Stages of Peak Oil Awareness

Iowa Peak Oil

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CLUELESS MASSES: Self-explanatory

INFORMED POPULATION: These folks are PO aware, but have not yet accepted the reality.

TECHNO FIX: These folks are PO aware, but either do not understand the ramifications or are simply unwilling to really accept the reality of PO. They have faith that "someone" will fix the problem for them

THE DESPAIRING: Here we have PO aware individuals who are either incapable of forming and acting out a plan (any plan) to help them and their loved ones survive, or are religious folks who are more concerned with saving their souls, or are simply so deeply pessimistic they see no sense in even attempting to prepare.

INACTIVE PREPARERS: Likely the largest group. This group has not yet begun to prepare or is in early stages of non-committal development, like reducing debt and exercising more. They may have a bug-out bag or small home stockpiles. Typically, they are still trying to form an opinion on the potential outcome and best way to prepare. Depending on their personalities, they may have amassed large amounts of paper knowledge and have extensive libraries -- but while they have studied the edible plants books, they have never actually seen the plants. They run the risk of becoming PERPETUAL PREPARERS.

ACTIVISTS: Those who have chosen not to prepare and instead focus on social and economic change. They are often hard-crash proponents. Of all the groups, ACTIVISTS are the most like to view Peak Oil objectively without agrarian/militant/macho fantasies that some other groups are prone to. ACTIVISTS may at any point migrate to one of the early preparedness categories.

PERPETUAL PREPARERS: A state of circular thinking, where INACTIVE PREPARERS continue to amass paper knowledge and have plans to move ahead, but fail to act on those plans. Another candidate for the largest group. Some of this group may be able to break out of this thinking and begin early preparation.

WILDERNESS SURVIVALISTS: You will never see these folks on the internet -- if you do, they are actually INACTIVE PREPARERS with macho fantasies. However, this seems to be a dead end preparation technique, since it involves only basic survival, has not support group or backup plan, and is unsustainable long term without the products of civilization. Often, even active WILDERNESS SURVIVALISTS are prone to macho fantasies which cloud their reasoning ability about the likely success of their chosen route. Some may migrate to the militant preparedness path.

URBAN GARDENER: Typically a soft crash proponent. They believe in a slow reduction of oil usage and a gradual return to a lower energy lifestyle. Bicyclists and walkers, container gardeners, hobbiests of anticipated high-demand post peak skills. In some cases, URBAN GARDENERS may be hard/medium crash proponents, but are focusing their preparation on this route as the only apparent possibility for their situation. In a few cases, URBAN GARDENERS are pschologically incapable of accepting a civilization without the urban surroundings they are familiar with.

URBAN HOMESTEADER: A matured URBAN GARDENER that has transformed their home to be as self-sustaining as possible in an urban environment. They may have a large plot in a community garden, water catchment systems, PV arrays, back-up heating methods and highly-insulated homes.

NEW AGRARIANS: An early preparer along the Agrarian preparedness path. Agrarians may be soft, middle or hard crash proponents. At this point, NEW AGRARIANS have purchased land and a home and are gardening or otherwise begin to produce their own food and goods. Quite likely they are still actively involved in the oil economy by holding jobs or living off retirement or saved money or investments. At this point in their development, they are still highly dependent on outside resources and are vulnerable to economic and social upheaval. Many NEW AGRARIANS are carrying a lot of ideological baggage in the form of veganism or extreme environmentalism, and this would include eco-communities and other ideologically based groups.

MIDDLE AGRARIANS: A matured AGRARIAN. They have achieved a basic level of sustainability and although they are probably still somewhat dependent on the wider economy, they are more likely to survive economic and social upheaval. They have left behind any unusable ideological baggage they may have had, although their ideology probably has colored and shaped their development of their land. They have formed or successfully joined networks with the neighbors and in the community for future trade and mutual support and are extending their knowledge from basic know-how to internalizing the knowledge to best succeed given their resources. Additionally, they are extending their knowledge base into other areas and have achieved a journeyman level in at least one other non-agricultural, post-peak demand skill.

AMMO STOCKPILER: An early stage along the Militant preparedness path. Militants are exclusively hard crash proponents, usually to an extreme. In early stages have little to offer themselves for survival other than a stockpile of weapons and ammo, which often have little experience and proficiency with. AMMO STOCKPILERS may also have stockpiles of other supplies. Only a small percentage of AMMO STOCKPILERS move on to become more mature Militants.

FORTIFIED HOMESTEADER: A more mature step another the Militant preparedness path, FORTIFIED HOMESTEADERS have achieved at least a journeyman level of proficiency with their weaponry and have moved on to create a highly secure home which has significant food production and/or tradable items and skills. The FORTIFIED HOMESTEADER is usually not interested in achieving any kind of self-sustainability, and may be expecting to survive in a new post-peak world as a mercenary, parasite, or by absorbing the resources of less-successful neighbors to acquire the additional items they need.

PEAK OIL SURVIVOR: Someone who has successfully mastered the skills required to survive any post peak scenario. The Holy Grail of preparedness and high debatable.