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Solutions & sustainability - Dec 2

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

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Exploring the Connections between Energy Descent Plans and the Oil Depletion Protocol

Rob Hopkins and Richard Heinberg, Transition Culture
On the last day of Richard Heinberg’s teaching on the Life After Oil course at Schumacher College, where he had been teaching a session on the Oil Depletion Protocol (ODP), a question was asked about the relationship between the ODP and Energy Descent Plans (EDP). The discussion between Richard and myself I found very useful in clarifying how the two fit together.

...Rob: I suppose the Oil Depletion Protocol focuses on oil consumption, while an Energy Descent Plan also looks at education, community, health, food, energy and so on. It is a way of really grasping the implications of applying the ODP at a community level.
(1 Dec 2006)
A short and sweet must-read for Peak Oil community organisers, policy writers and campaigners. -AF


Six ways to shrink that heating bill

Steve Hargreaves, CNN Money
With winter fast approaching, and the cost of natural gas and oil still far above historic norms, here are six basic steps that could save you big on heating bills.

Most are cheap and easy, although a couple require a significant financial outlay and professional installation. Either way, the tips below, outlined by the Alliance to Save Energy, will help go easier on the environment, strengthen the nation's energy security and save you money.
(28 Nov 2006)


Vancouver Energy Farm update
(video)
Julian Darly, Global Public Media
Mark Bomford, Program Coordinator at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at University of British Columbia Farm, speaks to Julian Darley of Global Public Media about the latest developments at the farm. The farm is part of of Post Carbon Institute's Local Energy Farm Demonstration Project.
(27 Sept 2006, but just posted)


How to build intelligent suburbs

Richard Rogers, The Guardian
The urgency of climate change makes the rebirth of our cities crucial to the planet, and its people
----
After a century in which cities were treated as problems - dirty, crowded, dangerous - the 1997 general election marked a turning point with a new government that saw cities as the only sustainable solution to the growing demand for housing.

There has been a measurable cultural shift - to an understanding that we need to use land better, and plan better, to sustain our cities. If you visit Manchester today, you can see tangible evidence of that change in the centre. Over 15 years the population has soared from 90 to 25,000, bringing life and pride back to one of our great urban centres.

But if you travel just a few blocks from revitalised city centres you can see shoddy housing and wasted land, which shows how many problems remain. Most worrying are the signs that the government is losing its nerve: that it is beginning to focus on quantity at the expense of quality.

The greatest danger is that the government might weaken its policy of giving priority to development on derelict brownfield sites. This sequential approach to land use is crucial to strengthening the social and economic vitality of the city and protecting the beauty of the countryside.
(2 Dec 2006)
Contributor AC writes:

A sensible "ecocity" plea for building dense on brownfield inner-city sites rather than ripping up more of the countryside for endless car-dependent suburbs. Governments need to make the planning system reflect the true costs of greenfield development so it becomes prohibitively expensive.

Richard Rogers seems to be influential in UK government circles:
www.richardrogers.co.uk/render.aspx?siteID=1&navIDs=1,3,1180


Ecotopia at exhibit at the International Center of Photography

David Leon, WorldChanging
..."In recent years, nature has become the focus of increasing cultural anxiety." So begins the brochure for the "Ecoptopia" exhibit at the International Center of Photography.

The text continues, "Catastrophic tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes have provided powerful reminders that the natural world commands devastating and potentially lethal forces. At the same time, however, there is a growing alarm at the disastrous consequences of human attempts to harness or exploit nature." At this point, you may be asking, "where does the -topia part come in?" This is what I was asking myself after a stroll through this smallish gallery near Bryant Park.

Although the ocasional piece evoked the awesome, serene and romantic themes of the natural world, like Clifford Ross' "Mountain XIII", more often the works depicted the disturbing sense that there is a "crisis that has resulted from the disruption of the fragile ecological balance between humans and nature," like Alessandra Sanguinetti's series of photographs taken on an Argentinian farm, which include dead animals of various sizes and an abosutely mephistophelean portrait of the farmer.

...While the man-versus-nature dichotomy may strike readers of this site as old fashioned, the fact that the gallery, with funding from United Technologies and JP Morgan Chase, thought this theme was worthwhile -- and perhaps profitable -- is somewhat encouraging.
(2 Dec 2006)


FEASTA expand website

Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability (FEASTA)
This website has been expanded to include a range of new multimedia files, a new members' area, and discussion forums, and we have given it a new look to reflect the changes.
(1 Dec 2006)
Coilin at The Oil Drum writes:

Feasta, the Irish-based foundation for the economics of sustainability, has re-launched its website www.feasta.org/ . Since it was founded in 1998, Feasta has been interested in peak oil, debt-based economics, monetary reform, and many other things. Colin Campbell is a member and has spoken at a couple of Feasta conferences.

Its new multimedia page www.feasta-multimedia.org/index.php has audio and video material which focuses on many energy issues (with Richard Heinberg, David Fleming and others).


Post Carbon Newsletter - a half million visitors

Post Carbon Institute
Post Carbon Newsletter #21 November 2006 contents:
1. Relocalization Network Update
2. Annual Fund Donor Profile: Patricia DeWitt
3. Energy Farms Update
4. Translation volunteers wanted
5. Global Public Media update and A call for programming
6. Featured Post Carbon Group
7. Calendar of Events
8. Next Newsletter Preview

Relocalize.net reached an all time high in traffic with over half a million unique guests to the site in November.

...We have added A Guide to Relocalizing our Communities to our growing library of resources on Relocalize.net. Based on excerpts from the upcoming book Relocalize Now! Getting Ready for Climate Change and the End of Cheap Oil, the Guide to Relocalizing our Communities comprises a compilation of project guides on topics such as film screenings, gardening gleaning projects, car-sharing, and running for municipal office. They have been made available to assist communities and individuals in their efforts to Relocalize and adapt to an energy constrained world...
(Nov 2006 issue)

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