• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Jay Angler
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Timothy Norton
gardeners:
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Paul Fookes
  • Tina Wolf

petroleum and driving and permaculture

 
author and steward
Posts: 49770
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Petroleum is the root of so many problems.  

Mollison has suggested that permaculture is about replacing petroleum with people.  And yet, people tend to come with so much drama.  A fella with a tractor has less drama, although the drama of the problems with petroleum are still there.  

An electric car?   It does solve a lot of the problems.  At this time it is fair to say that it cuts the problems in half - although there is the potential that the shitty half can get optimized so that the electric car could become a rather ultimate solution.

Bike ped stuff?  Far better than an electric car, but it does seem to stink of sacrifice.  And if you are doing bike/ped in the city, without a garden, then you still have a pretty beefy petroleum footprint.

Ecovillage community with glorious gardens:  If you have a few dozen people living somewhere that is so wonderful that they just don't feel like driving anywhere, then the petroleum footprint for a gas guzzling truck becomes smaller than the electric car.  Of course, you could combine the two and be even better than either by itself.  

I think this whole path boils down to two big parts:

Part 1:

We need a metric.  Petroleum footprint per adult.  The full footprint including shipping and food and the footprint woven into all manufactured goods.  Try to come up with a number that is for the average american and then come up with your own number.


Part 2:

It isn't about being perfect, it's about being better than your past self.  Maybe get a little better each year.  

Too often people do the math and come up with "the ultimate" and then say "there is no way I can do that tomorrow" so they drop the whole thing.  

Maybe rather than trying to get to 10% better right now, a good path is to contemplate how you might get to 50% five years from now.  



One thing is for damn sure:  shaming others botches the greater plan.  



 
master steward
Posts: 11367
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
6325
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Paul Wheaton wrote:

Bike ped stuff?  Far better than an electric car, but it does seem to stink of sacrifice.

The degree to which this "stinks of sacrifice" is multifaceted.

1. When I was much younger, I biked for enjoyment with a group, and for the exercise as I was working in a semi-sedentary job at the time. My father used to go bike camping with his father in England (he immigrated in his mid-twenties to Canada). When I was homeschooling my younger boy, I took him and his friend bike camping to a local island for 2 nights and it was a fun outing - we saw Orca for the first and only time!

Many humans think they deserve "new experiences" and "holidays". If they can also consider the petroleum foot-print of that, and choose biking as a way to accomplish it, I think it can be a positive. However, compared to walking, it takes better infrastructure and more embodied energy.

2. I think it's possible to "make people want to bike or walk" by using intelligent design. In a car, most of the scenery that's close up is either boring, or going by too fast. Making paths human and bike friendly, enticing and enjoyable can be as simple as planting flowers instead of grass, having shade trees instead of fences, and maybe having a few surprises, such as art-work (faerie doors, driftwood creations, "shaped" plants, tool art) hidden in plain sight. In a well-designed Ecovillage these things can be built in, but it would be lovely to have Ecovillages in a network - I've heard/read of "wild-life corridors" - my mind is thinking "human corridors" between ecovillages. The new civilization!

I totally agree that having some metric so that people can challenge themselves to use less petroleum is a great goal. I know that when my sister bought her retirement home she intentionally bought in a location that would help reduce the miles she needed to put on her car. However, she'd had my dad as a role model, and he'd done the same thing - he wanted a home near some tennis courts, near the library, and near some shops. It had a large enough back-yard to do some serious veggie gardening, although he hadn't heard the term "permaculture" at the time. My other sister now lives in that house, and if it weren't for the restrictive city ordinances, it would be a great pemaculture property.
 
steward
Posts: 3694
Location: woodland, washington
195
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay Angler wrote:Many humans think they deserve "new experiences" and "holidays". If they can also consider the petroleum foot-print of that, and choose biking as a way to accomplish it, I think it can be a positive. However, compared to walking, it takes better infrastructure and more embodied energy.



I'm not sure that bit about bike vs ped infrastructure is so cut and dry. gravel on a bike is more pleasant than on foot, for example, at least to me. like your pa, I do a fair amount of bike camping, and that's mostly on gravel and dirt roads that nobody walks on. in more developed areas, bikes can easily share space with cars so long as that space isn't optimized for speed above all else. on the other hand, I can walk across much more rugged terrain than I can bike across. traveling in a wheel chair also complicates the picture.

Jay Angler wrote:2. I think it's possible to "make people want to bike or walk" by using intelligent design.



doesn't even have to be that intelligent in my experience. any town or city built before automobiles came onto the scene is likely a much more pleasant place to bike or walk than to drive, assuming it hasn't been entirely renovated to accommodate cars. even rural areas with sparse population are really pleasant for walking and bicycling in places where small vehicles and narrow roads are the norm. a nice bonus is that small vehicles and narrow roads consume far fewer resources than their larger versions.


the really pernicious part of all this is how it has come to perpetuate itself. following WWII, the US went all in on orienting the entire built environment around personal cars. several generations past that, very few people in the US outside a handful of metropolitan areas can even imagine what a life that doesn't rely heavily on daily driving would look like. suggestions to shift even marginally toward more sane means of transportation feel very threatening to a lot of people in the same way that anyone whose way of life is questioned feels threatened. so instead of places where it's plausible to walk or bike in addition to driving (leave alone where driving is actively discouraged), almost everywhere in the US gets even more automobile-oriented places.

into this scenario comes the promise of electric cars. we don't have to dramatically reshape our built environment for them or significantly change anyone's habits, because they're still cars. only without any of the negative impacts, right? well, I don't know about that. as I understand it, the main negative impact that electric vehicles reduce so far is carbon pollution. the extra weight of the batteries means that local ground level air pollution is worse than that from a modern petroleum powered car. maybe more significantly, infrastructure built for electric cars isn't any less antagonistic to those outside of a vehicle than infrastructure built for petroleum cars.

cars are an incredibly useful and beneficial tool if their use is tightly restricted. ultimately, how they're powered seems like a red herring to me. more important is that they be treated as a last resort instead of as the default.


paul wheaton wrote:And if you are doing bike/ped in the city, without a garden, then you still have a pretty beefy petroleum footprint.



