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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 11-30-08, 10:27 AM   #1
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Your crystal ball says what?

In the GM bailout thread, the topic veered to predicting the future. Would the big 3 survive?

That got me thinking to where I might be in 5 years viz-a-viz living carfree.

* My entire family has turned largely to public transportation and cycling. We still have a car which we can't sell.
* I still work, but my annual hours work out to about 25 hours a week.
* I have improved my garden to the point that it provides about 50% of the vegetables I eat.
* I have replaced my gas furnace with a geothermal outfit.

What does your crystal ball say?
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Old 11-30-08, 12:16 PM   #2
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Those are some great aspirations, gerv. I hope they come true.

As for me, I kinda hope things don't change too much. I mostly like my life the way it is. I would like to buy a really nice bike, but so far something's come up every time I save enough money.
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Old 11-30-08, 07:46 PM   #3
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I'm just wrapping up a 5-year plan ... I'll wrap it up this coming fall.

In the fall of 2004, I sold, tossed, and gave away about half my stuff, then packed up the rest and put it into storage. I quit my nice, secure job with the great benefits package, and gave up my comfortable apartment. Then I flew to Australia, and spent the next 3 months cycling around Australia, and living out of panniers.

When I returned to Canada, I settled into a couple rooms in a basement, and proceeded to work toward my Bachelor of Education.

If all goes well, I'll graduate this coming April, and will once again go through my remaining things (which have been in storage all this time) to see what I can part with. Actually, I'm going to start that task in just a few days, but won't likely finish till next summer.

And by late summer, I will be embarking on a new 5-year plan.

I don't know what my new 5-year plan will involve yet, but I hope there will be lots of travel and lots of cycling.
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Old 11-30-08, 07:51 PM   #4
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A million miles for Machka!

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Old 12-01-08, 05:27 AM   #5
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Working my a** off while I still have a job and the physical ability to do that job. Banking money and buying durable goods (including bicycles!)

We had planned on an early semi-retirement before the airlines tanked in 2001/2 and then the airline my wife works for filed for bankruptcy, twice. Rank and file took pay cuts up to 40%...exec's less than 15%.

But anywhoo, we live fairly conservatively so it was all taken in stride. We have been researching and implementing various plans down on the farm to prepare for the future...anybody want free range eggs?...just have to find them

I have no idea where the US is headed economically but based on various reports it doesn't look particularly good, the American Consumer has driven the economy for past several decades, but in the past 2-3 decades it was actually driven by consumer credit and that well has run dry, however China has profited greatly from it. The US is no longer a super power economic or military and the sooner that is realized the better off we will be. We were able to dig ourselves out of the last depression because we had: 1) Cheap energy source 2)Strong work ethic and a fairly young population 3)Raw materials and the factories to convert those things to usable products. None of those exist today. We live in intereing times! and according to some we won't be around after 12-20-2012 LIVE FOR TODAY!

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Old 12-01-08, 10:01 AM   #6
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What happens on 12-20-12?
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Old 12-01-08, 10:14 AM   #7
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What happens on 12-20-12?
Iran nukes Israel, armageddon.


it that what you wanna hear ?


what will happen ? nothing.
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Old 12-01-08, 10:33 AM   #8
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Iran nukes Israel, armageddon.


it that what you wanna hear ?


what will happen ? nothing
.
Thanks for the helpful answer,
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Old 12-01-08, 11:41 AM   #9
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What does your crystal ball say?
I wouldn't be at all surprised to see more people trying to live car light and car free. The people most likely to try this will be the young who haven't yet developed total car dependency, and also some physically vigorous retired people.

With declining wages and employment opportunities, it will make sense for more people to put their personal efforts into cutting living expenses. Things like vegetable gardening, home energy improvements, repairing things, better cooking and so forth.

I'm expecting some great new music, literature and art. Also a revival of tinkering, do-it-yourself, and crafts. Individual creative efforts don't depend so much on the money economy. When there's little money to be made by outside employment, it may be easier for people to decide to do what they love.
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Old 12-01-08, 12:19 PM   #10
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What happens on 12-20-12?
The Mayan calendar supposedly comes to an end, along with the whole world...some more of the doomsday types believe in it, probably the same ones that headed for the hills during the Y2K "crisis". Also IIRC there is supposed to be a pretty significant planet alignment that some theorists believe could cause issues.


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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 12-01-08, 12:36 PM   #11
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The Mayan calendar supposedly comes to an end, along with the whole world...some more of the doomsday types believe in it, probably the same ones that headed for the hills during the Y2K "crisis". Also IIRC there is supposed to be a pretty significant planet alignment that some theorists believe could cause issues.


Aaron
I hope the theorists are wrong again. It'll be interesting to look back at this thread in a couple years and see how accurate our own crystal ball theories are.

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Old 12-01-08, 12:48 PM   #12
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LIVE FOR TODAY! Aaron
There is no past, there is no future. Only now.
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I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 12-01-08, 06:05 PM   #13
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The Mayan calendar supposedly comes to an end, along with the whole world...
Aaron
Damn, that will ruin the evening for you... and I might have to revise my 5-year plan
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Old 12-01-08, 07:27 PM   #14
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Damn, that will ruin the evening for you... and I might have to revise my 5-year plan
Yep...and FWIW I was talking with a guy in Cozumel that happens to be at least part Mayan and he feels they just never expected the calendar to need to go longer...go figure.

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Old 12-01-08, 07:43 PM   #15
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Damn, that will ruin the evening for you... and I might have to revise my 5-year plan
Better make it a 4-year plan.
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Old 12-01-08, 08:05 PM   #16
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I don't look that far ahead. It's hard enough predicting where I'll be next week.
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Old 12-02-08, 12:30 AM   #17
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Smaller, local farming and communities

I think we will begin to see a return to smaller local farms and less industrialized agriculture, as a result of of a warming climate, water and energy shortages, and soil degradation. Small mixed-use farms allow crop rotation and are much kinder to the earth than mechanized mono-culture farms. They also use less fossil fuels as input, producing far fewer carbon emissions.

Personally, within 5 years I hope to be building a small passive solar cabin on 5-10 tillable acres in northern Calif or southern Oregon. I have wanted to build a small "net zero energy" home for almost 10 years now but other priorities keep getting in the way (like work and aging parents).

I have also considered purchasing a small farm somewhere in the Willamette Valley which could be restored and would undoubtedly be a good plan for the future. It would allow me to grow some of my food on part of it and sublease the rest. Or start a small co-op.

I do believe there will be big changes for all of us over the next five years. Some that we can't anticipate, due to world events. There will likely be a lot of stress also, as happens with systemic change, but I see it as a necessary process if we are to make our way forward.

Cheers,

John

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Old 12-02-08, 07:29 AM   #18
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Yep...and FWIW I was talking with a guy in Cozumel that happens to be at least part Mayan and he feels they just never expected the calendar to need to go longer...go figure.

Aaron
I always thought that Mayans calendar could handle huge dates.

From Wikipedia:
Maya stelae occasionally show dates beyond 2012. Most of these are in the form of "distance dates", where a Long Count date is given with a distance date to be added. For example, on the Tablet of Inscriptions from Palenque the following Long Count date was found: 9.8.9.13.0 8 Ahau 13 Pop (March 24, 603 Gregorian) with a distance date of 10.11.10.5.8. The resulting date is given as 1.0.0.0.0.8 5 Lamat 1 Mol,[10] or October 21, 4772 almost 3,000 years into the future. The king Pacal of Palenque predicted that on this date the eightieth Calendar Round anniversary of his accession will be celebrated, suggesting he did not believe the world would end in 2012.[11]

Despite the publicity generated by the 2012 date, Susan Milbrath, curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, stated that "We [the archaeological community] have no record or knowledge that [the Maya] would think the world would come to an end" in 2012.[12]

"For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle," says Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. in Crystal River, Florida. To render December 21, 2012, as a doomsday or moment of cosmic shifting, she says, is "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in."[13]

"There will be another cycle," says E. Wyllys Andrews V, director of the Tulane University Middle American Research Institute (MARI). "We know the Maya thought there was one before this, and that implies they were comfortable with the idea of another one after this." [14]
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Old 12-02-08, 07:35 AM   #19
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There is no past, there is no future. Only now.
Now isn't really all that well defined. To demonstrate this to yourself, touch your big toe to your nose- or finger if you're not flexible. The sensations from your nose and extremity reached your brain at different times because nerve impulses travel at pretty slow speeds - yet you perceived them as instantaneous "now". Your brain rearranges its input to produce a coherent experience in accordance with some prejudice.
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Old 12-02-08, 07:48 AM   #20
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Where would I like to be in five years? I'd like to be living somewhere cooler and saner, and be doing something I enjoy for a living, instead of what I've always done, which is to simply try to find the most tolerable job at the moment.
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Old 12-02-08, 10:43 AM   #21
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I'd like to be living somewhere cooler and saner
You should probably plan to go a long way north. Climatologists at Michigan State University have predicted that by mid-century, Michigan's climate will be like Arkansas climate is today. By extrapolation, this means that mid-latitude Canada will possibly be the southernmost point that has real four seasons weather.

Link

Canada is possibly saner also!
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Old 12-02-08, 12:03 PM   #22
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I could get used to Canada.
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Old 12-02-08, 03:48 PM   #23
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Canada is possibly saner also!
Don't be so sure! In the middle of a global economic crisis, we have a minority government trying to rule like a majority; and the opposition parties forming an alliance to take over Parliament. Fascinating in a historical context (last coalition gov't was 1917), but I question the sanity all around.
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Old 12-02-08, 07:00 PM   #24
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California puts a price floor on gas prices at $X.00 to pay down the multi-billion debt.
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Old 12-03-08, 11:51 AM   #25
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5 years is not very long. I will probably be working in a ****ing call centre (is there any other kind?), hating it, but paying off my loans and a good portion of my second mortgage. I will probably sell my motorbike and buy a flatscreen TV, lose a bit more hair, and everything else will be the same.

5 years is a long time. I might quit my job, sell my house, get on my bike and see the world. I might keep the house, dig up the garden, and grow my own food. I might finish (ok, start) my degree.
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