Gala_Teah, Bekah, lips

Gala_Teah's Farewell

Did we make a difference? I'd like to think so.

Yucky gives me some numbers: 1800 Netizen Heroes. Links going out to 1500 stories. Pretty good numbers - but that's just the start!

Add to that the stories on public radio. The articles in newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News. Online coverage by CNET, WIRED, Slate. Worldwide coverage, with articles in Le Monde and Der Standard and coverage by the BBC. Sites following the developments chronicled by World Without Oil in Russia, Italy, Spain, Japan, Poland, the Czech Republic (and of course the many heroes we have in Canada, Australia and the UK).

All told, over 50,000 people have come to World Without Oil to look at your stories and learn from you about the oil crisis. And that number is growing daily. Over 3000 blogs link to the site. If I put "World Without Oil" into Google today, I get over a quarter of a million hits referring to this site and what the Netizen Heroes have created here.

You guys are the rock making the big splash in the pond, and your words and images are rippling out far and wide. People all over the world are considering your accounts of the Oil Shock of 2007 and comparing them to their own perceptions. They are able to get past the talking heads spewing sound bites, through the door you have opened for them.

The 8 To Save Our Country have done our best - we gave what we could, hardly knowing what to do in uncertain times. But thanks to you the seed has been planted: next time, will it be the 8000 To Save Our World? Or 80,000? Or 800,000? And will they build strongly upon what has been started here? Upon your ideas of community, self-reliance, conservatism, and compassion. And inspired by your ability to look at the future honestly, keen-eyed, without blinders or rose-colored lenses. With your wits about you.

And now, and now. Now I must thank Blueski at rdy2rte. For saving my life, in a manner of speaking. I didn’t talk much about this, and neither did Inky, but here in our household we were going under. We were going to lose our house, and the threat of it had split my family apart. My husband had moved to Sacramento, partly to chase more income but mostly, I think, to escape the pressure cooker our house had become. Inky and I stayed in the house so Inky could stay in her school.

But then Blueski said what s/he said about holding on and letting go. And those words unraveled the knot I had made out of our life. Today we are renting out the house - successfully so far. Inky and I are here with Hubby in Sacramento. Inky is in a new school and loves it. I've found part-time work for a community paper/website. We let go, and now we're holding on.

It's been an honor to walk this road with you all. Thank you for guiding us along the way. - Gala_Teah, with Inky_J
harpier cries

Thank You

Thank you

I am currently sitting at the public library, wearing just a few more layers than what this city requires this time of year. I am hoping it won't take too long to thaw out.

We had a freakishly-beautiful snowfall last night. I went out in it and listened to it collecting in little drifts. Snow sounds like awesome. The bus lurched its way to the hardware store in record time. I picked up some caulk. I became a super handygirl and sealed up the draftybits in my place. There is now an intricate scheme whereby I close some vents or open others, based on where my place needs the most heat. My home is a moving block puzzle, click clack, snap.

The streets are very quiet. Le nest egg is mostly untouched, because I feel like I might have to be ready soon to start building up stores of things, of creating space where there's sunlight so that I can begin to provide for myself. A retail paycheck leaves little wiggle room, but I know how to scrimp.

I have become assimilated: all I've been thinking about lately is food miles, and energy consumption. Snuck up on a ladder and switched out the apartment building's hallway bulbs the other night. Beheh.

The train tracks worry me. The Blue Line is an old lady, shaking her cane, but she is trembling with uncertainty.

There was another derailment the other day. 5 injured.

Floatin' above the land, there is despair waiting. Walking, biking, sharing on the surface, we're holding it back.

At least, I hope so.

OK, time to catch the bus back to work.

Take care, everyone.

Moving On...

Well, it's time to say so long, I guess.  Things are changing for me and my family, so I'm not sure how much time I'd have to devote to this site anymore. 

I've decided to retire a bit early and forfeit my full pension.  I'll still get enough to get by (as long as we're careful).   I had less than a year to go, but it just didn't seem right to stay when two other guys were going to lose their jobs.  They're just young kids with new wives and families.  They need their jobs more than I need mine.  We'll be fine.

Anyway, a buddy of mine needs some help at his hardware store downtown.  He's got some great ideas about how he's going to make the place work in the new world without oil.  I thought it would be a nice change of pace for me.  It'll be nice to have a laid back, normal job.  And I'm close enough that I'll be able to walk or ride my bike without a problem. 

A bunch of people in the community are encouraging me to get into local politics too.  I never really though of myself as a politician, but maybe that's part of the problem.  We need some politicians who aren't politicians!  So I don't know, we'll see if that pans out.

I truly will miss being here, but it's time to move on.  I've learned so much more than I even thought I needed to.  Thanks to all of you - the rest of the 8TSOC, FallingIntoSin, prudentrver, peakprophet, redhatty, cycleboy, GailTheActuary, the list goes on... 

We've done good, guys.  We've done good.

There will surely be more work to do.  Probably harder work than we imagine.  But, for now, I say goodbye.  Goodbye to all the heroes out there.  Goodbye to all of my friends.  Hopefully, we'll cross paths again.

Now is a Memory

Somewhere along the way, I realized that time moves past so fast that *right now* is a memory an instant later. That means that all you really have is what you're doing now, and your memories. So, I thought, in my carefree youth, that what you should be doing now is filling up your head with the best memories possible.

Then, of course, I got distracted by life.

But you, the heroes who have helped each other through this, have made up for my lost time. You have filled my head with the best memories possible.

So, I want to thank all of you:

OrganizedChaos FallingIntoSin peakprophet mia blueski lead_tag MsGeek
ironmonkey prudentrver warnwood  IllianaSpeedster Flashmouth Cycleboy Anda
RockLobster Tlachtga lucy1965 MTalon RedHatty  jootbooner FieldsOfClover
isnochys JWIV  Paradigm CeeGee burnunit Mérédith stapleton English_Villager Cid
Yama kevikens Andrew Jensen PeakOilParty mpathytest Pachinko  happycube Lyoko is
Cool ThaJinx Gracesmom  intwoworlds Hymir ARareJul electric-car-girl fabulareine
cissmiace baltpiker GailTheActuary  Megiddo Tell nitefoll drewkitty aeldric
copystar drowned and the saved David Moisan  GreaseWife Gerben1974 Rumpletoe
beep Lel  saint3milion nulinegvgv graywulffe  megawatt_seller lirath Nytris
Oxyde charybdis  Fosedeitch unieuph Reid DivorcedDadPablo avantgame
chuckles Olympe  GreenHornet Clearest MichaelLovett AJaX  David_Mattock sfgabe
3:45am gala_teah Anna_Matter wolfy ScottyBomb eek tsalagi red  Chuckmak pippa
brighton ManicHalo SandyJo andrewpmk Corrina readability Eigenseide  JJason
WorldWithoutToil dessum9 Rory23  BrianEnigma James EthrDemon Genocide2killa Remy
adrienne campbell Weezel callmerusty  trilobite coffeegirl18 Pippi Timantha
Shirauo erekiteru Green Hornet Chimakwa Anarchologist Juiceboy Ace Ryanruner
Mordy  Blackwater Gasoholic Luke slyfox Irregular Times SuperRad PoeticExplosion
Tetsuniko  vpisteve Finding Ulysses comfortE z28colt  thomas The Fiddler
creatureattack The Constant Gardner greyisgame inky_jewel Shayler mistralwind76
msLisa teh_lisa xnera c-tizzz  OrangeForAHead nagutron bothendsburning  Ancalime
oakened wwoentroy Cherenkov elevendays Kudra Degaussed Poamin Global Culture
Tonamel fiftytwo cleverpig  Bytesmiths JDDavis Houston torque LocalBoy
Artimaeis JasonBradbury Sbak723 Terra_Incog  Guy Smiley Julia Warhola bill turk
nitpicker Oracle selvaluna marton Le Tuna Man Cannibal Lector outofgasinfl
patricknm lisavark  onemanband RottenMike jakerose LarryO Katcut  street_dave
Stilgar fathead-americano Amanita Pavlova Sonyap Spinney xkittykatx NeoOptik
SolarCowboy Snot Shazmatic xuratu  Quadratrückseite Chrisjill86 hcriorix
the_chavi JohnGalt leo Ignacy ?ukasiewicz  clinart danio xBLiTZxKRiEGx SeeGreen
Marissa  mangoh zorbits Stax charliefree Vevilla petroleumworld Benny Doodles
EarthwormEnvy RipSaw Subject_Minus periscope JakobFrey  kimyo Guz221 Dark Sevier
Digital_Diva  WolfoftheAir RoninJinn Richard Z Chris Colt Becker KSG Michael
Gonzalez RES Bats Madge-O-Matic thirdijeremy gwenmcginnis karenlynnc Overnight
Sensation Reagan111 tim7168 Lauren ItsThomas GIIRyudo BNKK  bambi.doe clittle
dollface Kokoro skywing  Gertrude SheriD TARBush mayday gypsydog Firelight
Grant40k hapes Hercular gusgib  darthbunny Catfish whoistoby ReJoyce Akinaz
imnobanana Strider
Bodi, scent, wwo, trail, hot

