Published on October 23rd, 2005 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg2
Addressing Peak Oil at the Local Level
Global Public Media has published a detailed article on the potential for peak oil awareness and preparation at the local level. This dovetails nicely with yesterday’s post on retrofitting the suburbs, as well as providing a thorough overview of the few communities in the US and elsewhere that have found the courage to consider the ramifications of peak oil. The article notes that such local awareness and action may be one of the most effective means available of dealing with a coming “power-down”:
According to Post Carbon Institute and other organizations focused on managing energy descent including Ecocity Builders, From the Wilderness, and The Community Solution, the most effective responses to our energy predicament will be place-based and community-supported. In this context, local government can play an important role in initiating projects and programs, removing obstacles and creating incentives, and fostering an environment of cooperation, experimentation, and urgency. Local government assuming this role is essential in large cities and metropolitan areas where grassroots organizing has not been able to mobilize large fractions of their electorate. While most activity at the national and global levels consists solely of talk about the problem (which is valuable and commendable), some local and regional governments are talking about and actually implementing such responses.
While more focus on peak oil at the national/federal level would be welcome, local efforts allow for a focus on unique local realities, and (from the looks of things) create a more democratic process of addressing these issues. I suppose the next step is the creation of informational materials showing communities how places like Hervey Bay, Australia, and Willits, California, are successfully engaging their leaders and citizens.