I have not yet looked into it critically, but I've heard that if a person's nutrition is supplied via industrial food supply chains, one's petroleum "footprint" will generally increase if they walk or bike for transportation. the reduction from not hopping in the car to get across town is erased by needing to eat more petroleum-heavy food to make up for the additional metabolic cost. I think that's probably an oversimplification because of the knock-on effects of automobile use, but it does illuminate just what a quagmire we've created for ourselves.
 
steward
Posts: 1874
Location: Coastal Salish Sea area, British Columbia
1036
2
books chicken food preservation pig bike solar wood heat rocket stoves homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One thing about biking in rural areas, is the need to deal with petroleum vehicles. There is so much dust in the spring/summer. Therefore the cyclist needs to wear a good mask and goggles to help with all of the fine road dust which gets put into the air when they drive by.

One big difference i see with the roads is when the road is shaded the dust is reduced quite alot. Its no longer a big pluming dust trail anymore.

When biking and following behind someone in a vehicle. You almost have to pull over and wait 10 minutes before you can continue, otherwise you end up getting the air which does not settle. And biking and breathing heavy make a mask/dust seem pretty crappy...

So to be honest the need for way less vehicles on gravel roads would make cycling a much nicer experience. It would be nice to plant big leafy trees next to roads, to minimize the dust produced.


For me when I first moved to where i live, i spent about 3 months biking. I would always get to where ever i needed pretty tired and sweaty. Than i wouldn't be able to participate with people. Maybe this would change after years of biking.

So biking isn't really a slam dunk on gravel roads is my point.
 
pioneer
Posts: 383
Location: Florida - Zone 10A
36
purity cat dog foraging trees books food preservation cooking medical herbs woodworking homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I need some sort of Permies film, a James Bond style flick, "Escape from the Suburbs". Expecting anything other than driving everywhere when there's 20 miles between useful parking lots, 100F at 90%-100% humidity, is a bit much.

I hate driving. I really do. If I could walk, bike, or ride a horse everywhere I would (companionship and manure!)

I've been thinking about the vacation and new experiences thing myself lately... people seek this type of stuff out when where they live isn't totally satisfying. If I love the space I've created out of my own willpower, why would I need to go anywhere else? More of a societal problem than any individual that does it.

There needs to be personal paradise, a paradise laden with tough, but solvable and enjoyable problems, People enjoy puzzles, they don't enjoy puzzles that are set on fire and covered in bullet ants.

Interesting point about trying to live with less and being screwed by others. I feel like I'm slowly developing cancer when I go for a jog, with all the construction dust and diesel vehicles blasting by me.

"Stop leaving and you will arrive."

"You don’t need to travel all over the world to understand the world. You can see the Tao by looking into your heart, rather than looking out of the window.

Notice all the people out there who fixate on the external world in search of answers. The more frantic their search, the less they actually find.

Observing all this, the sages know the path of the Tao must be different. When you are truly walking the Tao, you don’t need to go on a pilgrimage to reach the divine. You don’t need to chase after knowledge to attain wisdom. Everything can be effortless — just like the way your heart requires no effort to function.
"
 
pollinator
Posts: 1140
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
492
6
urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'll have to look back through my YouTube history to find it... but I watched what I thought was a decent treatise on gasoline vs. electric vehicles considering their entire life-cycle. Materials, manufacturing, fuel, electricity, emissions...seemed like a inclusive list of considerations.

The gist of it was it took maybe 10 years for things to equal out? Maybe a bit less if only "renewable electric sources" were used, but then one also wonders if cradle to grave issues of solar farms, or wind turbines are included or only fossil fuel input/emissions to the power plant...
There's issues of local, distributed emissions of vehicles, vs. transferring those emissions to a distant fueled power plant, what each of those emissions are doing... small particulates and asthma? sulphur dioxide and acid rain?

I see a lot of spin about things being cleaner solutions, but they seem to amount to just different, not LESS once you examine the whole lifecycle. Really, only LESS can be LESS. Fewer emissions by driving fewer miles in whatever vehicle, less space devoted to fewer vehicles = more space for trees, pedestrians, bicycles, and things close enough to make walking and biking a reasonable option.
 
Jeff Steez
pioneer
Posts: 383
Location: Florida - Zone 10A
36
purity cat dog foraging trees books food preservation cooking medical herbs woodworking homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How you’re raised could play a role as well.

My teacher in high school played for us the video “Who Killed the Electric Car?” I didn’t pay attention because my family raised me, and still acts, like it’s business as usual. I didn’t understand the message, to me it was just something for class. I think having a memorable experience when you’re younger is key here to planting that seed.

Imagine how much less my footprint would’ve been if I was open to receiving what the video was discussing. I lived like a buffoon for almost a decade after that.
 
Kenneth Elwell
pollinator
Posts: 1140
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
492
6
urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jeff Steez wrote:How you’re raised could play a role as well.

My teacher in high school played for us the video “Who Killed the Electric Car?” I didn’t pay attention because my family raised me, and still acts, like it’s business as usual. I didn’t understand the message, to me it was just something for class. I think having a memorable experience when you’re younger is key here to planting that seed.

Imagine how much less my footprint would’ve been if I was open to receiving what the video was discussing. I lived like a buffoon for almost a decade after that.



Didn't pay attention? and yet here you are ten years later, recalling that you saw it, and that there was a meaningful message...  Imagine not having seen it at all! Exposure to new ideas, even if it takes time to influence you, is how change happens.
Sometimes change is slow as old ways die off with those that practice them, other times new inventions get adopted widely because they are improvements over old methods.

