Last night I talked with a friend and began to articulate a role that I could play in helping communities cope with some of the problems we are facing. I am beginning to see myself as a facilitator, helping people, businesses and governments to implement logistical solutions if/as the need for decentralized local self-sufficiency becomes urgent. It would be a very satisfying way to use my teaching, facilitating and organizing skills.
In my exploration of the sustainable blogosphere, I have run across a couple of references to Kevin Drum's article in The Washington Monthly about peak oil (part one) so I checked it out. It has 156 comments that brought forward many of this issues that people are talking about on this topic. Roger Keeling recommended some papers published by the Rocky Mountain Institute that had "done an enormous amount of highly-authoritative work" so I followed the links.
Bingo! I found an robust organization that I had been imagining only the night before. I was fantasizing about giving sustainable living seminars to a conference of mayors, which is not far off RMI's mark. I was particularly interested in the work they do with communities that are seeking restoration and renewal. They encourage the stakeholders to learn how they can benefit from sustainable interventions and even encourage participative decision making.
I am looking forward to reading some of their reports. They sound like they are uniquely experienced to know how to set up and direct interventions for communities that might need help rather suddenly if some of the more dire predictions about peak oil come to pass.
On a more depressing note, Kurt Cobb at Resource Insights turned me on to what I suspect will become a favorite blog of mine called The Unplanner, written by an unnamed planner in an unnamed city in central California. He described his long awaited meeting with his boss in "Conversations with Denial," in which he tries to bring up issues of sustainability and their impact on the planning process. Ha.