Designing the Future
The Peak Oil community focuses its efforts on two main themes: predicting the peak and exploring sustainable life. There is a great deal of discussion on sustainable design and organic subsistence farming, but there is very little in the way of comprehensively engineering future communities. I would like to change that fact.
A formalized engineering framework is needed in order for effective post-peak oil design. This goes far beyond the sustainable design or green building initiatives -- Peak Oil Design requires careful analysis of not only the nature of your shelter, but what you will produce, how you will produce it, how you will store it, and who you need to produce it. The list is lengthy and complicated.
Much of this information already exists singly within the blogosphere and elsewhere, but it is not taken as part of a comprehensive design. My approach is to use a Systems Engineering methodology to pull the required information together and develop the skill set needed.
Systems Engineering is an approach to defining all required aspects of a system by a comprehensive life-cycle analysis. It is an iterative technique that requires individuals from many different specialties in order to succeed. In the course of my career as a NASA engineer*, I have found systems engineering a very powerful and necessary tool.
My vision for this blog is to develop an engineering method for complete design of post-Peak Oil communities. I plan to post on varying aspects of community design -- anything from construction techniques and crop planning to required skill sets and security -- all progressively developed into a formal engineering methodology that we all can use as a blueprint for designing our own communities.
The key to systems engineering is open communication and iterative discussion, so comments are absolutely essential for the success of this project. One important thing to remember is that this project will never be completed -- as more information is compiled, the domain expertise of the Peak Oil community will expand and further enable a thriving sustainable future. Let's let this be the first post of many!
* Any opinions or statements found on this site are not representative of NASA or the U.S. government