Thursday, November 23, 2006


Now that I've gotten through most of my grief about peak oil, I have discovered a quality of poignancy in my life. Almost every night, as I snuggle under the covers, I give thanks for my warm house, for my meds, and for the power that turns on the TV, phone, and computers. I am grateful for my car and the gasoline to drive it, the food in the grocery store, and the roads that enable me to get there.

I believe that a time will come when I won't have such luxuries, so I try to appreciate them as much as possible while I have them.

Then when the accouterments of civilization are gone, what will we have left? Each other.

In the mean time, I am so grateful for the peak oil community, that I am slowly getting to know. I am grateful for the oil professionals that put their careers on the line so that we would learn about the problem. I am grateful for the people that took this understanding and have made it their life's work to educate the public and support us in preparing for it. I am grateful for the grass-roots activists who are making changes. I am grateful for you.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Strategic Planning

Hi everyone,

I have been in action mode, but I hope to start capturing what I am learning and sharing it here. I have a lot to tell about our big event, hosting Richard Heinberg October 11th, but the first thing I want to do with that is to write up a "best practices" document so that we (and others) can benefit from our experience.

My latest activities have been related to our oil awareness Meetup group, Atlanta Beyond Oil. I have been preparing for our Heinberg event debrief meeting, our "new members" meeting, and in the process of that, have done some strategic planning. I wrote out my thinking so that I could get clearer about it, and also so I could talk to other people who know more about Atlanta and Georgia and politics and environmental groups, etc. and get feedback. So this is just a first draft.

Out basic goal is to get the Peak Oil message out, and so far we have considered three audiences: state and local government officials, environmental groups, and the general public. There is also the realm of education, K through 12 and beyond. And then there are the powers behind everything else, the corporations. But I wasn't ready to tackle those yet.

Ultimately we want an "energy literate" government and society.


Specifically, mayors, city councils, county commissioners, state representatives, state senate, the governor, and all the relevant committees associated with these.

• Pass peak oil resolutions as they did in San Francisco and Portland (but de-emphasize that it's a West Coast thing)
• Start committees to do assessment on energy needs, food needs, transportation needs (including citizens)
• Produce reports about these with recommendations
• Draft policies, lobby for them, get them passed (unless we go the 501 (c)(3) route, in which case we can't lobby and would partner with a lobbying group)
• Have town hall meetings to raise consciousness about, plan for, and implement preparedness for the coming energy transition
. Develop tax credits, system benefits plan, economic development plans that support preparedness

• Educate local officials
• Find sponsors who will champion our cause
• Hold Open Space Technology meetings for citizens and/or officials to develop areas of focus, groups who will work on them, and action plans
• Use templates to develop plans for assessment (Powerdown Project, Kinsale, Willits, new PCI book, etc.)
• Develop teams that can write policy recommendations (partner with local groups and take advantage of national resouces)
• Get public support for these policies
. Work with GEFA
. Work with GDOT

• Develop ABO team to work in this area
• Continue to lobby contacts we have made so far
• Develop speakers bureau
• Make presentations to committees, etc
• Track GA Energy Strategy Plan and input when possible
• Join the Relocalization Network
• Get advice from folks in other groups who are working on this
• For generating public support, see that category


Specifically: (at this point I don't want to mention our target groups by name)

• Have peak oil be a part of the discourse (especially along with climate change)
• Build an Energy Transition Coalition (both climate change and peak oil require us to make a transition to non-fossil fuel energy)
• Have ratifying the Oil Depletion Protocol be part of the agenda

• Get buy in on the idea that peak oil must be addressed when climate change issues are addressed
. Develop partnerships with other groups
• Invite groups to come to an OST on energy transition
• Invite groups to co-sponsor an OST on energy transition
• Invite groups to join the coalition

• Join GEC
. Do a needs-gap analysis
. Identify target groups, starting with those concerned with climate change
• Identify key contacts
• Meet with key contacts
• Explain how peak oil relates to climate change, especially the coal issue
• Explain how the ODP compliments the Kyoto Protocol
• Develop presentations and materials for environmental groups
. Swap presentations
• Distribute ODP book and Oil Poster


• Vote for peak oil aware officials
• Support their officials to make peak oil preparedness policies
• Form committees to do assessments, plan, and take action for preparedness
• Take action for personal preparedness
• Participate in community-wide preparedness actions
• Have many groups like ours throughout the metro area and state wide
• Reduce energy use by 2.5% per year
• Participate in local food production
• Etc.

• Let the public know which officials are peak oil aware
• Campaign for policies
• Share resources and how to prepare on our website
• Have OST meetings for people to come together, create teams, and work on preparedness
• Have seminars where they can learn what other communities are doing
• Have seminars where they can learn how to personally prepare
• Tell them how to do assessments of their own energy consumption or who to hire
• Promote the ODP

• Have showings of End of Suburbia and the Cuba film (Kilowatt Ours too?)
• Bring in name speakers (partner with other environmental groups)
• Participate in events (Bioneers , Earth Day, etc)
• Work with “candidate scorecard” groups to have their criteria include peak oil aware
• Develop education, training, and PR materials
• Create a marketing plan
• Work with other PO groups to develop resources (“how to” manuals, etc)
• Join the Relocalization Network
• Network with Green professionals to develop a resources list


Specifically, leadership, core group, casual members, non-participating members, committees (standing and ad hoc)

• Clear purpose
• Clear leadership
• Clear vision
• Clear community
• Clear management
• Clear goals
• Enough active members to sustain projects without burn out
• Standing committees
• Community events

• Schedule gathering(s) to explore purpose, leadership, vision, community and management
• Promote our group
• Ask members for feedback on what they want
• Have internal OST to create committees and action plans
• Capture what we learned from the Heinberg event (write “best practices” document)
• Develop leadership skills of each member

• Have additional meetings on the weekends
• Advertise meetings
• Develop website
• Develop identity
• Create data base of members
• Take a survey
• Debrief Heinberg