Jump to Content
You are here
Home » Resources
Resilience.org - 18 hours 2 sec ago
A recent academic study in Cambridge looked to see whether learnings from the success of Silicon-Fen (which
lead to companies such as ARM and Autonomy) could be transferred to create Eco-Fen, making Cambridge a
sustainable city through new technologies and practices that could be transferable elsewhere.
Economists dream of commons without commoners
Resilience.org - 18 hours 17 min ago
Last November I was lucky enough to be in Berlin when the newly founded Mercator Research Institute for Global
Commons and Climate Change (MCC) formally presented itself to the world. I was initially impressed that a new
scientific research institute with serious financial backing would make a commitment to studying climate change
and the commons. The new Institute even regards the late Elinor Ostrom as a prime inspiration, to the extent of
naming its auditorium for her.
Charting a new course for the U.S. and the environment
Resilience.org - 18 hours 45 min ago
After more than four decades as a leading environmentalist, Gus Speth is disillusioned with what has been
accomplished. What’s needed now, he says in an interview with Yale Environment 360, is a transformative
change in America’s political economy that will benefit both society and the planet.
Reframing the Sucky Collapse
Resilience.org - 19 hours 11 min ago
KMO welcomes Kathy McMahon, the Peak Shrink of PeakOilBlues.com, back to the C-Realm to talk about the
psychology of predictions...You may be braced for a sudden, sexy collapse, but do you have the gumption to
endure the sucky collapse?
Peak Moment 226: Inspiration Farm - Cultivating Nourishing Food and Creativity
Resilience.org - 19 hours 20 min ago
“Changing times calls for changing lifestyles.” says Brian Kerkvliet. “So [we’ve] put more energy into the land…
The more you get your fingers in the soil, the more endorphins rush through your head. You get excited by all of
that.” Using permaculture and biodynamic practices, Brian’s family is endlessly experimenting and innovating to
find what works. His wife Alexandra and daughter Rosalie introduce us to the goats, pigs, and cows who are
essential players in their farm’s web of life. Don’t miss the outdoor shower with water heated by microbes in the
compost pile! (Episode 226).
Peak oil notes - Jan 24
Resilience.org - 19 hours 29 min ago
A mid-week update.
Restoring the Commons
Resilience.org - January 23, 2013 - 11:25pm
The hard work of rebuilding a post-imperial America, as I suggested in last week’s post, is going to require the
recovery or reinvention of many of the things this nation chucked into the dumpster with whoops of glee as it took
off running in pursuit of its imperial ambitions. The basic skills of democratic process are among the things on that
list; so, as I suggested last month, are the even more basic skills of learning and thinking that undergird the
practice of democracy.
Drumbeat: January 23, 2013
The Oil Drum - January 23, 2013 - 6:38am
Oil and climate change in the age of energy scarcity
A professor friend of mine recently asked his freshman writing class what makes civilization possible. The
students puzzled for a minute and then someone said, "Cities." Of course, that's really just the definition of
civilization. "But what makes those cities possible?" the professor asked. No one could really come up with an
Here were students drawn in many cases from rural areas, some of whom lived on farms; and yet, the most basic
energy flow in modern civilization—in any civilization—from farm to city in the form of surplus food was completely
opaque to them. My friend remarked to me that a century and half of cheap energy in the form of fossil fuels has
attenuated our awareness of energy flows so much that we as a society have become essentially unconscious of
That is a state of mind that could only be the product of energy abundance, of an exceptional period in human
history when the surplus energy available to society was so great that the average person simply did not have to
think about it. And, so as energy scarcity returns to civilization as the norm, we are being forced—often
painfully—to become conscious once again of the energy flows in our daily life. As a whole, human societies are
only just beginning to wake up to this new era—except, of course, where life has remained close to the land, and
failure to understand and create the necessary energy flows (particularly food) has always been tantamount to a
Oil Trades Near Four-Month High Before Vote on U.S. Debt
Oil traded near the highest price in four months in New York on speculation that the U.S. will lift its debt limit,
offsetting forecasts that fuel inventories increased in the world’s largest crude consumer.
