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Transcript
Peak oil, climate change
and transition
CAT : 30-Aug-08
Ben Brangwyn
Transition Network
Transition Town Totnes
Agenda




Peak Oil and its effects
Climate Change
PO + CC ≠ “business as usual”
Responses at different levels
– global, national, local, personal




What is a transition town
Examples and achievements so far
Q&A discussion
RESILIENCE
Peak Oil

we’ll never “run out” of oil

we’re running out of
cheap, plentiful oil

oil underpins
– industrial development
– agriculture
– economics
– population

about ½ way through it…

it’s going to decline
Peak Oil – a theory?

98 oil producers
Peak Oil – a theory?

Not a theory for these 64 post peak producers
Peak Oil – discovery

US discovery peaked in 1930s
– production peaked in 1971

UK discovery peaked in 1975
– production peaked in 1999

world discovery peaked in 1960s
– production will peak in 20??
Peak Oil – official numbers

EIA - Energy Information Administration

IEA - International Energy Agency
Peak gas for UK

Source – National Grid
UK Gov’t assumptions re oil
price (2008)
“Middle” Scenario
http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file46071.pdf
“High-High” Scenario
Peak Oil vs Peak Exports

Oil producers getting richer

Developing their own economies


Middle East growth: 5-6% pa

Russia growth: 7% pa
Increasing their domestic
consumption of oil


fuelled by subsidised prices
Less available for countries
they export to. Like us …
Peak Oil – what’s it like?

terminal decline

demand destruction

examples:
– 1990s: North Korea
– 1990s: Cuba
– 2000: UK fuel crisis
– Now: Poor countries
Climate Change – the end of
the debate
The 4th IPCC report, 2007 states:
 Warming
of the climate
system is unequivocal
 Most of the observed
increase in globally
averaged temperatures
since the mid-20th
century is very likely
(confidence level >90%)
due to the observed
increase in human
greenhouse gas
concentrations
Upsala Glacier, Argentina
Climate Change – the start
of the feedbacks…
Peak Oil & Climate Change
PEAK OIL
(a la Hirsch et al.)
 coal to liquids
 gas to liquids
 relaxed drilling
regulations
 massively scaled
biofuels
 tar sands and nonconventional oils
 resource
nationalism and
stockpiling
PLANNED
RELOCALISATION
 local resilience
 carbon reduction
 consume closer to home
 produce closer to home
 play closer to home
 decentralised energy
infrastructure
 the Great Reskilling
 localised food
 energy descent plans
 local medicinal capacity
 local currencies
CLIMATE CHANGE
(a la Stern et al.)
 climate engineering
 carbon capture and
storage
 tree-based carbon
offsets
 international
emissions trading
 climate adaptation
 improved
transportation
logistics
 nuclear power
What can be done?

Global
– Oil Depletion Protocol
– Contraction and Convergence
– Kyoto

National
– TEQs, Cap & Share (energy rationing)

Community
– Transition Towns, cities, villages, rural

Personal
– “The work that reconnects”
– self directed re-education
– getting Gaia’ed
Peak oil, climate change, food
and the Scottish parliament


Unanimously passed motion
“…Parliament expresses its concern at the potential for global
food shortages; … food price inflation now exceeding 6%; calls
on the Scottish Government, Her Majesty’s Government, the
European Union and other relevant bodies to … seek solutions
that take account of the growing pressures on agriculture from
both climate change and the rush to biofuels as well as the
peak in oil production … ensuring the long-term capacity
and capability of our food supply; … encourage the
development of local supply chains through public
procurement, address the imbalance in power between the big
supermarkets and our food producers....” (June 2008)
Transition, Peak oil, climate
change, and Somerset CC
1.
2.
3.
4.
acknowledges the work done by communities in Somerset on Transition
Towns and that the independence of the Transition Movement is key to its
grass roots appeal.
fully endorses the Transition Town Movement and subscribes to the
principles and ethos of the organisation's goals to reduce dependence on
fuel oil and create more sustainable communities.
commits to providing support and assistance to all towns in Somerset that
wish to join this initiative to help them achieve the goals they set for
themselves as local communities.
therefore, requests the Scrutiny and Executive Committees to consider
through the council's strategic planning process;
– allocating funds to assist in achieving the outcomes of the Transition Towns
– requiring all directorates to support Transition Initiatives
5.
6.
seeks to become the first Transition Authority in the UK.
agrees to undertake a review of its budgets and services to reduce
dependence on fuel oil and produce an energy descent action plan in line
with the principles of the Transition Initiative. (July 2008)
Can we respond?

