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PaulS's picture

Descending the peak

Descending the peak

So you understand peak oil. You’ve seen the movie, you get the bell-curve thing. You recognize that oil supplies can’t go on forever, and that the future prospects of cars, aviation, industrial food production and so on are looking dicey.

Now what?

Like climate change, peak oil presents a huge problem. The scale is breathtaking. It will turn our whole way of life upside down. You start off wondering if you should get a bike. Then, before you know it you’re stockpiling canned goods, buying Krugerrands, and researching land prices near small towns with south-facing views and access to fresh water.

It’s not surprising that peak oil prompts a run-to-the-hills response. An escalating demand for oil is basically leading our industrial way of life to the cliff’s edge. A great crash is possible, even likely, and things might get messy. But there are two ways down a cliff—you can fall, or you can rope up and carefully climb down.

Steady as we go
It’s that second option that the Transition movement aims for. The role of a Transition initiative is to guide a community safely to the other side of the coming energy crisis. It begins with raising awareness of the problems of peak oil and climate change, but emphasizes a positive response to the twin predicaments.
It’s a radical proposition, because everything currently gears in the opposite direction. From politicians and economists focusing solely on growth, to the government building more airports and roads, we define the good life as more, more, more. To say that the future means less of some things is pretty counter-cultural in itself. It’s even more radical to say that less might actually be a good thing. Yet it is possible to plan and work towards a way of life that uses less energy, and it is likely to be better for us in many ways.
THis excellent article continues here: