Practice + Theory
Oil shortages are a lot less simple than having to turn down the A/C and line up to refill the gas tank. For one thing, models predict that once production starts slipping, it’ll slip fast – far faster than it’ll take to replace our needs with wind, solar or even nuclear. And in the last five decades, we’ve become dependent on petroleum in countless ways, and seemingly insignificant disruptions in supply can have far-reaching repercussions.
Participants will hear about the major impacts that climate change is likely to have specifically on New England’s environment and economy, and we will explore tangible actions to reduce sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The focus of the discussion will be on land use, and mechanisms for helping communities and states reduce emissions and adapt to change. Actions will be explored at a variety of scales from state policy, to regional compacts, to local regulations.
The U.S. Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO-USA) annual conference is taking place right now in Houston, TX. People from many fields gather to discuss not just the potential date of peak, but also different scenarios about when and how impacts may be felt, and how our society may mitigate the risks.
A short how-to paper on putting together an energy inventory for your community as a basis for further planning. Includes some notes on other types of community inventories.
The Energy Project Team of the Willits (CA) citizen group Willits Economic LocaLization (WELL) put together this spreadsheet as a preliminary inventory of the city's energy usage, including sources and types.
Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty is a guidebook on peak oil and global warming for people who work with and for local governments in the United States and Canada. It provides a sober look at how these phenomena are quickly creating new uncertainties and vulnerabilities for cities of all sizes, and explains what local decision-makers can do to address these challenges.
Smart municipalities are planning and preparing for energy vulnerability and climate change. Peak Moment TV interviews Daniel Lerch, author of newly-released "Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty," the first major guidebook for local governments on peak oil and climate change.
Sacramento has the second-largest quantity of LEED-certified office -- trailing only Chicago, which has been showered with media attention for Mayor Richard M. Daley's quest to go green. "Our goal is to become the most sustainable city in America," says Sacramento City Councilman Rob Fong. If that seems a tad ambitious, keep in mind Sacramento has a heavyweight helper in its quest: the state of California.
In 2005, green architect William McDonough and British engineering firm Arup separately announced plans to build ambitious eco-cities housing up to 500,000 inhabitants in mainland China. In recent months, Newsweek, Popular Science and other publications have looked at how these cities are actually shaping up -- and the reality on the ground so far is disappointing.
Minneapolis is a big city with a small sustainability program -- but it accomplishes more than many other cities' sustainability efforts. In this interview with SustainLane Government, Gayle Prest and Daniel Huff of the City of Minneapolis sustainability program discuss how their small, decentralized initiative is spurring changes across city departments and throughout the community.