Friday, December 9, 2011

Beyond Fuels 5: Post Carbon

Last Christmas, two young adults that I helped raise gave me a lovely present. They presented me with a book I had never seen before, The Post Carbon Reader, by Richard Heinberg and Daniel Lerch.

I'd never heard of the book, although I certainly knew of Richard Heinberg and have blogged about him in here (see for example, Peak Everything, 7/30/08). But when I turned the book over, the back cover made it clear that Heinberg wasn't the only author in this book I knew.

This book is an anthology and includes Rob Hopkins (see Transition Towns, 10/16/08), Michael Shulman (see Going Local, 7/26/08), Bill McKibben (a writer and a journalist who has become one of the leaders of the climate change movement), Stephanie Mills (a former editor of Co-Evolution Quarterly, one of my favorite publications ever), Wes Jackson (who has written extensively on agriculture's impact on sustainability), David Orr (a key figure in the ecological literacy movement), Chris Martenson (creator of the Crash Course, an online course that is the best introduction to peak oil, economic collapse, and personal preparedness, that I know of), and Tom Whipple (an ex-CIA analyst who writes a column for the Falls Church News Press, which pops up regularly on my peak oil news searches).

It also includes some folks that I'd like to pay more attention to, like Erika Allen (who works with Growing Power, a local food initiative focusing on low-income communities), Michael Bomford (a researcher in Kentucky working on organic agricultural systems suitable for small farms with limited resources), and Deborah and Frank Popper (who have came up with a concept for the Great Plains states to manage declining population and economic shrinkage by creating land reserves emphasizing ecological restoration and native species, and are now working on 'Smart Decline' strategies for urban areas).

This book is a primer on issues we will need to deal with as we move beyond fuels: climate change, water, biodiversity, food, population, energy, economics, transportation, waste, health, and education--as well as looking at the effects of culture and behavior, the changes needed in cities, towns, and suburbs, and ways to build resilience in the midst of major change. It ends with a 'Call to Action' written by Asher Miller, executive director of the Post Carbon Institute, the initiators of this book. He states, "Our vision is of a world worth inheriting, where people not only survive, they thrive." There's a direction for going beyond fuels. He ends the book with, "Now put this book down and go do something. Anything." Hopefully something informed by all you might learn from this book.

Quote of the Day: "Resilience in the face of social upheaval resulting from peaking supplies of traditional energy and climate disruption requires that we protect our landscapes and ensure that the services they provide are sustained. ... We can do this now and be better for it, come what may. And it's essential that we act now; the unraveling is well under way." - Gloria Flora

No comments: