A way out of global meltdown

Peak Oil

It’s turning out to be a busy week. If the global financial crisis isn’t enough, last night I went to a talk about climate change and peak oil at the local Transition Town meeting.

I haven’t been following the stories in the FT, that oil production around the world is slowing down, but speaker Jeremy Leggett, previously an oil scientist, now author of several books on energy, and CEO of Solar Century says whistleblowers in the oil industry are saying that oil is running out much faster than we think.

For an oil based world, we need a plan. Global demand is a staggering 100m barrels a day, and is set to increase, but supply is declining, nuclear energy may take too long to get up and running, gas can’t pick up the shortfall, and coal based solutions are a big problem for climate change – which is also approaching a tipping point.

I’d heard about Transition Towns, but hadn’t been along to any meetings before. It’s a movement that’s spreading – as the oil industry, and governments appear to be in denial, and have no obvious contingency plan, local communities are trying to come up with ways that we can do something. Or at least feel that we’re doing something.

Perhaps it’s time, as the other speaker Dr Jim Watson argued, for us to shift our dependence on big energy generation plants and bring more down to the community and household level – ie get solar panels and wind turbines on our rooves, and on the rooves of community buildings. It’s a bit pricey at the moment, but that’ll change, and of course there’s a load of other stuff to be done too, but then who knows, we might actually have a chance.

Pic thanks to www.webwombat.com.au/