Maybe if the electric car hadn't been "killed" like the EV-1, innovation would have continued and we'd be 10 or 20 years farther down the road, or maybe that vacuum is what allowed Toyota Prius, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla to happen at all?
Major U.S. cities are moving towards ICE vehicle bans, Paris has had some bans for years now. We have visible proof from 2020 Covid-19 lockdowns, what severe reductions in emissions looks like! The pictures from Mumbai India are striking!
Examples closer to home will help. The air quality changes might not end up being quite as drastic as Mumbai, but the noise levels might be!
2020 lockdowns also showed how work without a commute to the office was possible, sometimes worked even better.
My own commute was better, by maybe 10%, due to fewer cars on the roads. Since mine is a reverse-commute, traffic around home was also far less, quieter.
 
pollinator
Posts: 337
Location: Not England
148
cat purity gear tiny house books bike fiber arts bee solar woodworking ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

tel jetson wrote:
I have not yet looked into it critically, but I've heard that if a person's nutrition is supplied via industrial food supply chains, one's petroleum "footprint" will generally increase if they walk or bike for transportation. the reduction from not hopping in the car to get across town is erased by needing to eat more petroleum-heavy food to make up for the additional metabolic cost.



Umm really?

I certainly haven't looked into it but ... Unless cars are averaging and peaking at the same speed as cyclists, then the x^3 component in aerodynamics is going to make a pretty big difference. Assuming that the cyclist is car sized and shaped, travelling at 30mph through town in the car will take 8 times as much energy as 15mph on the bike.

Now I have heard that e-bikes in the long run have lower emissions than normal bikes because of industrial ag. Although there are many problems with mining lithium and taking the petroleum basis out of food might significantly change the results.

This place has some truly amazing graphs. If you want to try to take a high level view over energy use and waste, it's a great place to start.
 
James Alun
pollinator
Posts: 337
Location: Not England
148
cat purity gear tiny house books bike fiber arts bee solar woodworking ungarbage
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For example, in Colorado in 2010, 430 trillion BTU's were used in transportation. 90 trillion actually moved stuff, 390 trillion BTUs of energy just blown out of the tailpipe.

I'm not saying that this bit is massively helpful to this discussion, but it's a really cool tool for looking at priorities.
Screen-Shot-2022-08-19-at-23.04.14.png
[Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2022-08-19-at-23.04.14.png]
 
James Alun
pollinator
Posts: 337
Location: Not England
148
cat purity gear tiny house books bike fiber arts bee solar woodworking ungarbage
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So me being a geek I did some number crunching based on those graphs. I have an answer to Paul's first question 317.08.

That is, in 2017 in the US, 317.08 gigajoules of energy were used per person.
For context the total in the Netherlands was 229.12GJ and the UK, 118.39GJ.

This is not the energy used by each person but the total energy flow averaged over the number of people. Using this approach, one person reducing their consumption to nil won't affect the total by any measurable amount. But like Paul said, it can be useful to work out where you are and the quickest ways to reduce your individual energy consumption.  


I was really disappointed to see that the Dutch transport system is only very slightly more efficient than the UK or USA. 21.82% vs 21.74% or 21.03%. I really like the idea of an entirely bikeable/mobility scooter based country but it looks like so much of the transport sector isn't based on personal mobility and so it doesn't have as much effect.

Long story short, smallholding with tractor is better for reducing total energy use than cycling to the supermarket.

My personal aim for food is to get to where I grow all of my fruit and veg and cycle to the local butchers/fishmonger for protein. If my finances magically work out, I'd get a place with enough space for chickens and bees as well.

I'm still working on a sensible approach for clothing that doesn't involve transporting nylon for billions of miles or me taking up double my food growing space for  nettles or flax and learning to spin.
Screen-Shot-2022-08-20-at-12.41.21.png
[Thumbnail for Screen-Shot-2022-08-20-at-12.41.21.png]
 
pollinator
Posts: 1495
854
2
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When you’re a kid, a bike is freedom, it’s independence. Learning to ride is a milestone in growing up. Then you’re told as an adult, you need a car and bikes are for kids. Some of us hang on to our bikes, some of us go all Lance Armstrong  (without the drugs) and buy carbon fibre race bikes. From my limited observations since moving to the US, there are the following categories of bike rider:
- Kids who arn’t old enough to drive
- Poor people
- MAMIL’s - Middle Age Men In Lyrca
- Crazy Brits

I have started to see a fifth group emerging
- Electric Cargo Bikes

I believe this category is a massive game changer. If you’re not convinced, pay six bucks and watch The Mother Load Movie or just watch the trailer and read the stuff. It’s a movie mostly about SUV driving Moms who discover cargo bikes and trade in for a life changing experience.

I’m in the crazy brit category, already a bike convert but it took pandemic and no way to legally drive in the US because (all the DMV offices were shut) to get me cycling here. Now I can drive but don’t. I bought a cargo bike and added a small 250w front motor. I can ride into the wind, cycling up hills is like cycling on the flat. (An no, it’s not cheating, I’m not a MAMIL). My heart rate is elevated, my legs are still pumping, but I turn up at my destination wearing the same clothes I put on when I got up and not a sweaty mess. And people talk to me all the time about the bike - there’s a lot of interest but a fixed mindset based on the previous categories.  I don’t think twice on any journey up to ten miles, which is 99% of all my travel needs, I jump on the bike. We still have a car but just the one, without the bike, we’d need two. I’m saving a huge stack of cash not having two cars and the associated CO2. If we weren’t living in a rural area we’d get rid of the car and just rent when we needed one.

