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Energy Prices and the Athens Are

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					                          Energy Prices and the Athens Area


                                     November, 2008

                                   Report presented by:


                          Milton Greek, mgreek1@hotmail.com
                          P.O. Box 2305, Athens, Ohio 45701



  Those wishing to comment, correct, ask questions, and indicate interest in follow-up
                 activity, please contact me at the address(es) above.



 Assets, Challenges, and Recommendations based on interviews with and presentations
                                       by:


        Todd Bastin – organizer, The Passenger Train Congress panel discussion
                      Ronda Clark – Community Food Initiatives
                  Sarah Conley – Athens Farmers’ Market Manager
                       Michelle Decker – Director, Rural Action
                       Bob Eichenberg – Athens County Planner
                          Constantine Faller – Athens’ Own
                 Bob Fedyski – Rural Action, Sustainable Agriculture
          Elahu Gosney – Athens City Councilperson, Cool Cities Initiative
                  Kathy Jacobson – Broadwell Hill Learning Center
               Sonia Marcus – Ohio University Office of Sustainability
          Scott Miller – Rural Action Energy Committee, Voinovich School
                       Ed Newman – Ohio University recycling
                 Bob Placier – Athens Conservancy, Hocking College
            Keith Peterson – Community Food Initiatives Donation Station
                Tom Redfern – Rural Action, Sustainable Agriculture
                               Leslie Schaller – ACEnet
              Robin Webb – Eclipse Produce Stand and Company Store


In addition, the author wishes to thank Ed Baum for his constructive criticism of the draft
version of this report and Jill Lallier and Melissa Van Meter for their corrections to the
draft report’s numerous grammatical errors. The author also wishes to thank people on
the resiliency committee email list that took time to review the initial draft and provided
constructive comments and encouragement.
Report Summary                                                             Page 2
Summary of Assets                                                          Page 4
Summary of Challenges                                                      Page 6
Summary of Recommendations                                                 Page 8
Appendix I: Detailed List of Assets                                        Page 10
Appendix II: Detailed List of Challenges                                   Page 16
Appendix III: Detailed List of Recommendations                             Page 21
Appendix IV: Some measures of Peak Oil local impacts*                      Page 29
Appendix V: Some local websites for information                            Page 30
Appendix VI: Contact information for local groups of interest              Page 31
Appendix VII: Predictions by Peak Oil Theorists: James Howard Kunstler     Page 32
Appendix VIII: Kunstler’s Washington Post Op-ed, May 25th, 2008            Page 33
Appendix IX: Some websites and books for more information                  Page 36


*Due to time constraints, the measures are anecdotal rather than quantitative.




                                            1
                                    Report Summary

For decades, peak oil theorists have predicted that the world’s demand for oil would
exceed supply around the beginning of the 21st century. Peak oil theorists such as James
Howard Kunstler believe this is occurring now and we are in a time of continuing higher
energy costs with wild fluctuations in costs during economic slowdowns. Returning to
the previous world economy, as occurred after the stagflation of the 1970s and the deep
recession of the early 1980s, will not be possible. Prices will drop as demand from poorer
customers is destroyed and economies slow, but prices will rise again as demand
resurfaces or economies re-accelerate. These limits on growth combined with higher
transportation costs may result in localized economies in many areas.

The predictions of peak oil theorists, such as Kunstler, are striking in their recent
accuracy. Kunstler predicted that the combination of peaking oil production, increased
world demand for oil, the housing price bubble, and the practice of the derivatives trading
would lead to high oil and gasoline prices, the collapse of the housing market, the
collapse of derivatives and financial markets, the collapse of banks and steep drops in the
stock and bond markets. Kunstler, however, prematurely predicted that these events
would happen in rapid sequence in 2006—instead, they occurred more slowly from 2006
through the present time (see Appendix VII for more details). While the events have
occurred more slowly than Kunstler predicted, they have largely come to fruition, while
many more mainstream predictions for the economy and the world have proven to be
without merit.

Since peak oil theorists have correctly predicted the most recent oil shock and economic
turmoil, it is prudent to review their other predictions about the effect of high prices for
non-renewable energy. These challenges move beyond present challenges facing long-
term sustainability in our area and create new ones, some already beginning to occur.
This report mentions four risk levels: 1) Continuing higher energy costs; 2) A severe and
long-term economic downturn; 3) population dislocation due to economic turmoil; and 4)
instances of civil unrest. While people may disagree with peak oil theory and the
predictions thereof, it is hoped that readers will agree on the solution advocated in this
report, which is the strengthening of local resources through leveraging of local assets.

In the Athens area, we have many assets that can aid with localization of the economy.
These include innovators, activists, and multiple integrating organizations; substantial
renewable natural resources; recent support for sustainability by Ohio University (OU)
administration; and the broad outline of a sustainable economy made up by these and
other assets. Athens County has two sources of outside funding, OU and Hocking
College, that are likely to maintain a flow of money into the local area. There is a strong
community in parts of the Athens area. Finally, many Athens area residents are skilled in
growing and preserving food, fishing, hunting, ingenuity in repair, and many other life
skills that are invaluable for living in a local, sustainable economy.

A positive vision for our area’s future exists among innovators and activists; the
challenge is to mobilize assets. The natural resources of the Athens area allow us an



                                             2
opportunity to set into motion sustainable regional responses that are built-from-within
and bottom-up. Goals include strengthening local food production, seeking alternative
sources of energy and means of transportation, improving recycling, building
preventative health practices, and lessening our carbon footprint. Community
participation and coordination with innovators, activists and the local government is
advised, as are public meetings in which practical solutions are discussed. Local
government officials are helping form work groups and are incorporating the assets and
challenges posed by peak oil into their budgetary and planning decisions. Groups are also
working on improving mass and alternative transportation, including rail passenger
service. As individuals, we can reduce the use of gasoline, increase buying local products
from local merchants, learn gardening and food preservation and plant fruit and nut trees.
By pursuing these and other approaches, we can improve our community’s sustainability
and help ourselves, our children, and our region deal proactively with the post-oil future.




                                             3
                                    Summary of Assets

The Athens region has a relatively low population/arable land ratio and has substantial
wood, pasture, and agricultural land that can be used sustainably to become a center of
production and economic opportunity. While cities are aggregate purchasers of products,
the Athens region has the potential to become a relatively nearby supplier to Ohio cities
of sustainably harvested raw materials, food, and biomass for alternative forms of energy.
To aid in this, there are many local innovators in areas of alternative energy, food
production, herbal and preventative health, alternative housing structures, recycling, and
restoration of natural resources, etc. Given this, the people and natural resources of the
Athens region have the potential to become ―solvers‖ of many problems posed by peak
oil by building a sustainable rural economy from within; in doing so, the region has the
means to position itself into regional prominence and strength as the challenges of peak
oil continue to unfold.

The Athens area contains several larger integrating organizations (e.g., ACEnet, Rural
Action, Community Food Initiatives (CFI), OU’s Office of Sustainability, etc.), many of
which are currently pursuing varying aspects of this vision and which can aid in a rapid
transition to a local economy. At present, OU is a source of regular income to many of
the county’s inhabitants and Hocking College likewise provides outside revenue.
Recently, OU declared it will seek an ecological zero-footprint and is supporting the
Office of Sustainability. OU also contains elements of research and development of local
alternative energy products. Given this, OU’s research and development could help move
the region toward substantially greater local economic and ecological sustainability. In
addition to already mentioned resources, OU’s Sustainable Living Organization (SLO) is
a student organization at OU that might be accessed to gain student volunteers and others
of interest and OU’s Voinovich School has the ability to provide input for alternative
energy and business development (the Voinovich School usually tries to covers its costs
to develop and distribute these materials). Finally, OU and Hocking College’s employees
and students have a tremendous potential to bring substantial cash flows to the local
economy which, at present, create an unbalanced local economy. Laying the groundwork
for localization of the Athens area economy can substantially alter this imbalance by
making the regions a supplier of numerous needs to these cash flows.

At the same time, the outlying population has numerous ―skills from the hills‖ (growing
and preserving food, hunting, fishing, ingenuity in repair, etc.) that can be put to use in a
larger scale and taught to other county residents. The outlying population also has
experience with ―getting by with nothing‖ and ability to function without luxuries
common in city of Athens. Combined, this provides the possibility of flexibility and
adaptability in response to long-lasting economic downturn that members of the Athens
city community can learn from the surrounding people. In return, city residents can
benefit the outlying region by purchasing locally, such as food at the Athens Farmers
Market, the Eclipse Company Town, Athens Kroger’s and Seamans’ and the Chesterhill
Produce Auction.




