Post Carbon Cities
Brave new cities like Dongtan and Masdar are striving to show the way to a greener urban future. But is the money put into these glitzy new projects well spent? Or could it be put to better use revamping our existing cities? Post Carbon Cities manager Daniel Lerch is quoted in this article.
Even if we stop all emissions today we will still impact climate in the 22nd century - what communities can do now to adapt to the changes they will see in their climate. The international organization ICLEI can help communities choose their paths, as it did in Keene, NH, where several concrete goals were set to help the community protect itself from future uncertainties.
In January, I attended "Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty" presentations in the Twin Cities by Daniel Lerch, author of "Post Carbon Cities," and John Kaufmann of Oregon’s Department of Energy, representative to Portland Peak Oil Task Force.
Rep. Bill Hilty, chairman of the Energy Committee, is to be commended for attending the United States’ Association for the Study of Peak Oil and getting these experts to present to a Minnesota legislative hearing and meetings in four other cities.
Program Manager Daniel Lerch travels to Minnesota for a whirlwind presentation tour with John Kaufmann of the Oregon Department of Energy: "State Representative Bill Hilty likened the crisis we face to an interstate highway bridge. There's a joint on this bridge with five potential fracture points: growth, energy, climate, the environment, and the economy... We need to do an inspection."
A community announcement for the presentation that Daniel Lerch and John Kaufmann gave in Rochester, MN. "You will hear presentations by two experts on Peak Oil and global warming and their effects on communities. They are John Kauffman, senior policy analyst for the Oregon Department of Energy's conservation division, and Daniel Lerch, program director for the Post Carbon Institute."
"We are about to enter a time of energy scarcity. In an economic system dependent on perpetual growth, abundant energy and cheap food and cheap transportation, a decline in energy supplies presents a very serious threat. Tens of millions of people are already poorly fed and undernourished, in spite of global oil production of 86 million barrels a day."
A report from a presentation that Daniel Lerch and John Kaufmann gave in Rochester, MN. "adapting to the oil shortage will require difficult and painful adjustments for every community. Everything will be affected -- transportation, land use, business operations, local governments, food supplies, education, health care and many others."
More market watchers are starting to wonder if peak oil is nearby or already here, and consider the global economic ramifications. In Toronto, the citizen group Post Carbon Toronto meets to consider local consequences and possible preparation.
The daily newspaper of Hamilton, Ontario reports on Post Carbon Cities author Daniel Lerch's recent presentation there. "[Lerch] is encouraged by signs that Hamilton is looking seriously at an economic blueprint less dependent on oil. In his view, Hamilton has set an example among municipalities in tackling energy and air-quality concerns since the oil crises of the 1970s."
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.
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.