West Texas Intermediate was little changed after gaining 0.7 percent yesterday as President Barack Obama’s
administration said it welcomes a move by House Republicans to vote today on raising the debt ceiling through
mid-May. U.S. crude stockpiles probably rose last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before a
government report tomorrow. Deutsche Bank AG boosted its growth forecast for oil demand in China.
UK Brent oil flow at 80,000 bpd as Taqa platform remains shut
The flow of crude oil through the UK's Brent pipeline system in the North Sea was back up to 80,000 barrels per
day (bpd) late on Monday, following a precautionary shutdown last week, Abu Dhabi's Taqa said.
Bad weather, dispute with Kurdish region weigh on Iraq oil exports
Iraq's oil exports in December fell due to bad weather and a dispute with the Kurdish region, but the country still
saw sharply higher income last year compared to 2011, new figures showed on Monday.
Exxon holds talks with Kurds after rare Baghdad meet
ExxonMobil has met officials from Iraqi Kurdistan, a statement said, after rare talks with Baghdad, which has
decried a controversial deal between the US giant and the autonomous region.
The back-to-back meetings come amid a long-running dispute, of which Exxon is at the centre, between Iraq's
central government and the northern Kurdish region over dozens of energy contracts signed by Kurdistan that
Baghdad says are illegal.
Nigeria Charges 10 Indians, 12 Others With Oil Theft
Nigerian prosecutors said 22 people, including 10 Indian nationals, were charged to court in the southern city of
Yenagoa for alleged oil theft.
Griffiths Energy to pay $10.35-million fine for bribing officials in Chad
The second Calgary oil company to face international corruption charges in the past two years has agreed to pay
a larger fine than the first but will not be put on probation.
Griffiths Energy International Inc. pleaded guilty Tuesday and agreed to pay $10.35 million, $850,000 more than
what much larger Niko Resources Ltd. paid after admitting guilt in June 2011 under the same section of the
Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.
Baker Hughes sees U.S. rig count flat in Q1 vs end-2012
(Reuters) - Baker Hughes Inc said on Wednesday it expects the U.S. rig count to remain flat in the first quarter
compared with the end of 2012, before rising throughout the rest of the year.
Billionaire Fredriksen Winning as LNG Tanker Rates Drop
Rates to ship liquefied natural gas are dropping for the first time in four years amid a diminishing scarcity of the
carriers transporting the fuel, a bullish sign for investors in the biggest owners of the vessels.
South Sudan may resort to trucking oil if talks fail
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Landlocked South Sudan may rely on trucks to export its crude oil if talks with Sudan
aimed at re-starting exports through a pipeline fail, a South Sudanese deputy minister said on Wednesday.
The African neighbours came close to war last April in the worst border clashes since South Sudan seceded from
Sudan in 2011 under a 2005 deal which ended decades of civil war.
Uganda to auction 13 blocks for oil exploration
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda will auction 13 blocks for oil and gas exploration when the country's president
signs a new bill governing the petroleum sector into law, its junior energy minister said on Wednesday.
The east African nation's parliament passed a petroleum law last month aimed at guaranteeing transparency in
the oil sector, through a clear management structure.
Private Equity Hunts for Brazil’s Next Big Oil Startup
Brazil’s plan to sell offshore oil licenses for the first time in six years is sending private- equity investors on a
search for startups to compete with global producers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc.
Algeria Attack No Outlier as Oil Targeted 3 Times a Week
While the attack in Algeria that killed at least 38 hostages was the deadliest raid on the oil industry in five years,
it’s far from unprecedented.
From Colombia to Yemen, oil workers have suffered violence for decades as militants strike an industry seen
symbolizing political and economic power. The bloodiest attack came in 2007 when 72 people died after a
secessionist group in Ethiopia overran a camp run by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (386), according to the
University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database. Each week about three attacks were made worldwide on oil
employees and installations in 2011, the data show.
China says Philippines' U.N. request on seas complicates issue
BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Wednesday that a request by the Philippines for a U.N. tribunal to intervene in
its longstanding South China Sea territorial dispute with China would only complicate the issue, and denounced
Manila's "illegal occupation" of islands there.
