Intro for those new here

This blog is about practical responses to what is commonly called Peak Oil, or as I prefer to call it, the crisis of decreasing energy supply. That is what is the real cause of the global "recession", which is not going to be followed by any recovery until such time as the skills of using ox-driven ploughs and anvil-bashing and so-on start growing again. There are some very good introductory articles on the web, such as some by Gail the Actuary on and also the crashcourse of Chris Martenson. You'll then have an idea of where this site is coming from.

Please note that the correct order to proceed through things here is the chronological as shown on the right, rather than the standard blog ordering in which you end up starting with the latest, as if you ever thought it wise to read a book from last chapter forward to first.

Also, this is only the blog (of energyark). The energyarks project is not a blog, but rather is about groups of people meeting together in real world localities and doing real things in the real world. And by its nature it is not in the business of transparently exhibiting all its activities in the cyber-goldfish-bowl of a website. If you want to be genuinely involved, or even just more informed of what's happening, you have to contact us via the email address or phone number in the upper right here. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Lawrence Gonzales - 12 Rules of Survival

Link to a fine article based on the experiences of people who survived considerably-threatening adversities.

Hard to find anything I disagree with in it. Gives a good idea of some aspects of what I mean by being a "hard"[/"strong"--see comments] person (which is nothing to do with being nasty or selfish).

There seems to be a hidden (unstated) message. Namely that on boarding a plane you might get a lot more than you bargained for.

The supposed benefits of grieving -- just another form of denial

Carolyn Baker and others (such as Rob Hopkins) reckon that a crucial point is that transition needs to concern itself with not just the hand and the head but also with the heart. In a recent article she reveals(?) that grieving is (supposedly) a necessary, beneficial, part of adaption to traumatic change. (PS: In her pages you always have to scroll down past the introductory blurb to get to the article.)

Unlike these nice, pleasant, successful people, I don't just write and theorise about coping with extreme adversity. I have survived many years of adversity such as would have wiped out these others several times over. In the real world, not all problems have solutions. Not all victims of injustice come out as survivors.

Consider for instance my situation in recent years. I had at last discovered the cause of my chronic invalidity, as due to the dental mercury poisoning by the NHS which still pretends that no such illness exists, and I do not have the ~£10,000 to remove this mercury from my teeth. Due to decades of chronic fatigue I had few friends to speak of and none close and nearby to lean on.

Then in 2005 I was plunged into a horrendous harassment crisis. I found myself sharing my house with a violent deceitful lifestyle alcoholic lifestyle criminal in the adjacent flat. Plus all the like alco-criminals drawn magnet-like from all around. Simultaneously with being threatened on the violence front, I was also threatened by the housing "cooperative" continuing with conspiring and attacking me on a more institutional front. I struggled to write the reports on their criminality and thereafter the book linked on that website.

Then they started their corrupt legal action for my eviction. Then in 2007 the evil liar judges Truman, MacDuff and McKenna told a huge pile of lies with the result that I was suddenly forced out of my home of 17 years, just about immediately. Even though I had nowhere to go. As it happened, Mohammed my neighbour of 15 years had a barely inhabitable hovel nearly unoccupied at the time, which I was able to move some of my things to. Else I doubt I'd be alive and writing this now.

Let's look at the situation when that falsely-granted eviction was enforced. I had been working flat out for the past 50 months to try to challenge the institutional abuses, while also trying to manage relations with the criminals making an uninhibited reign of terror in my house. I really was looking forward to defeating the legal case and then at last having a bit of a rest.

But instead I had to immediately continue even faster. I had to sort out and try to remove the tons of my possessions such as this computer I'm typing on now. I was soon physically clapped out by the impossible overwork involved. I had to walk long distances to and from the new address. Many times I was close to collapsing with exhaustion in the street. I had to do a huge amount of thinking and difficult deciding of what to do about the numerous problems that had arisen. I no longer had a phone or internet or knew my local area, or where most of my things had ended up or not.

In this context there was no shortage of things to get incandescently angry about. Such as a supposed justice system that assaults the victim and gives victory to callous evil criminals. No shortage of things to grieve about. But did the nice judges say I could really do with a week or two to grieve about anything? No. Just in their deceitful pretence, the law (supposedly) could not give any extra time before the corruptly-granted eviction must take place.

I just had to get on with doing and deciding. Similarly, consider the situation of these survivors of Stalingrad, living in a hole in the ground.
Don't you think they could do with a year or two of grieving over the numerous friends and associates they have lost? And the disappearance of the whole world they have lived in all these years? But instead, they just have to get on with things. Likewise the millions of soldiers caught up in the conflict, constantly experiencing the unpleasant deaths of their team-mates, and yet having to just get on with things.

The composer Felix Mendelssohn died within months of the death of his sister. In the intervening he wrote his absolutely uncharacteristically harsh F# minor quartet. It's clear he died of a broken heart.
And not long after the Tay bridge collapsed while a train was passing over it, the designer of the bridge died, and again it seems clear that he also died of a sort of grief or shame. Queen Victoria, after the death of her husband, wore mourning black for the rest of her life.

I am not here saying that these grief-engulfed persons were unworthy or second rate. I am saying that there are some people we may not be able to help, who may not be able to be part of the future.

I question whether there is any evidence that grieving improves anything. Rather what is needed is coming to terms with that which we cannot change. Some people are better at this than others. Different people have different strengths and weaknesses. Some inflexibly carry on as if nothing has changed (low Neuroticism), some just crack up and fail that way instead (high Neuroticism), others become insane (high Psychoticism).

