Transition Towns, Peak Oil, Climate Change, and What do we do when the oil runs out?

Going Forward, Looking Backwards - The Seeds of Change

I guess we've all begun to notice that the times, they are a-changing.

First of all there was Al Gore batting on about Climate Change, and how our carbon emissions are affecting the planet and it's eco-systems. Many people will have seen 'An Inconvenient Truth', and whether we believe Al Gore's take on the situation, or whether we think that climate change is down to solar activity is in a way, immaterial. The fact remains that our planetary over-dependance on fossil fuels has made us vulnerable to many and varied disasters, from energy shortages, to food shortages, and much more besides.

It's as though we've all woken up from a long sleep, and opened our eyes to find that all the goodies we in the West have so lavishly been provided with are crumbling to dust before our eyes. Meanwhile, all those good old-fashioned skills that even the humblest of us once possessed, have been stolen away while we slept, leaving us feeble and child-like. Where once every one grew at least some of their vegetables, or could buy them locally from local growers, we now buy them at the supermarket, shrink wrapped, and delivered on juggernauts from who knows where, and liberally sprayed with who knows what! Where once we would have taken pleasure in cooking and baking for our families, our busy lives now send us scurrying to the take-away for a large helping of carbs, or we reach for more pre-prepared offerings to ding in a microwave. Our clothes are bought so cheaply now from distant lands, that we no longer learn to sew and repair. We simply discard and replace.

Meanwhile, as our bottoms spread through over-indulgence and lack of exercise, and our manufacturing industries close to make way for foreign imports, we are racking up an eye-watering bill that we cannot hope to cover.

And what are our governments doing about it? I hear you say. You may well ask.....

 

Transition Towns and Peak Oil

So you've probably heard of Peak Oil, right? 'Peak Oil' is the point at which global oil production reaches it's highest level, and thereafter, steadily declines. Production of conventional crude oil is thought to have peaked in 2004, and all other types of fossil oil extraction are expected to peak in this decade. Of course it makes sense that there is only a finite amount of oil readily available. We've been leeching oil up out of the ground for a long time now, and the demand has grown exponentially. Recently we've seen price hikes for oil that would once have been undreamed of. On a very simplistic level, the man in the street is being hit in his pocket first and foremost. It costs more to travel. Food costs more to transport, so that has gone up too. Energy costs more to generate. We pull in our belts, and trim the fat from our day-to-day lives, but for so many of us, life simply gets tougher.

Governments talk about reducing carbon emissions, and reducing our carbon footprint. We are encouraged to insulate our homes, and generous grants are on offer for all sorts of energy saving initiatives. But is this enough?

Well it would seem to me that it's not enough. And that's where the Transition Towns Initiative comes in. Instead of waiting for leadership and top-down action via government, wouldn't it make sense if we all did something on a local level. The Transition Town movement is already up and running, and growing day by day. Why not get involved with other like-minded people who live near you, and see what can be achieved?

The Transition Town movement was founded by a guy called Rob Hopkins whilst he was living and working as a lecturer in Permaculture in Kinsale, Southern Ireland. He, with his students, devised the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan which explored ways in which the community could prepare for Peak Oil. He now lives in Totnes, Devon, UK, and is continuing to develop the Transition Town network from there. Already there is a growing list of communities in a number of countries embracing the challenge of re-skilling, and re-creating the self-sufficient local economies that we once knew.

Listen to Rob Hopkins speak and see what you think. It's inspirational.


Rob Hopkins, Founder of Transition Towns

What's Happening So Far?

There are already over 600 communities actively involved in the Transition Town Movement, and more are actively preparing to join. I've listed some of them here on the left, in country order.