Bodi hits the road (biodiesel style)

Bodi is feeling incredibly fragile today. I’m glad I got to walk the dogs with my old friend up here in the Santa Cruz mountains because the opportunity to articulate my sense of loss and uncertainty was an important step to finding solid ground even while holding the truth that right now there is no solid ground. 

All our familiar terrain is shifting. Everything is fluid and I don’t realize how I am counting on something to hold me up or offer me some level of protection until suddenly it too is gone. When we trekked up to this mountain cabin I hadn’t realized that my partner (bless him) had stashed our duvet into storage along with our futon. He figured our friends would have plenty of bedding for us to borrow but me, when I realized at bedtime that our duvet was gone, I felt like someone had just knocked all the wind from me, I went into no-time, lost my bearings, teared up, sat down (legs wouldn’t hold me). Okay, got to acknowledge all the changes are hitting me harder than I can effectively integrate. And I say this even while feeling life is rich and full of goodness.


I’m with Gala_Teah; life is pulling on me hard: internet access used to be a breeze and a given on every waking day. It’s not anymore, or right now at least, it’s not. And easy income streams have been drying up. It’s not just the goalposts that moved, the playing field has gone. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area you know all about landfill acting like jello in an earthquake. Well we’re in jello (or deep shit is another analogy that springs to mind) and we DO need all our wits about us (it’s not just a fairy tale).


I want to tell you, with the help of our biofuel gas station friend, we scored a 24 foot biodiesel RV with three 40 gallon tanks that will take us 2000 miles without re-fueling. It’s a 1983 but with a truck engine that could go forever and had been the longtime love of a mechanic so all the rubber hoses are in good shape. We’re heading out by invitation (not to Tennessee but appreciate your extended hand Peakprophet)to an(other) old friend who has a homestead in Joshua tree desert (yes funny; good plentiful water is not an issue on his land). I could say we have no plan but in truth every weaving we have had with this friend in times past whispers to me that somewhere in the great Cosmos, there was a premonition of this eventuality and pieces were set in place to support and sustain us now. 

I have to believe that and, like Gracesmom, I have to focus on the LOVE (of which there is MUCH). What an extraordinarily rich seedbed this wwo milieu has been. Maybe we won’t have craigslist forever but it got me here.

Lots of love and never stop telling your stories,


A to Z: A World Beyond Oil

All of us in the WWO community who have spent months documenting the crisis – we won’t just forget it. We know we’ve done something important. We’ve shown the world what it looks like, what it sounds like, what it feels like -- even what it smells like and what it tastes like! -- to live without oil.


It’s a life most of us never imagined until we lived it. When things got really bad -- I mean really bad -- I kept thinking – we should have thought about this sooner. Maybe then it wouldn’t have been such a shock when it actually happened. But we never figured out how to imagine our world without oil, until it became a reality.


In the end, we managed to snap out of our shock. We put our minds together. We talked about our neighborhoods and our cities. We shared the details of our families' lives. We traded strategies, and we argued about whose strategies were right.


You all came up with so many creative solutions. You gave each other reasons to be optimistic, and tons of ways to make little changes.


So, yeah: People working together, sharing ideas, and experimenting with different ways of going about their everyday lives. That’s how I plan to remember the Oil Shock of 2007.


Of course, it’s not enough just to remember. To keep us moving forward, from a world without oil to a world beyond oil, Emil and I have put together our complete A to Z kit of life without oil. 

Some of it’s silly, some of it’s serious, and some of it's just plain strange -- and awesome.


Our A-Z list barely scratches the surface—you could make this list a dozen times over and never repeat a story. But for the rest of the big picture, there’s always the full week by week archives on the WWO site. We promise to keep the archive up there.


Because it is truly an amazing story you’ve told.

