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Old 07-06-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,045 posts, read 18,279,821 times
Reputation: 15573

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Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
A "lower standard of living" is certainly the case if people don't have jobs.
But does it refer to "stuff?" Having a dishwasher or not? Having more than one TV or not? What determines a standard of living? I think those children and grandchildren will live "lower" if the environment is polluted, the national parks strip-mined, no jobs even for those trained or educated, less access to health care or decent food.
But I don't think "stuff" is part of the equation. Is having one coat instead of three a lower standard?
It's not about quantities, as in less. It's about changing, fundamentally, the way we consume and how much we consume. If our technology, based on oil, were to fail (and apparently we've at least reached "peak oil"), our whole way of life could plunge to third world status overnight....at least for the masses, whether by neglect or design. Just carrying a cloth bag to the grocery store in our SUV is not going to cut it. Just insulating our attic is not going to cut it. How we eat, how we use and preserve our resources, how we get from here to there, how we manage our households is more what we must concern ourselves with now. What's hard in driving this home to the average American is that welook around us, seeing most people where we live and work (if we live in a decent area) doing just fine, at least on the outside. They're eating out, going to pricey events, gassing up, buying lawn furniture...in many many places in the US, there is a serious disconnect between what we see (if we carefully avoid the ghettos) and what we hear (bad economy news, etc.) We do not see pictures of "the masses" on the TV news and how the majority of the world, even those in our own country losing their way of life, are living. We are still living an elitist, privileged lifestyle, moaning about how we have to cut back. I hand it to those who are giving up their car and living with others voluntarily, growing gardens, and cutting their consumptions in general. It used to be a "hippie" sort of thing, but not anymore....

"The global oil peak is different from all the little localized peaks in that the planet as a whole cannot import its way out of an oil shortage, resulting in a global economic collapse. The economic collapse will, in turn, cause global oil production to crash even faster, extinguishing the industrial economy."---- http://www.energybulletin.net/node/49363

Last edited by RiverBird; 07-06-2009 at 05:39 PM..
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:52 PM
 
2,701 posts, read 3,754,057 times
Reputation: 2867
Wow. I forgot about this thread. I posted a long time ago and then forgot, but was just reminded about it by someone else. It seems that most posters have the idea about living simpler lives; this is good. I don't think that it will be a choice within the near future, but a necessity.

If you buy into the ideas of Peak Oil, Peak Water, even Peak Food, then we are looking at a fairly static resource pool being accessed by more people each year.

If you don't buy into those ideas, then I would like to know from where those resources will come in the future. Not only has the seeming prosperity of the USA come from cheap oil, but also cheap water (closest to the surface and most readily accessible), and cheap food from the economies of scale that mechanised farming has allowed, and government subsidies have assisted.

Judging by the explosion of blogs, forum posts, news articles, etc. regarding eating locally, farming in the urban zone, back-to-the-land movements, and so forth, the collective thinking of many Americans is in preparing for a lowering of living standards as we used to define living standards. My parents' generation was into backyard gardens, and canning, and 1,200 ft2 homes, so we are not doing anything new. Maybe just leaving behind the craziness of the past few decades.

My concern is that those who deny that living standards are changing (not necessarily lowering), we may end up with a bunch of people who did not prepare for their own retirement and, thus, decide that they need the rest of us to take care of them. This isn't so much class warfare between the poor and the rich, but rather the prepared and the unprepared.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
887 posts, read 2,614,607 times
Reputation: 529
Too bad Peak Oil is a scam. I used to be the same way. I actually own some farmland.. and have a garden and some sustainable energy. I also keep a decent stock of food and water and I know how to shoot, fish, and survive. This keeps me safe from all kinds of scenarios. I will live through many kinds of disasters: solar storms, nuclear, police state, other.

Peak Oil and Peak Food will not be that much of a problem.. if you believe in our society. Peak Oil is a complete scam. I am in the Energy Industry and I can explain further.. but google it. If you're reading Life After the Oil Crash and others.. you're reading bad science.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,045 posts, read 18,279,821 times
Reputation: 15573
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSU Tiger Z71 View Post
Too bad Peak Oil is a scam. I used to be the same way. I actually own some farmland.. and have a garden and some sustainable energy. I also keep a decent stock of food and water and I know how to shoot, fish, and survive. This keeps me safe from all kinds of scenarios. I will live through many kinds of disasters: solar storms, nuclear, police state, other.

