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Home » Environment

Steps to Transition

Submitted by on September 17, 2010 – 8:40 pm

The thing I like about the internet is that I generally start searching with a certain theme or subject in mind and then I usually end up somewhere else. It’s like taking a magic carpet ride when you’ve no idea how it works. Today is no exception.
In the not too distant future I hope to undertake to complete a Diploma of Permaculture, my subject of study being moving my community towards being a Transition Town. There are many people within my community who are very passionate about this subject and readily willing to lend their support; there are others who are equally passionate about their environment and will lend their support immediately if they think they can help make a difference. Unfortunately, these are not always the same people.
Joining the transition initiative and becoming a Transition Town is about recognising the twin threats of Climate Change and Peak Oil and moving your community into a position to be able to cope with this- through planning for Energy Descent, through education and re-skilling, through creating resilience within the community and therefore a greater chance of self-sufficiency…
Well, not always.
With my colleagues I thought I’d found immediate support, the 12 steps to transition seem to closely resemble a lot of our objectives. Then I discovered that one member doesn’t believe in Peak Oil.
It turns out, neither does my partner.

It’s another topic of debate between us- he thinks that there will always be more oil. He’s an intelligent guy, my French man, he comes up with a good debate. I’ve really got to research the topic before I launch my next opposing argument.

Which is what I was doing today.

‘Peak Oil’ typed into the search engine reveals numerous websites all arguing the same point as I am: it’s there, it’s obvious and we really need to so something about it now. But I can’t just believe them, can I? Not if I’m going to propose a serious counter-argument to “It doesn’t exist”.
But what’s the opposite search term? I can’t merely type “I don’t believe you”. While pondering this I clicked on a link (as you do) within a well used reference site, and on another, and on another I arrived on this site.

The site, which really had nothing to do with Peak Oil and either of its arguments, is all about Permaculture.  The folk who made the site claim that by using nature’s example they can realise waste’s potential, zero emissions research and initiatives.

It’s a global network of creative  minds that seek solutions to the world’s challenges.  Similar to permaculture they see waste as a resource and get their inspiration from the design principles of nature.  They’re trying to create a Blue Economy- by sharing business models on Open Source to help create jobs and social capital- 10 years, 100 innovations, 100million jobs. The book has sold out.

The first case presented is called The Power of Vortex.

Well, I’m no scientist and I really wouldn’t recognise a Vortex if it turned up on my compost, but the title took my fancy and I continued reading.

Talking about water treatment to someone who only last week spent the week without is immediately appetite whetting.  While I’ll never understand the explanation of the innovation itself, what I did find frightening were the figures about water.  While I couldn’t turn on my tap for 6 days, I still assumed the right to free, clean(ish) water- my neighbour’s well, for instance.  But here they claim that in 2009 water and wastewater treatment globally passed the $2billion mark!

Just now I think I need to put down my Peak Oil banner and pick up the thread for economising water.

According to the article  ” The consumption of bottled water increased by an average of 12 percent per year each year over the past decade with an estimated $22 billion in sales.”

So while I haven’t managed to (this week at least) find the answer to the question on “How can I convincingly argue about Peak Oil?”  I’ve gotten back on the water wagon and am really reconsidering the answer to this problem.  I can ride a bike, but last week showed me that even being clever, I can’t rely on rain water alone.

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