Manila has asked the tribunal of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to order a halt to China's
activities that the Philippines says violates the Southeast Asian nation's sovereignty.
Iran's president scoffs at western sanctions
TEHRAN // Iran's president claims his country can create 10 times more wealth from inventions than from oil,
rendering western economic sanctions powerless.
Venezuelans puzzle over official lingo on Chavez health crisis
The handling of information over Chavez's condition has become as controversial as the man himself, and every
official word is picked over ad nauseam in Venezuela's own version of the "Kremlinology" analysis of political
minutiae in the former Soviet Union.
Deutsche Bank Pays $1.6 Million to End U.S. Trading Probe
Deutsche Bank AG agreed to pay $1.6 million to end a dispute with the U.S., backing away from a showdown
with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that said a unit of the bank manipulated California’s power
The bank within 10 days will pay the U.S. a civil penalty of $1.5 million and surrender $172,645 plus interest to
California’s grid operator, the agency said today in a statement. The penalties are similar to FERC’s proposed
remedy last year after accusing the bank of trading violations in 2010.
Carter Said to Be Leading Contender for Energy Secretary
Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is the leading candidate to replace Steven Chu as energy secretary in
President Barack Obama’s second term, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Carter, 58, a physicist, would be part of the core administration team overseeing energy and environmental
policy, according to the people, who requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters.
State Department delays Keystone pipeline decision
(Reuters) - The Obama administration has delayed a decision on TransCanada Corp's rerouted Keystone XL oil
pipeline until after March, even though Nebraska's governor on Tuesday approved a plan for part of the line
running through his state.
"We don't anticipate being able to conclude our own review before the end of the first quarter of this year," said
Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman at the State Department, which had previously said it would make a decision by
Davos 2013: UK shale gas no 'game changer', says British Gas boss Sam Laidlaw
Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, said it would be at least a decade before the UK saw
any shale gas production and that, even then, it would not be “the game changer we’ve seen in North America”.
Jeff Rubin: Do We Have Enough Water to Frack Our Way to Energy Independence?
Alberta’s oil sands mines require more than 3 barrels of water to produce a barrel of bitumen. With daily output of
1.5 million barrels, the oil sands is one thirsty customer. Fortunately for Big Oil, northern Alberta is blessed with
the mighty Athabasca River.
Many US shale producers wish they were so lucky. The industry’s growing need for water comes at a time when
much of the country is grinding through the worst drought in more than half a century.
Boeing's battery woes could short-circuit e-cars
The ongoing investigation of faulty lithium-ion power packs on the new 787 Dreamliner could have implications far
beyond the aerospace industry, some observers worrying that Boeing’s battery problems could short-circuit the
nascent market for plug-ins, hybrids and other electrified automobiles.
German Power Grids Ask Gas-Fired Plants to Ensure Winter Supply
German power-grid operators Tennet TSO GmbH and TransnetBW GmbH asked four gas-fired plants in the
south of the country to secure transport capacity for the fuel to avoid production outages that almost led to a
collapse of the electricity grid in February last year.
Africa: Losing Carbon - New Study Questions Sustainability of Biofuel Harvested On Dry Lands
Bogor — The high amount of carbon that pours into the atmosphere when arid and semi-arid land is converted for
Jatropha oil production may outweigh the environmental benefits of such a biofuel, says a new report.
The findings run contrary to popular beliefs.
When Citizen Vigilantes Busted Food Hoarders
This 1918 letter, from a member of a citizens’ vigilante group calling itself the American Protective League to an
official of the wartime U.S. Food Administration, reported on a food stash found in a Berkeley, Calif., home.
The Foran family, “reported to be hoarding food,” had “25 or 30 cases of foodstuffs” in their basement, including
cans of such staples as corn, peaches, pork and beans, as well as a supply of plum pudding, pimientos, and
beer. Mrs. Foran protested that she had carefully followed rationing rules in her purchase of flour and sugar and
explained that the family possessed so many canned goods because the father bought food wholesale every
While no action probably resulted from this raid, as the Forans were able to prove that they’d followed rationing
guidelines, it’s astonishing to a modern reader to see that it was legal for a citizen group to enter another citizen’s
home on the strength of a tip.
