New Solutions 15 | November-December 2008
This, the first in our new format New Solutions, looks at applying the concepts put forth in our "Plan C" approach to the problems of Peak Oil and climate change. Articles include "Saving Energy the Passive Way," "Peak Debt," "Community Food Progress Report," "A New Idea – Locality-Depdendent Energy" and more.
Download PDF (352k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 14: Food, Health and Survival | November 2007
The application of fossil fuels to our food system has been disastrous, affecting not only how we grow food but what we grow. This report looks at what we eat, the consequences to our health and our environment, who's to blame for this situation and what to do about it. Transitioning to a low energy diet could be the most important way to save the planet and to save ourselves.
Download PDF (352k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 13: Food, Feed and Fuel | July 2007
Reliance on large-scale agribusiness, driven by vast energy consumption, has resulted in an agricultural monoculture that is simply not sustainable. But where are the tens of millions of small farmers who will be necessary if we are to return to locally grown food crops? And what about all the food that is being used for feed, and now, for fuel? This report looks at what we're doing now, and what we'll need to do to survive.
Download PDF (388k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 12: Smart Jitney – Rapid, Realistic Transport | April 2007
After World War II the country made transportation via the private car the top priority at the expense of public transportation. The private car, regardless of its convenience, can no longer serve as the principle mode of people transport. Its high cost, the depleting of fossil fuels, and climate deterioration – along with high rates of deaths and injuries – make it unacceptable. A "Smart Jitney" ridesharing system could be developed rapidly, and provide for a very sizable (50-75%) reduction of gasoline consumed and greenhouse gases generated by transportation.
Download PDF (576k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 11: The Energy Impact of Buildings | January 2007
The energy used (and CO2 generated) by the automobile or from food production is less than the energy used in our buildings and building energy consumption has been continually increasing in spite of improvements in building and appliance efficiency. This report delves deeply into energy consumption in the home component of the total building infrastructure, and what you can do to reduce your home energy use.
Download PDF (416k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 10: Plan C – Curtailment and Community | September 2006
A basic societal transformation is needed to change from the three principle values of Competing, Hoarding and Consuming to values of Cooperating, Sharing and Conserving. To usefully "think globally-act locally" we must conserve here at home and we must cooperate at home and abroad in finding just and equitable solutions to the challenges of Peak Oil, climate change and inequity.
Download PDF (720k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 9: Salting the Earth | June 2006
Today we have such greed that we are destroying our own children's future by our massive use of limited fossil fuel resources. Our scientists and engineers, who have brought us to this point with the best of intentions, don't propose cutting back our use but rather spur us on to find new ways to consume more.
Download PDF (2.6mb) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 8: Post Peak – The Change Starts With Us | March 2006
We don't seem to realize the cost of our massive energy consumption on the poorer people of the world, on our own health, and the health of the environment. Although interest in Peak Oil is growing, most do not yet fully understand that this means the "American Way of Life" will be over within a few decades. This report explains what actions we can take now to reduce our energy use.
Download PDF (1.8mb) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 7: Peak America – Is Our Time Up? | November 2005
Just as we threaten the stability of the world with our imperialistic tendencies, we also pose a threat to ourselves as our standards of care and community decline and it becomes more difficult for average Americans to attain or sustain well-being. How does this bode for our place in the world? Is the American Century over? When the impact of Peak Oil really hits, how will we deal with it?
Download PDF (1.5mb) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 6: Peak Oil – Peak Empire | July 2005
When Peak Oil occurs, wars of national energy liberation are highly likely unless we allocate the remaining fuels based on a concept of fair trade rather than free trade. This requires a fundamental change in American values. Unless the tremendous inequity in fossil fuel usage is addressed, conflict is inevitable.
Download PDF (344k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 5: Peak Oil – Peak Economy | May 2005
This issue examines the impact of Peak Oil on the world economic structure, one built on the confidence in ever-expanding markets fueled by technology, itself fueled by oil. Our analysis suggests that there is every reason for concern � and unless serious action is begun now, we may very well be headed toward another Great Depression. We are hovering on the edge of an unsustainable Peak Economy.
Download PDF (264k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 4: Peak Oil – Peak Technology | January 2005
A serious societal problem is the lack of understanding of the energy options, their history and their limitations. Governments, corporations and scientists are not offering new creative solutions, not because they are failing to make strong efforts, but because energy itself is a very mature industry. It would seem that – in addition to Peak Oil – we are at a time of Peak Technology...there are no new technologies we can look to for solutions to the end of fossil fuels.
Download PDF (348k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 3: Report from Germany and Hydrogen – Panacea or Hoax? | October 2004
This issue of New Solutions brings to our readers the latest information on Peak Oil, obtained when we attended the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) conference this May in Germany. It also explores if the proposed ""hydrogen economy" is a panacea or a hoax.
