Economics, peak oil — by Anthea Hudson February 29, 2012
Nicole Foss at Adelaide Seminar
Who would have thought a seminar on the economy could have passion and run the audience through a gamut of emotions, all in a couple of hours? But this was so much more than an economics lecture, even though the future of economies and financial systems were the basis for it.
Nicole Foss, a Canadian woman with a warm smile and engaging personality, took us on a journey through what we can expect in our economic future, how it all relates to other areas, such as our growing energy problems, and branched out into widespread practical ideas for what we can do to make our passage through it less painful.Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Biofuels, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Nuclear, Society, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 28, 2012
This video is hands down the best I’ve seen yet at covering all the bases of our present converging dilemmas in one quick (35 minute) hit. Over the years I’ve presented all of the issues covered in this video — hitting them from various angles and in different ways to try to drive the point home — but it’s excruciatingly difficult to cover each element sufficiently whilst giving the casual or intermittant reader a full overview simultaneously. The excellent use of imagery has enabled the creators of this little video to touch on each subject whilst joining up all those dots into the fuller picture.
I’d encourage you to watch, and share widely. When sharing, you might want to do it by way of linking to this blog post, as I’ll put below a smattering of articles on these topics which some may look to for more details after watching:Comments (22)
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Nuclear, Society, peak oil — by The Corner House February 22, 2012
Energy is never far from the headlines these days. Conflicts of all kinds — political, economic, social, military — seem to be proliferating over oil, coal, gas, nuclear and biomass.
While some interests struggle to keep cheap fossil fuels circulating worldwide, a growing number of communities are resisting their extraction and use.
While an increasingly urbanised populace experiences fuel poverty and many people in rural areas have no access whatsoever to electricity, large commercial enterprises enjoy subsidised supplies.
As increasingly globalised manufacturing and transport systems spew out ever more carbon dioxide, environmentalists warn that the current era of profligate use of coal, oil and gas is a historical anomaly that has to come to an end as soon as possible, and that neither nuclear energy, agrofuels or renewables (even supposing they could be delivered in an environmentally sustainable and safe manner) will ever constitute effective substitutes for them.
For progressive activists, all this raises an unavoidable yet unresolved question: how to keep fossil fuels and uranium in the ground and agrofuels off the land in a way that does not inflict suffering on millions?Comments (0)
Alternatives to Political Systems, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Richard Heinberg
As economies contract, a global popular uprising confronts power elites over access to the essentials of human existence. What are the underlying dynamics of the conflict, and how is it likely to play out?
by Richard Heinberg (Article originally published on www.postcarbon.org)
As the world economy crashes against debt and resource limits, more and more countries are responding by attempting to salvage what are actually their most expendable features — corrupt, insolvent banks and bloated militaries — while leaving the majority of their people to languish in “austerity.” The result, predictably, is a global uprising. This current set of conditions and responses will lead, sooner or later, to social as well as economic upheaval — and a collapse of the support infrastructure on which billions depend for their very survival.
Nations could, in principle, forestall social collapse by providing the basics of existence (food, water, housing, medical care, family planning, education, employment for those able to work, and public safety) universally and in a way that could be sustained for some time, while paying for this by deliberately shrinking other features of society — starting with military and financial sectors — and by taxing the wealthy. The cost of covering the basics for everyone is within the means of most nations. Providing human necessities would not remove all fundamental problems now converging (climate change, resource depletion, and the need for fundamental economic reforms), but it would provide a platform of social stability and equity to give the world time to grapple with deeper, existential challenges.Comments (1)
Conferences, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Deforestation, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Cheryl Samarasinghe February 14, 2012
Editor’s Note: I would encourage all well-spoken permaculturists who can make it to Sydney for this event to go along and contribute your thoughts — to help show how permaculture can shift our planetary orbit onto a safer trajectory….
What: 2nd National Sustainable Food Summit
When: 2-4 April, 2012
Where: Dockside, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Last year, in April 2011, over 340 delegates including public health, primary producers and members of the business, government, education, community and not-for-profit sectors came together in Melbourne to share ideas that could inform a vision for Australia’s food system in 2030.
The Inaugural National Sustainable Food Summit generated extraordinary consensus for the need to collaborate and continue the conversations necessary to transform Australia’s food system.
