The energy crisis is here

A few weeks ago we hosted Katherine Watt on the show to talk about localism and the Transition Towns initiatives in central Pennsylvania. As we collectively face the reality of peak oil will we face the challenge intelligently?

Katherine wrote a piece for the Centre Daily Times reflecting on the peak oil problem and the urgent need for us to move to regional and local economies of scale.

Wednesday’s Sustainable Centre County page is all about energy, with columns on how to build a regional energy system around the sun, food and biodiesel crops. Bustling as it seems, I think the Marcellus methane-energy boom will fizzle out soon. Investing time and money to release colossal Earth farts is a luxury, and we’re not a rich society anymore.

Growth won’t restart because oil prices will keep rising. As we revisit the Dow milestones of the past few decades — heading back down — physical and biological imperatives will be far more pressing than the political and economic calculations underpinning the gas boom. Complex institutions will break apart, replaced by simpler regional cooperatives now rising from grass roots.

We’ll stop digging up dead things to sell and burn, and return to the most basic elements of human life: taking care of each other by working with surrounding life-support systems that provide water, food and shelter.

Read on here.

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