Peak Oil and Peak Food will not be that much of a problem.. if you believe in our society. Peak Oil is a complete scam. I am in the Energy Industry and I can explain further.. but google it. If you're reading Life After the Oil Crash and others.. you're reading bad science.
let's hope you're right, but in case not....
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Norwood, MN
1,828 posts, read 3,281,915 times
Reputation: 871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
i came from a rough background so more hard times is no stranger. this is one advantage the kidults dont have and they are guna need it.
Good post, Huck. I have known my share of hard times too, that is why I am very, very conservative finacially. Unfortunately,my wife is not.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Norwood, MN
1,828 posts, read 3,281,915 times
Reputation: 871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
I agree

But, JTUR88 believes that even if you can afford it - you shouldn't do it. He / She believes that everyone should live as he / she does.
I still think you would be happier, and would have a much better chance of going to heaven, if you lived modestly and gave your extra money to the needy.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:39 PM
 
3,706 posts, read 3,032,296 times
Reputation: 10030
[quote=LittleDolphin;9608529]Seems to me that I think a great standard of living involves good health, a roof over your head, enough wholesome food so you're not hungry, feeling safe in your home, and being surrounded by loved ones--whether they're friends or family. Laughter, joy and music to spice up your life...

The question is, will you be able to maintain the minimal lifestyle, this isn't just about the state of the economy, it's as much about our dubious relationship with that black goo that our society has to depend on.
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,386,888 times
Reputation: 4893
Quote:
Originally Posted by big daryle View Post
I still think you would be happier, and would have a much better chance of going to heaven, if you lived modestly and gave your extra money to the needy.
I not only give money to those in need - I give something much more valuable IMO - my time.

You?
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:41 PM
 
2,141 posts, read 7,042,236 times
Reputation: 1248
Am I ready for it? I've lived it since I moved out of my parent's house. I can't afford to live where I grew up, need to live within a double income family and have much more debt than my parents ever did. I have more "stuff", electronics, etc. but they have more net worth, never charging anything, paid off house in 15 years and a home value that went from $30k to $500k in 40 years. I've come to terms with it and am prepared to work harder for less.
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:42 AM
 
2,701 posts, read 3,754,057 times
Reputation: 2867
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSU Tiger Z71 View Post
Too bad Peak Oil is a scam.
Peak Oil and Peak Food will not be that much of a problem.. if you believe in our society. Peak Oil is a complete scam. I am in the Energy Industry and I can explain further.. but google it. If you're reading Life After the Oil Crash and others.. you're reading bad science.
Yeah, since the thread topic is "Are you ready for a lower standard of living" then I think that we can safely say that the OP holds the same view that I do, that our standard-of-living as we have defined it in the past decades will be different. It will be lower, if you think that our lifestyles in the 70s, 80s, and 90s were the epitome of human aspirations; it may be better, however, if you remember the 50s and 60s.

I have a book that disputes the Peak Oil theory, but I haven't finished reading it yet. Basically, the author says that humans are smart and will develop technology to overcome the problem. He claims that wastefulness actually speeds up the technological development. But unless there are non-biotic sources of oil (as Dr. Thomas Gold proposed), then I can't see where these new oil supplies are coming from. Perhaps Peak Oil is a scam -as you say- for our lifetime, but I would like to consider the future generations also. Oil is used for more than transportation and home heating. Think of the plastics industry, and the fertilizer industry, and the mechanisation of the corporate farm.

Peak Food is solvable if the USA goes back to a nation of family farms. That is certainly possible, especially if the acreage that was put into suburban housing reverts to farmland now that the housing bubble has busted. I read, for example, of one farmland-to-suburbia conversion in Minnesota that had something like 80%+ of the houses either unsold or in foreclosure. Tear them down, plant corn or soybeans.

With oil wells going deeper and farther offshore, and groundwater aquifers dropping in the Great Plains, and soils wearing out, requiring greater amounts of fertilizer, the Peak Oil, Water, Food arguments may help us focus on the real problems. Most of the news headlines that I see however, deal with the wasteful lives, and deaths, of pop star icons.
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