Anyhoo. . . Just my 2 cents. Very interesting post and discussion.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2453
Location: RRV of da Nort
671
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The idea of 'appropriate technologies' has been out there for a while and I can't recall when it was that it grabbed hold of me as the best approach to this issue.  Thus, the E-bike to me seems to be an excellent development in the area of 'appropriate technology'......opening up the realm of bicycling to a greater number of people and for a wider range of purposes while still being relatively low impact.  Just like fire or iron, the discovery and invention of novel uses for resources like these (and similarly for petroleum and radioisotopes) will always come with the danger of 'inappropriate use'.  Atomic bombs being one inappropriate use along with wanton travel/mobility by jet or gas-guzzling land vehicle.  Why is it so hard for, say, Arizona to give up large low-mileage gasoline SUV's when electrics and locally-produced solar could power most of the trips for groceries, etc.  This could help to balance out the fact that other parts of the continent still may need to use the gas/diesel versions until other power sources are more available and cost effective.  Would incentivizing help move more people towards a lower impact of existence?.....thus, housing developers being incentivized to include more active/passive solar in building design and citizens being incentivized to buy/use appropriate transportation means for their lifestyle?  Do the statistics (in the US at least) support the efficacy of tax incentives for getting people to utilize appropriate sources/sizes of power for the tasks needing to be performed?
 
Posts: 324
Location: Tip of the Mitt, Michigan
43
monies cooking building
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi,  Shamming others does botch the plans.  Depending on the circumstances of the person, determines the need for mode of transportation.  How far a person has to travel to acquire the necessary things to survive is a given for each person.  Some people can walk to a store, some bike, some must have a powered vehicle. Weather also playes a factor. Will you pedel a bike in a foot of slushy wet snow? I doubt most people would be willing to do that. Well then the government steps in and says .....

Now I wonder why we could not think about using the air powered vehicles.  Run an electric compressor for 3 minutes and drive for 180 miles. How cleaner would that be than gasoline?

What is the premise behind this thread. What is the what and why? Less carbon because it is healthier to have a higher oxygen content, or because the earth is getting hotter? Personally am not a carbon freak. The world is not going to end in 10 years. Yet I know the world gains in carbon every year, and having more oxygen and less carbon would alleviate some health problems. It was stated that the lockdowns had a large effect on carbon emmissions. Is the answer to put everyone in lockdown prison?

Again, I think it's a personal initiative, unlike governments and mandates. The world economic forum, ( WEF ) uses carbon for it's own agenda to make people do what they want,  which is pretty much to rule the world.      Hummmmmm  conumdrum conumdrum conumdrum. Personal application to a question.  How do I travel and is there something I could do?  

Remember, we are the problem.  And isn't the problem the solution?
 
gardener
Posts: 5273
Location: Southern Illinois
1384
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Randomly thinking about metrics we could use, I had a couple of thoughts come through my head.  

Obviously MPG is useful but doesn’t cover everything and is difficult to adjust for electric vehicles.  Possibly we could use some measure of mile traveled per unit of energy stored.  This might look something like:

Mile (or Kilometer) per Kilowatt-hour of stored energy.  Thus we could get:

M/KwHr

OR probably better just to keep things metric

Km/KwHr


But then I was thinking that this really applies best to vehicles carrying only one person.  If we carpool, maybe the equation could be:

Kw/KwHrNp

In this case, Np is the number of persons in the vehicle.

And I guess we could carry this further to consider how many Kilometers (or miles if you want) are traveled in a year (or whatever time period you want).  Maybe the equation would be:

Kw(Km)/KwHrNp.  

Here we simply add in the number of Km a person travels in a year.

This gets complicated quickly and maybe we can simplify it but I was thinking that it could be a starting point for some metric or unit.  Math is not my forte, so please feel free to correct me if I have done this wrong.  As I said, this is a starting point.

Eric

 
Kenneth Elwell
pollinator
Posts: 1140
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
492
6
urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:Petroleum is the root of so many problems.  

Mollison has suggested that permaculture is about replacing petroleum with people.  And yet, people tend to come with so much drama.  A fella with a tractor has less drama, although the drama of the problems with petroleum are still there.  

An electric car?   It does solve a lot of the problems.  At this time it is fair to say that it cuts the problems in half - although there is the potential that the shitty half can get optimized so that the electric car could become a rather ultimate solution.

Bike ped stuff?  Far better than an electric car, but it does seem to stink of sacrifice.  And if you are doing bike/ped in the city, without a garden, then you still have a pretty beefy petroleum footprint.

Ecovillage community with glorious gardens:  If you have a few dozen people living somewhere that is so wonderful that they just don't feel like driving anywhere, then the petroleum footprint for a gas guzzling truck becomes smaller than the electric car.  Of course, you could combine the two and be even better than either by itself.  

I think this whole path boils down to two big parts:

Part 1:

We need a metric.  Petroleum footprint per adult.  The full footprint including shipping and food and the footprint woven into all manufactured goods.  Try to come up with a number that is for the average american and then come up with your own number.
Part 2:

It isn't about being perfect, it's about being better than your past self.  Maybe get a little better each year.  

Too often people do the math and come up with "the ultimate" and then say "there is no way I can do that tomorrow" so they drop the whole thing.  

Maybe rather than trying to get to 10% better right now, a good path is to contemplate how you might get to 50% five years from now.  

One thing is for damn sure:  shaming others botches the greater plan.  


There also seems to be a "Part A" and a "Part B" to this:
Part A: personal transport (how, where, etc... you "choose" to get yourself and your stuff around)
Part B: petroleum usage done on your behalf (how the goods you use get produced and to you)
The same trip to buy California lettuce or local lettuce from the grocery store. (unless you are in California... then maybe it's beer from Boston versus a local brewery) You could walk to get lettuce from afar, or drive and get the local stuff...

In regards to measuring progress, even small incremental improvement should be considered worthwhile, walk more, bundle trips, grow your own food, etc... but also it might take the form of maintaining the status quo for a while, in order to save up for or orchestrate a lifestyle shift; moving to a new place you don't need a car at all, for example, or even just closer to your work to avoid a long commute.
 
