Being a "professional" Planner I am a member of the American Planning Association, or APA (NOT the American Psychological Association!!!), and each month I get a barrage of email newsletters and one printed magazine. What ever happened to the days when newsletters only came out ONCE a month due to the printing costs? Oh yeah, Al Gore invented the internet.
Anyway, I was recently perusing the current issue of Planning: THE Magazine of the American Planning Association and came across two items which made me scratch my head through my foil hat. I had started reading from back to front, don’t ask why, and I first came across a book review for the Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century's Sustainability Crises, which is edited by Richard Heinberg (author of The Party's Over and Powerdown) and Daniel Lerch (no relation). The Post Carbon Institute, which puts out the reader of the same name, is a pro-peak oil organization. No, "post carbon" is not the latest bike frame technology.
I figure if the APA (NOT that one) gives them a favorable review there is some credence behind the effort, and not the bad moon type.
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Then as I flipped forward through the shiny mag I came across a bit about Jeremy Rifkin. While Rifkin doesn't seem to be a peak oil cassandra per se, the article mentions peak production and peak production per capita and discusses Rifkin's belief that our time in the sun is running out.
And this is what I have said very recently. You can’t deny that "non-renewable" resources are going to decline to the point of being useless as an energy source. And I have heard all the arguments that fossil fuels actually ARE renewable, but the reality is that they may as well not be renewable considering we are consuming them a hundred thousand-fold faster than they are being replenished. The only argument is when fossil fuels will become the energy source of yesterday and will we get there willingly and in control of the situation or going down in socio-economic flames.
"Time is running out on our oil-based global economy, he [Rifkin] says. He refers to the growing consensus that peak oil is a real phenomenon, with most experts disagreeing only about the time frame (10 years? 20 years? sooner?)."
It's one thing to find some website or blog, read up on an idea and say: "Hey, that sounds like the aliens that abducted me!" It's another thing altogether to read about abductions in a publication put out by a professional organization that you’re a member of.
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Speaking of education…well, somebody did! Oh, that was all in my head.
Anyway, the first couple of days of this week I marveled how quickly two schools closed after it was announced that Jeffco would be making huge budget cuts. How could they? It's the middle of the school year for crying out loud! Those poor kids! Where are they going now? What are they going to do with the empty buildings? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the lighter traffic and the reduction in stress-related weight gain as the moto-fascist soccer moms have disappeared from the roadways, but I don't want to see schools close.
And then yesterday on the way home I realized…it's spring break in Jefferson County!
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There are no conspiracies. The world really is going to hell in a handbasket. The Middle East is ready to go up with the slightest spark. The Global Economy is teetering. Japan is bringing back the glow-in-the-dark craze. Our energy and sustainability crisis isn't going away. The US government is a farce. People are ignoring those who have solutions in order to follow Charlie Sheen (Winner!) and Lady Gaga on twitter.
So I flew. I flew away from it all…cranked my little heart out. The knobby tires on the OBS whined like the twin ion engines of an Imperial TIE fighter as I chased that rebel scum down the trench of the CCT greenbelt. And for the briefest of moments all of those troubles blurred, fell away behind me and were forgotten.