Posts filed under ‘Peak_Oil’

RetroSuburbia talk by David Holmgren

Co-founder of the permaculture movement, David Holmgren, encourages permaculture activists to focus their energies on retrofitting suburbia for an energy descent future. David argues that the opportunities to retrofit are so much more important than new buildings because of the limits to debt based growth.


May 28, 2018 at 10:46 am Leave a comment

Raising Kids for a Resilient Future

A worthwhile read for parents, relatives, friends, neighbors, or educators and mentors of young people.

by Amanda Witman,

familyresilienceHow do we prepare our children for a future that is unlike any we ourselves have ever known? How do we create a world worth inheriting when we are so acutely aware that the abundance our generation has taken for granted will no longer be a given in our children’s future? These questions can frustrate and even paralyze us as parents, grandparents, teachers, and mentors. Where do we start?

Some homes are resilience-minded; some are not. What does this mean, for those families and the community as a whole? We cannot presume to change the choices other families make, but we can take charge of what our own families do.

Above all, we need to remember that today’s young people are tomorrow’s adults. We must do our best to offer our own healthy example, foster a supportive, connected relationship with them, encourage them to develop useful skills, and help to ensure that they reach adulthood with a rock-solid sense of confidence and trust in themselves. Sound like a tall order? It is. We can only do our best. But it is imperative that we do our best, because their future – and ours – depends on our collective resilience. We can do this.

Part I is HERE>> Part II is HERE>>Part III is HERE>>

December 30, 2013 at 10:31 am Leave a comment

Can we live again in 1964’s energy world?

We must engineer a return to that era’s lower usage, says expert Vaclav Smil. To see why, read the article here.

March 4, 2013 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Peak Oil is Not Over Yet

In the face of enthusiastic reports from authorities about the coming oil and natural gas supply increases, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed provides us with an excellent analysis that gives us a clearer picture. Please see article posted on Ceasefire –
The Great Oil Swindle: why the new black gold rush leads off a fiscal cliff

January 6, 2013 at 7:27 pm Leave a comment

Peak Oil + Climate Change

Peak oil and climate change have been referred to as the Hydrocarbon Twins. They are so intertwined that seen in isolation, a large part of the story remains untold.

Both, of course, are symptoms of a society hopelessly addicted to fossil fuels and the lifestyles they make possible. It is, however, too simplistic to assert that peak oil will mean climate change will be brought under control because we will run out of access to affordable liquid fuels; the situation is much more complex.

We have a choice about how we respond to peak oil. We can use it as an argument for developing solutions that put in place infrastructure that will support us beyond the Oil Age, or we can use it to justify clinging to fossil fuels at all costs – even war, occupations, and oil spill disasters in the Gulf of Mexico. The danger is that as liquid fuels decline in availability, the emerging gap could be filled with other fuels far worse in terms of their climate impacts than oil was – the turning of coal into liquid fuels, tar sands, biodiesel, and so on.

If we don’t fill the gap with conservation and a concerted program of relocalization, and if we refuse collectively to acknowledge the reality of energy descent (the downward trend in the net energy underpinning society), we will rapidly drive ourselves beyond the climatic tipping points and could unleash climate hell.

If we see climate change as a separate and distinct issue from peak oil, we risk creating a world of lower emissions but one which is, in terms of oil vulnerability, just as fragile as today’s.


Climate change says we should change, whereas peak oil says we will be forced to change. Both categorically state that fossil fuels have no role to play in our future, and the sooner we can stop using them the better. It is key that both climate change and peak oil are given an equal degree of importance in any decision-making processes. The Transition model incorporates this approach, and emphasizes the rebuilding of resilience into our communities, as equally important as cutting carbon emissions.

It is important to point out that unless we plan in advance for peak oil, and adopt measures such as the Oil Depletion Protocol proposed by Colin Campbell and Richard Heinberg, the recession caused by runaway oil prices will blow responses to climate change out of the water. Responding to climate change on an adequate scale requires a lot of money and an unprecedented degree of global co-operation. An economic recession – or worse, collapse – will make keeping the lights on our priority, and tackling climate change will slide rapidly down our list of priorities. Facing runaway climate change with a collapsed economy is the scenario we really want to avoid, and we separate these two issues at our peril.

This is an excerpt (abridged) from The Transition Handbook, by Rob Hopkins, 2008

December 25, 2012 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Peak Oil

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global oil production has been reached, after which the rate of oil production follows an inevitable decline. Many experts in the field, including the International Energy Agency, say production of conventional crude oil has already peaked.

Peak oil is not about running out of oil, it is about running out of cheap, affordable oil. We have extracted only half of all the oil that is recoverable, but the first half was the light, sweet crude, whereas the second half is the heavier, sour crude that requires a lot more energy to extract and process.  When oil extraction began, 100 barrels could be extracted for every barrel invested. The Alberta tar sands, in comparison, produce 5 barrels for every barrel invested.

As global energy demands keep rising, and global oil production begins to fall, the era of cheap, affordable oil which allowed us to build our global, industrial civilization will come to an end. The decline of oil production will be felt in every aspect of our lives, from food and medicine, to contraceptives, home heating, jobs, and all material goods. The future will be very different from what we have imagined it to be.

Read more about Peak Oil…

Peak Oil Primer – Energy Bulletin
Peak Oil – Wikipedia

Read more about specific issues…

Food Production:  Eating Fossil Fuels,   Threats of Peak Oil to the Global Food Supply
Economy:  Video: Jeff Rubin,   Systemic Risk…
Medicine:  Eight Ways that Modern Medicine Is Oil Dependent
Home Heating  Home Heating in the USA: A Comparison of Forests with Fossil Fuels

October 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

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