Filmmaker Sir David Attenborough Calls Humans a Plague
Sir David Attenborough, the famed British naturalist and television presenter, has some harsh words for humanity.
"We are a plague on the Earth," Attenborough told the Radio Times, as reported by the Telegraph. "It's coming
home to roost over the next 50 years or so."
Despite a Whiff of Unpleasant Exaggeration, a City’s Pollution Is Real
KABUL, Afghanistan — It has long been a given that the air pollution in this city gets horrific: on average even
worse than Beijing’s infamous haze, by one measure.
For nearly as long, there has been the widespread belief by foreign troops and officials here that — let’s be blunt
here — feces are a part of the problem.
Court won't hear challenge to Clean Air Act rule
The high court on Tuesday refused to hear an appeal from businesses and industrial interests involving an
Environmental Protection Agency regulation setting emission levels of sulfur dioxide, a colorless gas with the
smell of rotting eggs. Sulfur dioxide from power plant smokestacks can be carried long distances by wind and
weather and has been linked to various illnesses including asthma.
Stop the Coal Trains
Why should someone in Seattle care about a coal terminal 100 miles north of the city? Because coal combustion
is the leading human-caused increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, which is largely responsible for global warming.
Because shipping dirty coal to China while piously shutting down the last coal-fired power plant in Washington
State (as the state is doing) would simultaneously mock and cheapen our forward-thinking, tree-humping pledge
to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2050. And because there is not just one but five coal terminals—
five!—currently proposed in the Northwest, each of which could bring 1.5-mile-long coal trains rumbling through
our region daily, blocking traffic, interfering with other business at Seattle's port, and leaving clouds of coal dust in
How Oysters Can Prevent Flood Damage
or a simple bivalve, the oyster has played an unusual role in human history. It's celebrated as a food source, as a
reputed aphrodisiac and, now, as a possible savior of coastal cities threatened by flooding.
Point Pleasant, a community in New Jersey that was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy last October, is looking at
oyster beds as a way to mitigate future flood damage. A sizable bulwark of oyster beds might slow future storm
surges by acting as a natural seawall, the Asbury Park Press reports.
Should worst-flooded areas be left after Sandy?
SEA BRIGHT, N.J. (AP) -- Superstorm Sandy, one of the nation's costliest natural disasters, is giving new
urgency to an age-old debate about whether areas repeatedly damaged by storms should be rebuilt, or whether it
might be cheaper in the long run to buy out vulnerable properties and let nature reclaim them.
The difficulty in getting aid for storm victims through Congress — most of a $60 billion package could get final
approval next week — highlights the hard choices that may have to be made soon across the country, where the
federal, state and local governments all say they don't have unlimited resources to keep writing checks when
Obama gives unexpected nod to climate as second term priority
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Monday he will confront climate change in his
second term in office, an unexpected vow that puts the politically charged issue among his domestic priorities
alongside gun control and immigration reform.
Linking climate change to devastating weather and fires, Obama said the country could grow its economy while
protecting itself from the worst effects of a phenomenon scientists say is getting worse due to man-made
Obama wins praise abroad for climate change goals
OSLO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama won praise abroad on Tuesday for his pledge to lead the fight
against climate change, which has faltered as nations argue over who should foot the bill to lower carbon
Analysis: Obama's next climate steps apt to be temperate
(Reuters) - The Obama administration is likely to rely mostly on existing rules and on flexing executive power to
execute its second-term environmental agenda, sidestepping Congress as it sets about radically reducing
greenhouse gases generated by major polluters.
Just a day after President Barack Obama said in his inaugural address that for the United States not to respond
to the threat of climate change would "betray our children and future generations," White House spokesman Jay
Carney tamped down expectations for bold new moves.
Curbing climate change will cost $700 bln a year - report
OSLO (Reuters) - The world must spend an extra $700 billion a year to curb its addiction to fossil fuels blamed for
worsening floods and heat waves and rising sea levels, a study issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF)
showed on Monday.