Posts: 105
Location: NW England
27
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"The best way to get where you're going is to be there already" - Rocky Mountain Institute. So keep things local. Cities are aiming for 15-minute citiness - most of what you need within 15 minutes walk/cycle/bus. Ought still to be possible in a rural setting.
When it comes to land management, some farmers have realised that ploughing degrades the soil, that they're needing bigger ploughs and more powerful tractors. So they're going no-till. But it's still monoculture fields, with some token wildlife margins.
For real sustainability, we need agroforestry and the likes - real biodiversity. With landraces and plants chosen for the environment - not environment bent for the crop. That'd guarantee some sort of crop whatever the fickle weather throws at us. Some of the crops can be non-food.
But I see this as needing more hands on the land. A lot lighter on the soil than tractors, and low petroleum use. Able to work with the complex interactions between species better than any robot. And able to add value to the various products during inclement weather.
Would it add to the price of food? Maybe, but the quality and freshness would be the best, and no externalised costs.
In "Jungle - how tropical forests shaped the World - and Us" by Patrick Roberts, it's been discovered that communities have lived for many centuries, and some still do, in agroforestry systems. It's Western colonisers, wanting cash crops, who turned these systems over. As realised by Alexander van Humboldt in the 1800s. (ref "The invention of nature" by Andrea Wulf)
 
Posts: 227
Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
14
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Arthur Angaran wrote:Run an electric compressor for 3 minutes and drive for 180 miles.


I gave the overall comment a thumbs up, but I seriously question the bit I've quoted. Apart from air compressors not being very efficient, I think the stated ratio is wildly unrealistic.
 
David Wieland
Posts: 227
Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

paul wheaton wrote:Petroleum is the root of so many problems.

Mollison has suggested that permaculture is about replacing petroleum with people.  And yet, people tend to come with so much drama.  A fella with a tractor has less drama, although the drama of the problems with petroleum are still there.  


Why do you think petroleum is problematic? Bill Mollison had a lot of good and useful things to say, but that's not a protection from over-zealousness.

When my wife and I joined the back-to-the-land movement in the 1970s, we had a lot to learn after leaving city life. The Mother Earth News had just come on the scene, and, among other things, we were inspired to make a tipi to live in while building an off-grid mountainside cabin in B.C., Canada. A chainsaw and a small gasoline generator were essential to our progress, even as modest as it was. When we subsequently moved to abandoned farmland in eastern Ontario, we found a used pickup truck and our small car to also be essential, as was the tiller to make a garden. Then came a tractor (with a blessed front-end loader that enabled digging boulders out of the field), after I realized how impractical (and likely dangerous) it would be to try using oxen, as another MEN article proposed.

Petroleum is a wonderful resource, and we're blessed to live in a time when it provides the lion's share of the energy that powers our world. Having ready access to its various forms has enabled me and everyone else to be far more productive than our ancestors were. I've experienced more primitive living and wouldn't choose it again, especially in my senior years. I'm grateful to have acquired a wide range of self-sufficiency skills, but I'm also grateful for the tools and vehicles that enable me to be far more productive than would have been possible in pre-petroleum times.

As for battery-powered equipment, I enjoy and make good use of cordless tools (most assuredly made possible through the use of petroleum as both a raw material in plastic and in mineral mining and the production of batteries). But I question the push for ever more battery-powered transportation. From what I've read, we simply can't mine enough metals and minerals to support the zealots' dreams.

Even my non-driving son's reliance on a cargo e-bike shows some of the limitations. Yes, he can get around downtown fairly well and haul groceries and some other things, but he's actually testing the apartment rules to charge the battery. And we can't get together with him and our granddaughter without driving from our country place -- involving two round trips when we want to host them at our place.

I enjoyed commuting by bike (outside of winter and miserable weather) when we lived in town, but it's not so enjoyable when it makes my wrists or elbows sore. Discussion of human-powered transportation generally omits consideration of any sort of injury or infirmity, and those happen to us all at some time. I can still drive an automatic with a sprained ankle. Living without petroleum would be problematic and add unpleasant drama to everyday life. None of my gas-powered equipment or vehicles is gas "guzzling", because they're designed to be fuel-efficient. Energy efficiency is my watchword. (That includes my personal energy .)

Apparently you feel differently, but this thread seems rather "Cider Pressy".
 
James Alun
pollinator
Posts: 337
Location: Not England
148
cat purity gear tiny house books bike fiber arts bee solar woodworking ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

David Wieland wrote:
Why do you think petroleum is problematic?

None of my gas-powered equipment or vehicles is gas "guzzling", because they're designed to be fuel-efficient. Energy efficiency is my watchword. (That includes my personal energy .)



Because small engines are grossly inefficient and stinky?

David Wieland wrote:
Discussion of human-powered transportation generally omits consideration of any sort of injury or infirmity, and those happen to us all at some time. I can still drive an automatic with a sprained ankle.



I think you just argued against 90% of fossil fuel driven cars in europe.

David Wieland wrote:
I enjoyed commuting by bike (outside of winter and miserable weather)



Arthur Angaran wrote:
Some people can walk to a store, some bike, some must have a powered vehicle. Weather also playes a factor. Will you pedel a bike in a foot of slushy wet snow?



 
Edward Norton
pollinator
Posts: 1495
854
2
trees bike woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

David Wieland wrote:



That’s a great video, thanks for the link.

When you bike everyday, weather becomes something to be celebrated not avoided. Another reason why I opted for ebike upgrades was to enjoy cycling in the blistering heat - the headwind you generate keeps you cool and your not over heating pedalling.

If you were new to biking, you’re really going to notice the weather, but it’s no different to working outside, so shouldn’t too much of a shock. Maybe it’s because I’m a crazy Brit, I have no problems cycling in the rain, it reminds you that you’re alive. When it snows I wear my winter hiking gear. Wind can be a pain but not if you have some kind of electric assist.

Here’s a great video on liveable bike cities in the US



Minneapolis comes out at number 2 on the list and they priorities ploughing bikes lanes.

A couple of years we had a hundred year snow event. When it hit, I’d already been cycling everyday for a months and enjoyed wet autumn days, frosty mornings, previous snow falls. So I headed out as normal. It was a little challenging where snow ploughs had left ridges of snow across the side roads I was using but nothing I couldn’t handle. When I arrived at the store it was shut - the staff couldn’t get to work. Wouldn’t have been an issue if they had staff who cycled and NJ had a similar attitude as Minneapolis . . . But hell will freeze over first, so they may have bigger problems!