The 2nd National Sustainable Food Summit has been designed to progress the discussion from 2011 — which focused on the limits and challenges to our current system — to begin to examine what new frameworks and emerging solutions will help support a sustainable and resilient food system for Australia now and in the future.Comments (1)
Community Projects, Consumerism, Courses/Workshops, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Social Gatherings, Village Development, peak oil — by John Shiel February 8, 2012
When: 9 — 11 March 2012, starting on the evening of March 9
Where: Hamilton Public School, corner of Tudor Steet and Steel Street, Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Theme: "Transitioning to connected communities, localised fair economies and sustainable lifestyles."
Please put this event in your diaries, and ‘like’ us at www.facebook.com/#!/FairShareFestival
In this second and expanded festival we will explore issues related to social justice, sustainability, innovative social enterprises and strong resilient communities through panel discussions, interactive workshops, and engaging debates.
Economics, Food Shortages, Society, peak oil — by Tim Barker February 7, 2012
What: Nichole Foss talk on the present and future crises
Where: The Channon Community Hall, near Lismore, NSW, Australia (and a stone’s throw from the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm)
When: 10th of February, starting at 5.30 pm
Cost?: Donation at door
Nicole M. Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth (TAE), where she writes under the name Stoneleigh. She and her writing partner have been chronicling and interpreting the on-going credit crunch as the most pressing aspect of our current multi-faceted predicament. The site integrates finance, energy, environment, psychology, population and real politick in order to explain why we find ourselves in a state of crisis and what we can do about it. Prior to the establishment of TAE, she was editor of The Oil Drum Canada, where she wrote on peak oil and finance.Comments (3)
Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, peak oil — by Earth Policy Institute January 23, 2012
by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute
We distort reality when we omit the health and environmental costs associated with burning fossil fuels from their prices. When governments actually subsidize their use, they take the distortion even further. Worldwide, direct fossil fuel subsidies added up to roughly $500 billion in 2010. Of this, supports on the production side totaled some $100 billion. Supports for consumption exceeded $400 billion, with $193 billion for oil, $91 billion for natural gas, $3 billion for coal, and $122 billion spent subsidizing the use of fossil fuel-generated electricity. All together, governments are shelling out nearly $1.4 billion per day to further destabilize the earth’s climate.
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Society, peak oil — by Samuel Alexander January 13, 2012
The advent of peak oil means we should prepare for a downscaling of our highly energy and resource-intensive lifestyles.
What is peak oil and why does it matter? And what effect will it have on the Western lifestyles we take for granted? These are not questions that many people are asking themselves yet, but this decade is going to change everything. Peak oil is upon us.
Peak oil does not mean that the world is about it run out of oil. It refers to the point at which the supply of oil can no longer increase. There is lots of the stuff left; it’s just getting much more difficult to find and extract, which means it is getting very hard, and perhaps impossible, to increase the overall ”flow” of oil out of the ground. When the flow can no longer increase, that is peak oil. Supply will then plateau for a time and eventually enter terminal decline. This is the future that awaits us, because oil is a finite, non-renewable resource.Comments (1)
Western-style consumer lifestyles are highly resource and energy intensive. This paper examines the energy intensity of these consumer lifestyles and considers whether such lifestyles could be sustained in a future with declining energy supplies and much higher energy prices. The rise of consumer societies since the industrial revolution has only been possible due to the abundant supply of cheap fossil fuels – most notably, oil – and the persistence of consumer societies depend upon continued supply, for reasons that will be explained. But recently there has been growing concern that the world is reaching, or has already reached, its peak in oil production, despite demand for oil still expected to grow considerably. Put more directly, many analysts believe that demand for oil is very soon expected to outstrip supply, with a recent study by the US military reporting that, globally, spare productive capacity could entirely dry up by 2012 and by 2015 demand for oil could outstrip supply by almost 10 million barrels per day. What this means – even allowing for some uncertainty in timing and extent – is that the world is soon to face a situation where economic and geopolitical competition escalates over access to increasingly scarce oil supplies. One consequence of this (a consequence already playing out) is that oil will get more expensive. Since oil is the ultimate foundation of industrial economies, when it gets more expensive, all commodities get more expensive, and this dynamic will have pervasive implications on the globalised economy and the high consumption lifestyles that fully depend on that economy.Comments (3)
Community Projects, Consumerism, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by Troy Ansley January 2, 2012
The heroes and heroines of history’s past are so well-known they need not be mentioned. Lesser known and perhaps more integral, however, are the countless individuals whose stories remain untold and hidden by history. “Orlando Permaculture” is a documentary of the latter modern-day individuals. It is a story of a community of people who have read cover to cover the “story of pattern recognition in a sea of apparent chaos” of which Troy Ansley, speaks. They have also repeatedly heard the story modern culture sells them on how the world operates, and decided they would like to write a new, yet somehow ancient story of their own. A story of community, integrity, true sustainability and new beginnings. A story of belonging.
