Deep breath

Today so far has not been a good day in terms of coping.  I generally very much enjoy reading <a href=”http://www.theoildrum.com”>The Oil Drum</a>.  Well…I’m not sure “enjoy” is the right word, but I find it satisfyingly informative and non-panicky, and I am glad that there are people who know considerably more about this stuff than I do who are thinking and planning.  Then I can take “learn large amounts of economic theory very quickly” off my mental to-do list, and just commit myself to knowing enough to understand most posts on TOD and figure out which ones are full of themselves.  I want to keep updated on the state of the energy situation as it is now and how it will most likely be in the near future.

But I need to learn that it is not good for me to read speculation on how energy in this country/world will play out in the somewhat-more-distant future.  I clicked on a link on TOD to another peak oil site.  One of the intelligent but more doom-laden variety.  If the world does indeed plunge into a deep and sudden recession to medieval-level technology, I will not survive.  For those catching up on my life, I no longer have a thyroid, and my metabolism comes in the form of nice little pink pills.  It is possible to get me thyroxine on a cottage-industry scale in the form of dehydrated animal thyroid, but it requires really knowing what you’re doing and as far as I can tell a fairly large number of animals.  If the world drops to pre-industrial levels of technology during my lifetime at a rate at which I can cope, there is some chance that I could pull through by networking with local farms — keeping thyroidless people alive is the only use for animal thyroids other than compost; they’re rather seriously not edible.

So there is <i>no point</i> in me reading websites forcasting doom.  It will just panic and depress me.  Preparing myself for major civilization-collapse doom would be a worthwhile spiritual exercise and would make me better able to do things now because I would spend less time huddling in a corner and panicking.  But there is nothing in the real-world practical sphere that I can do to prepare for that.  I will focus on what I can do <i>now</i> and in, say, the next three to five years, to use as little as possible of the remaining energy supply, get other people informed, and help form communities that are likely to cope better with a recession and energy crisis than Modern Suburban Evilville.  And then after that, I will see what happens.  Human lives are finite.  And at least running out of metabolism isn’t particularly painful and gives one time to get one’s affairs in order.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Melinda said,

    I, too have my periods where I will read, read, read about all the horrible news and various conjectures about what is going to happen. Masochistic binge reading, you might call it. And I, too, have a medical issue whose prognosis wouldn’t be good in a post-peak oil collapse of the more doom-laden variety. I take 7 meds/day for asthma. We lost our insurance recently, and it’s bad enough to pay for it all in “good” economic times, where we can still have medical supplies made from and shipped by cheap petroleum.

    It’s scary, but certainly dwelling on that is not healthy for either of us!

    I personally believe that we will be on a slow downturn rather than immediate collapse. So working to get our own lives to an adaptable state, and helping those around us to do the same, is going to be extremely helpful in guaranteeing our future. Pink pills will be around, but they will probably be more expensive. So it’s also going to be important for you to have the income to be able to pay for them. My husband and I do calculate that into our preparations for the future.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, btw!

  2. 2

    limesarah said,

    Melinda — thanks! And my sympathies on the asthma; my lungs aren’t the most shining examples of oxygen-making efficiency either.

    When I’m more rational, I agree with you that it’s likely to be a more gradual shift to things getting more expensive and jobs getting scarcer. At least I’m reasonably employable as these things go. And at least currently thyroxine is really cheap, so it’ll take a very large price hike to get it expensive enough that I have to worry about it.


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