Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Peak Oil... and the Transition Town movement

Transition Towns are focussed on local responses to climate change
Futures Forum: Transition Towns... and climate change
and peak oil...

Transition Towns (also known as transition network or transition movement) is a grassroots network of communities that are working to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability.[1]
Transition Towns - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Vision Group Vision Group for Sidmouth - Peak Oil quotes from Peak Oil - AMSO LLC and Peak oil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in giving a definition.

Transition Totnes gives a very useful overview:

What is Peak Oil?

'Peak oil' is a technical term to describe the way in which we have used, or are getting very close to having used, over half of all the oil in the world.  It suggests we will never be able to produce oil in quite the same way again.   This means will be much more restricted in our ability to consume petrol and oil-based products which has serious implications to our current way of life.

Over the last few years we have all witnessed the costs of motoring and heating our houses going up as petrol and gas has become more expensive.    From time to time we hear more people saying things like ‘we are running out of oil’.   While that may not be strictly true, it does ask us to wonder how much longer we can continue to depend on the supply of oil that keeps us going.   ‘Peak oil’ gives us a more accurate understanding of this situation and our relationship with the energy supply we have come to take for granted.
Why do we need to know about peak oil? Almost everything we do depends on the availability of cheap fossil fuels, particularly oil.  Just imagine how difficult life would be without our regular supply of cheap oil. Peak Oil says we need to start preparing now for this eventuality.
For more info see our resources page.

What is Peak Oil? - Transition Town Totnes 

Recent research has confirmed the issues around peak oil:

Addressing economic dangers of 'peak oil': Team identifies key industries for policy action

4 hours ago
UMD researchers address economic dangers of 'peak oil'
The figure above shows sectors' importance and vulnerability to Peak Oil. The bubbles represent sectors. The size of the bubbles visualizes the vulnerability of a particular sector to Peak Oil according to the expected price changes; the …more
Researchers from the University of Maryland and a leading university in Spain demonstrate in a new study which sectors could put the entire U.S. economy at risk when global oil production peaks ('Peak Oil"). This multi-disciplinary team recommends immediate action by government, private and commercial sectors to reduce the vulnerability of these sectors.
While critics of Peak Oil studies declare that the world has more than enough oil to maintain current national and global standards, these UMD-led researchers say Peak Oil is imminent, if not already here—and is a real threat to national and global economies. Their study is among the first to outline a way of assessing the vulnerabilities of specific economic sectors to this threat, and to identify focal points for action that could strengthen the U.S. economy and make it less vulnerable to disasters.
Their work, "Economic Vulnerability to Peak Oil," appears in Global Environmental Change. The paper is co-authored by Christina Prell, UMD's Department of Sociology; Kuishuang Feng and Klaus Hubacek, UMD's Department of Geographical Sciences, and Christian Kerschner, Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
A focus on Peak Oil is increasingly gaining attention in both scientific and policy discourses, especially due to its apparent imminence and potential dangers. However, until now, little has been known about how this phenomenon will impact economies. In their paper, the research team constructs a vulnerability map of the U.S. economy, combining two approaches for analyzing economic systems. Their approach reveals the relative importance of individual economic sectors, and how vulnerable these are to oil price shocks. This dual-analysis helps identify which sectors could put the entire U.S. economy at risk from Peak Oil. For the United States, such sectors would include iron mills, chemical and plastic products manufacturing, fertilizer production and air transport.

Addressing economic dangers of 'peak oil': Team identifies key industries for policy action

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