Click on the headline (link) for the full text.
Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage.
Paolo Bacigalupi's SHIP BREAKER: YA adventure story in a post-peak-oil world
Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
Paolo Bacigalupi's remarkable debut novel The Windup Girl won the Nebula Award and tied for the Hugo award, so of course, I knew that his first young adult novel, Ship Breaker, would be great. And it was. But what I wasn't prepared for was how different Bacigalupi's young adult fiction would be from his adult work.
Ship Breaker is set in a degraded, post-peak-oil world where the drowned coastlines are littered with the smashed wrecks of old sea-freighters, all acrawl with desperately poor "ship breakers" -- scavengers who get paid a starvation wage to extract the steel, copper, and oil reserves from the hulks of the old world. Nailer is a young boy, 14 or 15, on a "light duty" crew, and he's skinny enough to eel his way into the ducts of the ships and tear loose the copper wire; if he gets enough out to make quota, his crew eats. If not, they risk being fired, and turned loose to sell their bodies (or parts of them -- kidneys and eggs and eyes), beg, or steal.
(1 December 2010)
New issue of Transition Voice: Holiday of crumbling cash
Lindsay Curren, Editor's Note, Transition Voice
'Tis the season to grumble about the excesses and commercialization of our culture, to look back at where we've been in 2010 and to start planning for the coming year. For this reason we thought we'd pile on the anxiety -- but in a totally stress-busting way -- by tackling the subject of the economy in the December issue of Transition Voice.
We hope you'll enjoy hearing the thoughts of leading peak oil figures like James Howard Kunstler, Jeff Rubin and Nicole Foss in exclusive, original interviews by our writers. These experts' differing views offer various angles on the undisputed financial mess in America and the world.
In particular I'm grateful to Jim Kunstler for his interview. Jim was a great encouragement to me in starting this magazine and I'm not sure I would have done it without his kind words. Thanks, Jim!
In Britain another issue is playing out. David Cameron's Conservative government has advanced an idea called the Big Society that purports to devolve more power and independence to regions, cities and towns that sounds a bit like relocalization. But as our senior UK correspondent Jeremy Williams shows, there's a difference between Cameron's Big Society and the actual big society of individuals who've already started to just get on with it, including people in the Transition Movement.
At the local level there's many opportunities for innovation and personal action. Our new craft beer reviewer, Brent Bolin, who's also a homebrewer, looks at a drinkable industry with a hoppy post-peak future. Brent will be writing on beer every month for us as The Growler. Staff photographer John Tomasko looks at another area of potential local economic revitalization: mills. His stunning gallery of picturesque brick and wooden water mills from around the Eastern US blends nostalgia with promise as we look back to the future.
In a lower energy future, conservation will be key, as contributor Alexander Lee points out in two pieces for us. His first piece promotes the humble clothesline as a powerful symbol of a positive future. Lee's second piece tells a story of poor government planning on local power generation in his home state of New Hampshire with implications for local communities everywhere. And there may be no future at all if we don't act in some way to deal with climate change, an issue covered in an exclusive interview with climate activist Bianca Jagger, and in an essay by climate scientist Guy McPherson on the intersect of economy and ecology.
As usual we have several book reviews, and articles on food, energy, and personal accounts of the transition journey, including a hilarious look at how to cope with the holidays in a peak oil mood. Ho, ho, ho.
We've also introduced a new feature in response to reader requests. Along with our launch at the beginning of each month, we'll now be publishing regular new stories throughout the rest of the month. Posting new stories on a regular basis has helped us see an upsurge in the amount of comments by readers as Transition Voice evolves into an increasingly vibrant online community. To keep the momentum going, we're going to be rolling out even more ways for you to interact with our growing community of readers and writers. Stay tuned. Meantime, we invite you to come by and share your thoughts on any of our articles today, next week or whenever.
Thank you for tuning in this month. Please check back regularly, join the conversation, and look ahead for our January issue on Doom or Boom? As always, we welcome submissions of written work, original art and photography, info graphics, and multimedia. Please contact us if you're interested in seeing your name in lights on Transition Voice.
Transition Voice is the new online magazine covering peak oil, climate change, economic crisis and the Transition movement response. We deal with the issues that the Transition movement cares about. We also offer analysis on people and progress in the overall transition of a world facing a post-fossil fuel economy.
(1 December 2010)
Thank You for Seven Years of Worldchanging
We have some news.
