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This is a question Advice from Old People

Sometimes, just sometimes, old people say something worth listening to. Ok, so it's like picking the needle out of a whole haystack of mis-remembered war stories, but those gems should be celebrated.

Tell us something worthwhile an old-type person has told you.

Note, we're leaving the definition of old up to you, you smooth-skinned youngsters.

(, Thu 19 Jun 2008, 16:16)
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First off, I'm not pessimistic by nature.

Quite the opposite in fact, I'm often chided for being overly optimistic and 'it'll all come out in the wash'.

Over the last couple of years though, I've come to the increasing realisation that the global maths doesn't add up and we're in deep, deep shit. I think this needs to be said. Indulge me if you've five mins.

It's Oil of course. But the problem is flow rates, not stock.

Here's my evidence:

- oil/liquid transportable fuel represents labour you don't have to do. We're here in large numbers now largely because of this.

- Despite 40 years of advances in technology, the decade in which we found the most oil was the 1960s.

- All the OPEC countries over inflated their reserve estimates (2-3 fold) in the 1980s to increase production quotas.

- Even BP estimates, based on the OPEC over estimates only give us 40 years of oil max.

- Biofuels are just 3-4% of daily consumption and production already competes with grain/water resources.

- Tar sands offer only 2-3% of daily consumption and are 20-30x as expensive to extract as 'sweet crude'.

- Oil has doubled in price in the last year, and an extra 2.5 million barrels per day is the max the Saudis are prepared/can/able to pump out. We need 90+ million barrels/ day at the moment and an extra 3 billion more people in the next 30 years aren't going to help.

- Current estimates of peak oil (maximum extraction) are now to 2011 +/- a year, regardless of whether we turns the lights off or not.

- Fuel protests are already happening, and blockades of depots eg Stanlow caused meltdown in cities within 3 days. We only have 18 days of gas storage in the UK.

- The UK started importing gas for the first time in 2007. We didn't notice huge rises initially because Norway and Russia tendered separately for the (new) business and we were essentially over stocked. Winter 2008 will see us totaly vulnerable to global prices with no leverage.

I really don't see a way out of this. Anarchy, civil war, riots, mass migration, starvation and chaos, pockets of never oil dependent civilisations dotted about the globe, with a few Tom and Barbara Good types (armed to the gunwhales of course) thrown in for good measure in a technological stone age.

It scares the living shit out of me on a daily basis.

And the advice?

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:27, 109 replies)
I'm afraid that I'm really not informed enough to know if this is true or not. *waits for enzyme*

I'm ready for when it all comes crashing down though.

*loads shotgun*
*sharpens knife*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:33, closed)
Perhaps bird flu
will evolve into a human-transmittable version and kill half of us.

Which would be a bugger for that half, but in the long run better for the half that are left, once they've done with the funerals and all.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:36, closed)
would have been less painful I think....
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:38, closed)
I'm having images of you as Tim Robbins in War of the Worlds hiding in a basement with a manic look in your eye.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:39, closed)
I agree. But you try telling the pope that.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:39, closed)
It seems only the very rich and very poor have lots of kids... Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in Europe I think.. must be a lot of 'bum fun' going on ;)
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:42, closed)
Replace "basement" with
Rural, barricaded church.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:44, closed)
My sources
which are rather shadowy but VERY well informed tell me that the shit will hit the fan in a very ugly way within the year. The global economy is tottering along in feet of clay and will crash to a degree that "will make 1929 look like a walk in the park." Additionally our food system is stretched to capacity now, and it would take very little to crash that as well.

Add to this the current madness of growing corn for ethanol fuel and the fact that the US midwest has been flooded all to fuck and that we still have the problem with honey bee die-off, and yeah- we're gonna be fucked hard with a chainsaw.

How are your survivalist skills, people?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:45, closed)
Mine are excellent.
*smiles slowly*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:46, closed)
You know very well that when the dead rise, churches are not a good defensible structure. You want to be up in the scottish highlands, in an old castle.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:47, closed)
You're making a mistake.
The Guide is written with the Merkin reader in mind.
English rural churches are about the closest things to fortresses there are around here.
That's because they WERE built to act as them.
A stone building with 3-foot thick walls, windows that start 10-foot from the ground, and the thickest, heaviest door you can imagine are actually pretty useful.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:50, closed)
cover the planet with windmills?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:50, closed)
What about the crypts?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:53, closed)
If the end of the world is nigh...
Then I know what I want to be doing ; )
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:54, closed)
If I nailed you in a coffin

Then you wouldn't be able to get out.
Being a zombie doesn't give you super-strength.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:55, closed)
What was that poem about nazis
"First they came"..

