“Plan C” Conference on Individual and Community Survival Strategies for the Energy Crisis to Take Place in Rochester, MI, October 31 – November 2, 2008

ROCHESTER, Michigan – On Halloween weekend several hundred community activists, sustainability educators, and lifestyle change advocates will convene here at a three-day conference to learn about ways to cut their household energy use and create resilient, sustainable communities that will be able to weather the coming economic and ecological storms.

Among the leading speakers at the Fifth U.S. Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions, this year co-presented by Upland Hills Ecological Awareness Center, will be keynoters John Michael Greer, author of the forthcoming The Long Descent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age and Dmitry Orlov, author of Reinventing Collapse: Soviet Example and American Prospects. Richard Heinberg, the world’s foremost oil depletion educator, author of several best-selling books including The Party’s Over, Powerdown and Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines, and Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute, will speak via webcast. The conference will be held at the Oakland Center on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

The conference will also feature in-depth workshops and panels, Connection Café roundtables with area experts, an eco-tour slide show, screenings of award-winning films, entertainment, tours of local sustainably-designed buildings, and healthy, shared meals. Exhibits and exhibitor presentations will be offered free of charge to the public on Saturday from noon to 6pm.

“This conference comes at a time when the whole world is beginning to experience the limitations of a high-energy way of living,” said Pat Murphy, executive director of Community Solutions. “The title reflects the recent release of my book, Plan C: Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change, which is staking out a position of societal transformation as an option to belief in technological breakthroughs. Throughout the world more and more people are beginning to see this as the middle path between more industrialization and the collapse of civilization,” he said.

“Although hard-hitting, the message of Community Solutions is inspiring – that in transforming our relationship with energy resources and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, we can transform our communities and lives in ways that are ultimately more satisfying,” said John Batdorf, executive director of the Upland Hills Ecological Awareness Center, an educational and demonstration center in northern Oakland County showcasing ecological design, energy conservation and the latest innovations in alternative energy. “We are fortunate to have this unique opportunity to bring to the local area so many leading sustainability experts and hundreds of committed participants from around the country,” he said.

Other conference speakers include Katrin Klingenberg, director of the Passive House Institute US, an organization promoting super-efficient, carbon-neutral, cost-effective building; Peter Bane, editor of Permaculture Activist magazine; Murphy, author of Plan C: Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change; Christopher Bedford, President of the Center for Economic Security and the Sweetwater Local Foods Market; John Richter, co-founder of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Education and former president of the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association; and Megan Quinn Bachman, Outreach Director of Community Solutions and co-producer of the award-winning film The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.

Conference participants will learn survival strategies for growing food, creating local food security in their communities, retrofitting their homes to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and educating their communities to prepare for the difficult times ahead.

Greer will open the conference on Friday night at 7pm and Orlov will speak on Saturday at 2pm. Heinberg will present at 11am on Sunday. The cost for each evening session is $15 and to attend for a half-day to the full weekend the ranges from $50 to $175 depending upon membership in the presenting organizations. Student and early registration discounts are available through September 30. To register, go to http://www.plancconference.org, call Upland Hills Ecological Awareness Center at 248-693-1021 or email [email protected] for more information.

Community Solutions is a non-profit organization providing knowledge and practices to support low-energy lifestyles, with a primary focus on reducing energy consumption in the household sectors of food, personal transportation, and housing. Its goal is to the strengthening of communities of relationship and place through low energy living.

The Upland Hills Ecological Awareness Center is a designated Michigan Energy Demonstration Center in northern Oakland County, whose mission is to provide experiences and resources that promote a sustainable relationship with the natural world and each other. It offers a wide variety of workshops, gatherings, tours, seminars and events on energy, ecology, wellness and wisdom.