As government and business leaders prepare to meet at the forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, the world's
nations are divided over who should pay for lowering emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for a growing
number of extreme weather events.
Funding the War on Climate Change
PROPOSALS that national governments allocate budgets equivalent to those set aside for defence or war
towards fighting climate change both reflected the significant relevance of global warming and aligned
international thinking to finding solutions, Deloitte director Duane Newman said today.
Newman, who is also the national leader of Deloitte Sustainability and Climate Change Services, said the shift
towards allocating half the funding to adaptation and only 20% to mitigation and 15% each to technical
development and forestry-related activities recognised a large percentage of climate change funding would have
to go towards developing nations.
Urban Zimbabweans are already grappling with water shortages
In spite of the political and financial turmoil that Zimbabwe faces, the country seems to be on the right track in
adopting strategies to address the effects of climate change. But these strategies tend to have a strong rural bias,
overlooking the fact that almost half of the country now lives in urban areas, according to a joint review of the
country's climate change response by a think tank and leading NGO.
Andean glaciers melting at 'unprecedented' rates - study
The glaciers of the Andes Mountains have retreated at an unprecedented rate in the past three decades, with
more ice lost than at any other time in the last 400 years.
That's according to a new review of research that combines on-the-ground observations with aerial and satellite
photos, historical records and dates from cores of ice extracted from the glaciers. The retreat is worse in the
Andes than the average glacier loss around the world, the researchers report today (Jan. 22) in the journal The
Norway supportive to China's bid for permanent observer to Arctic Council
TROMSO -- Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barthe Eide said on Monday that Norway will support China's
application for the status of a permanent observer to the Arctic Council.
Eide gave a definite "yes" answer to the question put to him by a Xinhua reporter if Norway would back China's
bid for the permanent observer status in the eight-member regional council comprising mostly of countries on the
rim of the Arctic Ocean.
Why Arctic Council Needs to Tame Its Oil Rush
The rapid shrinkage of Arctic ice cover is one of the most dramatic changes in nature currently occurring
anywhere on the planet, with profound environmental and economic implications. We stand to lose one of the
Earth's largest and most significant ecosystems. At the same time, however, the once-fabled northeast and
northwest passages will reduce shipping times and costs by as much as half, bringing China and Japan much
closer to Europe and North America's east coast.
How High Could the Tide Go?
A large body of evidence suggests that the ice sheets atop Greenland and the low-lying, western part of
Antarctica are vulnerable to global warming. But together, they can supply no more than about 40 feet of sea level
The previous estimates of Pliocene sea level, based on spotty evidence, range from 15 feet to 130 feet above
today’s ocean, with 80 feet being a commonly cited figure. If Dr. Raymo’s work were to confirm such a high
estimate, it would suggest that the ice sheet in eastern Antarctica — by far the biggest chunk of ice in the world,
containing enough water to raise sea level by 180 feet — is also vulnerable to melting. And if it is, scientists do
not fully understand why, because their computer forecasts — acknowledged to be imperfect — suggest most of
it should remain stable even in a warmer world.
Categories: Peak Oil, Resilience
The elements of new economics?
Resilience.org - January 23, 2013 - 5:39am
An interview with Pat Conaty (main pic), one of the authors of the Resilience Imperative, by Naresh Giangrande
of the Transition Network. This book examines the many elements from which resilient local economies can be
built. Pat Conaty and Mike Lewis have done the leg work of collating and critiquing the many examples of how
this has been achieved all over the world over the last 150 years. It is both strong on theory and an excellent
reference book on the practical pieces of a resilient local economy. Here’s what Pat had to say about it…
Powder keg in the Pacific
Resilience.org - January 23, 2013 - 5:14am
Don’t look now, but conditions are deteriorating in the western Pacific. Things are turning ugly, with
consequences that could prove deadly and spell catastrophe for the global economy.
