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Somewhat personal - Dec 23

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage.


Peace on Earth / Human legs

Hans Noeldner, Entropic Journal

Human legs cannot compete in communities where the majority defines Access with gasoline and automobiles.

My people are at war with Slow Movement.
My people are at war with Proximity.
My people are at war with the Human Scale.

And my people are desperate to believe war begins somewhere other than with our Way of Life here and now.

In the spirit of Christmas, imagine that Peace on Earth begins with us…occupying far less of it.

In the renewal of the New Year, resolve to become that Peace.

(21 December 2010)
Hans is a long-time contributor to Energy Bulletin. Entropic Journal is his blog. -BA


Dr. David Fleming: a tribute

Shaun Chamberlin, The Ecologist
Colleague and friend Shaun Chamberlin pays tribute to the life and work of Dr David Fleming, founder of the idea of personal carbon trading

Dr. David Fleming, a visionary Green thinker and one of the key whistleblowers on peak oil, has died aged 70. He was a significant figure in the genesis of the UK Green Party, the New Economics Foundation and the Transition Towns movement.

His legacy also includes TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas), the energy rationing scheme currently under consideration by the UK Government, his influential book Lean Logic and the real delight and inspiration he gave so freely to all who met him.

David was born on the 2nd January 1940 at Chiddingfold, Surrey, to Norman Bell Beatie Fleming, a Harley Street eye surgeon, and Joan Margaret Fleming, an award-winning crime writer.
(21 December 2010)



Songs of Petroleum - Jan Lundberg's Autobiography

Jan Lundberg, Culture Change
I'm happy to announce that my first book, my autobiography, is completed. You can get it in e-book form now, or order the hard copy and receive it in days. Songs of Petroleum has no in-depth review yet, but after the passages and photos below you can read a brief description of the book. It's by Albert Bates who wrote the awesome new book The Biochar Solution.

Since 2004 I had been working with literary agents and publishers to produce a book not about my life but on my findings from two careers: oil-industry analyst at Lundberg Survey, and "eco-warrior" fighting petroleum pollution, car culture and sprawl development. After various drafts and receiving good advice, I realized that an autobiography would be the wisest choice as a first book. This is probably the best way I can get a message out and hope to contribute to an historic turnaround: society's relationship with petroleum dependence must be seen as unhealthy, and we can begin a saner, happier way of living today. What's not to like about depaved spaces for gardens, Pedal Power Produce, Sail Transport Network, and a secure local economy?

... [Excerpt]:

As Oil Guru, Dan [Lundberg, my father] earned a regular Nightly Business Report commentary spot on the Public Broadcasting System television network in the early and mid-1980s. I helped edit or proof-read just about every one of those commentaries, and we delighted in the occasional opportunity to attack gasohol and ethanol for causing "agricultural strip mining" (as we did in the Lundberg Letter). We even took a swipe at the White House policy of supporting the Contras in Nicaragua. However, when I wrote up a commentary for my father that advocated a restructuring of the work force's geographic relationship to the work place, in order to slash oil use, he rejected it as risky and too daring to pursue — even though he knew I was correct.

... What author Albert Bates says about Songs of Petroleum:

"What you don't know doesn't hurt you" says Jan Lundberg, referring to his decision to leave behind family wealth and a promising career as a petroleum analyst to live on the edges of society without money or social advantage, sleeping on couches and then checking under the cushions for spare change. "My biggest desire was to be sitting on the side of the road with my guitar, not knowing where my next meal was coming from," he writes. While that choice proved harder and more consequential than he had imagined, it enabled him to pierce deep-seated illusions and gain precious cultural and ecological insight that he shares in this epic personal tale.

"Sometimes a new song I'm writing or practicing is the only thing that kept me going," he says. This book is that song, about a world living on the edge, and Lundberg's advice is all about staying loose, building resilience, and understanding what's coming.

(14 December 2010)



Space Enough and Time: An Expat's Siberian Experience

Sandy, ClubOrlov
[Another guest post by Sandy. There is something deliciously ironic in this story of a former American corporate efficiency expert transplanting himself to a place where time never goes any place special and patience is too cheap to meter—and being happy there! Here's the executive summary for all you “TL;DR” hyper-efficient power web surfers: as you prepare to leave the US behind—whether physically (recommended) or just mentally—you should be ready to slough off you compulsively American old self and be prepared to grow yourselves a new, better-adapted, saner one.
-Dmitry Orlov, ClubOrlov editor]

For the past five years I have made my home in Barnaul, a town in the Altai region of Siberia. Much about life here initially chafed against some deeply engrained cultural assumptions that I carried around with me. No matter how hard I’ve tried, sometimes I just couldn't quite fathom the alienness of the Russian perspective.

I quickly became aware of an almost palpable sentiment that here in Siberia there is space enough, and time, for anything to occur—and a certain resiliency to carry one through it. The immense distances and open expanses provide spatial and temporal horizons that seem to recede forever. The endless boreal forests of the Siberian taiga and the barren steppes are not typical “environments” in the Western sense. They are not places. They have no frames of reference. These enormous expanses seemed to set the rhythm for much of the daily life here, which is often spent waiting countless hours, or walking endless kilometers, or just sitting there. Americans would never have the patience for any of it.

Given this perspective, I found it curious that people here spent so much of their time crammed into very close quarters in the bustling city of Barnaul, located between Novosibirsk and the point where the borders of China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan come together amid the snow-capped ridges of the Altai mountains.

How do you suppose people here experience personal space and time in their daily life?
(7 December 2010)
Reminds me of the Tolstoy short story "Master and Man" in which a peasant and landowner find themselves lost in a snowstorm. (text, summary - appears about 2/3 of the way through the article.). -BA

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