Download PDF (420k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 2: Cuba – Life After Oil | May 2004
Community Solutions travelled to Cuba in 2004 to see how they survived after the loss of oil imports when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990. They found a people, optimistic and hopeful, who live with less but understand and appreciate the importance and inter-relatedness of community. In this issue we share our observations of this post-industrial society living with greatly reduced oil.
Download PDF (456k) Buy a printed copy
New Solutions 1: Community Resurgence and Oil Depletion | January 2004
This first issue of New Solutions marks a major change in the strategy of the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions. We recently began directing our energies towards the study of "Peak Oil," which led us to a heightened understanding of the need – not just the desire – for living in small, sustainable communities. In this issue we chronicle our path to this new awareness. We think you'll agree – small local communities are a vital part of the solution to what lies ahead.
Download PDF (688k) Buy a printed copy
Yellow Springs News – Agraria picks five-acre site
Read in new window
New Solutions #13: Food, Feed and Fuel
Our latest report focuses on food: how we grow it, how we use it, how we need to change our ways.
January 11, 2006
Peak Oil and the Case for Local Food Systems
Megan Quinn describes the role of cheap energy in our food system and proposes a post-peak oil plan for communities and consumers at Making the Case for Local Food Systems; Ohio State University; Columbus, Ohio
Robert Waldrop: Pathways to Local Food Systems
New Solutions #15
Read it here: http://www.communitysolution.org/pdfs/NS15.pdf
This, the first in our new format New Solutions, looks at applying the concepts put forth in our "Plan C" approach to the problems of Peak Oil and climate change. Articles include:
· Saving Energy the “ Passive Way ” – Lessons from a Recent Home Retrofit by Megan Quinn Bachman
· Peak Debt – The True Crisis May be the Inability to Afford The Dwindling Oil by Rob Content
· A New Idea – Locality-Dependent Energy by Pat Murphy
· Community Food: A Progress Report by Rob Content
A New Format and New Developments to Note by Pat Murphy
While the oil companies, power companies and car companies were threatening our life support systems, the banks and securities companies were threatening our economic support systems.
This is the first issue of a new format for New Solutions. The earlier editions were in-depth analyses of key trends and energy-relevant information which formed the basis for the book Plan C: Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change. With our energy curtailment program and community orientation spelled out in Plan C, we are now shifting to a more current approach with ideas that fit within that context.
It’s interesting to consider what has happened since the book went to the publishers at the beginning of the year. Most noteworthy have been the very rapid increases in the price of oil, natural gas and coal. Records were set and even though the prices are off their peak, the long range trends have been established. There have been no massive finds of fossil fuels, the carbon sequestration hope for coal is as far distant in the future as it has ever been, and the PHEV, or coal car, is not only years away, but with sufficient modeling is shown to offer only a small reduction in CO2, in the range of 25 to 30% sometime in the 2010s, while we need a 4% reduction each year starting now to ameliorate climate change.
Several new books have come out in recent months that don’t spend much time describing Peak Oil and climate change but focus on ways of curtailment and low-energy living, such as what Sharon Astyk writes about, and long-range views of society or the future such as the writings of Dmitry Orlov and John Michael Greer. Richard Heinberg is busy writing another book on coal. One hopes he provides a deep analysis of carbon sequestration – the last gasp effort of the uber technologists to stave off low energy lifestyles.
I had been studying Peak Oil for some years before climate change entered my awareness. I realized that Peak Oil was very serious, but climate change is actually life threatening. Climate change tells us that we can’t burn he other half of the oil or the even greater percentage of natural gas and coal that remains. The carbon that these fuels contain must remain buried or life on earth is threatened. It was disturbing to realize the threat had become much more significant in only a few years.
The Green New Deal
By Richard Heinberg
October 20, 2008
There is immediate need for a coherent policy with which the new US administration can deal with both the financial crash and the energy transition. Instead of propping up failing financial institutions, the new president must inject investment into the real economy…
Farmer in Chief
By Michael Pollan
October 9, 2008
Dear Mr. President-Elect,
It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril.
Matt Simmons: The Prophet of $500 Oil
September 22, 2008
If Matt Simmons is right, the recent drop in crude prices is an illusion - and oil could be headed for the stratosphere. He's just hoping we can prevent civilization from imploding.
M. King Hubbert on the Monetary System
The world's present industrial civilization is handicapped by the coexistence of two universal, overlapping, and incompatible intellectual systems: the accumulated knowledge of the last four centuries of the properties and interrelationships of matter and energy; and the associated monetary culture which has evolved from folkways of prehistoric origin.