With all the chatter about peak oil and what life will be like once we no longer have any easy access to fossil fuels there doesn't seem to be too much information or advice on just how you should prepare for a post oil society. Plenty of information out there about what it will be like and so on, but what about getting prepared for it? Here are a few things that should be done before it happens.
People need to expand their views beyond just finding fuels other than gas to power their cars and trucks. People are obsessed with keeping their cars going no matter what it costs and this could be a fatal way of thinking. Cars really are not going to be part of the solution no matter how they are fueled. In fact everyone needs to understand that they basically are the root of the problem. So it's better if we all try to think beyond the car and not how to continue to make it run.
As a society we need to figure out how to produce food in a different manner. When the gas supplies really become depleted farmers will be left with sterile soil and farming will be at an unworkable scale. A lot of lives are going to depend upon the ability to solve this huge problem. Farming will have to become the center of American economic life again and will have to be done more on a local scale and will require more human labor than machine labor.
The population in America is going to have to be redistributed. Any place that is organized around the dependency of the car is simply going to fail. The country will have to return to a more traditional human ecology on a very much smaller scale such as villages, towns and small cities. Those small towns out there now are waiting to be re-inhabited and this is what will happen.
Things built in the future will need to be built with regional materials that are found in nature as opposed to the snap together manufactured type components used often now. Just like farming this is going to take the revival of skills we've not used for a very long time.
People and things are going to have to move differently and we will have to get used to that. Using water and the rail will be a lot more energy efficient. Electrify the railroads and use them to run things across the country. We will also need to learn how to use water again as a mode of transport and transportation of people. This means that more harbors and canal systems will need to be built for the inland rivers and include the cities and towns that are associated with these rivers. Harbor towns will no longer have condos for the rich but they will have to go back to how it once was with warehouses and places for the sailors to stay.
We will need to make our own goods in this country and stop relying upon the endless shopping frenzy that has occupied us in our daily lives. We are still going to need common household goods and clothes to wear, but no longer will we be able to be frivolous and go out and buy all kinds of new technological toys. Instead things will be simpler and we'll have to get use to it.
The educational system will have to be reorganized. Computers will not be as reliable as they are now since there will be electrical problems with it being on the fritz half of the time. This means that teachers are going to have to start teaching kids things like they use to be taught without the aide of all that technology. That means kids will again have to learn long division and how to really write a paragraph that is coherent. Teachers will be in big demand because teaching kids simply will not become obsolete.
Final Note: By preparing yourself to get use to going back to the basics, encouraging people to learn old skills, will be just a small step towards being able to survive, but at least it's a step in the right direction.