A World Beyond Oil, from A to Z

Architecture Without Oil 
Breathing Without Oil 

Car Culture Without Oil

Dating Without Oil 

Eating Without Oil 
Fellowship Without Oil

Guerilla Gardening Without Oil     

HealthWithout Oil

Immigration Without Oil
Jobs and More Jobs Without Oil

Knowledge Without Oil

LOL Without Oil

Music Without Oil

Neighborhoods Without Oil

OMG Without Oil

PDAs Without Oil

Quick Thinking Without Oil

Real Estate Without Oil 
Soldiers Without Oil
Teens and More Teens Without Oil
Urban Adventure Without Oil
Vision and More Vision Without Oil
Wacky Without Oil  
Xtreme Partying Without Oil 
Your Mama Without Oil
Zoom Zoom Without Oil


(no subject)

Some Netizens have been noting the similarites between the five stages of grief and the way people have been reacting to the oil shock. Like many of you, I have recently been racking up grief experience points. (Oh boy. ) Turns out, I'm not the type to dwell in anger or bargaining. I take that back. A lot of my grievy mindset is spent bargaining that I could skip all the depression for the good ol' days of denial.

When I wasn't scrambling in survival mode & conducting experiments in community, I spent the first half of our 9 month adventure feeling down. First because my longtime kitty companion perished, and then because the grimness of the really bad time, when chaos hit hard & was overwhelming. But somewhere in there acceptance hit--this is our life now, high high gas prices and people coming out of the woodwork to participate in meaningful workarounds. And World Without Oil serving as the central meeting point where we could all report our progress. There has been a certain motivation, a certain fire to fuel, in working for WWO to help keep us all buoyant and active. Now it sounds like it's closing down as an active site, and so is my volunteer stint helping netizens get their contributions posted & updating you-all via podcast. Sounds like the next week is our last.

I feel a fresh round of grief coming on. I will miss this meeting place, and the people who breathed life into it.

This is a familiar feeling, actually. And it's a particular brand of grief. I call it Adventurous Disaster Let-Down, or ADLD. "Addled." I've felt it back in my automotive days, when one car died and I needed rides & public transport till I found the next car. There was a special crackle in the air, Something was Going On.  I've felt it every winter, truth be told, when some shallow-rooted tree tips in the soggy forest soil and blocks the road out to civilization, or knocks out power lines. It's not rare for the power to be out a few days or a week, and I start foil-wrapping potatoes dotted with garlic & butter to toss in the glowing coals of a fire, and fish out my special pot for fireplace hot buttered rum. Then, when the power comes back on, or the usual way to work is restored,  it's sort of a drag to go back to business as usual. Life looks a little less interesting.

We've just had the longest adventurous disaster I've ever experienced first-hand. It was long enough for the sense of adventure to come, wear off under struggle, and be restored in a "we can do it,"  steady-pace form. (That's like, what, energy flagging & coming back as euphoria while jogging a marathon. I hear. Not having jogged one.)  And I'm heartened by fellow Netizens who say our work will continue now that we know better. Ahh, optimism.

But I've also racked up some experience points announcing new projects and convictions. I can do *anything* I set out to--for a few weeks. And for much much longer, it turns out, given the right supportive surroundings and motivating circumstances. But I've seen countless Big Plans of mine dwindle and fade away. It will happen, invariably, when I am answerable to no one, or a default path becomes easier. Now that gas is coming down in price and this site is going into archive mode, I worry that I won't be the only one vulnerable to drifting back into "business as usual."

So, here's a mission from me, worth a Carboneer: share with your fellow Netizens what you will do to keep the progress we've made sustainable. Without WWO to report to, without this site as a motivating resource to cheer you on, how will you keep your life less oil-dependent? How can we keep encouraging the people around us to do the same? (Without lecturing them--CeeGee is right about the folly of lecturing people.) Dessum9 tells me we'll be able to facilitate your contributions just for the next week, so hurry! Respond in a comment to this post now, so all your great ideas will be in the wwo archive for as long as we can keep the site on the web. I know I'll need them!

And an extra carboneer to anyone with a good idea for how to use their carbon offset credit as a motivator-- for yourself, a friend, or a company that could use a carbon offset...

"I'm who I am today because I knew you"

Someone called me a pollyanna the other day.  I had to ask Uncle Frank what they meant--I saw a lot of disney movies when I was a kid but that wasnt one of them.

I never meant to be the cheerleader of the 8tsoc.  You ask anyone who knows me around here, Uncle Frank, Tom, the guys from school who still keep in touch--I am Shay the Slayer, kicking butt and taking names.  At least I was, and then I met Nico and the butt to be kicked got a whole lot bigger than my boot. 