These communities have come together to improve their environments, and to change how they do things on a practical, ground roots level. Many of them have individual web-sites with community based news posted on a regular basis. Here are some of them:

http://transitiontowns.org/Lewes.Lewes

http://www.transitiontownbrixton.org/

http://transitiontownskapiti.org.nz/

http://www.transitiontownshaftesbury.org.uk/

http://www.transitioncotati.org/

http://llandeilo.org/env_transition.php


Spare 5 minutes to hear about the Transition Handbook

Read 'The Transition Handbook' for more ideas

Some of the 900+ communities already active in the Transition Town Movement

Australia:

  • Armidale, NSW
  • Barraba, NSW
  • Bell, VIC
  • Bellingham, NSW
  • Cooran, QLD
  • Endio, QLD
  • Hervey Bay, QLD
  • Katoomba, NSW
  • Kenmore, QLD
  • Kurilpa, QLD
  • Maleny, QLD
  • Newcastle, NSW
  • Sydney, NSW
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Tamborine Mountain
  • Wingecarribee, NSW

Canada:

  • Alberni Valley, BC
  • Dundas, ON
  • Guelph, On
  • Nelson,BC
  • Peterborough, ON
  • Victoria, BC

Chile:

  • El Manzano

Denmark:

  • Frederiksberg, Copenhagen

Finland:

  • Siirtymaliike Hameenkyro

Germany:

  • Berlin, Friedrichshain Kreuzberg

Italy:

  • Monteviglio

Japan:

Netherlands:

  • Deventer
  • Groningen

New Zealand:

  • Brooklyn
  • Kapiti District
  • Nelson
  • Opotiki Coast
  • Orewa
  • Timaru
  • Waiheke Island
  • Whanganui

UK:

  • Arran and Holy Isles, Scotland
  • Brighton & Hove
  • Bristol
  • Brixton
  • Buxton
  • Cambridge
  • Chepstow, Wales
  • Chester
  • Chichester
  • Coventry
  • Crediton
  • Dunbar, Scotland
  • Eastbourne
  • Forest Row
  • Forres, Scotland
  • Hastings
  • Haywards Heath
  • Hereford
  • High Wycombe
  • Hollywood, N.Ireland
  • Horncastle
  • Horsham
  • Isle of Man
  • Isles of Scilly
  • Isle of Wight
  • Kingston-Upon-Thames
  • Lampeter, Wales
  • Lancaster
  • Leamington Spa
  • Lewes
  • Llandello, Wales
  • Lostwithiel
  • Louth
  • Maidenhead
  • New Forest
  • North Howe, Scotland
  • Omagh, Northern Ireland
  • Ottery St Mary
  • Oxford
  • Portobello, Scotland
  • Shaftesbury
  • Shoreham-by-Sea
  • Stafford
  • Taunton
  • Totnes
  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Whitstable
  • Worthing
  • York

Ireland:

  • Kinsale
  • Kildare
  • Kilkenny

USA

  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Ashland, OR
  • Bald Eagle Valley, Penn
  • Berea, KY
  • Boulder, COL
  • Cotati, CA
  • Culver City, CA
  • Denver, COL
  • Greater New Haven, CT
  • Hancock County,ME
  • Ketchum, ID
  • Manchester,VE
  • Media,PA
  • Mount Shasta, CA
  • Laguna Beach, CA
  • Los Angeles, CAL
  • Louisville, COL
  • Louisville, KEN
  • Lyons, Col
  • Micanopy, FL
  • Montpelier,VT
  • Nevada County, CAL
  • Newburyport, MA
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Olympia
  • Paso Robles, CA
  • Pima, AZ
  • Pine Mountain, CA
  • Portland, ME
  • Sunnyside Neighbourhood, Portland, OR
  • Sandpoint, ID
  • Santa Barbara, CAL
  • Santa Cruz, CA
  • N.E.Seattle, WA
  • South Dakota
  • Stelle, IL
  • Tucson, AZ
  • West Marin, CA
  • Whatcom, WA
  • Woodstock

Patch Gardeners in Seattle, photographed by Joe Mabel. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons
Patch Gardeners in Seattle, photographed by Joe Mabel. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons
Delivery bike, Jakarta, Indonesia. Photographed by Jonathan McIntosh. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons
Delivery bike, Jakarta, Indonesia. Photographed by Jonathan McIntosh. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

So what can we do to be getting on with?

There are so many excellent articles on this site about saving money that I wouldn't begin to presume to add another.