Going up the energy slope, we used
–
–
–
–

ingenuity
creativity
adaptability
cooperation
Going back down…
– if we’re early enough
– if we’re cooperative
– the future could be a
whole lot better…
What’s stopping us? (1)

Dominant myths of today
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Things are getting better
Economic growth is good
We must keep shopping
Technology will solve all our problems
There is no alternative
You can’t stop progress
Living standards are rising
Humans are selfish and greedy by nature
The market will solve it
We’re all doomed…
Where are we going?
Techno-Fantasy
Peak
Energy?
•
•
•
•
Green-Tech
Stability
Energy use
Resource use
Environmental degradation
Pollution
Earth
stewardship
Post
Mad Max
Collapse
Pre-industrial
culture
Historical Time
Agriculture
10.000yrs BP
Industrial
Revolution
Baby
Boom
Great Grand
Children
Future Time
Changing the myth from…
Changing the myth to…
What’s stopping us? (2)


Cognitive Load Theory (fruit salad experiment)
Short term vs long term thinking
– rational vs emotional, neocortex vs mammalian vs reptilian

Belief in authority figures
– electrocution experiment - 65% gave lethal dose
– obedient children survive

Sunk cost, or investment in the present
– “it’s difficult convincing a person of something when his job
depends on him not believing it”

Optimism
– an optimistic outlook is neurochemically self-fulfilling
Who’s doing creative, orderly
energy descent? (1)
Official Transition Initiatives
 Glastonbury
 Totnes
 Penwith
(Cornwall)
 Kinsale
 Ivybridge
 Falmouth
 Moretonhampstead
 Lewes
 Stroud
 Ashburton
 Ottery
St Mary
 Bristol
 Brixton
 Forest
Row
 Mayfield
 Forest
of Dean
 Lostwithiel
 Nottingham
 Wrington
 Brighton&Hove
 Portobello (Edinburgh)
 Market Harborough
 Sunshine Coast, Oz
 West Kirby
 Llandeilo
 Bro Ddyfi
 Whitstable
 Marsden&Slaithwaite
Who’s doing creative, orderly
energy descent? (2)
Official Transition Initiatives
 Frome
 Presteigne
 Brampton
 Wolverton
 Isle
 Leicester
of Wight
 Waiheke Island (NZ)
 Orewa (NZ)
 Dunbar
 Rhayader
 Seaton
 Bath
 Exeter
 Isle of Man
 Canterbury
 Kapiti (NZ)
 Biggar
 Holywood
 Westcliffe-on-Sea
 Isle
of Scilly
 Liverpool South
 Norwich
 Tring
 Crediton
 Boulder, CO (USA)
 Howe
 Lampeter
 South Pemberton
And who’s mulling it over?
700+ “mullers”














UK
Ireland
USA
Spain
Italy
New Zealand
Australia
France
Israel
Canada
Mexico
Norway
South Africa
Sweden











Uruguay
Argentina
Belgium
Chile
Czech Republic
Netherlands
Switzerland
Brazil
China
Japan
Poland
How are they organising?
Transition Model

