Friday, October 31, 2008

Personal Survival Skills, by University of Arizona Students

We are a small group of students with diverse backgrounds and life goals. We began this journey relatively uninformed about the impacts of peak oil and other end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios, and our opinions differ as to how accurate or biased those scenarios are. But we share a common interest in personal survival as the chance of civilization collapsing increases, and we wish to share our newly accumulated knowledge with others who are similarly concerned about their own futures.

This report is intended to serve as a guide along the path we have, thankfully, already trodden and worn down, along with several thousand scientists, conspiracy-theory crackpots, and average frustrated chumps as we have come up against a world in turmoil. Specifically, we face an ambiguous future in a world that grows increasingly dependent on oil even as global supplies fall.

We begin by briefly discussing the evidence behind peak oil and the importance of crude oil to civilization. Then we review various scenarios of a future that, perhaps thankfully, we cannot fully predict. We conclude by discussing several areas of human life that we wish to continue participating in after the fall of civilization: Water, Food, Shelter, Community, and Medicine. We identify opportunities to access these wonderful components of society even as the world as we know it is turned upside down.

This report is not a comprehensive guide to peak oil, nor is it meant to be anything but informative as it provides access to several articles, books, websites, opinions, and other resources you might not find elsewhere. Unlike other literature, though, ours is a personal account that describes possible pertinent actions we can take in light of a future that is likely to be quite different from the recent past.

This report represents the culmination of an exciting and fun-filled semester. We spent many hours in thoughtful conversation, appropriately intermixed with pleasant absurdities and occasional field trips. We hope the reader finds value in this effort, and recognize that, if nothing else, we are taking action to create a future that we want to live in. And that is what really inspired us to research this topic in the first place. (Continued here)

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