My background is in the teaching of permaculture for many years, giving people the tools to create more sustainable ways of living in their own gardens and families. Since I found out about peak oil, I have become fascinated by how we apply these principles to whole towns, whole settlements, and in particular, to how we design this transition in such a way that people will embrace it as a common journey, as a collective adventure, as something positive. So much peak oil and other environmental literature is doom-laden and information heavy, and most peoples’ reaction is to switch off. How can we design descent pathways which make people feel alive, positive and included in this process of societal transformation?It is heartening to read, in fact he makes a conscious decision to include Heart in his work:
In September 2005 I moved to Totnes in Devon, to begin a PhD at Plymouth University looking at Energy Descent Action Plans, refining the model in such a way that they can be done anywhere. This involves looking at what I call the Head, the Heart and the Hands of Energy Descent. By the Head I mean the concepts of peak oil, arguments for and against localisation as well as any historical examples that we can learn from. The Heart refers to exploring how to actually engage communities in a positive and dynamic way, how to use peak oil as a tool for empowerment rather than leaving people feeling helpless. This part of the exploration is about how to actually facilitate change, and the dynamics of cultural transformation. The Hands refers to the practical aspects, could the UK become self sufficient in food and how? How much well managed woodland would it take to heat a town with efficient CHPs? Can local materials be used to retrofit houses?
This reminds me of the 4H pledge that Mr. Logan taught me:
I pledge My head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service, and
My health to better living,
For my club, my community, my country, and my world.
I thouroughly enjoyed every entry and invite you to visit often.