 
Posts: 2
Location: Bury St. Edmunds, UK
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

David Wieland wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:Petroleum is the root of so many problems.

Mollison has suggested that permaculture is about replacing petroleum with people.  And yet, people tend to come with so much drama.  A fella with a tractor has less drama, although the drama of the problems with petroleum are still there.  


Why do you think petroleum is problematic?
-
Petroleum is a wonderful resource, and we're blessed to live in a time when it provides the lion's share of the energy that powers our world. Having ready access to its various forms has enabled me and everyone else to be far more productive than our ancestors were.
-
Living without petroleum would be problematic and add unpleasant drama to everyday life.



You're absolutely correct that the discovery of how to harness fossil fuels has made us far more productive than our pre-industrial ancestors could have ever dreamed of.
That said, the energy provided by fossil fuels releases carbon which had been locked away for millions of years. The rate at which we're releasing that carbon is far above the earth's natural ability to absorb it, thus the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and climate change. We're already seeing weather records broken, and if we don't change course, there are going to be catastrophes.

We won't have to go back to pre-industrial times though. The way forward is basically to electrify everything we can that currently runs on fossil fuels, and then generate that electricity through renewable and low-carbon means. The UK now regularly provides over half of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources, and it's cheaper than ever to set up your own off-grid solar system. Battery materials are the biggest issue, but there is a lot of work being done on commercial-scale production of batteries that don't need cobalt or lithium, along with exploration of alternative material sources (e.g. it's possible to extract lithium from seawater).

All of this is really to say that phasing out fossil fuels is basically mandatory, but they got us to a place where we can now harness other forms of energy.
 
David Wieland
Posts: 227
Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Chris Jenson wrote:...The way forward is basically to electrify everything we can that currently runs on fossil fuels, and then generate that electricity through renewable and low-carbon means. ...


I'll skip over the climate change worries, because that's definitely cider press stuff. But I'll point out a major problem with the proposed "solution" of electrifying everything: the inherent fragility of reliance on energy that can't be stored in large amounts and whose supply chain is vulnerable to almost immediate catastrophic disruption.

I live in a rural part of Ottawa, Ontario, an amalgamated city of 1 million. In recent years we've had two severe weather events, a tornado and a derecho (a linear storm with near-tornado winds), that plunged huge chunks of the city into darkness for days. Our "progressive" city council has been gung ho in promoting the new and problem-plagued electric LRT as some kind of "climate action", but it's been out of commission from a variety of weather events, including ones much less severe than the big ones I noted. The council intends to turn the bus fleet entirely electric in the next dozen years. Yeah, that should work well, especially in one of the two coldest capitals in the world (Ulan Bator, Mongolia being the other). The LRT folks had to install natural gas heaters on the switches after they froze up the first winter.

As the editor of our community newspaper wrote after the derecho outage, "At least I don't have a Tesla."
 
Posts: 142
Location: SF bay area zone 10a
46
2
forest garden fungi trees foraging fiber arts medical herbs
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to speak to some of the issues with bicycle infrastructure.
I love to bike. I live in a city. Biking turns my errands into fun & exercise & sightseeing, rather than parking & gas stations & being inside a box. Our city actively promotes bicycling, at least in theory, but it's a long way from really functional.  Cities are implementing bike infrastructure on a small scale and piecemeal. It is mostly intended for a few riders at a time, and people who are hale & speedy. Until we can scale up so riders of all skill levels can be safe and comfortable it will be a sport for the elite rather than transportation for many.
I hadn't been on a bike for a number of years; I stopped after a knee injury and just never started again. The pandemic made the traffic in my city so light that I thought I could safely try again.
I was getting competent and comfortable when I got caught in a traffic jam on the bike path. I had to go very slowly behind someone else, and got so wobbly I slammed into a big handlebar-high metal pole - I think it was placed to keep cars off the path, or maybe to separate the lanes of bike traffic. I took a bad spill. When I opened my eyes there were lots of men in spandex looking down at me over their handlebars. I lay there gathering my wits and assessing my injuries while the crowd got bigger. Someone picked my bike up and propped it on the fence and I managed to roll myself to the shoulder and out of traffic.
I slowly got up and headed home. I was thrilled that I had survived and could still ride, despite a number of bruises and a broken derailleur. I decided that the streets were safer and less crowded than the bike path, and chose a quiet route.
A car ran a stop sign with me in the intersection. I stopped suddenly, landing on my injured knee from the earlier spill, which buckled and I went down again.
I haven't ridden since. It's too frightening. I know many others in the same situation. People encourage me to ride, saying the only way to improve matters is to have a robust bicycle presence on the street, and I agree but I'm not going to be part of it. I miss it.
 
David Wieland
Posts: 227
Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

James Alun wrote:...

David Wieland wrote:
Discussion of human-powered transportation generally omits consideration of any sort of injury or infirmity, and those happen to us all at some time. I can still drive an automatic with a sprained ankle.



I think you just argued against 90% of fossil fuel driven cars in europe.


Well, not exactly, but, as someone who learned to drive with a manual transmission, I recognize the challenge with an injured foot. But biking is no better and probably worse.
 
Jay Angler
master steward
Posts: 11367
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
6325
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ellen Lewis wrote:I haven't ridden since. It's too frightening. I know many others in the same situation. People encourage me to ride, saying the only way to improve matters is to have a robust bicycle presence on the street, and I agree but I'm not going to be part of it. I miss it.


I can understand your fear and concerns.  When I was younger I road the typical high cross bar, skinny tire bike that was popular with active people biking for exercise. After a shoulder injury, we went looking for new wheels. What we found was a compromise - I've got long legs and a short body, so most bikes don't fit all that well to begin with. However, I insisted on a low bar bike  - what would have been called a "Ladies" bike, but which in reality is a much safer bike for riding in urban traffic. I learned that from a fellow from Holland.  I have a much more upright posture so it's easier to look around and I can jump off the pedals without having to lift a leg over.

