Saturday, March 19, 2011

Biggest barrier to using less oil?

MinnPost - Biggest barrier to using less oil? Our reluctance to embrace new ways of life There is a lot of truth in this. One of the folks I am working on a community garden with has no TV, her wireless hub has died so she prints from her laptop via a cable to the printer. She has no car. She tries to live her politics and is probably in a better position than many of us will be when it hits the fan. She is embracing the future. If only the rest of us were as prepared.


The North Coast said...

The best way to embrace the change of lifestyle the fuel descent will require is to do it to enhance your own life, and your own chances of surviving and thriving in a world of extremely high fuel and commodity prices, falling incomes, and increasing scarcity of everything.

A good start is to practice frugality. Mind you, frugality was rather forced on me by my current circumstances, but it is fun to make a game of it, and not only will you reduce your consumption of essential resources cheaply, but you will add considerably to your personal bottom line. Best of all, you gain confidence that you can survive in a more difficult environment as you learn to build a comfortable life on, say, half the income you previously enjoyed. You discover you were paying way too much for absolutely everything, and using way more of it than you needed to get to the same place. And, better yet, you have something to spare, to contribute to needier neighbors, or community efforts.

You have to walk the talk to convince anyone else. Those of us who actually live what we preach will reach a lot more people, and affect much more change in attitudes and practices, than the Al Gores of the world even with their broad public forums and widespread notoriety. You'd rather hear the message from someone who has ditched her car, buys used clothes, and lives on 100KwH a month than from some arrogant megarich blowhard with 4 lavish mansions, who flies a private plane to every speaking engagement.

Fargo said...

You make a very good point. The best way to sell the message is to live it.

I donated my car and only use one on occasion (my husband's or I-Go). Most of the time, I use my feet, my bike or public transit. It requires a little bit more planning, but the financial benefits are significant. Most people don't want to plan ahead, or take a little more time to make some trips. They're so addicted to their cars that they won't consider change.

I wonder how many will reconsider if fuel gets significantly more expensive.