Thursday, October 20, 2005

Groups taking action

I am of the opinion that while we each need to take individual action to prepare ourselves for an uncertain future, our ultimate survival will depend on how well our communities function. So I am very heartened whenever I hear of groups and communities coming together to address the challenges. Here are some links to homepages of some of these groups. (Produced by the San Francisco Oil Awareness Meetup group)
Colorful and authoritative, this poster traces the history of the Oil Age from its beginnings in the hills of western Pennsylvania in 1859 to its rise as the engine of global industrial economies. The poster's main chart features a year-by-year rendering of worldwide oil production from 1859 to 2050 with projections of future production based on Colin Campbell's Oil Depletion Model. (Produced by the Los Angeles Oil Awareness Meetup group)
This website was created to further promote discussion about peak oil production, to focus on raising awareness in our community on this topic, and to create communities working torwards energy self-sufficiency. (San Diego Post Carbon Institute group)
This project is called "EONS Now" which is short for "End Oppressive Non-Sustainability NOW." (It could equally well mean "Earthlings Overwhelmingly Need Sanity NOW".) It is a project which aims to educate and enlighten people about the dominance of various forces which are non-sustainable at their core, what that means for society, and then what some options are for the future when these oppressive systems dissolve and become dysfunctional in the era of fading oil and gas supplies which allowed them to prosper. Despite there being a number of admittedly bleak topics covered, there is hope because we don't have to carry on this failed experiment. Envisioning a world with less corruption, pollution, alienation, and fear is a first step toward realizing such a world. (Portland Oil Awareness Meetup group)
We're a grassroots group of concerned local citizens, from different backgrounds, with different interests, who've separately become aware of the looming crisis caused by the peaking of world oil supplies. WeÂ’ve come together to try to:

  • Develop individual and collective strategies to cope with this crisis
  • Create awareness in the Portland community about Peak Oil
  • Influence policies of local government to help mitigate the crisis
  • Serve as a community resource as the crisis becomes more severe (Seattle Oil Awareness Meetup group)

Seattle Peak Oil Awareness is a local citizens action network offering information and practical ideas for living in a time of reduced energy availability. Working in small, focused groups we advocate healthy, sustainable living choices for all interested residents in the Puget Sound region. (Willits Economic LocaLization)

The primary objectives of the Willits Economic LocaLization project are 1) to determine current resource use in the community of Willits, California (energy, transportation, food, housing, etc.), 2) to determine how that community can reduce its consumption of those resources imported, 3) to determine local resources that can replace those imported from outside the community and 4) to implement this transition towards a localized economy. (Ithica, NY and surrounds project)

Every location will bring its own set of strengths and weaknesses to its struggle with the economic, social, and material consequences of the end of cheap oil. So unlike most sustainability plans, which apply now and apply almost universally to the U.S. and other developed countries, this project aims to develop a plan that will apply in the near future and will address the specific strengths and weaknesses of Tompkins County. This kind of plan is called "county relocalization." It is based on the belief that the size of counties and the traditional land use, welfare, and emergency management functions of counties puts them at the organizational level most appropriate to the management of emergency relocalization. In our case, it allows the plan to recognize and make best use of the unique blend of rural, town, and university resources in Tompkins County. The general outline of the TCRP may be applicable to other counties as well, but the objective is to map out in detail the measures to be taken right here.

Raising Sydney's awareness of global oil depletion and the possible consequences

Each of these websites and documents can serve as inspiration and modeling for our own local efforts. Want to get involved? One way to start is through Oil Awareness Meetup groups, another is through Post Carbon Institute Outposts. Either way will begin the process of getting to know your concerned neighbors. There may already be a group meeting near you. You've only got to loose your isolation!


Igor said...

what is the purpose of de-coupling from oil dependence? just to maintain status quo of (nice) eco-correct living? for how long? universe does not honor status quos. take, for example, climate. it will change no matter how eco-correct a civilization is. it did and it will. and then what?

for a biological species to try to maintain a status quo is asking for extinction.

I would like to suggest another view:

Comfy yourself and listen :

Long time ago there were 2 people on the Island: Liz and Igor. They existed in perfect harmony with nature, like all animals do, living off worms and slugs, and so on. But they were also pretty clever animals, they learned to grow some edible plants, and Liz even managed to domesticate chicken.

They also tried to build boats, but there were no trees or other things on the Island to build sea-going boats, so they were stuck on the Island. But it was not as bad as it sounds, they were happy: they were writing novels and poetry, sculptured rocks into giant heads, watched stars and planets, ... y'know.

But one day something happened: a magic substance was found on the Island, that substance allowed their flimsy boats to navigate seas and travel beyond the horizon. And they named that substance: oil.

There was enough oil to fill 2 boats, and so off they went, Liz in one boat and Igor in another.

And they sailed day and night, and day and night, and so on. And the supply of oil was lower and lower, and finally Liz said: enough! we reached peak oil! we cannot sustain our development (ie voyage)! we must return to the Island!

And Igor said: no! we must continue! we can substitute oil with thermonuclear power (ie fish), we can find Promised Land or something! But Liz did not want to listen.

And so Liz turned her boat and sailed back to the Island. And Igor continued to the horizon.


Now we don't know what happened to Igor. Maybe he found Promised Land with trees and iron, and he build spaceship and went to stars. Maybe. Maybe he died in the middle of the ocean, when the oil ran out and he failed to catch the fish (thermonuclear power). Maybe.


But we know for sure what happened to Liz: she did return to the Island and continued with her life and chicken. And, sooner or later, the time has come for her to get extinct. Like for any other animal. Chicken died from some virus, and changing climate killed all worms, and superplume finished poor Liz. Or rogue asteroid. Whatever.


socalledeconomy said...

No. No no no no. Nononononono NONONONONO!!!...

This is why a diversity of species (and localities) within our ecosystem is so important.

Reports come in daily about species extinction, and noone seems to bat an eyelash. Modern Man dismisses this diminishment as a price to pay for progress. You're making a similar assumption igor.

Igor may well have perished in your story, but Liz stands a chance for survival because of her sustainability.

In the event of a crash, catastrophe, or ELE some will survive; we won't all make it thru, but some will.

Your reasoning is like a suicide's logic... I'll be dead one day, so why not give up today?

Sorry Igor, I like watching sunsets and I'll survive to see a lifetime's worth.

Igor said...

how you can see "suicide" here - beats me... Columbus decided to continue forward when the supplies were at RTB level, according to your logic it was suicide ?

it seems to me you either over-rate the power of "sustain-ability", or you don't realize the power of an extinction event like superplume (or others), if you think that "some of us" will survive. some species, yes, but none of primats living in eco-correct villages.

anyway, the time given to biota of this planet is pretty limited - even without regular extinction events - as sun moves up the main sequence - even deep sea dwelling bacterias won't have a chance.

Igor said...

Igor, he likes to hang around the peak oil sites and stir up crap

hint: don't put crap in your blog - so there would be nothing to stir.

and what are those "peak oil sites" I "hang around" - other than deconsumption? there are none. you just ... lied. why?

don't worry, I am not going to post on your site anymore.

just, in the future, try not to tell lies about people behind their backs.