Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Challenge

Thanks to the Energy Bulletin, here's a small part of a presentation on the Ten Principles of Peak Oil Planning, presented by Tim Moerman at the Atlantic Planners’ Institute Annual Conference.

"The modern planning profession came into being just over a hundred years ago, at almost exactly coincident with the dawn of the petroleum era. By extension, North American planning has lived its entire life so far with a certain set of background assumptions.

The key assumption is that energy is cheap and abundant and there’s more of it every year. And when you get right down to it, planning has been about dealing with the effect of this. Industrial cities, urban growth, urban sprawl, traffic congestion-these are all basically side effects of cheap energy.

When that cheap energy is gone, the assumptions and the principles of planning are going to be turned on their ear."

These are the principles that caught my attention.

Protect farmland at all costs. (And don’t waste it growing biodiesel.)

All new development should pass the $500-a-barrel test.

Globalization will give way to re-localization

Adaptation = 90% conservation + 10% new supplies.

Electricity-based systems are more resilient than combustion-based systems.

Be prepared for both gradual depletion and sudden shortages.

Paradigms change overnight. Be ready for it.

And here's a new documentary on peak oil called "What a Way to Go". It features interviews with Daniel Quinn, Richard Heinberg, and others. According to the filmmakers, What a Way to Go will look at the current global situation and ask the most important questions of all:

How did we get here?

Why do we keep destroying the planet?

What do we truly want?

Can we find a vision that will empower us to do what is necessary to survive, and even thrive, in the coming decades?

Finding that vision, with the right answers, with the most effective solutions, with the time and resources that we have available seems to be a very key question in my view.

That is why I am less and less patient with those who want to make fuel from corn, or out of french fries.

That is why I am less patient with solar advocates who advocate first generation technologies, when we need third generation efficiencies and costs now.

That is why I am less than patient with leaders who think that the challenge of this generation is "terror".

It is not.

The Challenge of this generation.

Will more likely be survival.

And believe it or not,

It will be good for us.


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future city courtesy of Steve Burke


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How we got here is easy. We are users and have yet to consider that we will run out of stuff. We put our faith in the idea that some miracle will make it all well. Don't worry "They" are working on it. "No sweat Bubba," it is in good hands. So what if there aren't any trees left and all the animals die we don't need penguins anyway, we can animate them and that's a lot funner than the real ones. Oh, the sea is in downtown Houston lets buy a Skeedoo and rush around the waterways...ha ha. The scientist guys will fix it. Or maybe God will come back off vacation and see what a mess things are and destroy the place and start over.
Anyway I want to live my next life backwards:

You start out dead and get that out of the way right off the bat.

Then you wake up in a nursing home feeling better every day.

When you get kicked out of the home for being too healthy.

You spend several years enjoying your retirement and collecting
benefit checks.

Then when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day.

You work 40 years or so, getting younger every day until pretty soon
you're too young to work.

So you go to High School: drink alcohol, party, and you're generally

As you get even younger—pretty soon you become a kid again.

You go to elementary school, you play, and you have no responsibilities.

In a few years you become a baby and everyone runs themselves ragged
keeping you happy.

You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-
like conditions: central heating, room service on tap.

Until finally . . . .

You finish off as an orgasm.

I rest my case.

Charlie Deer Corn

5:09 AM  

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