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Solutions and Sustainability - Sept 6

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Car-Sharing Merges Into the Mainstream

Sara Kehaulani Goo, Washington Post
For more than a year, Michelle Brown eyed the Zipcars parked across the street from her Penn Quarter restaurant. The co-owner of Teaism, a popular tea house, plotted and pondered and then, two months ago, she took the plunge.

Now, every morning, the chefs at Teaism prepare salty oat cookies and sandwiches and load them into a Honda Element owned by Zipcar so they can be delivered to the restaurant's two other District locations before noon. Brown figures the shared-car service saves her a couple of hundred dollars a month on gas and parking. ..

Brown is one of a growing number of business owners using shared-car services instead of their own vehicles. No longer a curious fad, the services boast 530 shared cars in the Washington area, making them increasingly attractive to new kinds of customers, including universities and businesses. ..

Norman said that having both firms in the District helps build awareness of shared cars, which helps both companies. In this region, many Flexcar members are also Zipcar members, giving people access to more cars at a price that can be lower than buying a car and paying for insurance, gas and maintenance. ..
(5 Sept 2006)


Issue on ballot aims at making Vashon Island "energy independent"

Keith Ervin, Seattle Times
Vashon Island isn't the best place to harness wind energy. The wind just doesn't blow as hard in Puget Sound as it does in parts of the state where wind farms have been built.

Even so, there's enough breeze to make wind turbines a good investment, says a group of islanders who want to make Vashon "energy independent." If voters create a public utility district this fall, it will be the first in the state, if not the nation, formed to produce all of a community's electricity locally, from renewable resources.

Rita Schenck, the architect of the plan, sees it as a way residents can heat and light their homes with renewable resources including windmills, instead of increasingly costly, climate-altering fossil fuels.

Before erecting any windmills, the district would launch an aggressive conservation program aimed at making homes and businesses more energy-efficient. The effort could reduce overall power use by 70 percent or more over 10 years, proponents say.
(3 Sept 2006)
Applause for the focus on conservation and efficiency first, new supply second.-LJ


West Australian Minister cites oil peak in attack on Prime Minister

Office of WA Planning and Infrastructure Minister
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said that major Federal investment in public transport was vital if Australia was to avoid major disruption as global petroleum production reached its peak.

"John Howard's prediction of fuel at $1.15 by Christmas might bring some temporary cheer, but upon closer inspection the gift is an empty one," Ms MacTiernan said. "A better present would be for Canberra to acknowledge that the cost of oil will continue to rise and investment in solutions that will cut our dependence on petroleum.

"Many of the world's major oil fields are in decline and that there have been no significant new discoveries for decades. "Existing oil fields appear unable to increase production to cope with external events, such as closure of BP's Prudhoe Bay pipeline, or extreme weather events, such as cyclone Katrina.

"Even if a major new discovery was made today, it would take up to six years for it to come on-stream. "There is an extremely high probability that prices will keep going up at least for the next five years.
(31 Aug 2006)
I couldn't find any coverage of this press release, with the West Australian government only barely making the news by announcing it will double the Federal governments new subsidy to convert cars to natural gas.-LJ


Creating Collective Peak Oil Solutions: The Relocalization Wiki

Theresa Bratton and Ryan Hottle, PUB
We at Ohio Peak Oil Action have recently created the first ever “Relocalization Wiki,” which we hope will allow people from all over the world to connect and discuss how we might deal with the problems of peak oil, climate change, and the other converging challenges of the 21st century. Despite our regional focus in the Ohio area, the wiki is meant to serve everyone.

If you are familiar with the now extremely popular Wikipedia.com, you know that “Wikis” are user-created forums where anyone can contribute and edit information. Essentially, it’s a decentralized and highly effective means of spreading broad quantities of information. It also creates an internal network within itself by providing a plethora of helpful links.

We believe that using the wiki to spread information, ideas, and strategy around the issues of relocalization and sustainability may prove to be an extremely effective tool for solving the unbelievably large challenges of peak oil and climate change.

Creating a wiki dedicated to a solution-based approach to today’s problems is not original, we have learned. After creating the relocalization wiki, we discovered other similar wikis, such as those dedicated to permaculture and appropriate technology (the “Permawiki” < permaculture.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page> and the “A.T. Wiki” < wiki.villageearth.org/Main_Page> , respectively). We recognize that all three of these websites are underused. To make this idea effective, we would do well to put our collective energy into one wiki, common to all strategies of relocalization, sustainability, renewable technology, primitive living, etc. This is a call to action!

WE NEED YOU!

The Relocalization Wiki is underutilized at this point, and in need of many contributions. This is an opportunity to get involved! We encourage everyone—regardless of your location—who is passionate about and committed to the issues of relocalization and sustainability, and to protecting humanity and the earth during the coming times, to contribute! You too have skills and wisdom worth sharing with the world.

For more information about OPOA, please visit our website. There you can find much more information about the threats, solutions, and actions we are taking to prepare the Ohio area, and also information if you would like to receive a free “Starter Action Kit” to begin preparing your community or would like to sign up as a “Relocalization Leader.”
(28 Aug 2006)

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