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Forum Post: Planning for Energy Descent - Tompkins County

Posted 5 years ago on Aug. 14, 2012, 8:46 p.m. EST by jph (2652)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Some time in the next 30 years, life will start to become very different from what it is now. By mid-century we will use much less energy; we will live every aspect of our life much closer to home; and we will be much poorer in material terms, because energy and wealth are basically the same thing in an industrial society.

Energy descent — a radical reduction in our use of energy — is certain, but it’s not clear yet which of several factors will cause it to begin. Perhaps we will decide to do the right thing about climate change and reduce our CO2 emissions 80 or 90 percent, which would require changes almost that large in our actual consumption of energy. And there are other ways we might experience a radical reduction in our use of energy; for example, economic collapse, or an expanded war in the middle east. But the factor that makes energy descent a sure thing and sets the theme for this century is "peak oil" — the leveling off of global oil production and then its eventual and inexorable decline.

The timing of the peak is debatable, with forecasts ranging from 2005 (that is, already here) to 2030. But most credible estimates agree with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which concluded in a recent study that "world oil production is at or near its peak," and with the director of research at OPEC, who said recently that "we are at, or near, the production peak of world oil, if not on the downward slope."

After the peak, the growing gap between falling world oil production and ever-increasing global demand will send prices skyward, with economic results that can only be imagined but will certainly include greatly restricted mobility due to the high cost of fuel and much higher prices for most goods, including food. The result will be less disposable income, a life lived closer to home, and a greater reliance on the goods and services that can be provided locally. Since the supply of oil and other fossil fuels is finite, this outcome is guaranteed. The only question is, Shall we plan for what we can see coming, or just let it happen to us?

A group of area citizens, TCLocal, has begun planning now. TCLocal contributors are committed to researching various aspects of energy descent in Tompkins County and writing up a preliminary plan for each aspect based on purely local challenges and resources. This is one such plan.


This is one of many groups [ http://www.transitionnetwork.org/ ] working on solutions, positive life affirming, community based progress. Do not allow the 'media',. the corporate controlled fear focused propaganda to distract you from this truth. We CAN make changes in our own lives and communities now, that will improve our situation down the road. Personally, I see living closer to the earth in deeper interconnected communities as a step forward,. or away from a cultural misstep into selfish behavior and a greed and fear based culture. We can move forward and avoid this known human flaw of selfish self interest, building new culture and technology that is appropriate, democratic, and feeds the soul, body, and minds of all life. Peace.



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[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (22851) 5 years ago

Really interesting post, jph. We will have to make the changes ourselves that our government is not interested in making. Looks like this is already happening in the U.K. in a bigger way than here.

[-] 1 points by ChristopherABrown (550) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

Accurate but perhaps not accounting for the masses that know no other life than the one of squandering energy.

These are things I tried to present in 2000, but complacency, even amongst my peers was dominant and still is. That complacency is causing a stressing of conditions in nearly complete ignorance as complacency has turned to denial. Mostly a denial of any responsibility to be pre emptive and change in the proper direct BEFORE there is a compulsion to do so by harsh, sudden application of a change of conditions.

Our message needs mass media involvement. Anything less, is inviting tragedy as economic reserves needed for equitable change are consumed. There are Americans that are ready for a change. They are not sure what, but that doesn't matter because we cannot find them. Free speech is abridged.

We need to prepare collectively to make the transition peacefully. Article V of the constitution is the tool to do it. However, with the cognitve infiltration working to fracture any meaningful activism towards this goal, confusion is supreme.

To compensate, individuals such as yourself need to focus on understanding a process of lawful, peaceful revolution. It is a revolution of education as much as it is anything else. Education through mass media. However, we may need the unity of media to attain it. Catch 22 perhaps. We should try very hard to get what needs to be started without it.

There is a plan, strategy. Primary to this is to get fellow Americans that can accept the import of your post to unify and reach out with the understanding that Article V needs to be a collective goal which is a political fixation. I have made some pages that detail the historical legal aspects which are the basis and the strategy.


A video of clips of people that understand Article V from a conference at Harvard last fall.


We have a forum where such intentions consolidate.


[-] 1 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 5 years ago

Maybe this explains why few, if any, gasoline refineries have been built in the last 30 years.