Monday, January 30, 2012

The Sad Irons

Spent two hours this morning at a laundromat plowing through dirty clothes since the washer ist kaput.  You know, there is something to this.  No maintenance, no initial cost, no water usage, no electrical usage.  Do all of your loads at one time and be done in two hours versus stringing it out over the entire day.  Another big plus is that the boys can come with me and everyone can do their own clothes in a constrained time frame and get the whole process done at once.   
Folks ought to take some time reading this.  I think that it will take a lot of romance out of your quest to go out and become one with nature.

Remind yourself over and over and over again that your cherished, non-negotiable American lifestyle is based around the most profligate bout of energy consumption that will ever happen in the history of our planet.   It can't last.

The Kunstlers of the world want to selectively view the past as an ambrosial time, where picturesque peasants laughed while the toiled in the field and then gathered around a hearth to a healthy meal grown by their own hands.  These peasants would then gather around and sing picturesque song for the lordly writers who flew over them at 32,000 feet, going to their next conference.

As the energy available to us low-lifes becomes more and more limited, expect that your life choices and the petty luxuries you currently find essential to begin the process of vanishing.  The next ten years will probably not be that bad.  As economies are squeezed out of the energy usage equations, you will find that you have no effective loss of function, you will just be doing it more efficiently.

But sooner or later the drop in available kilo-calories will start to get some real traction.     And you will be doing with less.   It is time to start figuring out what is essential and what is disposable.  It is also time to start figuring how to do it with a bit of class.



russell1200 said...

A read Caro's book many years ago when it first came out. I eventually lost steam with the second book, but I did make it through the Texas Hill Country section.

Kunstler's exact logic eludes me. I wouldn't expect a Mad Max scenario, or a Blue Helmet takeover either. But what you get is just rather odd. The first book had about as much post-apocalyptic wish fullfillment as your standerd militia-porn novel.

Craig Cavanaugh said...

I would argue about "the next ten years being not that bad"... My pay is frozen for at least the next year. Many prices have gone up by 20% this January. My margin was thin to begin with, now I'm in the red until piggy perch season starts up in June and I can make some cash money. Still, I am behind compared to last year, as are many millions of others. Same as it's been for decades. More and more falling farther behind by the year. Some of us have nothing else to get rid of as far as "luxuries" are concerned. If I can't make some extra money soon, I'll have no choice but to ditch my internet connection, along with the cable TV and phone. Gas is $3.39 today, a $.14 jump overnight. It will be $4.00 per gallon soon, and I will have to choose between eating and filling the truck up to go to work...