My Uncle in his retirement, made adult tricycles for people with disabilities. This is another option for urban biking.

Campaigning for practical commuter bike routes is also critical. As you describe, 30 years ago, where I lived then, much of the focus was on recreational bike paths. Here on the Wet Coast, they've been steadily adding bike lanes to critical commuter routes. In Vancouver there are roads where only local traffic is allowed, but bicycles are an exception. We've spent decades building car infrastructure, and communities that are car-centric. It's going to take time, effort, ingenuity, and a total re-think of what is desirable in a community to develop lives that simply don't require as much energy, because we've designed them to not require so much.
 
James Alun
pollinator
Posts: 337
Location: Not England
148
cat purity gear tiny house books bike fiber arts bee solar woodworking ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm not going to argue but please look up the Clean Air Act 1956.

Governments have been making environmental air legislation for at least 100 years before (Metropolis Management act 1855) and rules about energy sources have existed since the 1600's in france (Jean Baptist Colbert, L’ordonnance des eaux et forêts 1669).
 
pollinator
Posts: 136
Location: Mid-Michigan, USA
44
2
chicken food preservation medical herbs building wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had to chuckle as this thread reminded me of a few decades ago when I dated a guy who lived in a semi-urban/suburban area perfect for bike riding.  I brought my bike to his house on the bike rack of my excellent little 49mpg Geo Metro 3-cylinder hatchback (I lived rurally over 40 miles away from him) when he invited me over to ride after work.  He then proceded to load both our bikes into his pickup truck and drive several miles away to a location he wanted to ride around in!  I told him we could have ridden the bikes there and back easily, but he thought it would have been too strenuous.

I loved to bike as a kid and teen, and so some years ago when I lived in Hawaii where gas prices are much higher, I decided to get a bike and ride to work instead of driving our gas hog van.  Well, on the level roads and going downhill I was fine, but even slight inclines wiped me out!  I had gotten more out of shape in 3 decades than I ever suspected.  I arrived at work sweaty and wobbly (on my feet, not on the bike.)  It got better with time, but the uphill stretches were always hard especially in the summer.  And rainy days were awful since it was way too hot to wear rain gear!  Luckily it was not an office job, so I got away with arriving less than fresh...

When only some people are trying to get back to more sustainable methods of travel, we will stand out being sweaty (and possibly smelly!) when we arrive at our destinations.  But if everyone were doing it, it would be normal, expected, and accepted.  

 
Anthony Powell
Posts: 105
Location: NW England
27
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
All energy has impacts - from source (coal mine, PV panel), through conversion (cooling towers, shaded land), transport (railways, power cables), the manufacture of tools to use it and the actual use. Power tools are great fun to use, and achieve land clearance, pond digging etc in no time with little human effort. But without them we'd have maybe taken a more subtle approach, learning what foods are available from uncleared land, or enlisting the help of beavers or large herbivores to create a pond. Or, do it yourself, and get to know your land better.
"Dirt" is only one component of soil. You'll know there's a raft of other organisms, animal/fungal/plant/microbe. I believe it's not complete without the plants rooting through it, working with those other partners. Being gung-ho with energy can lead us to break up these relationships.
In some respects, we have to go backwards - we can't keep going in the same direction. But we can pick anc choose the best of science and modern technology, that enable us to work with nature better.
 
Anthony Powell
Posts: 105
Location: NW England
27
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay Angler wrote:I totally agree that having some metric so that people can challenge themselves to use less petroleum is a great goal. I know that when my sister bought her retirement home she intentionally bought in a location that would help reduce the miles she needed to put on her car. However, she'd had my dad as a role model, and he'd done the same thing - he wanted a home near some tennis courts, near the library, and near some shops. It had a large enough back-yard to do some serious veggie gardening, although he hadn't heard the term "permaculture" at the time. My other sister now lives in that house, and if it weren't for the restrictive city ordinances, it would be a great pemaculture property.



Developed a decade or so ago in the UK, Tradeable Energy Quotas were discussed in UK Parliament. And forgotten. With TEQs, every citizen, or adult, receives a certain allowance/quota to spend at the same time as they're paying for energy or transport fuel (it would be great if other forms of transport asked for your TEQs too, especially aviation). That would help people see the impact of their lifestyles. When the big users, typically more affluent, run out of quota, they'd have to buy - from (typically poorer) people who had surplus quota. And each year the allotment of TEQs gets less, so it points people in the right direction. Given the price of fuel at the moment, it's time TEQs were revived. The best way to get the prices to drop, for the sake of those poor folk who actually need it, is to tell the fuel companies you don't want (so much of) their product! https://flemingpolicycentre.org.uk/teqs/
 
David Wieland
Posts: 227
Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Anthony Powell wrote:
In some respects, we have to go backwards - we can't keep going in the same direction. But we can pick anc choose the best of science and modern technology, that enable us to work with nature better.


Whole-systems thinking doesn't require going backwards, that is, regressing. Expanding understanding of the natural world and awareness of how things work together (or clash like the danged Japanese beetles that insist on damaging my garden) is learning, the most useful progress I can think of.

As for choosing "the best of science and modern technology", if we've learned anything in the past century it must surely be that science and technology continually evolve -- nearly always in the direction of providing more, not fewer, options. I tried going backwards in my early homesteading years and was glad to finally figure out that more modern methods and tools simply work better.
 
Posts: 34
16
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for this topic and the engaging discussion.

Shaming seems to me to be the unspoken core of our discussion, both in this forum and out in casual conversations.   The metric I would like to see developed includes a way to measure Shaming Units.

