Monday, November 07, 2005

Russ Grayson argues small communities need investment and innovation to avoid the impact of declining oil stocks. - On Line Opinion - 7/11/2005

Australian article focusing on peak oil and partial solutions to the problem.

"The economy will not grow if the energy supply does not,” Tim told the audience. “Yet, this can be seen as an opportunity. The Northern Rivers could become a world leader in what to do in a situation of scarcity and there are things we can do both personally and as a region. On the personal level, avoid debt. On the community level, invest in the regional economy. Reduce car-dependence and adopt pedestrian-friendly urban planning. Develop local sources of energy such as biofuels, solar and wind. Adopt energy conservation. We need to educate and make people more aware of the situation. Importantly, we need to work out how to do more through good design.”...

..."Supporting and investing in regional economies by buying local is not a new proposal - it has been encouraged by business people in areas of failing local economies and by advocates promoting the partial-decoupling from the global economy to preserve local jobs and the viability of towns. What is new is proposing localism as a means of reducing oil consumption. Localism as an economic and cultural solution has been explored by commentators such as Michael Shuman, attorney and director of the US Institute for Policy Studies who wrote Going Local - creating self-reliant communities in a global age (1998; Simon & Shuster, NY)."...

..."The North Coast cannot avoid negative impacts that might come with peak oil, however a new localism might reduce them to some extent. To what degree that is possible will depend upon the availability of local finance and initiative. Any peak oil coping strategy will have to motivate the region’s innovative citizens and its social and economic entrepreneurs. Motivated by rising transport, goods, food and petrol prices, even the region’s environmentalists might look beyond trees and forests at the very infrastructure that supports the way they live."

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