Back then, "Peaknics" were enthused about the West's coming economic disaster. It is ever so much fun to brow beat the establishment while you still have a job, equity in your home, and a career with a future. 5 years of economic stagnation, lousy employment prospects, and flat world wide oil production (and declining oil consumption in the OECD)... and its just not that much fun anymore. The "Peaknics" faded. "The Tea Party" and "Occupy" took over... though neither one really knew what was at the bottom, or the root cause, of their anger: Oil (and credit).
In 2005 you were smart. A thinker with a vision. Now? Gil Scot-Heron's "The Revolution will not be Televised" comes to mind. For the already established that did not lose their jobs or businesses, so far this has been no big deal... for the graduating classes (high school, college, grad) since 2008, real estate agents, stock brokers and investment bankers, banks, mortgage companies, retail mall operators, etc... this has been an unmitigated disaster (and granted... this has been more about credit contraction than Oil... but that train is rolling down the tracks).
And you ain't seen nothing yet.
The first 5 years of this "adjustment period" were merely a pain in the @$$ in the OECD and industrialized West. The next 10 or 15 years or so is where the rubber meets the road. So far the decline rate for Oil consumption in the OECD has only been 2% per year or so... what will the economy look like with a 4/6/8/10% annual decline rate?
2% is slow-drip-water-torture. 10% is light-your-hair-on-fire-and-run-around-the-room torture.
At some point, Oil imports into the OECD are going to see those kinds of declines... and not that far off.
And blaming politicians for not "doing something" about this? Pointless. Energy descent is going to happen... "conservation" (lol!!) is going to happen (one way or another)... and the economic consequences are going to happen... to Democrats and Republicans alike. I wouldn't put much stock in the folks in government being much help to The People. They will be too busy seeing to themselves.
Our farm seems to be working out well. Here are some ideas for any homesteaders out there:
This was our fall and winter chicken run. It is about 1/8 of an acre. This is more than enough for a family of 5 for sweet corn (not corn flour corn... we grow that on the other side of the farm), beans, and squash (which we grow together). As you can see, the chickens have eaten every blade of grass down to the dirt, and then scratched up all of the roots. They have cleared the ground of weed seeds, too. Their manure is too hot (in Nitrogen) for most stuff, but not corn. Corn LOVES chicken manure. We plant the beens and squash about 4 to 6 weeks after the corn. This is my 4th year moving the chickens around to where I plan to plant my sweet corn.
180 degrees and up the hill is our "goat run". This is "reclaimed" front yard, about 1 acre. This area can support about 8 goats 7 months per year. In winter I feed them round-bale hay (about 1 per month - $22) and a little corn (for about 5 months). We eat a few goats per year and sell a few. They cover their feed expense, and save me from having to mow this area. Besides, I love to eat cabrito/chevon (goat meat) and soup.
In the winter, I keep the horses in this corral. It is about an acre in size. They eat 3 round bales per month (1500 pounds each) for 5 months. 10 to 12 tons of horse manure (the urine is the primary nitrogen source) on an acre leaves the ground plenty fertile. The horses get moved to the pastures and I plant the lower half (as it slopes I want to avoid erosion. I throw down some clover seed on the top half to hold the soil and keep the bees happy) of the corral with corn/pumpkins/peas/something or other. This year it will be field corn for corn flour.
Here in Tennessee garlic and onions are planted in the fall. Garlic did very well this year, onions were not great (but enough). Just in case, I planted some onion sets today. When I harvest the garlic in mid-Spring, the bed will be planted with sweet bell peppers. The beds to the right are covered in clear plastic because they are "baking" too-fresh manure for this spring. If you keep it wet and covered the manure will compost completely in about 2 or 3 months, rather than a full year.