However, there are things that we could all be doing better than we are on an individual level:

  • Take proper bags to the supermarket, or re-use the plastic bags that you picked up on previous trips
  • Start to allocate a little growing space in your garden for vegetables. If you don't have a garden, consider growing cherry tomatoes, chilly peppers and herbs on your windowsills.
  • Use your local farmers market and save road miles
  • Don't leave your house lit up like a christmas tree when you're only using one room. If you run a business, put the lights on a timer so that the lights go off once everyone leaves.
  • Walk or cycle more. It'll save you money, give you exercise, and help the planet. how cool is that?
  • Learn to cook if you don't already know how. Those microwave meals will surely become more expensive as the cost of transport continues to increase.
  • Take up needlework, at least in a small way. Buttons are pretty easy to sew, and rips are easy to repair with a little practice. Don't discard and replace, when you can so easily make and mend.
  • Pass on your unwanted items to those who need them. Sell unloved goodies at car-boot sales by all means, but only use a rubbish tip as a very last resort. There are plenty of web-sites now where you can pass stuff on for free (and also get stuff for free)
  • Car share. If you do a regular commute, you can save fuel by joining a carpool. If your office doesn't operate one, put a notice on the notice board.
  • Use public transport wherever possible. I guess if we all did this, the sheer volume of travellers would inspire an improvement in services.
  • Be more neighbourly. If we all help just the person or people nearest us then we don't need to reach quite so far to make a difference. The problems start when we can't even be bothered to help one another.

Interview with Megan Quinn about Cuba and Peak Oil

Learning from Cuba's response to Peak Oil

In the 1990s, as Cuba's relationship with the former Soviet Union began to change, Cuba was suddenly faced with the reality of a dwindling oil supply. Without the support of the Soviet Union, Cuba's GDP dropped by a third, and without the cheap oil that Russia had previously provided, industrial agriculture ground to a halt. Food became less plentiful, and some hard lessons had to be learned. Gradually Cuba faced the necessity for a more sustainable way of life. For them, Peak Oil had arrived ahead of schedule.

Nowadays Cuba provides us with a successful model for a less oil dependant culture. Agriculture is now 87% organic. Food is being grown in urban areas such as Havanna, roof top gardens are sprouting up, undeveloped urban spaces have been turned into gardens. Cuba has forged ahead with the research and development of bio-pesticides, and bio-fertilisers, and they are now exporting these. Sustainabilty has become a way of life

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Comments 39 comments

hellchic profile image

hellchic 8 years ago from Australia

Great hub Amanda! I will enjoy researching transition towns. Have not heard of this before. Thanks for bringing it to our attention via this excellent web site. Cheers, Helen.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Helen Thank you for your comment, my first since I joined Hubpages!Cheers, Mandy


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

Excellent hub , Transition Towns feels like a soumd approach to the issues facing us. I'll have to look deeper into them.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Bob, and thanks for looking at it


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Nice hub. Al gore's movie was really eye opening. Hope to read more on the Transition Towns.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Countrywoman. I found Al Gore's film rivetting. But having said that, the argument for solar activity causing climate change is also persuasive. Whichever is the truth we still need to be far kinder to the planet than we are at present.


pgrundy 8 years ago

This is a great hub! How encouraging that this movement is taking hold--that's the best thing I've heard all week! Thank you for drawing my attention to it. This is something concrete I could definitely see myself involved in. We already do most of the things on your list here, but the idea of joining with like-minded others to promote it is fabulous. Thank you again for an excellent and timely hub!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Pam. I keep an eye on the Transition Towns WIKI on a regular basis, and this thing is growing very, very fast. There is an enormous list of communities in the 'mulling it over' stage, including my own small town, and it's spreading internationally too which is really encouraging. This is my most frequently visited hub so I guess people must already be searching for info in this area.


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Excellent hub, Amanda! And full of great advice. It's inspiring to read about the power of community, and I enjoyed the Lewes pound hub that led me here. With so much focus on globalization these days, I hope we begin to shift back to the local.

Have you seen any of Chris Martenson's VODs on the economy? He has a great one about peak oil that you'd probably enjoy. The site is chrismartenson.com but it appears to be offline today.

Thanks for introducing me to this topic! I'll definitely be doing more research in this area.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Melissa, and thanks for dropping by. I haven't seen any of Chris Martenson's VODs, but I'll have a look tomorrow, as I'm heading up to bed shortly. It's good to know that so many people are developing an interest in sustainable communities. In the face of so much global uncertainty, I feel sure it's the right way to go.


Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 8 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

Plenty of excellent tips and news here!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Glad you enjoyed it. Do they have anything similar in the Canaries?


ColdWarBaby 8 years ago

I apologize profusely for not getting to your Hubs sooner! This is quite inspirational and very uplifting. The survivors are already making their presence known. Those who will set the stage for the next step forward in human evolution have already begun the task of preparing for the end of the era. I think that’s really excellent news. I’m not able to look at the videos right now. It’s late, the family is sleeping and it’s a very small house. I’ll have to come back at them later.

Thanks very much for this Amanda. Let’s see what else I can find in your collection to make me feel a little better.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi CWB,

So glad you made it here. As you can see Transition Towns is catching on fast. I keep having to update the list of active communities, and I'm delighted that the USA, and other countries are starting their own initiatives.

It's been a belief of mine for a long while that small is best when it comes to communities. And that applies to healthcare, food production, and government in particular. Adam Smith's Law of Economics, and The Economies of Scale are fine when applied to Industry, but we're people, not widgets, and our needs should be met for the most part, within our local areas. The more self-sufficient we are within our communities, the more sustainable our lives become.


ColdWarBaby 8 years ago

The economics of nature will turn out to be the only one that works. We just need to understand it.

I certainly agree that small is beautiful in most cases. Our grandson has been subjected to a completely useless school system here. 27 sudents in a KINDERGARTEN class. The situation has become so negative that we've decided to withdraw him and beging homeschooling immediately. He's learned more in the first few days at home than in all the weeks he's spent in the big, over populated, understaffed public school.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi CWB

We have the same problem here with class sizes, and we try to help the children as much as we can to make up for any shortfalls. Home schooling is not so common in the UK, but I have been tempted to give it a try at various points, although I've not succumbed so far. I admire those that do, however!

I've been giving a lot of thought to your ideas lately CWB, especially regarding how things might resolve themselves globally. I would like to see a fairer distribution of the world's wealth. It's been interesting watching the behaviour of oil prices, and I'm wondering if the economies of supply and demand will continue to play out as international industries crash and burn, and the requirement for oil continues to fall. There must be a tipping point at which the oil nations become just as vulnerable as the rest of us? This whole scenario is like a giant chess game, but without rules.


Writer Rider 8 years ago

Awesome, just awesome. I'm going to look into it since it would be great to save the environment and money all at the same time. Profoundly important hub.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Thank you Writer Rider,

Are any of the current initiatives close at hand, or would you have to start from scratch?


Writer Rider 8 years ago

There are echo apartments which I'm thinking of moving into. However, something about apartment complexes in general seems seems so vulnerable to environment elements. Don't know too much, to tell you the truth. I'm going to investigate more and take initiative if there isn't. However, the place where I live is full of greenies so I'm certain I won't have to take initiate. I don't know how to sow or plant stuff.


Writer Rider 8 years ago

Not that there's anything wrong with sowing or planting stuff, those are very useful skills whether blue or white collar workers, I just need to learn them.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 8 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Great Hub, Amanda. I am glad to see that my hometown, Lancaster, is a transition town!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Writer Rider,

Although we're in a house, it has a tiny garden, and there's nowhere to grow much, so we make do with a few pots, and just grow tomatoes, basil, mint and parsley. I think the whole ethos behind Transition Towns is about more than just growing our own food,, although that's a good start! It's more about getting involved, and making change happen. As you say, if there are already lots of greenies around locally, you might find that communities activities are already organised. Good luck with your quest!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi Sufidreamer,

Thanks for stopping by. The number of Towns joining up is growing fast, especially here in the UK. It may not be the whole solution to global turmoil, but I do think it's a step in the right direction.


ColdWarBaby 8 years ago

I'm back Amanda.

What I tend to dream of is large numbers of fairly small, real communities living and working together in a loose global network. That is to say, although the communities would be very self-sufficient they would not be isolated. Thanks to the Internet and video conferencing everyone is able to maintain regular communication to SHARE, not sell, the latest discoveries in technology, health care and scientific advances of all kinds. They would also be able to share their art, music, literature and cultural character. With the advances in online translation programs the language barrier would soon be a non issue. I type english here, Liu Zoeng reads chinese there.

