Saturday, 8 May 2010

Energy Descent

Today's Western industrialised society can be definitely categorised as "energy intensive". We use vast quantities of liquid fuels to get us and our goods from A to B, we consume a lot of electricity and everyone relies (directly or indirectly) on other gas and solid fuels.

But how would society operate without access to vast quantities of cheap fossil fuel energy? This is an interesting question, but one that should be treated more than just a hypothetical question. The signs are that we have passed the point of peak oil, which is the point at which the easiest, purest and cheapest liquid oil is used up. From here on oil gets more expensive and more difficult to extract - all in the context of a rising global demand.

This in essence is what Transition is all about - the transition from today's society to a future society in the context of climate change and peak oil as the main drivers of change. But getting from current situation to future vision needs careful planning. The goal of every Transition initiative is to produce an Energy Descent Action Plan, which is the route map to that vision.

Transition Town Totnes have just produced their Plan, which is a great bit of work and a fascinating read. It's all available online here and is highly recommended.

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