The film, “Orlando Permaculture,” poignantly reveals that great movements are birthed in the dreams of those who desire more, and molded between the hands of those who reach out to one another and to the land. Through visiting a variety of different people within the city of Orlando, the film and portrayals serve to inspire, enlighten and engage your heart & mind to dream of a more colorful and living world in which all are welcome. This is a world of possibilities, togetherness, and balance. Indicative of the subject matter, Ansley weaves a beautiful fabric of sound and image to ornately clothe this emerging community whose story otherwise might remain hidden by history. Listen to this story, dear viewer, so that you might share it and likewise reach out your hand and mold it with us. — Richard G. Powell December 20th, 2011 Orlando, FL
Consumerism, Economics, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss, peak oil — by Steve Kretzmann December 10, 2011
First the good news: President Obama is standing firm on his decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline, and he’s threatened to veto any attempt by Congress to move that timeline up.
Of course, that’s exactly what those legislators who are most bought by Big Oil are trying to do. They’re trying to attach legislation that would speed up the pipeline to laws that would give relief to hard working people in these tough times. They’re daring the President to veto the whole bill, and it’s up to us to stop them.
Why are they doing this?
They say it’s because of jobs.
But the reality is the only jobs study not funded by the oil industry shows that the pipeline is likely to create no jobs, and might even cost more jobs than it creates.
They say it’s because of energy security.Comments (1)
peak oil — by Tom Murphy November 5, 2011
by Tom Murphy, associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego.
Many Do the Math posts have touched on the inevitable cessation of growth and on the challenge we will face in developing a replacement energy infrastructure once our fossil fuel inheritance is spent. The focus has been on long-term physical constraints, and not on the messy details of our response in the short-term. But our reaction to a diminishing flow of fossil fuel energy in the short-term will determine whether we transition to a sustainable but technological existence or allow ourselves to collapse. One stumbling block in particular has me worried. I call it The Energy Trap.Comments (11)
Community Projects, Land, Social Gatherings, Society, Urban Projects, Village Development, peak oil — by John Shiel October 17, 2011
by John Shiel
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
There are 2 ways to run a PermaBlitz (building a Permaculture community garden or backyard food garden in one day): coordinated by your local Permaculture club (you receive help with garden design, getting people to your house, and you are covered by their liability insurance), or where a group of friends just have a working bee and look after themselves. Not all Permaculture clubs run Permablitzes.
I am the Vice-Chair of Permaculture Hunter which promotes sustainable and healthy lifestyles in the Australian Hunter region (warm temperate/sub-tropical) and promotes the social and economic aspects of Permaculture. We hold monthly PermaBlitzes to build food gardens in 1 day (takes a few weeks to design, plan and get materials onsite), and members who help with 6 days of Blitzes etc. can get their own Blitz designed and coordinated.
We think it is imperative to encourage more food gardens with the looming oil/fossil fuel shortage which is leading to escalating food prices (mechanisation on the farm, pesticides, fertilisers, transport, refrigeration), and we can provide the templates, some design help, and some coordination for groups to start up.Comments (6)
Consumerism, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Society, peak oil — by George Monbiot October 13, 2011
A new road-building programme will drain money from essential services.
by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.
The money has run out, or so we keep being told. There are no funds left for any but essential projects: the frontline services and the capital spending which cannot be deferred. Councils in particular are desperate for cash: so desperate that they are having to cut everything from libraries to residential care homes, Sure Start centres to Citizens’ Advice Bureaux. Every month they have to make horrible decisions whose consequences will damage people’s lives.
So why are these same cash-strapped councils now intending, alongside central government, to spend £897m on new roads, some of which were first proposed decades ago, but which were deemed unnecessary even when cash was abundant? And why is the government minded to approve this spending?Comments (0)