5 Comments on "Peak Oil Survival: Preparation for Life After Gridcrash"

  1. If you have never read anything about peak oil or survival perhaps this book will get you thinking. If you have any knowledge of these topics you will find this book very high level and not informative. If Mr. McBay has an understanding of survival, or in a more relevant vein self-reliance, it does not make it to these pages.

    Two quick examples: The book is a very light at under 100 pages and he spends 33 of those pages talking about cooling and cooking food. In his post crash world there is a big issue with cooling or cooking food but apparently after grid crash there is no problem actually getting the food. If there is, he does not address the issue. Personally I have become accustomed to eating.

    Second, he spends less than 2 pages addressing heat (in the winter). If you live in the North one would hope Mr. McBay would address the topic as a lack of fuel would definitely have an effect. His suggestions are pitiful. Light a fire (great if you live on the third floor of an apartment with no fireplace) and put on more clothes. Brilliant! I need someone to remind me to get dressed. How about a simple suggestion to prepare yourself by getting a high quality sleeping bag that can keep you alive when the temperature goes sub zero. No such common sense suggestions are to be found.

    If you want a book on survival then buy one on that specific topic. May I suggest “SAS Survival Handbook”. If you want a book on Self-Reliance then buy one on that specific topic. I would suggest starting with “Storey’s Basic Country Skills” or “The Self-sufficient Life and How to live It” or “The Big Book of Self-Reliant Living”. All these books are tomes of knowledge that may actually help you if hard times come to pass.

    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. There is an entire literatue on Peak Oil (now, 30 years too late). Of the seven or eight that I have read, this is the single best most sensible book. Easy to read, to “connects the dots” and makes it clear just how tough urban and surban survival is going to be–imagine Baghdad at home.

    The author has really knocked the ball out of the park with common sense. This is not a book that states the obvious as much as it is a book that really drives home the importance of obtaining water, treating water, creating latrines and making best use of gray water, keeping food cool, heating for fuel (with a dramatic savings achievable for short-term fuel use augmented by hot box “sitting”), and then ending with lighting and heat.

    The layout of the book is first-rate, the diagrams are superb and easy to understand, and the practical list of tools and supplies needed for sustainment survival is explicit, not over-stated, and just plain serious.

    Absolutely a great book and a serious contribution to the good of any community.

    Other books:

    Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage

    Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum

    The Party’s Over: Oil, War And The Fate Of Industrial SocietiesResource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict With a New Introduction by the Author

    The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century

    The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

    Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil

    The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

    The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Institutions of American Democracy)

    Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders

    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. There are two parts to this book.

    The first is the Introduction which is only 16 or so pages long. But in these pages is as good a summary of what’s going on as I have ever seen. The opening sentence: ‘We live in an age of converging crises.’

    I’ve never heard it put better. Global Warming, freshwater, fishing, destruction of topsoil, all are headed our way. Our politicians ignore it, they are much more concerned about a non-binding resolution about Iraq.

    I’ve likewise never seen the description of the inadequacy of renewables described as well in as few pages. The introduction alone is worth the price of the book.

    After that the book is on what it will take to survive after the ‘Grid’ crashes. No electricity, no fuel, no food. Here is how to process your own water, how to grow your food and cook it without using your gas/electric stove.

    What he doesn’t mention is that without oil, and with a true grid crash, the population of the world has to go back down to what it was before oil, say about the year 1900. And the population then was perhaps 1/4 what it is now.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. McBay foresees converging crises (depletion of freshwater supplies, devastation of fish in the oceans, destruction of topsoil, and global warming – combined with the end of cheap oil) perhaps as early as 2010. “Peak Oil Survival” provides a number of hopefully practical approaches to then obtain and treat water, dispose human waste, keep food cool, etc.

    Unfortunately, the “flies in the ointment” are not addressed – the earth cannot support anywhere near its current population without the availability of cheap energy, nor would civil order long be maintained in the face of disruption such as McBay envisions (look at New Orleans after Katrina). Thus, while McBay’s approaches may be valid in theory, we need to focus more on resource conservation and developing alternative energy sources.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  5. As an introduction to some new (to consumer) concepts, this book is decent enough. There are many other books that delve into each of the subject areas with the necessary information to utilize the concept. If you can only buy one book on the subject, skip this one. If you already have many books on the subject you probably won’t need this one. This one will “peak” a newcomer’s interest and covers more ground than other survival intro books.
    Rating: 3 / 5

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