It seems there is a word that describes what I have become, a ‘peaknik‘.
Throughout reading The Party’s Over, I experienced a full range of emotions regarding the seemingly inevitable pickle we’ve arranged for ourselves – the end of our industrialized civilization as we know it. Fortunately, I moved past the feeling of despair and have arrived at a more optimistic place. This was due in part by some of the other information I have been gathering about peak oil. Sometimes when one is faced with such difficult circumstances, they are inclined to believe that some other force outside themselves (scientists, government, big corporations, etc.) will solve the problem, therefore they cease to take action. On the the other hand is the eternal pessimist that believes we are ultimately doomed, so why bother taking action. Activists are the people in this world that take action and bring about awareness and change. As Gandhi said, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” We can’t wait for someone else to solve our problems for us.
At first I was angry and asking, why isn’t more being done? Then I moved into survivalist mode, telling myself, “I’m going to do whatever I can over the next few years to become self sufficient in preparation for the wind down of the oil era.” Now, after reading Why the Survivalists Have Got It Wrong by Rob Hopkins, I agree that he presents a more idealistic solution to the problem at hand. He introduces the concept of Energy Descent planning or pulling together your resources as a community in the era of declining oil. My personal goals will be to continue to integrate more eco-responsible choices into my life to assist in conservation and the weaning process, while simultaneously educating myself on some basic survival skills. I figure those skills could come in handy anyway. Also, I’d like to seek out a collective body of local, like-minded folks that are open to the idea of energy descent planning. To some degree, I may have an advantage in this area of gathering these people. Living in a coastal hurricane region often requires that one must enlist the help of a neighbor for assistance with various tasks during times of emergency preparedness and evacuation. An energy descent plan could just be an extension or other aspect of the emergency planning we are already familiar with. Instead of people running to Home Depot to purchase a generator or running away (where are we going to run if our resources are depleted), we would draw on each others strengths and the resources at hand to sustain us as a small community. Could work…right?