In my experience, emotions are only rarely useful. They are a primitive system serving as a failsafe for when more sophisticated thinking and theorising are short of useful ideas of what to do. The proper thing to do is to be in control of one's emotions and to set out on the work of rational analysis of one's predicament. And where necessary coming to terms, with resignation to that which cannot be changed anyway.

To a great extent, a person's response to adverse changes can be improved by skilled use of nutrition and other techniques. I believe that my own expertise in this has been crucial for enabling me to survive so far. If you are interested in further information or discussion on this and or other matters, send full contact details and personal information to my email address. That's r [at] energyark[dot]net

Getting people onboard

Amazing how so many people involved in campaigning never get round to any evidential research on what campaigning methods work. My experience is that "lecturing" others rarely achieves anything. Much more powerful is asking people what they think, and by cunning use of questions, guiding their thought towards more enlightened directions. They may even teach yourself something instead. Also this method implicitly trains the audience by example in the concept of critical, questioning, thinking.

Here is a sequence of questions I've put together myself. It's only a rough first draft, and I've not had time to actually try it out. (Ok, I just happen to be very shy too.) I invite readers to try out such a sequence of questions on suitable "victims" and report back here what results they get. The idea is to conclude the discourse with the victim enthusiastically taking a copy of the leaflet I put on the website.[not there yet actually]

Excuse me - May I ask, are you envisaging to be alive in five years time? [Yes]
Then do you have a vision of how the world will have changed in the next five years? [……..]

Perhaps it’s a question you haven’t wondered about much?

So if you are envisaging to be alive in five years time, would you agree that it might be a good idea to join up with some people who have a clue what’s going on in the world?

Would you say that politicians tend to decide things for the long-term, at the expense of the short-term, putting their re-election chances at risk?

Or do you think they tend to decide things for best in the short term, to win the next election and so on, at the expense of the long-term?

If politicians go on choosing the short-term options for years and years and years, and ignoring the long-term needs for years and years and years, would you agree that then the long-term problems will someday build up rather disastrously?

Would you reckon that politicians tell you honestly what is going on?

Or might they just tell you what is most convenient for winning their elections?

Would you say that media journalists tell you honestly what is going on?

Or might they just tell you the things that sell more tv and papers and so on?

Update!: see factual proof at:

So where are you currently getting your information about what is going on?

How do you know how true it is?

Would you agree that it would be best to find some people who actually know what is going on and are willing to tell you?

Do you like to live recklessly? For instance would you go around dodgy areas at night, or gamble most of your money on one bet, or would you leave your house unlocked, do you have insurance?

If politicians knew some really bad news, do you think they would tell you about it honestly?

If media journalists found out some really bad news, do you think they would tell you?

Well, can you imagine that in a few years time you might think back to this moment and remember how I started asking you these questions, and imagine yourself thinking “if only I had listened to what he said”. Or perhaps instead you will be thinking back and remembering this day and thinking “thank god I had such a great stroke of luck there”.

PS: Also I have got an A5 presentation thingy with 20 leafs, in which to put oil-supply graphs and other documents relevant to one's presentation. This makes one's spiel seem less of a personal expertise bragging operation and more like an authoritative competent 'professional' operation. (And also it's easier!)

Comments on "Could Cities Be Safer Than Suburbs?"

My comments on "Could Cities Be Safer Than Suburbs?"

It looks to me like Charles Hugh-Smith (CHS) is there talking mostly sense, with one or two bits of fallacy. But is talking about different sorts of events in different sorts of neighbourhood from those I am thinking of in my notion that we have to relocate from cities to rural. Indeed I would class "suburbs" as another form of urban. What I have in mind with the word "rural" is an area where the local supply of food, water, etc, is equal or greater than the requirements of the local population. The crucial problem with cities, or even suburbs, is that millions of people in such an area would find themselves with far too little food between them if the grand industrialised corporatised supply-system ever became seized up for more than a few days. And in the slightly-less short-term, the grand system is almost certain to grind to a halt in a scenario of enforced energy-descent, before adequate substitute arrangements can be set up (in a vast project).

And it is such a critical crisis of the life-support system that I am weighing the relative prospects for, rather than some mere gradual impoverishment/abandonment scenario that CHS is thinking of.

If a city is as dense as CHS envisages such as to have "eyes on the street", then it could be far too dense from the local supply perspective (depending on size and location).

Meanwhile, I am far from persuaded by the concepts about restraints on crime. In the UK, insurance premiums are much higher in urban areas than in rural ones, reflecting the well-known much higher crime and risk of being attacked that exists in urban areas. As for the "eyes on the street" factor, there has been quite a lot of research on the phenomenon of "bystander apathy". This was inspired by one observation of a brutal murder carried out with hundreds of onlookers who did nothing to intervene, did not even call police. My own experience is of being repeatedly attacked in busy urban settings and never in rural, even though I have lived equally long in both. I even witnessed a horrendous attack right in the very most central part of this city, with a crowd of onlookers doing nothing to intervene. As for police response times, quite what are you smoking?, the police famously always come too late and are well-known to have negligible impact on street crime, burglaries etc.

In conclusion, there are two key problems with urban areas. Firstly they contain far more people than the locality can keep locally supplied in the event that the industrialised supply-system ever fails (which it almost certainly will within a decade or two if not year or two). And secondly they put a citizen within reach of far too many strangers with easy access to commit crimes and rapidly escape to who-knows-where immediately afterwards. As further elaborated in my 1995-1998 paper .