12 steps of Peak Oil

This is from the Vancouver Peak Oil Executive (permission to reprint from Jon Cooksey)

The 12 Steps of Oil Anon

(With a tip o’ the hat to Alcoholics Anonymous)

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction to oil—that our lives had become unsustainable.

2. Came to believe that a dedication to the facts about peak oil could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to dedicate our will and our lives to the creation of a new and better way of living.

4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of the ways we have become dependent on cheap oil for our livelihood and lifestyle.

5. Admitted to ourselves and to others in the peak oil community that we hadn’t a clue about what to do next, and crashed.

6. Became entirely ready to listen to wisdom from others who have found solutions to fossil-fuel dependency.

7. Humbly asked them to invite us to their homes, meetings and ecovillages.

8. Made a list of our actual real-world options, and became willing to pursue them all.

9. Took direct action to develop a Plan B for our lives, making sure that this plan would involve helping the broader community, so that we would be of service to others.

10. Continued to take inventory of our on-going oil dependency, slowly weaning ourselves off a consumerist lifestyle.

11. Sought through research and connection with others to further improve our peak oil awareness, so that through knowledge and community we can carry out the goals of Relocalization.

12. Having had a mental and spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we sought to offer our knowledge and resources to those who remain unaware, and to practice the principles of sustainable living in all our affairs.




May 6, 2008 at 8:38pm

12 steps sound great but there isn't a chance in this world that it will happen... People will consume until it is not possible to consume then they will change or die. While consuming oil isn't sustainable, no other path is sustainable either, things change and we will adapt or die when it happens. If it is possible to live and consume oil then its perfect... If it can not happen then that time is over and that is also perfect. Fear is a tool to help us to survive... in this peaceful 12 steps community, who is guarding the gate from the guy with an empty stomach and a machine gun driving a tank that is running on the bio-fuels produced from the farm that you were chased from by hoards of refugees? Who is protecting your forest from a logging machine operated by a foreign corporation and guarded by contract militia? What are you gonna do when you get an easily treatable sickness that is only treatable in the nearest city which you would have to drive to and spend your lifesavings to cover the fees? Would you walk away from your family or say ok to that multinational job that guarantees healthcare for you and your family? the job that comes with a nicely decorated appartment in a militia guarded compound? Dont worry about oil, worry about enjoying now and if there is a little extra, hope you can keep some of it to make the future better but know that bad things will happen, you will die and the world will change.

Matthew Burrows

May 7, 2008 at 10:16am

For someone with such a lucid analysis, calling yourself 'simplemike' is misleading. Have you considered applying to the provincial climate change secretariat? At the very least you could draft a paper to the ministries of agriculture and lands and transportation explaining to them how our residents can transition from a fuel to a foot economy. You seem well equipped to do that. Or else you could take a leaf out of <a href="www.postcarbon.org" target="_blank">Julian Darley's book</a> and push for cities here to adopt a peak oil protocol. Or is it too late for that?


May 7, 2008 at 11:50am


Don't we get to hit bottom first?

Only a few teetotalers would be applying these peak oil steps while the crude is still flowing.
In the West, the cheap oil life is still not that unmanageable, so most folks are still out partying. Haven't even got the oil withdrawal symptoms yet, let alone the DT's [shudder]..... I agree with simplemike. Energy Sobriety will happpen only when forced upon us, drunken sots that we are.

Matthew Burrows

May 7, 2008 at 2:40pm

...or to revise a quotation from shakespeare's "Twelfth Night":

Some are born sustainable
Some achieve sustainability
Some have sustainability thrust upon them

Which one are we?