Monday, March 19, 2007

Are you local?

I see that an on-line petition about Peak Oil has been lodged with No 10 Downing Street. Sign it if like me you believe that energy is running short and government should be doing far more about it.

Oil is our principal transport fuel and it is also a valuable chemical feedstock. As shortages begin to bite the will be pressures on transport – it will get just too expensive to drive. We may be talking about 30 years hence, but it won’t be a case of going on as usual and suddenly adapting at the end of year 29. Lifestyles will have to change. Principally that means making things local – local schools, local hospitals, local places of work, local sources of food. We could see the renaissance of the community, if that’s not too elaborate a phrase.

Without doubt there will be change – when wasn’t there? This change will be different. In some ways we will be going backwards – losing our freedom to just up and go, to spend today here, tomorrow on the other side of the Atlantic and the next day almost anywhere else in the world. We’ll lose our freedom to just get in and drive, unless it’s really necessary and justifies the cost. On the other hand, we may see an end to not knowing our neighbours, and become part of a mutually supportive community. Of course this is in the future, and someone, I forget who, said “I never make predictions – especially about the future!” Still it makes sense to examine the possibilities. Have a look at this blog. See what Steve “Habib” Rose has to say on the subject of neighbourhoods.