Understanding:
PO + CC ≠ “business as usual”
 Adaptability, creative
 NOW

7 Buts
 12 Steps
 Transition Network

Transition Model – 7 “buts” (1)
1) we don’t have funding
2) “they” won’t let us
–
no enemies… apparently
3) turf wars with other
green groups
Transition Model – 7 “buts” (2)
4) no one cares about the environment
5) it’s too late anyway
6) I don’t have the right qualifications
7) I don’t have the energy to be doing
that
Transition Model - Step 1

Set Up a Steering Group
and Design Its Demise from
the Outset
– atrophy
– personal agendas
– humility
– stages 2-5
– reforms from subgroups
Transition Model - Step 2

Awareness raising
– allies and networks
– prepare community
– movies
– talks
– events
Transition Model - Step 3

Lay the foundations
– other groups
– existing projects
– official bodies
– businesses
– collaboration
Transition Model - Step 4

Organise a Great Unleashing
– coming of age
– powerful, passionate,
informative, inspirational
– timing
– content
– making connections
Transition Model - Step 5

Form “working groups”
– starting new groups
– bringing in existing
groups
– guidelines
– training
– working groups and the
steering group
Transition Model - Step 6

Use “Open Space”
– shouldn’t work!
– one long coffee break
– World Café

Harrison Owen - Open Space
Technology: A User’s Guide

Peggy Holman and Tom Devane’ The Change Handbook: Group
Methods for Shaping the Future
Transition Model - Step 7

Develop visible practical
manifestations of your project
– not a talking shop
– chose carefully
– lure in fence-sitters
– team building potential
– getting dirt under your
fingernails
Transition Model - Step 8

Facilitate the Great Reskilling
– Grandma, what was it like when you
were a kid?
– repairing, cooking, fixing bikes,
natural building, loft insulation,
dyeing, herbal walks, gardening,
basic home energy efficiency,
making sour doughs, practical food
growing (the list is endless…)
– eg WWOOFing
Transition Model - Step 9

Build bridges to Local
Government
– becomes crucial
– don’t wait too long…
– open door
– Community Development
Plan
– elections…!
Transition Model - Step 10

Honour the Elders
– elders as a community
resource
– 1930 to 1960 – moving from oil
scarcity to abundance
– oral history
– community infrastructure
– not about going backwards
Transition Model - Step 11

Let it go where it wants to
go…
– focus on the questions
– unleash the community
– any sense of control is
illusory
Transition Model - Step 12

Produce and start to implement
the Energy Descent Action Plan
– assess current situation
– create 15-20 year vision for all
key areas
– integrate with community plan if
possible
– identify steps needed to get there
– start the work
What have they achieved
so far…? (1)
Totnes
8 films, 11 talks, 7 events
 10-week “skilling up for powerdown”
course
 seed sharing days
 oil vulnerability auditing
 Estates in Transition
 local food directory
 local currency (phase 2)
 oral history archives
 nut tree capital of Britain
 transition stories
 lobbying (food and sustainable building
regs)
 community plan engagement
 Totnes Renewable Energy Company

Lewes
school workshops
 grow your own food courses
 rug making course
 mending course
 Lewes non-plastic bag
 library books on sustainability
 many events, talks and films

Penwith
many films and talks
 food and farming day with Soil
Association
 reskilling – composting toilets
and reedbeds

What have they achieved
so far…? (2)
Brixton
green mapping / urban agriculture project
 permaculture design course
 films and talks
 presenting to school boards on peak oil
and climate change
 urban food growers network day

Bristol
many films, talks and events
 transition training 2-day course
 city orchard (central buying of trees for
productive planting by individual
homeowners
 guerilla gardening
 photo exhibition and competition of “living
more, using less”

Stroud
CSA, local food festival
 tool share
 textile courses, visits to
hemp manufacturers, fashion
show
 planning Stroud Hemporium
 Heinberg meeting with
council
 Transition “think tank” with
local council
 many events and talks

Our choice…

We’ll be transitioning to a lower energy future
whether we want to or not. Far better to ride
that wave rather than getting engulfed by it.
Transition Initiatives
Thank you
Ben Brangwyn