With long distance travel a matter of choice rather than necessity, slower means of transportation could be seen as an improvement rather than an inconvenience. I have no doubt that, in due time, environmentally friendly means of powering various types of transportation will become available which will allow for the continued physical blending of different ethnic groups and cultures. Slowly, over a period of a few centuries of so, a real global civilization could become a reality. The only thing preventing such a scenario is a small group of psychotic individuals who don’t want it to happen; the would-be masters of the universe, those who believe that only they are fit to control everything and everyone. I hope and wish with all my heart and soul that we are witnessing the last days of this group of destroyers as the controlling force of human destiny.

How absolutely grand it would be to live in the time that will be remembered as the beginning of the transition of humanity from barbaric, greedy, self-serving predators into the peaceful, compassionate and faithful stewards of life on Earth.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

So beautifully put CWB. How wonderful it would be if all our needs were met within our own communities. I've been reading on Pam's UAW hub about the electric cars which were built to great acclaim, then collected up and destroyed because they didn't fit with the plans of the automobile and oil lobby. Stories like that just get me so angry. The greed of the few is destroying the future of the many.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Amanda- We women can only hope for things to happen but meanwhile just go about doing whatever little we can each day in a small way. Like lesser carbon foot print (walk or take public transportation often), recycle whenever possible, be judicious in water & electric usage and so on. I guess we can all do small changes at least we will be happy with ourselves.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK Author

Hi CW

Yes you're right. On an individual basis we can only do our best. True change only happens when we come together as communities to create improvements in our lives and in our environments. Every little effort by every individual is a contribution, however, and shouldn't be taken too lightly.


Writer Rider 7 years ago

Just thought I'd visit this hub once again. I'm really big on the environment right now. I hope Mr.O provides some cheap means to convert energy.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi WR

I once read a hub by Solarshingles, talking about, strangely enough, solarshingles! It really made me think. If every home had solar tiles on their roofs to heat their water, and wind-powered generators and geo-thermal heating where suitable, then we would be well on our way to sustainability. It just needs sufficient impetus to tip things in the right direction. I hope Mr O is the man for the job in the USA. America is a big chunk of the developed world, and a mass take-up of green energy in the States would make a difference to the whole world.


Writer Rider 7 years ago

Well, Jan.20th is when he's sworn into office Amanda! It's not soon enough considering the economic plight and global catastrophes. What a legacy Mr. O's inherited, it's a good thing he's so smart. I do think he's the man for the job. Not only does he believe in saving the environment, he's putting money were his mouth is and enrolling his daughters in a green school, Sidwell Friends. Of course, I can't predict the future but that's a good sign. I'm looking into what I can do to become green before hand.

Yes, it's a shame that some peoples' behaviors in our country impacts the world at large. It's unfair to the rest of the world and dangerous for us.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Hi Amanda - I just realised I hadn't commented on this before, though I remember it well. When I extricate myself from Middle East madness and finally return to sunny Malvern, something along these lines could very well become my retirement project!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi Paraglider, That sounds like a very worthwhile direction to go in. Transistion Towns is really catching on now, and you've just reminded me that I need to update this hub to reflect the changes.


Make  Money profile image

Make Money 7 years ago from Ontario

This is cool. I'm proud to say that my home town, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada is already a Transition Town. But we have always had a very good farmer's market on Saturdays that sells local produce. It goes in doors during the winter months to sell jarred fruits and vegetables and other local goods. For at least 15 to 20 years we have have community gardens. For instance if you live in east city (an area of the city on the east side of the river) you can get a plot in the community garden to grow whatever you want. Some of the regulars share their plots. I don't think it cost anything either. We also have a smaller garden market right down town on Wednesdays where they shut down a street to sell local goods. It goes into the mall during winter months.

It really does not make sense to buy stale fruits and vegetables that have probably very little nutritional value in the winter that are shipped 2,000 to 3,000 miles when for generations we have been canning our own local produce without a problem.

