The cycling petition is still up. I don't actually have any free time to get to a post office and mail this thing until the end of the week, so I figured I'd just leave it online for a few more days and let it maybe reach 4100. On Saturday I weeded out all the doubled-signatures and spam signatures, so it is legitimately at 4090 or whatever it is at now.
Macleans has a recent article called Survival Skills for the Starbucks Set which discusses a wilderness survival instructor in Lindsay, Ontario, who has seen his classes getting more popular with urbanites. In theory, because more and more of them sense the end of days.
This strikes a chord, because ever since I started reading all the peak oil books, my girlfriend and I have been 30% seriously (70% jokingly) talking about what we’d do when civilization ended. We envision a small farming commune in the country somewhere and talk about all the skills that our friends have which would be useful in staying alive. So far I'm the lame "do we really need this guy?" one on the list. I have no survival skills to speak of, and most of my friends who are actually engineers also play the guitar far better than I do, so I'm out of luck as the "entertainment" as well.
Peak oil is the most likely thing right now which could bring civilization as we know it to an end, but there are plenty of other options. The volcano below Yellowstone might finally blow with Tambora like power (70 000 deaths in 1815) and change the weather so badly in North America that farming will be messed up for decades. Then there are the earthquakes, and meteors and sunspots which have been in the news for a while. Apparently the Mayans predicted the world would end by 2012 so I guess we'd better have our commune going strong by then.
If you want a foretaste of urban chaos, try reading Blindness by Jose Saramago. If you want to survive/avoid the urban chaos, try the Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook.
If you're not too worried about all this, and you remember the old Captain Kirk StarTrek episodes, AND you know Monty Python's Holy Grail movie pretty well, just watch this and relax.