Climate - Jan 23
Resilience.org - January 23, 2013 - 4:57am
•Can anyone defuse the 'Carbon Bomb'? •Point of No Return: The massive climate threats we must
avoid •Climate change set to make America hotter, drier and more disaster-prone •Koch-Funded Study Finds
2.5°F Warming Of Land Since 1750 Is Manmade, ‘Solar Forcing Does Not Appear To Contribute’ •Climate
Change Reaching Human and Geophysical Tipping Points •Has global warming ground to a halt?
Richard Heinberg - Part 2 Energy and the Delusion of Endless Growth
Resilience.org - January 23, 2013 - 4:56am
Part 2 of a 2 part video version of our Radio Ecoshock interview with Richard Heinberg, about the book "Energy:
Overdevelopment etc". The interview features video of some of the images in the book. I think it's a different way
of giving people an idea of what this book is like.
Welcome to the Rightsizing Streets Guide
Resilience.org - January 23, 2013 - 4:42am
Many of our streets haven’t changed in decades, even when they’ve proven dangerous, or the surrounding
communities’ needs have changed. When the roads have been altered, they have often been made wider,
straighter, and faster, rather than more livable. Our Rightsizing Streets Guide aims to help planners and
community members update their streets to make them ‘right’ for their context.
The Transition Ipswich 30-Mile Food Challenge, September 2012
Resilience.org - January 23, 2013 - 4:23am
Like most Transition projects, it started with a ‘Why don’t we … ?’ conversation. This one during a tea break at
The Oak Tree Low Carbon Farm, the CSA on the edge of Ipswich, which itself grew from a similar conversation.
Inspired by the efforts of Greener Fram[lingham] another Suffolk Transition group who had organised a Local
Food Challenge the year before, and others such as in Fife, Tweed Green and the New Forest, a small group of
us started planning in the autumn of 2011. Almost immediately we were joined by Transition Woodbridge, our
nearest neighbours. Both realised the benefits of working together – especially as numbers in our original
organising group shrank as the months went by.
U.S. rig count for oil and gas and future economic growth
Resilience.org - January 23, 2013 - 4:01am
Why is it interesting to study drilling rig statistics? The answer is that drilling rig activity indicates the future
direction of the oil and gas industry.
The Streetcar Chronicles: Part I Dude, Where’s My (Street)car
Resilience.org - January 23, 2013 - 3:38am
Many urban transportation historians point to Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s successful campaign to rid New York
City and its boroughs of the streetcar as one of the key turning points in crippling public transportation across the
country. It set a trend that made eschewing streetcars a trendy thing to do. He was heard to comment that
streetcars were as obsolete as the sailing ship, perhaps reflecting his drive to banish any “relics” from the city that
reminded him of the “old country” (LaGuardia was an immigrant himself). Well, sixty-five years after the demise of
the last streetcar in New York City, I can confidently report the that streetcar (and its similarly healthy big brother,
light rail) are doing just fine.
Where in the World is Read the Dirt?
Read The Dirt - January 22, 2013 - 11:56pm
Photo: The Colosseum in Rome, Wikimedia Commons Much has been said about what to do “when in Rome”.
Saint Ambrose of [read more ...]
Categories: Transition Initiative
How to build a chicken run in 157 easy steps
Resilience.org - January 22, 2013 - 9:02am
This week’s entry in the How to Live Sustainably series: How to build a chicken run in 157 easy steps. Note that
everyone is different, and not every step might apply to your situation.
More than my job’s worth
Resilience.org - January 22, 2013 - 8:35am
I’ve been thinking about jobs lately. For a while I even thought I should try to get one, freelance writing work
having dwindled so dramatically. Admittedly, opportunities to work as a newsletter editor abound. Each that I have
seen, however, pays precisely nothing. How droll, that when I am at last presented with an opportunity to use the
longest word in the English dictionary, it is to describe the trade to which I have devoted half my working life, in
conceding that the job of editor has succumbed to floccinaucinihilipilification.
The Trillion Dollar Coin: Joke or Game-changer?
Resilience.org - January 22, 2013 - 7:54am
The trillion dollar coin actually represents one of the most important principles of popular prosperity ever
conceived: the creation of money by sovereign governments, debt-free.
Get down to the nitty-gritty of transitioning the Portland metro area to a
sustainable and resilient future.
- All recently posted content