done, even with really quite large cities.

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Thanks, interesting answer (again).

 

It does seem to me that you are probably both right (some of the time).

 

I think it is probable that many cities will implode under their own weight. That does not mean that cities per se are completely unsustainable. London had a population of 5,572,012 in 1890 before the advent of the car so it can be done, even with really quite large cities.

 

I may be right for the dense cities with good transport, that can somehow maintain job levels (in certain countries.)

But I worry that JHK may be right in the long run. Then, where do we go, where do we hide?

 

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I may be right for the dense cities with good transport, that can somehow maintain job levels (in certain countries.)

But I worry that JHK may be right in the long run. Then, where do we go, where do we hide?

 

I think the answers are not really that hard. I think it is asking the right questions and being prepared to act to implement the answers quickly that will present the difficulty, to act soon enough anyway. The longer the questions go unasked, the more people will die through war, famine and civil unrest. Some countries are probably already past the point of no return, but I think the US, the EU, China, Australia, New Zealand could all come through OK.

 

An example of what is mean is the American view that their way of life is "not up for negotiation". I think that kind of blinkered obstinacy is global.

 

I think that it is a military, strategic, social, political and economic necessity for every country (community may be a better word) to be capable of sustaining itself on locally produced resources. For the UK, our sustainable population limit is about 27,000,000, so we need to have a policy on population which envisages a decline in population to that level and energy and food policies which keep us going in the meantime.

 

Bear in mind, all we are talking about is unwinding some fairly recent changes. I am old enough that I can remember a time when my father was the only man on our street with a car, and the UK population only passed 27,000,000 in the late 19th Century.

 

However,

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I think that it is a military, strategic, social, political and economic necessity for every country (community may be a better word) to be capable of sustaining itself on locally produced resources. For the UK, our sustainable population limit is about 27,000,000, so we need to have a policy on population which envisages a decline in population to that level and energy and food policies which keep us going in the meantime.

 

Bear in mind, all we are talking about is unwinding some fairly recent changes. I am old enough that I can remember a time when my father was the only man on our street with a car, and the UK population only passed 27,000,000 in the late 19th Century.

 

However,

Where does that figure come from?

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Bear in mind, all we are talking about is unwinding some fairly recent changes. I am old enough that I can remember a time when my father was the only man on our street with a car, and the UK population only passed 27,000,000 in the late 19th Century.

 

it's not so easy going back. Too much infrastructure has been built around the car.

For instance, US cities have dispersed the jobs in their center cities, and now so many people communte to work by automobile

 

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it's not so easy going back. Too much infrastructure has been built around the car.

For instance, US cities have dispersed the jobs in their center cities, and now so many people communte to work by automobile

 

Yes, but it is not that hard either, remember that a lot of those city centre jobs are simply going to vanish and be replaced with locally based jobs anyway.

 

Think of how the US responded to the onset of the Second World War - if the will is there to do it, then the changes can be made. I think it will be left too late though.

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Yes, but it is not that hard either, remember that a lot of those city centre jobs are simply going to vanish and be replaced with locally based jobs anyway.

 

Think of how the US responded to the onset of the Second World War - if the will is there to do it, then the changes can be made. I think it will be left too late though.

 

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Yes, but it is not that hard either, remember that a lot of those city centre jobs are simply going to vanish and be replaced with locally based jobs anyway.

Think of how the US responded to the onset of the Second World War - if the will is there to do it, then the changes can be made. I think it will be left too late though.

UNQUOTE

 

that's what is needed.

No more wishful dream. A sense of purpose, willingness to sacrifice for a greater cause, and - presumeably -

some inspiring leadership.

 

I believe that Obama could supply the leadership, but will he see the need clearly?

And will Americans deliver the needed commitment? Perhaps Time may tell.

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http://money.aol.com/news/articles/_a/driv...5532x1200117709

 

Copyright 2008 CNNMoney

2008-05-27 12:45:58

 

At a time when gas prices are at an all-time high, Americans have curtailed their driving at a historic rate.

 

Underscored by a slip in Memorial Day travel, the Department of Transportation says that drivers contending with unprecedented gas prices traveled 11 billion fewer miles in March than they did a year ago, the steepest year-over-year decrease on record, going back to 1942.

 

The Department of Transportation said figures from March show the steepest decrease in driving ever recorded.

 

As the pain at the pump gets more intense, what lifestyle changes have you been forced to make? Cancel a road trip? Sell your SUV or full-size pickup?

 

Compared with March a year earlier, Americans drove an estimated 4.3 percent less -- that's 11 billion fewer miles, the DOT's Federal Highway Administration said Monday, calling it "the sharpest yearly drop for any month in FHWA history." Records have been kept since 1942.

 

According to AAA, for the first time since 2002, Americans said they were planning to drive less over the Memorial Day weekend than they did the year before.

 

Tracy and Adam Crews posted on iReport that their annual Memorial Day weekend has traditionally involved camping and fishing.

 

"Well, due to the continual rise in gas, we felt our only recourse was to nix the idea this year and stay home" in Jacksonville, Fla., they wrote.

 

Instead, the couple said they "decided to camp out in the back yard. We set the tent up, just finished installing our above ground pool, and cleaned up the grill. ... We have ourselves a campsite! It's been a blast!"

 

Nakeisha Easterwood of Smyrna, Ga., said with gas prices on the rise, she sometimes catches rides with friends, and doesn't drive into town more than once a day. "It's crazy," she said.

 

According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas rose to a record $3.936. That compares with an average price per gallon of $3.23 last Memorial Day.

 

"With it being near $4 a gallon, you definitely have to drive slower and pick and choose when you're going to do it," said Steve Kahn of Roswell, Georgia, at a Memorial Day festival in Atlanta.

 

Some Americans have turned to public transportation. Ridership increased by 2.1 percent in 2007, in part because of rising gas prices, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

 

Americans took 10.3 billion trips on public transportation in 2007, the highest level in 50 years, the group said.

 

The Energy Information Administration says gas consumption for the first three months of 2008 is estimated to be down about 0.6 percent from the same time period in 2007.

 

For the summer season, gas consumption is expected to be down 0.4 percent from last year.

 

 

 

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SLEEPING IN THEIR CARS - that's what America has come to!

 

sleepin-in-car_sm.jpg..tysonsleepingcarzootripwv7.jpg..

 

I heard a very sad report on Gold seek radio about loads of Americans who have lost their homes,

and are now sleeping in their cars - how ironic can you get!

 

Apparently, there are 12 parking lots in Santa Barbara where people do this, and a local charity

has helped them to deal with the sticky legal issues.

 

They have to leave by 7am every morning

 

How awful, and how backwards.

 

They spend so much on their wasteful suburban society, that's what they are left with!

== == ==

 

[Nakeisha Easterwood of Smyrna, Ga., said with gas prices on the rise, she sometimes catches rides with friends, and doesn't drive into town more than once a day. "It's crazy," she said.

 

Wrong! It's essential.

It was crazy to live as you did before. Pure madness.

You need to wake up from your dream

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"THE LEAST WILLINGNESS TO BUY CARS in well over a decade" - says Bloomberg.

 

Slowly, but surely, the lights are coming on... to move the world towards Carfree living

 

 

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Excellent report published yesterday on the Oil Drum, Europe: Why Oil Costs $120 per barrel.

 

Very interesting comments... especially this chart

 

production_price.png

 

...and the comments about the fall in the quality of crude and liquids produced,

and the resulting need to expend more energy in producing energy.

 

This isn't a speculative bubble. my new target is $400 by 2012/3- if not sooner

 

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How to Ease Cost of Commuting

By JOSEE VALCOURT and Justin Scheck,

AP

 

http://money.aol.com/news/articles/_a/how-...0388x1200121916

 

Posted: 2008-05-29 16:06:56

Filed Under: Recession Watch, Home Business, Small Business

The Wall Street Journal (May 29) -- A handful of small towns and community colleges are switching to four-day workweeks in an effort to help employees cope with the rising gasoline prices, and could soon be joined by some larger local governments.

 

Michigan's Oakland County and New York's Suffolk County may join many companies across the country that are considering four-day workweeks for employees to try to cut gas costs. More details.

 

Michigan's Oakland County and New York's Suffolk County are both considering putting public employees on four-day workweeks. In Oklahoma, a resolution has been introduced in the state house of representatives recommending all state and local public employers move to a shortened week to provide relief from the cost of commuting.

 

"The things I've been reading say this is not a temporary hike in gas as we've seen in the months of the past," said L. Brooks Patterson , county executive for Oakland County, a wealthy area north of Detroit. "I don't think it stops at $4.20. I think it can easily be $5 or $6 a gallon."

 

Mr. Patterson is seeking approval from the county's Board of Commissioners to install a four-day, 10-hour workweek that would remain in place for "the foreseeable" future. As many as 1,500 of the county's 4,000 employees could end up working four 10-hour days a week instead of five eight-hour days.

 

Assuming gas stays at $4 a gallon and workers use two gallons for each round trip to work, Mr. Patterson estimated the savings from having 800 workers commuting only four days a week could save them a total of about $300,000 over the course of a year.

 

On New York's Long Island, Suffolk County executive Steve Levy said he's also pushing for a shorter workweek, although public offices will remain open five days a week. "We won't be shutting down buildings because we still have to provide services," he said. "But this would provide our employees a lot of flexibility."

 

Gasoline prices are pushing Americans to consider significant changes to the way they live and work. In the past few years, as gasoline prices rose past $2 and then $3 a gallon, many people have switched to smaller cars and cut down on driving somewhat.

 

The rise to $4 a gallon is prompting further steps. In March, Americans drove 11 billion fewer miles than in March 2007, according to the Federal Highway Administration. It was the first time March travel on public roads declined since 1979, and was the sharpest monthly drop the agency has recorded.

 

Some corporations are trying to help employees keep fuel costs down. Hewlett-Packard Co. is quadrupling its videoconferencing room by next year, hoping to eliminate about 20,000 employee plane trips annually, said Vyomesh Joshi, who heads the Palo Alto, Calif., tech giant's printing division. In recent weeks, the company has also sent newsletters to employees reminding them that company shuttles, car pools and bicycles are good ways to save gas money.

 

Google Inc. said it has seen an uptick in the number of employees using its van service, which travels as far as 60 miles to ferry commuters, says spokeswoman Sunny Gettinger. The company runs more than 150 shuttles a day for about 1,200 riders. But it's public employers who are moving to four-day weeks. At LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, some 400 professional employees such as librarians and those handling information technology can opt to reduce their commuting time starting Monday. Dale Lunsford, university president, said controlling the costs of food and other economic factors are out of his hand. "But I think we can do something to help the price of gas," Mr. Lunsford said.

 

Meridian Community College in Meridian, Miss., has decided to cut the summer class schedule from five to four days. Starting next week, many daytime students will attend classes either on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursday, said Scott Elliott, the college's president.

 

Last month, Seven Fields, Pa., a town of about 2,000 just north of Pittsburgh, approved a resolution to change the summer workweek for the public-works department, which employs four full-time workers, from five days to a four-day, 10-hour schedule.

 

Thomas B. Smith, the municipality's borough manager, said the workers will alternate their third day off to ensure that services don't suffer.

 

Christopher Conkey in Washington contributed to this article.

 

 

Adjunct*

According to a report in The Detroit News, some Ford employees were told about planned involuntary layoffs of about 10 percent -- or as high as 12 percent -- during a town hall-style meeting on Friday.

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Michigan's Oakland County and New York's Suffolk County are both considering putting public employees on four-day workweeks. In Oklahoma, a resolution has been introduced in the state house of representatives recommending all state and local public employers move to a shortened week to provide relief from the cost of commuting.

 

"The things I've been reading say this is not a temporary hike in gas as we've seen in the months of the past," said L. Brooks Patterson , county executive for Oakland County, a wealthy area north of Detroit. "I don't think it stops at $4.20. I think it can easily be $5 or $6 a gallon."

 

Mr. Patterson is seeking approval from the county's Board of Commissioners to install a four-day, 10-hour workweek that would remain in place for "the foreseeable" future. As many as 1,500 of the county's 4,000 employees could end up working four 10-hour days a week instead of five eight-hour days.

 

Hmmm. That's where I grew up!

The message is beginning to hit home in the very heart of "car country"

 

Ive got to wonder if this move will just result in more inefficient workers being hired

 

Michigan's Oakland County and New York's Suffolk

Some corporations are trying to help employees keep fuel costs down. Hewlett-Packard Co. is quadrupling its videoconferencing room by next year, hoping to eliminate about 20,000 employee plane trips annually, said Vyomesh Joshi, who heads the Palo Alto, Calif., tech giant's printing division. In recent weeks, the company has also sent newsletters to employees reminding them that company shuttles, car pools and bicycles are good ways to save gas money.

....

Thomas B. Smith, the municipality's borough manager, said the workers will alternate their third day off to ensure that services don't suffer.

...

According to a report in The Detroit News, some Ford employees were told about planned involuntary layoffs of about 10 percent -- or as high as 12 percent -- during a town hall-style meeting on Friday.

 

Yet another threat to airline rveenues

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HAPPY MOTORING WILL END - says JH Kunstler

 

painting_exit13.jpg

 

KunstlerCast #7: Fate of Flagstaff & Hydrogen Cars

 

A listener from Flagstaff, Ariz. wants to know what fate awaits his town in the post oil future. The verdict from Jim? At least it's not Phoenix, but most of Flagstaff looks like the service road around Newark Airport. The caller also asks about the new Honda hydrogen fuel cell car, which reminds Jim to bash so-called environmentalist Amory Lovins' fantasy to keep the motoring scene going at all costs.

 

Podcast: http://media.libsyn.com/media/kunstlercast...tlerCast_07.mp3

 

He doesnt like Phoenix much, that's for certain.

 

Near the end,

He really gets his teeth into those who think we should put all our efforts into saving "happy motoring"

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Great series - The Right way to do it:

Get a respected writer like Friedman (The World is Flat*) to write and present this serious topic.

 

==

 

*However: I think he missed something. The World is Flat was too optimistic - too gentle.

Whatw as going on was a Global Leveling, with the US headed down, as BRIC countries were rising.

 

He says (on part 3):

"I have no doubt that America's love affair with the automobile will never end."

I posted;

Think again, Tom. This toxic love affair can destroy America. Oil is headed to $400 per barrel,

and if it doesnt rethink its wasteful suburban living arrangement, the society will be nothing

but a sick and dying oil junky. Carfree is the only solution for most Americans, not fantasy

automobiles, that put the price of food up.

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Going back earlier in this thread...

 

I think it is probable that many cities will implode under their own weight. That does not mean that cities per se are completely unsustainable. London had a population of 5,572,012 in 1890 before the advent of the car so it can be done, even with really quite large cities.

London's early growth happened as sprawl rather than high-rise. Personally I don't like sprawl, but it's probably better than high-rise when services like electricity, water and sewerage begin to break down.

 

The other thing that occurs to me is that it would be interesting to know how many more food miles it takes to feed modern London, compared to the situation 120 years ago when the agricultural hinterland was much more intact.

 

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Finally, a point of recognition seems to have been reached - a long term trend is broken

 

0618.h9.gif

 

Says Chris Puplava:

 

"Another area of the economy that has broken under the weight of rising energy prices is the auto industry. Total vehicle sales have broken a trend that has been in place for the last 26 years as vehicle sales plummet at a rate not seen since the 1990 and 1980 recessions, recessions characterized by oil price spikes. Not only have high oil prices affected total vehicle sales but also consumer buying preferences. Relative sales of cars to trucks has spiked sharply after putting in a bottom in 2005, back when gas was $2 a gallon as consumers switch to more fuel efficient vehicles."

 

"The worst is not behind us," he concludes

 

/see: http://www.financialsense.com/Market/wrapup.htm

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Garrison Keillor, on the decline and fall of the camper van.

 

http://www.salon.com/opinion/keillor/2008/06/18/winnebago/

 

(Winnebago stock, by the way, is actually down over 57% in the last 12 months.)

 

June 18, 2008 | Eighty-six percent of the American people believe the price of gasoline will climb to five bucks a gallon this year, a big shift in public opinion from a year ago when most people felt that oil prices were spiking high and would soon return to normal -- which is 35 cents a gallon, same as a pack of smokes -- and we'd be able to head west in our Winnebagos for a nice summer vacation.

 

This does not appear to be in the cards and Winnebago stock has fallen about 50 percent in the past year. If you are selling a big box on a truck chassis for as much as a quarter-million dollars when gas is at $4 and rising, you are aiming at a rather select clientele indeed, folks who might rather buy a beach house in Costa Rica than go cruising the Interstate.

 

.......

 

Five-dollar gasoline is pushing that fantasy to the wall, and it's also showing most of us that we live in communities whose design is based on the assumption of cheap gasoline -- big lots with backyard privacy make for a long drive to the grocery store. In the big old-fashioned city neighborhood, if you're bored in the evening you just stroll out the door and there, within five or 10 minutes, are a newsstand, a diner, a movie theater, a palm reader, a tavern with a bartender named Joe, whatever you're looking for.

 

But in the sort of neighborhood most Americans prefer, there are only a lot of houses like yours and residents who give evening pedestrians the hairy eyeball. The mall is a long hike away and it's an amalgam of chain outlets, with a vast parking lot around it. To a person approaching on foot, it feels like an enemy fortress.

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