This is such a fluent and accessible account of where we appear to be - thanks for putting it up!
In response, courtesy of Robert DesJarlait (via www.facebook.com/groups/PermacultureActivist/) I share a rather advanced bender design. I hope we can do more to accelerate a transition into "energy descent" and thus avoid living in holes in the ground!
Very stylish! I like the insulation and thermal mass. I'd say one would have to get used to company of critters though!
The oil story has sharpened up a bit since I posted that piece. The International Energy Authority (IEA) publish a slender but dense periodical called World Energy Outlook (WEO). The most recent issue tells a frightening story. We were told that oil (conventional) production would peak in 2005. 7 years later we have all the data we need to say conclusively that the peak occurred in Q4 2005 at @74 million barrels/day. The media have accepted this and the deniers have gone away. However we don't seem to have suffered the shock 'Peak Oil' threatened. Oil is about 3 times more expensive than it was in 2000 but life (as we know it) goes on. How so? The WEO tells us most of the story. In 2000 the oil industry spent $250 billion digging this ancient sunlight out of the ground for us to burn. This year they spent $750 billion and pushed the available supply to @85million barrels/day. That is a 180% increase in expenditure for a mere 14% increase in output. All new significant sources are non-conventional ie deep water, tight oil, shale and so on. They cost a fortune to extract and the net energy is much lower than from oil drawn from conventional sources. So again the question arises - How so? How can that amount of money be spent on a commodity and we don't 'feel' it in our pockets? The answer - cheap money. As soon as interest rates move up, even a little, this stuff is going to be completely unaffordable and oil fired economic growth becomes history.
I occasionally post or re-post things on facebook pertaining to peak oil / climate / renewables or the monetary system. Recently old friend Joe Harte politely clobbered me for doing so without paying close enough attention to the quality of the "science". Joe's response to my being propagandist went along the lines of "I disagree. The business-oriented, short-sighted, next-quarter-profits brigade went off on a major propaganda trip about twenty years ago. Everyone was horrified by the bullshit and tried to counter it with truth. When that didn't work, the idea seemed to become "let's counter their bullshit with our own bullshit". They don't care about the truth, why should we? The truth is not a political strategy. It's not a policy position. It's just the truth." He's right. I'd re-posted something on sea level rise after Storm Xavier drove a storm-surge wreaking havoc in Northern Europe. As for facebook as a medium..? Sadly when I posted that very digestible piece narrated by Peter Coyote there was zero visible response.
However on a more positive note the new principle at my children's school (a 1960's building) has been receptive to ideas about solar, heat loss, switching to renewables etc and even "energy descent"! The school has taken input from www.sustrans.org.uk/northern-ireland seriously doing follow-ups to encourage safe walking and biking over car use. She has been in contact with the education board. We'll see how far that goes, but does anyone on the forum have Transition / "energy decent" experience - i.e at the daunting communtiy wide level?