My cosy future where Grace grew up to be everything I wasnt, good in school, maybe a varsity athelete or, heck, even homecoming queen if she wanted to--that future is gone by the wayside.  Now I am trying to make a world for her where she doesnt go hungry, where she can be safe and secure and not worry about being gunned down for her bike or whatever food shes got in her house.  I want her to be able to laugh and sing and hang out with good friends and know how to take care of herself when nobody else will. I want her to be as smart and capable as all the people I have met here in this community.  And if I have to be called pollyanna to do so, well, there it is.

I needed you all to step up and tell me what we had to do.  I needed your wisdom, your ideas, your stories--even the bad ones told me what to watch out for, how to avoid trouble in its many forms.  I depended on people who remembered what rationing meant, what and when to plant , and what to do when all youve got in the house is beans, and how to knit and what tools we had to make sure we had and how to make sure water is clean and ways to cut costs and save energy.  Everyone seperately had a few good ideas, a piece of knowledge to share, something to pass along to the rest--together we have enough to fill a book.

Could we have done more?  Maybe.  It was hard to think about putting down ideas when every day was a battle to get thru.  I know my head was spinning for many weeks, as the news got worse and the shortages started and the little bit of security we had up here in the woods was chipped away by things we had no control over. I wouldve liked to talk to more of you.  I wish we could have had more time to set up meetings like Mia and lucy1965 did. And I wish I had known about the UK Transistion Towns and blueski's community meeting a lot sooner.  The crisis may be "over" but the dialog has to continue.  We cant sit on our hands and think weve done enough, ever.  This was just the warm-up exercise.

Because Nico told me--this was just the beginning. And I will never doubt his word again. So what's next? Uncle Frank and Tom have been talking about going into business together.  They've got lots of contacts between them, and some good ideas on how to help people not fall thru the cracks again.  Ways to maybe blow out the flame before the fires get out of control.  They toss around a lot of military jargon about objectives and logisitics and first responders and such, and I have not seen Uncle Frank this, well, ALIVE in a long time. So I am going to do whatever I can to help them make this a reality.  We're talking about selling the house and moving south, somewhere where we dont have to pay for heat and the cost of living is a little better.  Somewhere  with a few acres of good land that we could plant if we wanted to.  Somewhere sunny where we could put up solar panels and try and get off the grid.  Somewhere...over the rainbow...NAH. :) It's gonna happen, but it will be a real place and not pollyanna's farm. I will be working hard wherever I am, better it's for myself and my family than some stupid pimply faced manager in an ugly tie.

So here's my last mission for you all. Take care of your families.  And if you don't have blood kin, then make your neighbors your family, or your co-workers, or the old folks at the home, or the kids down the street.  Carve out a piece of human real estate that you feel responsible for.  Then teach everyone how to take care of themselves, and each other. Show them the stories here and let them tell you new ones.  Come up with a list--Top Ten Things to Do When the Next Oil Shock Happens.  Here's my first one: take a deep breath, and THINK.

My love and best wishes to you all.

Sharon, Grace, Uncle Frank and Shaggy
dessum9, toughguy

Our Days Are Numbered

It pains me to be the bearer of bad news, but somebody's gotta come out and say it: We here at 8tsoc can't keep this website going much longer.  The tipping point is what's going on now with Gala_Teah, which could be a long story except that a short one will do: the oil crisis is trying to claim another victim - three actually, GT, Inky_J and her husband. They're trying to save their house.

Meanwhile, Gracesmom got another phone call from Nico (remember Nico? He's the guy who tipped us off about this oil shock coming). Nico says that a second shock is "inevitable - as soon as it's clear you are able to pay more, you will be." So our days are numbered in more ways than one.

So now is the time, folks. You lurkers out there, speak up and tell us how your life is going in this time of economic hardship and $5.50 gasoline.  And everyone, let's get the truth out there: What can we do to better prepare for the next oil shortfall? Should we get a rationing plan ready? (What would it look like - who should run it?) What should we do about our energy consumption patterns? (How about a 50 mph national speed limit?) Now that we have good ridership, how can we take our transit systems to the next level? And what about food security? And the fragile among us? We need some good solid plans and priorities.

Tell us too about the people around you. What are _they willing to do? Or are they so happy to be paying only $5.50 a gallon that they can't be bothered to think about the future? Look forward to hearing and seeing what you got to say.

p.s. You can email us your story: wwo (-at-) - or call it in: 1-866-WWO-TSOC (1-866-996-8762)