8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition

8.1 Introduction

Rather than start chronologically, examining our extraordinary growth in energy use and the benefits and problems this has entailed, I will start with the present day as the current energy uncertainty and instability throw light on our immediate e...

8.2 Background

  Our current energy largesse is an extraordinary ‘gift’, an unprecedented gift of the ages; millions of years to produce and from millions of years ago. Coal, oil and gas, forming under forests, swamps and seas in the Carboniferous or Tri...

8.3 Problems

Although fossil fuels have been a boon for most of us in one way or another, they have several major problems, not least that that they are finite and highly polluting. Figure 2-1 below portrays world production for one of the fossil fuels – oi...

8.4 Responses: 1. Classical Economics and Business as Usual

Predominantly, this is the response to resource limitations and climate change around the world at the moment. After fierce resistance to the notion of climate change, and that fossil fuels were at all limited or a major cause of climate disruptio...

8.5 Responses: 2. Substitution with Renewables

Renewable energy is a huge and complex topic that we can but touch on. This said, we are lucky to have some first-rate communicators and clear thinkers to guide us through the maze, and Dave Borlase from ‘Just Have a Think’ is certainly one of the...

8.6 Responses: 3. Decreased Consumption and Deep Structural Change

As alluded to in 8.5, there is a group loosely positioned within the ‘renewables camp’, but sees it as just part of the solution to the problems of finite energy resources and pollution/climate change. This group perceives the enormity of the prob...

8.7 How Individuals can Assist, Plan, Commence Transition

As mentioned in 8.6, Jason Bradford believes that we will have to transition to a very different, more rural, society with far more localised and less energy-dependent food production. To commence this process he thinks we need to familiarise ours...

8.8 Successful Low-Energy, Renewable Energy, Projects and Groups

I have endeavoured to provide examples of responses at different scales (e.g. individual/household, town/village, nation), with different emphases (e.g. food or power), origins (e.g. collapse or transition), and technologies (e.g. the very simple ...

Explore Other Sections

1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship
1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship 1.1 Articles 1.2 Art Installations 1.3 Books 1.4 Buildings 1.5 Film, Documentaries, Podcasts 1.6 Music 1.7 Paintings 1.8 Photographs 1.9 Poems 1.10 Spiritual Responses
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1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship

This section is designed to foster appreciation and insight that will – hopefully – lead to novel ways to build a better relationship between human beings and Nature. This section is also atypical ...
2. Reduce Consumption
2. Reduce Consumption

2. Reduce Consumption

I hope Reneé Descartes would forgive us for saying that, at least for the modern world, he was wrong.  When, in 1637, he said: “I think, therefore I am”, he could not have anticipated that the majo...
3. Replace God of Growth with God of Quality
3. Replace God of Growth with God of Quality

3. Replace God of Growth with God of Quality

In a supposedly secular age there has arisen a global religion and god like never before, a religion whose reach and power makes every other belief system before it seem pitiful and insignificant: ...
4. Work, Volunteer, Act for the Environment
4. Work, Volunteer, Act for the Environment

4. Work, Volunteer, Act for the Environment

What we do in our day-to-day lives can have great impact. Section Four divides up these actions into three groups – Work (4.2 & 4.3), Volunteering (4.4), and Action, e.g. voting, protesting, et...
5. Reduce Population
5. Reduce Population

5. Reduce Population

Even on top of Mt. Everest, in one of the remotest, most difficult places on earth, there is a great traffic-jam of people jostling for position. And yet, ever more vociferously, we deny that overp...
6. Ensure Media Acknowledgement of Environmental Context
6. Ensure Media Acknowledgement of Environmental Context

6. Ensure Media Acknowledgement of Environmental Context

The media is one of the three, great ‘poles’ of power in the world (alongside political and corporate power) and how they frame and present ‘the environment’ has a profound effect on how we respond...
7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species
7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species

7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species

New York is an exciting, mesmerising place. Human culture is extraordinary and often wonderful. Our powers of transformation of the natural world seem limitless. The trouble is, we don’t seem to be...
8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition
8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition

8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition

Our current energy largesse is an extraordinary ‘gift’, an unprecedented gift of the ages; millions of years to produce and from millions of years ago. Coal, oil and gas, forming...
9. Support New, Environmentally-Aware, Economic Systems
9. Support New, Environmentally-Aware, Economic Systems

9. Support New, Environmentally-Aware, Economic Systems

Just as with the previous section – ‘Energy’ – which is, inescapably, all about fossil fuels so pre-eminent and extraordinary has been their dominance and transformation of the world in the last 20...
10. Reduce Wastes to the Rate of Natural Assimilation
10. Reduce Wastes to the Rate of Natural Assimilation

10. Reduce Wastes to the Rate of Natural Assimilation

Section 10 will attempt to organise this enormous topic by addressing the context and status of pollution in 10.2, before focussing in on air pollution; particularly greenhouse gas pollution and cl...