Peak Oil and the Transition Town Solution

Peak Oil is the term commonly used when referring to the oncoming shortage of oil supplies, and the mirrored fall in production. Otherwise known as: ‘Our impending doom’. There are a number of graphs, each of which show slightly different figures, but there is a general consensus with regards to the direction.

The discovery of new resources such as the ‘fracking’ sensation has slightly delayed the decline, but it will not hold it back for ever. This is the core reason for my distrust of fracking, that it is not a permanent solution, but is only a continuation and exacerbation of the problems which plague us.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, we have been able to grow our economies year after year due to the massive quantities of cheap fossil fuels beneath us。 The Industrial Revolution in Britain was sparked by the growth of the coal mining industry, which allowed businesses and factories to use energy cheaply. It was this cheap energy, along with many other things, which allowed us to develop our wasteful and gluttonous consumer culture.

Of course, its hypocritical of me to spout off about the evils of the consumer world, when I wouldn’t be able to write this article with out my laptop. But never the less, it has to be said, and there are very few people who can do so without being hypocritical.

Huge multinational corporations exploit impoverished workers in the Third World, and use them to manufacture everything from toothbrushes to the components for laptops. The resources that are required are NOT infinite, just like fossil fuels, they will eventually run out.

The goods made in these factories are sold to consumers in the rich West, who use them for a few months, and then promptly dispose of them through their garbage collection services. Those unwanted, unloved goods are then thrown into a landfill site, where they will forever plague our ecosystem until they have finally decomposed.

Over the next fifty to one hundred years, such cheap energy resources will no longer be available. Our supplies our dwindling, and as a result our production is also falling. We need to find new ways to power our civilisation. Renewable ways.

The global infrastructure of cheap oil, endless resources and wasteful economies is about to collapse. And when it does, we had better ensure that there are systems in place to pick up the slack. Just such a system is the Transition Town movement, which is our best hope for a sustainable future.

It’s a global movement based on community initiatives, and sustainable living using local resources. No doubt its branded as hipppyish and outlandish by a good many people, but it still remains a positive influence on our world. It was started to help deal with the problems of a rising price for oil, and the threat of climate change.

I live between Eastbourne and Lewes. Lewes is renowned for its hippyish ways, which makes it the perfect target for the Transition Town Movement. Eastbourne, on the other hand, is less likely to quickly adjust to this new idea. I went to a town meeting regarding Transition Eastbourne. Although it all seemed nice enough, I senses that the people there lacked the drive to make things happen. It also seemed to contain rather too much touchy-feely nonsense for my liking. But the making are there for something important.

The Transition Town Lewes group has already formed a community owned renewable energy company named OVESCO, (Ouse Valley Energy Services Company). They’ve installed 143 solar PV panels on the rooftop of local Priory School, as well as installing solar panels on the roof of Harvey’s Brewery, which produced 30.99 MWh in the first five months.

They’ve also built 16 ‘eco houses’ so that people can wnader around and pick up a few hints at sustainable living. In their words: “This event is organised by the Energy Group of Transition Town Lewes and enables people to visit inspiring newbuild and renovated properties that showcase ways to reduce CO2 emissions, whilst also making savings on energy and water bills.”

The Transition Free Press is a current affairs newspaper affiliated with the Transition Town Movement, and boasts of some really interesting reads. It is strongly left leaning, as you would expect, but it covers a wide range of intersting issues. (All links are at the bottom of the page.)

In conclusion, the Transition Town Movement offers real hope for our future, and almost perfectly complies with the thoughts expresses in my Manifesto page. For that reason, I give it my full support.

Sources/Further Reading:

  1. http://transitionculture.org/2011/04/06/brewery-to-host-uks-first-community-owned-power-station/
  2. http://www.lewesfoodmarket.co.uk/
  3. http://www.lewesecoopenhouses.org.uk/
  4. http://www.renewableuk.com/
  5. http://www.renewableuk.com/en/renewable-energy/wind-energy/offshore-wind/index.cfm
  6. http://www.renewableuk.com/en/renewable-energy/wind-energy/onshore-wind/index.cfm
  7. http://www.renewableuk.com/en/renewable-energy/wind-energy/small-and-medium-scale-wind/index.cfm
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeRTCepmkqQ
  9. http://www.transitiontownlewes.org/about.html
  10. http://www.transitiontownlewes.org/
  11. http://www.transitionnetwork.org/
  12. http://www.transitionnetwork.org/what
  13. http://www.ovesco-ips.co.uk/index.html
  14. http://www.ovesco-ips.co.uk/harveys_priory_projects.html
  15. http://transitionfreepress.org/subscribe/
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4 thoughts on “Peak Oil and the Transition Town Solution

    • MarxistMax August 17, 2013 / 9:39 pm

      I liked that video, it was interesting and raised some good points. I promise to address them at some point, but because I’ve written quite a lot about fracking recently, you may have to wait a few days. Although I find the idea that the Russians are funding anti-fracking environmental groups to be ludicrous and absurd.

      • kenpruitt666 August 17, 2013 / 10:36 pm

        It wouldn’t be the first time Russia pulled some nonsense like that, and the fact that Putin is a ruthless gangster doesn’t help the case for Russia in the slightest.

      • MarxistMax August 18, 2013 / 8:13 am

        Regardless of his autocratic style, I love that photo of him on a bear

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