[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]
E-M:/ Lansing Post-Petroleum Planning Project
- Subject: E-M:/ Lansing Post-Petroleum Planning Project
- From: John Gear <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 09 Jul 2005 20:04:15 -0400
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: John Gear <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 (Windows/20041206)
Enviro-Mich message from John Gear <email@example.com>
(This is my first post to enviro-mich, so I apologize if this post is
redundant to previous discussions.)
This is a letter I sent to the Sustainable listerv that Urban Options
runs, as well as to others.
I would be glad to hear from anyone on this list interested in helping
with the challenges outlined below.
I have been studying the topic of "peak oil" for a while now, guided
by a very smart old friend who alerted me to this developing crisis some
time ago. After finishing JH Kuntsler's new book "The Long Emergency"
and reading widely on the net, I am impelled to turn from individual
study to some form of group action.
I have been thinking that it's time to form a leadership-visioning
group to begin the arduous process of trying to figure out how Lansing
and surroundings can adapt to a radically altered world in which
petroleum and natural gas are scarce/absent (with all that this means
for both direct and indirect uses, including, most importantly, complete
transformation of food systems, which for all practical purposes
currently rest entirely on fossil fuel inputs). There is almost nothing
we do that doesn't exist because of or depend on cheap energy from
fossil fuels. Besides farming, there is education, medicine,
manufacturing, aviation, finance, etc. All of it will be changing
radically before too long.
My best illustration of what we are in for: Imagine if the
Industrial Revolution (steam power; telegraph/telephone; bessemer steel)
and then the Chemical Revolution (petroleum products; synthetics;
chemicals; fertilizers; transport) and then the Silicon Revolution
(digital computers; networks) all occurred on top of each other in the
space of two decades, rather than two centuries. Now picture the
world-wide industrial empire that rests on that great pyramid of
"progress" created by those three revolutions going DOWN that pyramid in
roughly the same amount of time.
Luckily, mid-Michigan -- although currently fantastically
over-dependent on oil and natural gas that will soon be orders of
magnitude more costly, when available at all --- is favorably situated
in many other ways to live in the post-petroleum future -- we are still
relatively close to arable land, fresh water is abundant. In fact, we
are blessed to be part of a bioregion that may well come out the best of
all in a post-petroleum future.
I would like to see who in this area is interested in helping out
with this project. If you are, please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"This project" I would define as
** Anticipating the profound challenges of the soon-to-arrive
post-petroleum future in the Lansing area;
** Identifying and serving as catalysts for responses that promote
the well-being of present and future generations as we head towards and
through a period of rapid and stressful social reorganization..
("Well being" meaning maintenance of an open, democratic, and lawful
society, despite the inevitable social disorder and disruption likely to
result from the shocks inherent in an abrupt transition to a
(That definition is, of course, subject to change as new ideas are
For a wealth of information on our rocky energy future, probably the
best single site I can suggest is http://www.energybulletin.net/, which
contains or points to a vast library of resources on all forms of energy.
P.S.: Please do not contact me to debate whether this problem is real
or to suggest reasons that nothing need be done.
You may be right. We will not know for some time. Meanwhile, if I am
correct, there is zero time to lose.
ENVIRO-MICH: Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action. Archives at
Postings to: email@example.com For info, send email to
firstname.lastname@example.org with a one-line message body of "info enviro-mich"