Solutions & sustainability - Jun 16
Click on the headline (link) for the full text.
Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
Interview with Richard Gilbert - city planning for peak oil
Jason Bradford, Global Public Media
On The Party's Over: Going Local, Richard Gilbert, an urban planning and economic development consultant discusses a report prepared for the Canadian city of Hamilton that advocated a rapid, two thirds reduction in energy use and the development of a local, diversified mix of renewable energy technologies to cope with the depletion of fossil fuels. His report, called Hamilton: The Electric City, can be found on his web site. Jason Bradford hosts "The Party's Over: Going Local" on KZYXin Mendocino County, CA.
(20 May 2006)
CSIRO Sustainability Network Newsletter #59 (884-KB PDF)
Elizabeth Heij editor, CSIRO (Australia)
- Centralised, top-down patterns for providing essential services must make way for more natural, nested, bottom-up patterns - water systems are a good example;
- Today’s consumer culture is not a way of life but a way of death - we need a new human ‘dream’;
- The energy debate is simpler than we think;
- Sustainability as the new Campus politics;
- Yes, we do need organic certification;
- Taming driver aggression;
- and more.
(15 June 2006)
Aaah brewing a greener lifestyle
Amy Marshall, Warrnambool Standard
FOOD prices are set to skyrocket and south-west people have been advised to start planting vegetables, breeding chickens and brewing beer at home.
The encouragement comes from permaculture co-originator David Holmgren, who yesterday spoke at the Urban Sustainable Living Expo at Deakin University.
Permaculture is a sustainable-living concept which has spread around the world since the 1970s and can be applied to food production, home and garden design and more broadly to construction, energy and alternative economic structures.
Mr Holmgren said being self-sufficient and sustainable at home was not only better for the environment, it was cheaper and would soon be necessary.
The concept had already begun to take root in the region as residents tried organic gardening at home, community garden concepts developed and increasing numbers of residents enrolled in permaculture courses.
Mr Holmgren said fertile south-west soils and the combination of a large population with plenty of space meant there was huge potential for permaculture to work well in the region.
"We have reached a point where the demand for oil outstrips the supply and governments haven't really planned for this," he said.
This represented a bigger threat than climate change, he said. "Food supplies are dependent on fossil-fuelled transport and it is inevitable that food will soon be very expensive in relation to our incomes."
At his Hepburn Springs home Mr Holmgren and his partner, Su, grow fruit and vegetables, nut trees and mustard seeds and breed goats, geese and chickens.
(5 June 2006)
Richard Heinberg and David Holmgren will be touring a 'Peak Oil and Permaculture' speaking tour around Australia in late August, early September. Stay tuned for venues and dates. -AF
"The Great Turning: Creating Local Solutions And Earth Community" -- A Book Review
Carolyn Baker, Adaptation
Recently while driving down the road listening to the radio, I heard an interview with author and former corporatist, David Korten. His monumental 1995 book, When Corporations Rule The World, provided an illuminating and encyclopedic analysis of globalist corporatism and its consequences for the human race. Some thirty years after immersing himself in the worlds of business, academia, and institutions of international development, Korten realized that he had become part of the problem he thought he was trying to solve. He has since become a powerful voice in the sustainability-local solutions movement.
His latest work, The Great Turning: From Empire To Earth Community, is particularly relevant for everyone concerned with local solutions and supporting local businesses. A resident of the Pacific Northwest, one of Korten’s many projects is serving on the advisory council of Business Alliance For Local Living Economies based in San Francisco.
Clearly aware of what I have so often called "The Terminal Triangle"—Peak Oil, global climate change, and global economic collapse, Korten refers to these as the "perfect economic storm" and views the present moment as a time of unprecedented opportunity in which humankind will either begin "the great turning" away from empire to earth community or those who survive will look back on this moment with profound regret...
I believe that Korten’s book is extraordinarily valuable for individuals who are presently moving toward sustainable lifestyles. The Great Turning is also amenable to use in discussion groups, and particularly helpful in such a venue is the accompanying study guide entitled Earth Community Dialogs. I also strongly suggest involvement in the Business Alliance For Local Living Economies (BALLE) as an a superb resource for implementing local solutions. Both are invaluable tools for organizing and cultivating local solutions to global challenges.
(14 June 2006)
Video: Joanna Macy on the Great Turning
Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
There is a beautiful film clip on Joanna Macy’s website of her outlining the concept of the Great Turning. You need to click on “Video Project for the Work That Reconnects” to start it. I find her vision very powerful, and in this clip she comes across as a passionate teacher and as someone who deeply feels that exhilaration of these transitionary times. She is one of the people with the most profound insights into this whole question. I am fortunate enough to be doing a course with her in a month’s time, something I have waited 10 years to get the opportunity to do. This film clip suggests to me that it’s going to be a great few days. While you are at her site, have a look around, there are some great resources there…
(15 June 2006)
Rob was a 'somewhat disappointed' by David Korken's book mentioned above, but offered some other book suggestions recently. -AF