Seven years ago, Alex Steffen and Jamais Cascio started Worldchanging with the intention of providing access to the tools, models and ideas for building a better future. They wanted to push the concept that solutions-based thinking could transform the debates about sustainability and social innovation. With a scrawny little blog, a brilliant crew of fellow travelers and a lot of moxie, an initial group of us set out to change how people think about (and prepare for) the future.
Since then, Worldchanging has published almost 12,000 essays, articles, blog posts and "quick changes." We've put out a bestselling book (which has been translated into French, German and other languages). We've had roughly eight million unique readers, and reached tens of millions more with our ideas through talks, interviews in the media and so on. We've had a major impact on the debate, introducing a whole bunch of new ideas and moving forward some entirely new discussions. Many Worldchanging writers have become leading voices in important planetary conversations. We've coined a number of phrases, not least the idea of bright green environmentalism. We've won awards, earned critical acclaim and, if our mail is to be believed, offered some optimism and inspiration to a number of bright, idealistic people.
But all things change, and so it happens with Worldchanging. The organization is taking steps to close its doors and dissolve as a 501c3 nonprofit organization by the end of 2010. It is our goal to see the archive of work here maintained, though the form of that archive is still uncertain.
Why is this happening? Worldchanging readers were generous over the years and an important part of our ongoing operations, but we were never able to secure major foundation support, so Worldchanging relied most heavily on income generated from Alex Steffen’s speaking engagements (Alex gave more than 400 talks over the past five years) and the Worldchanging book. The strenuous travel schedule it takes to deliver that many talks, though, was unsustainable, both personally for Alex and in terms of the impact it had on Worldchanging’s ability to develop new work. It was clear we needed a new model if we were going to stay in operation.
(29 November 2010)
At Grist, Jonathan Hiskes eulogizes the site:
Alex and Worldchanging have been the best sort of competitors a news org can hope for -- they've highlighted and questioned our work; served as occasional collaborators (Alex and David Roberts conducted a monster three-part interview a few years ago); and pushed some important ideas closer to the mainstream.
Alex's chief contribution has been promoting "bright green" environmentalism through the website, international lectures, a TED talk, and a two-part Seattle presentation that prompted the city council to adopt the goal, on paper at least, of carbon neutrality.
If "dark green" environmentalism is about making do with less -- smaller houses, colder showers, fewer daily indulgences -- the "bright green" promise is that, through technology, design, and a careful assessment of what we care about most, we can build sustainable places that are more sociable and pleasant than the neighborhoods most of us live in now. In short, walkable, resilient places can be fun
I second Jonathan's comments. WorldChanging was a great sources of ideas and stimulation. May its spirit live on. -BA
Transitions Towns and the Post-Carbon Future of Albury-Wodonga (podcast)
Ian Longfield & Benjamin Habib, Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga
In this edition of the Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga podcast we’re joined by Ian Longfield from Transition Towns Albury-Wodonga. The twin towns of Albury and Wodonga straddle the Murray River and the state border between Victoria and New South Wales in southeastern Australia.
In discussion with Ben Habib from La Trobe University, Ian talks about the relevance of Transition Towns as a local response for Albury-Wodonga and surrounds to the global problems of peak oil and climate change. Transition Towns Albury-Wodonga functions as an umbrella organisation for various environmental and sustainability groups in the border region.
Ian has campaigned on peak oil issues since 2007 after becoming aware of the problems of energy descent during a 2005 land planning seminar. It was through his professional involvement in property development and agency that he became increasingly concerned at our unsustainable pattern of urban development, incompatible with a future dominated by peak oil and climate change.
Using his electrical and engineering background, Ian has investigated the links between oil and climate change, the geopolitical significance of oil in world affairs, and possible alternatives to the fossil fuel-based economy, culminating in the conclusion that oil depletion will affect just about every aspect of life as we know it. In late 2009 Ian was a founding member of Transition Towns Albury-Wodonga.
Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga is devoted to Australian politics & international affairs. It is open to article contributions, comments and photos from residents of the Victoria-New South Wales border region & surrounds, covering perspectives from across the political spectrum.
(28 Octber 2010)
Code Green Communities - radio interview (audio)
Jon Butts, WMNF
On today’s Sustainable Living Program our first guest was a local home owner that installed a solar electric system last year and applied for a $4 a watt rebate from the State of Florida Solar Grant Program. ...
Next up, we had the founder of Code Green Community (www.codegreencommunity.org). Eric Stewart, a local permaculturist seeking a better world. Eric feels there is a shift in thinking toward a more sustainable world, and is willing to work with our present social and governmental structure to get us there. His plan includes even the giant corporations, such as Wal-Mart, plus a personal commitment and local grass roots activism.
Direct link to audio:
(28 November 2010)