People, Peak Oil and the Search for Solutions
UK Media Continues In-depth Peak Oil Coverage
From BBC Wales' look at food and farming after peak oil to the Guardian's exploration of community-lead resilience versus individual survivalism, there is no doubt that the mainstream media in the UK are finally waking up to the story of peak oil. And with demand for gasoline falling by as much as 20% in the last year, it does seem like there are plenty of opportunities for economizing. The latest newspaper to jump on this story is The Observer (sister paper to The Guardian), giving a thorough overview of the reasons why oil prices are rising, from temporary strikes and price speculation to more permanent shifts in the supply versus demand balance. Fortunately, as well as laying out the crisis, the authors also go on to cover how people are adapting, from taking to public transport to considering moving closer to their workplace as a response. While there's nothing much new here, it's still good to see mainstream coverage moving beyond alarmism or apathy to address real solutions. Predictably, there is also a mention of the growing Transition Towns movement that has featured so often on TreeHugger:
"Nestled in the picturesque Dart Valley, the sleepy Devon market town of Totnes is an unlikely place to start a revolution. But it is one of a growing handful of so-called 'transition towns', communities trying to wean themselves off relying on oil by changing the way they live - walking and cycling or using public transport rather than filling their cars; growing their own vegetables; and shopping locally to avoid trucking their produce for miles. In Totnes they are not waiting for petrol to get cheap.
Two years ago the town's inhabitants were the eccentric fringe of the green movement. But now, as petrol prices soar, others are clamouring to join them. Rob Hopkins, of the Transition Town movement, says it currently has up to 700 communities registering an interest in joining, most from the UK but some as far afield as Australia."
TreeHugger is delighted to see such sustained and informed coverage of our present oil crisis — we can only hope this leads more people to start working on real solutions, rather than just pushing for tax cuts so they can keep driving. As the authors state, "Britain's love affair with the car may be heading for a crash.
Further Reading on Transition Towns
Interview with Rob Hopkins, founder of the movement
Transition City Bristol
The Transition Handbook
Transition Towns Reach Australia
The Virtual Orchard Project
And Some Other Ideas for Weaning Us Off Fossil Fuels
Kite Powered Shipping
Local Farming Systems
Bikes, Cargo Bikes, Electric Bikes, Electric Scooters, Electric Cars, and Electric Trucks
Vegetarianism and Reduced Meat Diets
Algae and Waste Grease for Biofuels
Micro- , Macro- and Bloody-Massive-Scale Wind Turbines
Solar Power to Power a House or to Power the World