Welsh Town Plans Energy Descent

Peak oil will arrive at some point in the future, and we will all have to live with the consequences. What we don't know is when it will happen. One forward looking town in Wales has decided not to sit back and wait for the inevitable, but to be proactive and start planning. Lampeter, in rural Wales, held a meeting last week to plan their 'energy descent', and to start designing an infrastructure that will allow them to start giving up their oil-habit.

The meeting was led by Rob Hopkins, the coordinator of the Transition Town movement. This is an organisation that helps towns to arrange for life after oil. There are 20 or so other towns that have signed up, and they have developed various strategies, helped by advice and governance from people like Hopkins.

This kind of realistic approach is commendable. Burying our heads in the sand will only make our problems worse. If we run out of oil before we've developed the infrastucture to replace it, then our only alternative in the short term will be energy sources like coal. These are even worse than oil, and will only serve to speed up our decline. The only logical solution is to awknoledge peak oil, no matter how far away it may be, and to plan for it.

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