We enjoy getting along with others and it feels good to fit in.  Being stinky and drenched, falls and injuries, looking either poor or wealthy all influence our decisions.  Keeping up appearances can lead to having the SUV in a city, being careful with spandex, yearning to live rustic and off-grid, not giving up comforts… Motivations around social change have a core of being influenced by others in an effort to avoid shame or gain esteem.  This energy is often harnessed for good or ill by creating a sense of belonging.

As we learn to consciously energize motivations for ourselves,  as with permaculture, the power of advertising diminishes.  The increased productivity supported by the illusions cannot sustain themselves without our buy-in.  If we pull close our painful experiences of shame, siren songs of shame-relief cannot pull us off course as easily.

At its simplest, petroleum empowered us.  Being stronger means being less vulnerable and therefore gaining a safer distance from shame.  Being more productive is a very real boon from petrol.  The question is, more productive of what?

Even productivity is a shield from shame.   I feel better about myself on the days that I get more done.  Being perfect or being better than my past self can mean simply growing, which we do without needing shame to germinate it.  As stated at the start, shame can inhibit growth.  We don't have to prod a bean to get it to sprout.  Or, so I've been told.  Repeatedly.

Giving up is shameful.   Letting go is noble.   From the outside, they might both look like the same behavior.   From the inside however, it could be a shamefest or pridefest to have or not have a car, to ride a bike, to walk, to sweat.  I lived in a place that was perfectly bikeable and my friends refused to join me because "Only people with DUI's use bicycles."

The other emotion flowing under this discussion is our survival instinct.   If I'm surrounded by shells of metal hurling past, wearing a metal shell seems like a good idea.   My dad wanted me to drive an SUV as a kid in Denver specifically to have a less crunchable shell around me.  For women, personal security is baked into these decisions.  For example, we cannot lock ourselves safely into a bicycle.  And if, like me,  someone can grow flowers but not (yet) food, eating still depends on our petroleum-based infrastructure.  The discussion itself is resting on the foundation question of survival.  How will we live?

The metric that changes my behavior?   Emotionally satisfying solutions to logical problems.  What do I find emotionally satisfying?  Ideas that are accessible for everyone.   Enjoyable, comforting, life-enriching or simplifying.   Visually interesting or aesthetically pleasing results.  Predictable results with challenging variations.  I especially like solutions that require some small input from me, so I prefer a bike to car, or to light a fire rather than to turn on a furnace.  So the emotion behind that satisfaction might be called a sense of participating, or belonging.  Disability can really thrash this one.

And the Tesla battery of all empowering emotions for me is a sense of play.   I get moving because I'm curious.  I keep moving because I wonder about this and that.   It renews itself when I am delighted, surprised, inspired, and when I rest, celebrate, and reconsider.

I think of emotions as energy in motion.   E-motion.  I was raised emotionally illiterate.  Like someone discovering a love of reading after illiteracy, I enjoy observing human steering and fueling based on the energy of our feelings.  If we could harness E-motion for an alternative energy, my guess is that several of these problems would evaporate.

When it comes down to it, any alternatives at this time are still petrol-based.  I'm going to explore the mention of TEQ's.  While we seem to be in a time of transition, the real power will come from choosing whether to experience these changes as giving up or letting go.  It's also what aging and disability can offer us, both of which we get to experience in varying degrees.

Shaming Units might end up being an entirely internal metric.   I'm going to think about that some more and see what I can come up with.

Our energy is most effective in a supportive community.  I don't know what "cider press" means but I do know the felt sense of someone wanting to control or silence me.  It benefits no one if I bicycle to a shop where the workers or supplies could not get to because of a lack of transportation.  What I'm saying is that I am continually tempted to think that I can go it alone and things will work out.  I think that's the very reason forums like this are so important.  We need to be able to hash out our ideas together in order for them to become optimally functional as well as to reflect on when to let go of reiterating ideas that haven't work.    
 
John Weiland
pollinator
Posts: 2453
Location: RRV of da Nort
671
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Charlie Tioli wrote:   Thank you for this topic and the engaging discussion.



And Thank you for this very thoughtful entry!....

"Only people with DUI's ride bicycles...."  Wow!....that was an eye-opener.  Thus, it is shameful to ride a bicycle because you *must* have had the poor judgement and 'weakness' to end up with a DUI, and by default if you are still driving your car, even from the house to the mailbox at the end of the driveway, you are 'accepted' and enjoying the fruits of of your hard work and responsible living.  Don't get me wrong, I know well that some, due to ailments of myriad nature, may *need* to use powered locomotion to get to the end of the driveway, but we are not talking about those special cases.  Rather about the psychological underpinnings to much of what is being bandied about in this discussion.  In that regard, I second the idea that 'emotional illiteracy/stunting' is a huge issue impacting this problem.  And I like the analogy of the "Tesla battery of empowering emotions"....and how participation is so crucial.  Agreed that "Disability can really thrash"..the participatory aspect of your model, but that is just because we are still embedded within our cultural memes of mind/body perfection.  So many other cultures I feel made room for participation of as many members as possible..... all within limits.   "Limits" is still another concept that much of our current cultural ideology refuses to accept.   (....without getting too Cider Press-y hopefully....)   Good addition to the discussion!
 
David Wieland
Posts: 227
Location: Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario
14
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Charlie Tioli wrote:...petroleum-based...cider press...


Your observations are welcome and provide food for thought. Of course, we can hope that all forum content is that way.

I see the "petroleum-based" term used often in disparaging modern farming and modern life in general, but I think it's more accurate to say that they're petroleum-powered. It's worth pondering why that is -- in particular what advantages that provides -- before we commit to denigrating petroleum products.  As one small personal example, getting a refurbished 20" gas chainsaw enabled me to rip lumber from downed trees, a task for which my cordless chainsaw is useless. And all chainsaws, gas and battery models, use petroleum-derived plastic parts.

The Cider Press is a section of the forum for more political/contentious discussion.
 
Trust God, but always tether your camel... to this tiny ad.
full time farm crew job w/ housing
https://permies.com/t/178213/jobs-offered/experiences/full-time-farm-crew-member
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic