Monday, February 9, 2009

Peak Oil & The Transition Movement

A word about peak oil:
"Fifty years ago, the world was consuming 4 billion barrels of oil per year and the average discovery was around 30 billion. Today we consume 30 billion barrels per year and the discovery rate is approaching 4 billion barrels of crude per year.” Asia Times, May 4, 2005"
Peak Oil perspectives from Richard Heinberg, author of "Peak Everything":

Transitioning from a global culture dependent on oil-based energy to one relying on sustainable, renewable energy sources and resources is the raison d'etre of The Transition Movement.

Key to their effort is the concept of the Transition Town; essentially a community committed to moving toward sustainability with each year and with each new local policy, ordinance and law (the Transition Town Wiki, linked above provides an excellent boilerplate and overview of what this movement is about and how its elements are interconnected):

The Viral Spread of Transition Initiatives

At the forefront of this new approach is a growing band of communities who are adopting the Transition Model as they devise an entirely new way of thinking, living and working together to make our local communities more resilient and more abundant.

Since the “unleashing”of Transition Town Totnes, England (the first in the UK) in the summer of 2006, the Transition concept has spread rapidly around the world. To date, there are about 80 officially designated Transition Towns (or cities, districts, villages, or islands) in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, Australia, and the U.S.; Transition Boulder County became the first Transition Initiative in North America in May 2008. There are some 700 additional communities who are in various stages of becoming Transition Initiatives or considering whether they’re ready for this journey, and more join their ranks nearly every day.


  1. its a neat concept. I'm curious how they will get funding.

    The other issue is convincing a large enough segment of the population that its a good idea.

    I think alternative energy is a preferred solution for most people than an alternative lifestyle (grow your own food, etc).

  2. I've been familiar with the concept of Peak Oil for some time. My question is - how do we adopt and embrace alternative energy before we reach "peak everything."