I haven't written about Peak Oil in a while. It's so hard to say what is really going to happen. Oil will definitely run out, but will technology save us? The U.S. Air Force is trying to run its airplanes on oil synthesized from coal. Will that work? Will that work globally? God knows.
Although I've kind of forgotten about peak oil, James Kunstler sure hasn't. In fact, in his most recent blog posting he states that we are over the peak and on the long descent into demand for oil outweighing supply. It's kind of hard to see that, with gas prices being so low right now. I also don't know why he's claiming that the Saudian Arabian Ghawar oil field has peaked. If it has peaked, the party is over - Ghawar is the most massive of the world's massive oil fields. But what Kunstler is basing his data on, I'm not sure. Even Mathew Simmons' Twilight in the Desert didn't go quite so far as to say that Ghawar had definitely peaked.
Here's a quick link to a website about making furniture out of bike parts.
A few bloggers have been talking about biking in the rain recently. Usually in a positive way. I hate to be grumpy, but biking in the rain sucks. That's it and that's all. It sucks - no matter how happy these two people look.
The actual cycling part is the least sucky of the whole process, but even it is no fun. No matter what you wear, you end up soaked, and when it's a cold rain that's even more miserable. The potholes fill with water and you can't tell if that puddle coming up is a nice little one or a deep sucker that's going to send you over your handlebars.
The real problem is pre and post cycling in the rain. The "pre" involves wrapping all your backpack items up in bags, and dressing yourself the best you can in various layers of waterproofness (as opposed to the summer when you pull on shorts and jersey and you're done).
And the WORST is the post cycling stuff. You get to wherever you're going looking like a drowned rat. Your bike is all covered in grime. Hopefully you have access to a shower (which I do, or I couldn't do this commute at all) but you have to somehow dry your stuff in your office, so you spend 20 minutes wringing socks and gloves, trying to hang jackets and rainpants discretely on chairs, and doing the "stuff paper into them" trick (for those of you who don't know - if you stuff crumpled newspapers into soaked shoes and socks and gloves, the newspaper absorbs the water out of them, making the drying process go much much faster).
So you do all that, and then at the end of the day you put your moist clothes back on, and get nailed by another rainstorm on your way home. (Starting my ride in Toronto, then 30 minutes and a Go Train ride later being in Oshawa, I basically have my choice of two weather systems to get beaten up by).
Biking is still the better way. I guess I just wanted to grumble a little bit. Here's a nice photo I found on an Australian news website of an Afghani boy cleaning his bike in a massive pool of rain water.