thinking about the future of society isn’t just for the paranoid

In the new issue of “The Nation,” there’s a piece that basically says being concerned about the ramifications of our dwindling oil supply isn’t just for paranoids and kooks anymore. Here’s a clip:

…Finally, activists in scores of towns and cities around the world are trying to prepare their communities for the transition to a post-oil economy. Rather than wait for national governments and multinational corporations to save them, these ordinary citizens are examining how their communities can produce their own energy, food, buildings and other essentials using local resources rather than materials that arrive from afar via oil-based transport. “Economic relocalization will be one of the inevitable impacts of the end of cheap transportation fuels,” argues peak oil theorist Richard Heinberg. In Britain this movement has taken the form of “transition towns,” which seek, in the words of organizer Rob Hopkins, “to design a conscious pathway down from the oil peak.” Drawing on the experience of his hometown of Totnes, in Devon, Hopkins has just published The Transition Handbook, which explains how other towns can also begin preparing for the post-oil future.

Some of the transition movement’s ideas — printing local currency, forming solar buying clubs, building “cob” houses made of mud — may seem quaint, inconvenient or na

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  1. Brackache
    Posted April 29, 2008 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Huh. Now it’s not quite as fun.

  2. egpenet
    Posted April 29, 2008 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    It WILL be more fun in town together than defending your cows out in the Township against hungry neighbors.

  3. Brackache
    Posted April 29, 2008 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Seeing as how I’m the only guy on the block that I know of with the means to defend anything, egpenet, I don’t expect much help from my neighbors in that department. Although I suppose they would make nice serfs for me with their nifty little gardens and endless supply of tasty groundhogs.

  4. ypsi oneworlder
    Posted May 1, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Uh, sorry not to weigh in on who’s going to be using who as a serf, ; )
    But thought you might find of interest a small, odd collection of folks from SE Michigan who meet as “sustainable michigan peak oil” monthly — not all locals like sustainable ypsi, but still good people ; ) This coming Monday they will be viewing “The Power of Community” — you know, the one about Cuba and food production after embargo. Its very uplifting/empowering and is being shown in an Ypsi home where anyone from this blog is welcome (as long as they mention they are a friend of MM’s blog ; )

    If anyone is interested in that group – here’s the link:

  5. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 2, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Americans and/or humans, continue to prove that they’d rather feed their kids shit and buy them cell-phones than plant a garden.

    I watched Bush give a press conference a few days ago where his answer to the oil crisis was, “Should’ve drilled in Alaska, I told you so…” That will begin to make sense to more and more. We’ll suck Alaska dry.

    And, when we finally run dry of oil, big deal. The market will react. You’ll see a crop of nuclear and coal plants to power our new miracle, sprawl sustaining, battery wasting, power supply and we’ll drive our electric SUVs to kingdom come. Until the underlying morality of consumption vs. waste is addressed, we’ll find a way to consume and waste.

    I just don’t think availability of oil is the core issue. Lots of folks are concerned with the price of gas, but many/most just care about how prices reduce their capacity to otherwise consume. We can and will replace oil, but if we’re not better, the replacement won’t be, either.

    I don’t begrudge cooks their moment in the sun, but I remember what they went through on Y2K, and don’t want them to wake embarrassedly overstocked the morning after oil.

  6. Brackache
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Embarrassingly overstocked? I’m not the guy that just became the proud owner of 725 rounds of rifle ammo you’ll probably never use… and too paranoid to keep it in your own damn house no less! Who knows what other crazy things you might have hidden in someone’s basement somewhere. Nutbag.

  7. Posted May 3, 2008 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    What caliper?

  8. Brackache
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    A caliber that only crazy people would use for shocking crazy things. A sensational and nefarious caliber.

  9. Posted May 3, 2008 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    I have a few armaments that fit that description.

  10. Brackache
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Great, I’m surrounded by kooks.

  11. egpenet
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Lock and load, everyone.

  12. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m comforted knowing that while I misspell “kooks” as “cooks” and JoF misspells “caliber” as “caliper” there is some local, high caliber kook apparently stockpiling hand grenaches and lamb mines on our behalf.

    With such fine cooks as neighbors, we will dine well at the end of days.

  13. Brackache
    Posted May 3, 2008 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    …on 725 groundhogs.

  14. Posted May 4, 2008 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    omg, I’m so embarrassed

  15. Robert
    Posted July 1, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s more likely that the lunatics are taking over the asylum. But everyone knows I’m a half glass empty kinda guy.

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