Wednesday, December 3, 2008

'Tis the season?

We love Mom and Dad, but they just don't listen when we start talking about oil depletion. Somehow they just tune out the incoming TEOTWAWKI. Or maybe we haven't mentioned it - we wouldn't want to set off Dad's blood pressure alarm again. But now's our chance! Instead of getting another turkey baster for Ma, or some battery powered drill-saws for Pa, let's get them (secretly) prepared for the coming energy descent!

Yes, 'tis the season. It's the time of year we can sneak some Peak Oil Preparedness into the lives of our loved ones through our clever gift choices.

Strategy #1: Buzz Kill Emergency Preparedness

"Gee, ever since the (ice storm, tornado, Hurricane Ike, invasion of South Ossetia, trucker strike in Europe), we've just been picking up a few things here and there. We thought you might like this - "

Oil lamp
CFL lantern
First Aid Kit
Hand cranked emergency radio
Water filter
Camp stove + Coleman fuel or propane
Emergency kit for the car

Strategy #2: For the Hobbyists

"I remembered how you're so interested in (gardening, cooking, camping, surviving planetary ecological collapse). I knew you'd love it!"

Membership in local food Co-op
Share in Community Supported Agriculture (if they would use it :)
Gift certificate to Territorial Seeds, Seeds of Change, or Baker Creek Seeds
Semi-dwarf apple trees, to arrive in March
Watering can
Garden tools
Gardening When It Counts by Steve Solomon
The Vegetable Gardeners' Bible by Ed Smith
Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Beer brewing kit
Canning jars and lids
Dutch Oven
Cast iron skillet
Nifty camping gear
Sub-zero sleeping bags
Everlasting firestarter

Strategy #3: For the Bibliophiles

"I thought this book looked interesting.... the lady at Borders recommended it ;)"

Just in Case by Kathy Harrison
The Long Emergency by James Howard Kuntsler
The Party's Over by Richard Heinberg
Peak Everything by Richard Heinberg
Reinventing Collapse by Dmitry Orlov
Depletion and Abundance, by Sharon Astyk

Strategy #4: For the Uber-Crunchy

"This should help you save the planet!"

Bike (or bike tires and repair kit)
Bike trailer (for the kiddos)
Solar battery/cellphone/iPod charger
Solar lantern
Subscripton to Mother Earth News
Bus pass

Strategy #5: When you've given up on subtlety

"OK Mom, just keep this in the closet until you need it"

Global Sun Oven
2 weeks supply of water (and Tang)
Wood cookstove
Cord of wood
20 buckets of rice, beans, oats, and sugar
Bar of gold bullion
When Technology Fails, by Matthew Stein
When All Hell Breaks Loose, by Cody Lundin
Coffee can of cash, to be buried in unspecified location
3 year's supply of seeds, freeze dried
Flak jacket

Or, you know, a donation to their charity of choice would also be nice.


LisaZ said...

Thanks for some good ideas! I've been thinking that as long as I have to buy a gift (yes, feeling obligated sometimes), I may as well do some preparedness stuff for loved ones. You've given some ideas I didn't think of.

I.M. Small said...


To own a lot of useless junk
And kill the climate for it,
Betokens myths time to debunk,
It too late to ignore it.

What is the use of drilling all
The world´s petroleum for
Obtaining plastic goods to sprawl
On your linoleum floor?

To set the turbines at full gear
That heat the planet up,
All for some nonsense--nor a tear
Yet falling in the cup

Of sympathy for those displaced
Because the waters rise,
Or those who starve so you may taste
Red beef that bloats your size.

Let us observe there is a good
In economic shrinkage,
Because such commerce never should
Usurp the greater linkage.

A world of life upon the planet
Did not deserve this plunder,
And, while it might be God began it,
It is not man´s to sunder.

A life is not made meaningful
By things that you possess,
And, even without hardship´s pull,
One can get by on less.

Consumption in excess, and travel
Beyond the means of foot,
Invite the climate to unravel,
Man´s sustenance to cut.

There is no need to bloat and glut
Upon one´s entertainment:
Spectacle does the mind´s eye shut,
Bring conscience to arraignment.

Enough, there is no need for more--
Use at a minimum
And save the world, worth at the core
More than all pleasure´s sum.


Lewru said...

Ha! My dad specifically asked for a battery-powered drill saw! Maybe I can sneak in some stocking-stuffery type things, though. My mom would probably think I've lost it if I showed up with 20 buckets of beans and rice. Then she'd make me take it home with me. Hmm. Maybe I'll try that. :)

Theresa said...

Brilliant - thanks!

I have one of those exact firesteel things, and darn it if I can get it to work. I must need more practice.

Anonymous said...

I love your justifications for these items. In October, I used the one about being prepared for another week of ice storm without electricity as I filled several shelves with food, fuel, and candles at my dad's house. I think he even believed me. =0)

I haven't done the comment thing before so I am signing this anonymous but I am in the OK Food Coop and I'm Melissa.

Hausfrau said...

Hi Melissa - good to meet you. Thanks for the comment!

Theresa - I have one too, but haven't tried to use it. Check the comments on REI/Amazon - I think I saw some tips on how to get the firesteel to work easier.