Fuelling the Future – The Challenge and Opportunity of Peak Oil

(Press Release)

A 2-day conference on community responses to the coming energy crisis.

Kinsale Further Education College, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland
Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th June 2005

Many experts are now agreeing that world production of oil is reaching its peak and that we have reached the point of maximum production from which the only way is down. What will this mean for a country as dependent on oil as Ireland (Ireland has the 7th highest consumption per person of any country in the world, the USA is 30th)? We import over 80% of our food, and over 85% of our energy. How can we become more self-reliant, and thus less at the mercy of international events?

‘Fuelling the Future’ is a two day conference which will bring together many of the world’s experts on what is known as Peak Oil, and at how the impending energy crisis will affect our lifestyles, our communities and how we design our economy. From this point on, world oil production will no longer be able to keep up with demand, it is in effect the end of the age of cheap oil.

This has profound implications for how we feed ourselves, house ourselves, and organize our communities, as well as where we live and work. Hosted at Kinsale Further Education College, home to the ground-breaking Practical Sustainability course, which has done much to bring permaculture and other aspects of sustainability into mainstream education, this weekend is about solutions as well as problems, what we can do ourselves to prepare for a lower-energy future.

Speakers include;

Richard Heinberg – author of The Party’s Over – oil, war and the fate of industrial societies, and Powerdown – options and actions for a post-carbon future, Richard is one of the world’s leading lecturers on Peak Oil and what we can do about it.

Richard Douthwaite – economist, author and founder of FEASTA, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability, Richard writes extensively on ‘green’ economics and on localization. He is author of many books, most recently he edited FEASTA’s latest book ‘Growth – the Celtic Cancer’. He lives in Westport, Co. Mayo.

Dr Colin Campbell is regarded by many as the foremost authority on how much oil is left in the world, where it is and much longer we have until the oil crisis really starts to hit home. He worked in the oil industry for 30 years, and since his retirement he has dedicated himself to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil.

David Holmgren is the co-founder of permaculture, together with Bill Mollison in the 1970’s, since when he has devoted himself to demonstrating and teaching permaculture, both in his native Australia and around the world. David’s latest book. ‘Permaculture – principles and pathways beyond sustainability’ has done much to reposition permaculture and to place it right in the centre of the whole sustainability debate.

Rob Hopkins teaches permaculture at Kinsale Further Education College and widely around Ireland. A founding director of The Hollies Centre for Practical Sustainability, he has done much to pioneer permaculture design and natural building in Ireland, and was recently awarded Cork Environmental Forum’s prestigious Roll of Honour award.

Jim O’Connor runs www.planorganic.com, Ireland’s foremost organic farming website, which attracts over 65,000 hits per day. He is an outspoken advocate of organics and of a common sense approach to farming and land use.

Eamonn Ryan is a Green Party TD, and is the first member of the Dail to use the term Peak Oil. He is leading the way in mainstream politics as regards the Peak Oil issue, what does it mean for Ireland, and what can we do about it?

In addition to the main speakers, the programme will also include breakout sessions looking at areas such as renewable energy options, local currencies, local food, natural building, creating sustainable community and fuel crops. These will be led by some of the country’s leading experts in the field.

You should attend this conference if:

• You want to separate the fact from the hype about the current oil crisis and what it will mean to Ireland
• You want to be a part of the debate about how we can plan and prepare for a lower energy future
• You work in the areas of community development and/or sustainability and you want to keep at the cutting edge of thinking in this field
• You want to learn the latest thinking about solutions to environmental problems, especially the move towards localization of our economies
• You are interested in sustainability, and want to hear the latest from the world’s leading experts

For the latest line up of speakers and all the information about the conference, as well as for booking, please visit the Confererence’s website, www.fuellingthefuture.org