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Monday, March 05, 2007

To Move or Not to Move

In my last post, I disclosed my Master Plan for getting out of FAR Manor and away from the bane of my existence.

Funny how life will throw you a curveball. A night or so later, I saw this rather disturbing article. I showed it to Mrs. Fetched, who understood the charts pretty quickly.

It’s one thing to look at a theory and understand that it makes sense; it’s quite another to see potential proof. If the Saudis have really topped out their oil production, despite tripling their drilling rig count in the last two years, then “it” will hit the fan in a year or two.

The question is, where would the best place to be when it happens, here or in the city? Definitely not the 'burbs; if design they have, the design is around cheap transportation… and that’s going to get hard to come by. In fact, I expect to see the urban poor displaced to the suburbs as the inner-city areas rapidly gentrify. There are three ways to look at it:

1) The “Earth” (very good book, by the way) scenario: we muddle along, staving off major problems with new technologies. People start carpooling or working from home, and the electrical and phone systems continue to work well and improve. In this case, staying put would work just as well as anything else.

2) The “Crash” scenario: the economy goes to hell in a handbasket for some time, while everything readjusts to new realities. Utilities become unreliable, and suburbs empty out as people go either to the city or to the country to find work. In this case, it’s a toss-up: we might be better off staying put and becoming landlords, or not.

3) The “Olduvai” scenario: we’re all screwed, so it doesn’t matter.

I suppose I should point out that I tend to have a gloomy outlook on our collective future, and have since I was in high school. The graphs in the referenced article could well be completely wrong, and the Saudis will continue to pump as much oil as needed for as long as needed… in which case, getting out of here is clearly the best course of action. But getting Mrs. Fetched to go any closer than Outer Suburbia would be a hard sell: when she and Daughter Dearest were in Savannah, she complained about all the night-time traffic keeping her awake.

However, she’s on board with one of my oldest dreams: to become more energy self-sufficient. Time to start looking into wind systems.


  1. Solar: You know it's pretty sad when you have to use "the sky is falling" tactics to get your wife to move. LOL

    Predicting the oil capacity of the earth is like predicting a hurricane season, no one knows, and if they think they do, they're most likely wrong.

  2. Actually, hurricane predictions are reasonably on-target 4 years out of 5… but that fifth one is often a howler. And it's a truism that peak oil production will only be recognized once we're two or three years on the back side of it. It's telling, though, that there's only been one major find in the last 35 years (in Kazakhstan) and the stuff is so nasty they'll need special equipment to process it.

    Predicting the point at which demand grows past the most optimistic supply estimates is much easier, though, and that's going to happen in the next couple of years. Things are really tight right now, which is why gas jumps 40 cents when a refinery in Canada catches fire.

    Believe me, I want to be wrong… because if I'm wrong, moving would clearly be the best thing. :-)

  3. Hi FARfetched

    I hope your wrong, but for some reason I don't believe so. I can't say I'm an optomist because I can't see our way of life continuing for a long time.

    It's one of those wait and see and if you're in the wrong place.........


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