Anyway, it's funny how we get all worked up about impending doom when such widespread catastrophe is already on our doorstep (many parts of Africa).
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:56, closed)
@ Weeker
People don't care until things are fucking with them though. That's just the way it is.
As soon as everything's gone to shit here, then people will start to notice.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:57, closed)
They will
and I have.

I'm reading Haberman's link.

*feels depressed*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 15:59, closed)
Thats true
If this peak Oil ever does turn into disaster then we only have our own ravenous commercialism to blame, something thats runs deeper than religion in the Western World I say.

I'm one of them! :( In far too deep to help myself. So hopefully it all blows over and I can live my life spending/owing more money than the next guy.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:02, closed)
I blame the Tories
And that Gordon Brown fella (see above)...

[PJM runs off to scribble another rant to his MP]
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:02, closed)
now i feel slightly smug about not having any pension plans.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:05, closed)
I blame the fact that we're a
Use/discard/replace society, rather than a use/repair/reuse kind of one.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:06, closed)
Disposable society
It's true. Where are our skills these days? My father could strip down an engine and fix it. That's not something I could contemplate...

Perhaps in fifty years we'll be sewing footballs for the Chinese?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:09, closed)
Like a monstrous game of musical chairs - where are you going to be when the music stops?
Mortgages - irrelevant - pensions - irrelevant. Clean water, food and fuel - a priority.

Before then - the limbo bar just gets lower...
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:10, closed)
I've had to stop watching coverage of all this as I'm depressed enough with my own piddling shit to deal with.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:13, closed)
I'm not so worried...
I'm only 22, I've not got a pension, a mortgage or children to worry about.
I'm lucky enough to live very much in the countryside, I know a lot about keeping animals (farm-type ones included), and growing food plants.
If things go seriously tits up, I'm fairly confident.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:13, closed)
there's gonna be a lot of displaced people from the cities looking for land and animals. It's going to get messy.

I am soooooooooooooooooooo depressed now.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:15, closed)
I know there is *grins*
*looks at gun cabinet and knives*

*breathes deeply*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:16, closed)
B3ta bash/ survivalist boot camp at Kaol's then in the near future?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:16, closed)
Given a 1970s engine, I could do the same if I had access to parts and had the tools. The problem now is that we use computers for controlling the engine to such a degree that without access to the computer diagnostic equipment and replacement chips I can't fix them.

The problem is that the engines have gotten so fucking complex that you need a hundred grand's worth of equipment to do anything to them.

EDIT: and I recently bought a compound bow. Just in case, ya know.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:17, closed)
As long as you pull your weight, and remember who your leader is, then I'm fine with that.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:17, closed)
Nice one.

*begins stockpiling knives, beans and porn*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:18, closed)
We'll be growing our own beans.
And apples.
And lots of potatoes.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:24, closed)
^^Oh, right
*dumps beans*
*gets more porn*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:25, closed)
Can I be in charge of
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:26, closed)
Yes you can.
I think the maximum group size we could support would be around 50.
There'd be room for several ho-ers.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:27, closed)
*chucks some porn*
*adds drumkit*

*Boom tish*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:28, closed)
Nuthin like a good hoe.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:32, closed)
^ and that's why
I'll be the leader.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:32, closed)
There are alternatives
Although nuclear power isn't a popular option (not in my back yard matey), France generates some 35% of it's electricity from nuclear plants. The main problem after that is obtaining and disposing of nuclear fuel. It should be noted that modern nuclear power stations are vastly more efficient these days...

There is also the prospect of fusion power, which is being researched by several nations with a prototype reactor being planned for France in a few years.

Wolf at the door doesn't go into details, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER does explain a little more about the project - yes I know Wiki is hardly gospel, but the fact that $9.1bn has been invested in the project speaks more about viability than the author of WATD, who supplies no evidence to support their arguement that fusion will remain a pipe dream.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:34, closed)
I'm beginning to feel better about the end of the world
Out in the fields, hoeing and planting. Nights around the campfire with the drum kit...
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:34, closed)
...And drinking homebrew

(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:35, closed)
What do you think we'll grow apples for?
Make cider, then distil it to make *shrugs*
I have no idea what it'd be.
But it'd hit the fuckin' spot, that's for sure.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:37, closed)
I could treat you all to my concept jazz odyssey, "The End of Modern Civilisation in 746 Drum Solos".

You would love it. or you would if I wasn't shit.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:37, closed)
Can we not grow apples
and make cider?

edit - I like the way you're thinking Kaol!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:38, closed)
Well in that case
I'm gonna need corn, rye, barley and malt. And some charcoal. And some barrels. And some doritos.

BK: Brilliant! Bring it on.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:38, closed)
No Doritos.
They're from the Before Times.
So they're banned.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:40, closed)
A lass who likes drumming?

*sprays Lynx*
*slicks back hair*

Well, hello!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:41, closed)
You must have nice strong arms!
Kaol - I'll make 'em. Can't be that hard.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:42, closed)
politics. remind me to read this seriously when I've done the catching up with the chat importance.

afternoon people. Am i in the right place?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:43, closed)

Nah, I'm a wirey sod.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:43, closed)
Ok, you can make them.
When you're not ho-ing.

EDIT: Yep, you're in the right place Ms A.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:43, closed)
ancrenne! yay!
Wanna help me hoe?

BK: Wire is usually very strong! I look forward to being entertained!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:46, closed)
I've just got to read the thread before I can help anyone.
I've some catching up to do - I saw part one of HLTs story about me, her and the policeman. Fantastic! I feel famous!

Glad I found you all - I have two whole days of actual work ahead of me and no interwebs til night time. Don't forget me!

(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:48, closed)
*fears he's hyped himself up too much*

Oh well, nearly 5. Off home for beer and Wii while I still can before the crash of civilisation!
Have a nice evening everyone *hugs all round*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:50, closed)
*hugs BK*

*marvels at arms*

*thinks of popeye*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:51, closed)
consider me a signed up hoe-er.

I have two hoes.

I grow loads of fruit and veg already. And can make excellent compost.

EDIT - and yes, things are tricky, but they are not desperate for any of us b3tafolks yet. I could get all depressed about this, or I could think 'I don't like the ways things work, I want do so something about it' and then do it. Some of you might guess that I have taken the latter path.

If it all crashes to shit around my ears, I'll know I did my best and was happy every day while getting along. I'd rather that than be miserable for years but never have the disaster.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:52, closed)
Like I said earlier
I'm ready for the End Of The World.
*knocks back a drink*
*watches civilization die*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:53, closed)
*plans vegetable plot*

EDIT: Love your edit ancrenne. Thank god you came back. BK's drumming promises were the only thing of any cheer prior to that!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:56, closed)
My blackcurrant and redcurrant and gooseberry bushes are looking fabulous. I actually did a small dance when I saw the pretty berries on them :)

EDIT - hooray to that Clendrix! I want happines by the wheelbarrow load and it's up to me to make sure it happens.




(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:57, closed)
Hey peeps
Just so you know, in my garden I have

(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 16:58, closed)
Get you, MM.
You get fabber by the minute!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:00, closed)
My garden has
Apple trees
Cherry plums
Rosehips (can be used in beer, woo!)
And will soon have chickens.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:00, closed)
My garden
has waist-height grass.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:01, closed)
Or "grass"?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:01, closed)
I'm sure that your new civilisation will
be needing civil engineers

I wasn't going to offer my services and then Madam Malboro mentioned marijuana (ooo alliteration galore)
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:03, closed)
Clendrix, I've always
thought you were a good egg : )
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:03, closed)
To be fair
it's in a little tent in my loft at the moment. But it was outside last summer.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:04, closed)
Everytime a plan unfolds, Vipros pops up to remind us we'll need civil engineers.

I'm sure we will.

(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:04, closed)
No dice.
I want farmers. Not builders.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:04, closed)
Thank you! *beams*

Kaol - sadly just grass. The cat loves it.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:05, closed)
I specialise in hydraulic engineering though
you need irrigation for successful farming

especially in the arid world of the future
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:05, closed)
One of those things you've gotta have for uphill gardening, I guess.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:06, closed)
Vipros has a very fine point. Just because you want to be the only male...
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:06, closed)
Solar power FTW
Just cover the world's deserts with solar panels.

By the way, does anyone know if the lifetime energy output of solar pannels is enough to offset the environmental damage caused by the materials and energy used to produce them?

@ancrenne: T'is the right place. I've linked today's threads.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:07, closed)
*attaches spikes to car*
*makes stupid outfit from American Football gear and feathers*
*joins up with Tina Turner, presumably just outside Nutbush City*
*practices bungee fighting*

Two men enter, one man leaves!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:07, closed)
Oooooh spak,
Have you been embedding links again?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:08, closed)
can build sustainable abodes for us all with his saw and chisel.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:09, closed)
if you are in charge and want to garden uphill then who are we to stand (or bend over) in your way!

Mr S: fairly sure that solar energy is not the way. it's all about tidal, hydro or geothermal on a smale scale basis
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:09, closed)
Good question - but no idea of the answer.

A key step is, I think, changing expectations so people use less in the first place.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:10, closed)
Yup Clendrix,
but then I'd accidentally burn them to the ground with my constant smoking.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:10, closed)

Read the thing haberman posted way up ^ there.
Not very cheery, but informative.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:11, closed)
Solar Power
Great idea, cover the areas of the world which have low population density and are predominantly deserts with solar panels and thus transfer energy production away from troublesome parts of the world where religious intolerance and the threat of fundamentalists holding the rest of the world's energy supply to ransom...

Hang on a minute...

(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:13, closed)
are we going to have to grow tobacco then?

*is never ever going to consider self a non smoker no matter how long I go without cigarettes for*
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:13, closed)
I guess they'll have to be,
in the bleak times ahead, when there is no more Lambert & Butler.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:14, closed)
EDIT - and yes, things are tricky, but they are not desperate for any of us b3tafolks yet. I could get all depressed about this, or I could think 'I don't like the ways things work, I want do so something about it' and then do it. Some of you might guess that I have taken the latter path.

If it all crashes to shit around my ears, I'll know I did my best and was happy every day while getting along. I'd rather that than be miserable for years but never have the disaster.

Nice one A! Good to have a defiantly positive attitude.

MM: I seem to be the only one (apart from ancrenne who did it once) who'se linking the chat-threads.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:15, closed)
And we love you for it
Mr Spak!

Yes, let's grow tobacco.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:16, closed)
Cheers Spakka
I like the way I think too.

And I think the job of linking the threads has fallen to you as you just got on and did it... I'm certainly grateful!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:17, closed)
Here's some skills we could learn.

Went on a two week course myself a few years ago.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:17, closed)
I don't know about the solar panels thing, my gut instinct is no as that would seem to be producing energy from nothing, but I may be wrong.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:17, closed)
I didn't want to step on your linky toes. You're just so good at it.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:18, closed)
I'm off now boys and girls
I shall be in a shed, singing songs about the end of the world. Loudly.

That's actually true.

I'll be back about midnight. Bye!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:18, closed)
Bye Kaol
I will be out being sociable. Probably.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:19, closed)
Spak's Link
Let's all go on the sweat lodge building workshop on 9th August!

Bye Kaol!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:19, closed)
Spanner in the chicken coop
Or could it be we're having a bit of an economic downturn with a few leader we genuinely don't like and everyone getting a bit depressed about it all.

Trust me, it'll be fine. And it is not, then find me in the new apocalyptic world and I'll make you a cider and let you have a go with my best pr0n.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:21, closed)
Oh no, it's pub time!
I will be drinking a renewable beverage, as Carlsberg is much the same on the way out as it is on the way in.

I shall see you folks at drunk o'clock.

Have a nice evening.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:23, closed)
All this talk of growing tobacco...
I hope it's just for cash-crop purposes.

But what about the American desets?

"parts of the world where religious intolerance and the threat of fundamentalists holding the rest of the world's energy supply to ransom"


EDIT: Bye Kaol.

(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:23, closed)
Hello Maker
I don't think we mind either way. I think we just like the opportunity to waffle on and practice successful work-avoidance.

*acknowledges I have all the depth of a puddle*

Bye Wookie!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:24, closed)
gotta get home for the football (suspect I'm on my own in that respect).

Fix the world while I'm gone - see ya later!
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:28, closed)
Bye clendrix
I hope the ball goes where you want it to.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:30, closed)
Entirley, just thought I'd throw tuppence against the stream. I spend my days surrounded by idealist lefties and can't spend my life arguing with everyone.

Wanders off mumbling about pet hates, if only I'd got in in time for that QOTW. Damn faulty alarm clock...

Ooooh, beer o'clock.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:31, closed)
Damn this 'i'm starting a business' malarkey
Phone call just interrupted b3ta.

Anyone still here?
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:36, closed)
Bye clendrix
@al re producing energy for nothing: They just harness the sun's energy which is beamed from the sun.

@clendrix re 9th August workshop: So is this yet another bash?

EDIT: Bye Neostenine's maker

EDIT2: I'm still here, but not sure for how long.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:36, closed)
I'm here a bit too.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:38, closed)
I'm off...
I'm off home on my Ethnic Peace Bicycle (true, I no longer commute by car).

When I get home I'm going to drill into the ground to look for oil and water. The bloke in the flat below me might be a bit miffed though, so I'll cut him in on any profits.

Don't have nightmares, the great and good of b3ta will solve the world's problems.

G'night all
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:42, closed)
thanks MM :)
It is heading into the quiet time for b3ta I suppose.

And I do have some work to do...
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:43, closed)
Some of us are on here as well.

As the thread-linker dude, I hate it when this happens. I'll also be linking the parts of HLT's story.

(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 17:45, closed)
It is a bit worrying
And the issue of global warming clouds (lol) the issue further, because whether it's true or not, it's really a seperate issue that gets lumped in with oil running out and when people dismiss global warming, the issue of oil/resources running out and the resultand consequences similarly get dismissed.
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 19:00, closed)
Chat continues here
(, Wed 25 Jun 2008, 22:50, closed)

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