I really don't know what Rob Hopkins has added to the process to make Peterborough a Transition Town. I like his idea of growing walnut and other nut trees in public areas. But I hope Hopkins does not stress over population cause there is a major study that is saying the population of the world is about to peak very soon and then decline, simply because we have been controlling our population for so long now.

In the interview with Megan Quinn they mention a replacement to oil as coal which is also a dirty fossil fuel, not good, nuclear which is not safe and ethanol is not the answer either cause it will take up precious land that could be used to grow food to eat. Sustainability right off the grid is the best solution for heat and electricity using wind mills or turbines, solar panels or ground source heat. There are better alternatives to electric/gas/diesel hybrids or electric plug ins for vehicles that have not been utilized yet as well.

By the way Amanda, I came to this Hub of yours from Paraglider's "Can We Engineer a Bloodless Revolution?" Hub, which is a very good start for a world grass roots movement.

http://hubpages.com/hub/bloodless-revolution

Thanks Mike


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK Author

Hi Mike

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Your town sounds as though it already has a sensible approach to things, and it was certainly quick to join the Transition Town movement.

I very much agree with your sentiments with regard to harnessing solar, wind and geo-thermal energy in a more meaningful way. Those resources are plentiful and free, and if we were all hooked up with them in some small way, the demand for fossil fuel and nuclear based alternatives would be dramatically reduced. I believe that improvements are happening, and every day I seem to see more street lights with solar panels, businesses with wind turbines, and homes with solar panels on their roofs. Eventually the body of demand will be sufficient to drive manufacturing costs down, and everyone will be able to afford to make the effort.

Most people know that change has to happen, but the old guard are resisting a rapid move away from traditional dependancies. Oil is still king for the moment, though I hope my children will enjoy a cleaner, less profit driven world in the future.


loubeeloo 7 years ago

Brilliant hub Amanda.

I totally agree that which side of the argument re:man-made global warming you come down on, becomes a moot point when we consider that so much irreparable damage is being inflicted uopon our environments & health, on both an immediate & future generational scale.

People need to realize that it is not just about lessening the amount of visible black smoke they produce in their lifetime, that reduces their detrimental impact upon the planet, but also that mass produced products, including food & medicines, all create contaminants via their synthesis, manufacture & transportation.

My Mantra: Produce more, consume less, buy locally, live simply!

Regards, Lou.


marshacanada profile image

marshacanada 5 years ago from Vancouver BC

Thanks for this Excellent Hub.Many gardens are springing up in Vancouver and the bicycle path network is expanding. We are not doing so well with solar panels because of our constant rain.

On the dark side,Canada is terrible in the level of greenhouse gas we produce and in the massive environmental destruction caused by our Alberta Oil sands. However Canadians like the oil sands because our economy booms from oil sand production. Money trumps life in Canada this round.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Marsha, people have solar panels here in the UK despite our unpredictable weather. Mostly they're just good for heating water for baths and showers, but every little helps! My cousin in Australia tells me that 'going solar' is all the rage there, and that lots of ordinary home-owners are able to generate enough for their energy needs plus give back to the grid. That's certainly something to aspire to, but I guess I'd need more than a roof full of PV panels to achieve that here in England!

I agree with you that the oil sands are a worry. The lust for oil will continue unabated until something more sensible and economically viable comes along to replace it.


bulkdive profile image

bulkdive 5 years ago from Marina, Ca

Wow! You really cut to the heart of the matter. I have little to Hub about after reading this. This idea of Transition Towns is brilliant, yet so simple. I have been advocating something similar but on a more individual or family basis. This could be the answer to weathering the storm that, I believe is fast approaching. I am, however, a bit more pessimistic than some as I believe the time to start this transition process was 30 years ago, but I believe things like Transition Towns can help to mitigate some of the chaos that might arise from Peak Oil.

I wonder if your are familiar with the documentaries "Escape from Suburbia" and "Zero Impact Man"? They show that people in cities even as large as New York and Los Angeles are starting to take seriously the realities of a post-petroleum world.

If you don't mind; I am going to provide a link to this Hub from mine.

Excellent work.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK Author

Hi Bulkdive, thank you for your generous comments. I'd be very happy for you to link your hub to mine.

I haven't come across the documentaries that you mention, but they may not have been aired here in the UK. I will look them out on YouTube when I get the chance.

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