Penelope at Pecuniarities is also doing a giveaway for a 6-month (analog) subscription to the Wall Street Journal. Imagine all the good uses that free newsprint could be put to in a garden! If you're interested, get your entries in by January 24th.
While I'm in the mode of pointing you elsewhere, here's a great summary of a study done at Cornell University which found that eating less, eating local, and eating better could slash US energy use. A few tidbits from the article:
- Americans, on average, consume about 50 percent more calories than recommended by the federal government for optimal health and get one-third of their calories from junk food.
- "We could reduce the fossil energy used in the U.S. food system by about 50 percent with relatively simple changes in how we produce, process, package, transport and consume our food," said David Pimentel, professor emeritus of ecology and agriculture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell.
Also, something Sasha Cedar said yesterday really echoed with me. She and her family, former city dwellers, have recently moved into an Amish farmhouse without running water or central heating. How did that happen? She said it's part of her ongoing reaction to peak oil, and her decision to "power down at our own rate and on our own terms. We wanted to learn and practice to become self-sufficient before it became a necessity."
While I'm still enjoying the use of electricity and oil heat, my efforts at frugality and self-sufficiency are motivated by the same sentiment, along with my intense desire to pay off our mortgage. I'd much rather change my lifestyle slowly, for my own reasons, and not in a crisis environment, than wait till the feces has hit the rotating oscillator. Even if peak oil turns out to be as much of a non-starter as Y2K was, frugality and self-sufficiency are great insulators when recessions arrive. And we all know that recessions come and go with certainty, if not regularity. So right now I'm glad I know how to garden, and bake bread, and stay comfortable in a cold house, and in the habit of doing all those things.