Do you know how to make shoes? Can you build a house? How about grow food? Do you have a doctor and a dentist in your circle of friends?
These are the questions that Andre Angelantoni thinks you should be able to answer in order to plan for the next 10 to 15 years. Angelantoni believes there are radical changes ahead for our society — and no, it’s not the rapture he sees coming, but a post-peak-oil world.
Simply put, peak oil is the point when the world hits the maximum rate of petroleum extraction, and after that, production begins to decline. Since the calculations of geophysicist M. King Hubbert, Ph.D., in 1956, there has been speculation about when (and for some, if) the world will hit its peak production of oil.
Angelantoni is among the crowd of geologists, oil-industry experts and numbers crunchers that believes we are at or near peak, and the way down will be a painful and bumpy ride.
A few years ago, Angelantoni left San Francisco’s dot-com (or dot-bomb, as he says) rat race to start a business helping people prepare for life after cheap oil. He offers an online “Uncrash Course” that covers things like how to survive potential disease outbreaks, what career path you should be on and what skills you can offer your community, how you should prepare for an environmental disaster, what do you do about your finances, where should you live, how you will eat and how you will get around.
And he’s not alone. Across the country, groups known as “transition towns” are gaining steam, helping their communities become more resilient in the face of a changing energy landscape.
Is Peak Oil for Real?
It would be infinitely more convenient at the moment to dismiss Angelantoni as an end-of-the-world extremist, like the survivalists who have taken to the hills to grow their own food and otherwise live off the land.
Except that there is growing evidence about peak oil and when we may actually hit the top of production (and likewise, what that means for our slide down the decline).