                                              4
In the area of transportation, retiring County Commissioner Bill Theison has
recommended that a commuter train between Athens county and Columbus be created.
The required money for the rail bed upgrade needed for passenger trains between Athens
and Columbus is estimated to be approximately 100 million dollars, which is about the
same cost as the Route 33 bypass around Nelsonville. This and other transportation
improvements are presently being researched by several local committees.

A complete listing of assets is in the Detailed List of Assets Appendix.




                                             5
                                 Summary of Challenges

Although our local area has many assets, there are numerous challenges to long-term
sustainability and economic and community strength. Some of these are present
challenges that are already in existence in the area, others are challenges which may
affect us in the near future. Many of these challenges are in the early stages of being dealt
with by various people and organizations in our community.

Presently existing challenges include ecological damage from coal mines, pollution from
use of fossil fuels and landfill, loss of forested land to non-sustainable practices, and loss
of arable land to development. Economic challenges include both budgetary issues at OU
and Hocking College and economic competition from OU with local businesses.
Economic integration between the local businesses with local sources of food production
are also central issues. Recent studies indicate that an average of approximately 20% of
the region’s workforce commute out of their home county to work, making transportation
is a major issue for the rural population. At the same time, Athens County has a 24%
poverty rate. At the community level, a present and historical divide that exists between
Athens area communities, Athens city residents, Athens County residents and Ohio
University makes cooperation problematic. A lack of knowledge by many about the
present resource and economic crises combined with a lack of knowledge by many in
skills necessary for self-reliance pose challenges in applying solutions to challenges.
Finally, a lack of reliable and cheap mass or alternative transportation within the Athens
area and to outside areas creates the potential for substantial isolation from sources of
jobs, food, and other resources.

In restructuring the local economy towards greater sustainability, one of ACEnet’s and
Rural Action’s projects largest challenge is how to they find capital to re-localize food
production, which is necessary due to the huge loss of farms and farmers since the end of
World War II. Likewise, carrying out the substantial changes to the infrastructure,
ranging from creating bike lanes to transforming fuel production to renewable sources of
energy (creating production, converting vehicles, creating refueling stations, etc.) is a
major challenge to alternative energy and transportation.

Complicating these challenges are the possibilities of more extensive challenges posed by
the advent of peak oil. At present, macro-economic challenges seem to be sustained
higher energy prices, a world-wide economic slowdown, or jagged and wild fluctuations
between these two poles. Given the combination of peaking oil production with the rise
of the Chinese and Indian economies, the future is likely to contain some combination of
these scenarios.

Ironically, the macro-economic turmoil gives the Athens region greater potential
autonomy and opportunity to sustainably develop resources. One of the greatest
challenges to pursuing such a goal is the cultural and community differences between
relatively affluent environmentally-concerned people within Athens city and relatively
impoverished people in the region seeking economic opportunity. This creates a polarized
regional society that must find middle ground to take advantage of both the potential to



                                              6
create sustainable regional production of food, raw materials, and biomass for alternative
forms of energy. Missing this window of opportunity increases the likelihood of
exploitation and destructive overuse of renewable resources in the future.

A complete listing of challenges is in the Detailed Listing of Challenges Appendix.




                                            7
                             Summary of Recommendations

The recommendations in this report are based on assumptions that peak oil is occurring
and that serious impacts may occur in the next few years. To deal with these challenges,
the many assets of the area need to be mobilized. To help with this, a liaison committee
uniting university, city, county, and regional organizational assets should form to discuss
concrete, sustainable projects to mutually support their organizations and the region as a
whole. Likewise, a public Athens area resiliency committee should research best
potential responses to the twin challenges of peak oil and global warming. A Wikipedia-
like web resource on regional assets and challenges and a face book social networking
system needs to be created and maintained. Also coming from this, ―Smart, local growth
in the face of rising energy costs‖ public meeting(s) should be held to discuss positive,
concrete responses to these challenges.

City and county officials should be prepped with information on how the Athens region
can be sustainably developed to better serve the needs of OU and Hocking College. City
and County officials should also seek grant monies to commission a series of projects by
the Voinovich School on possible cost savings by OU if the university were to begin
local sourcing of goods, such as various foods grown in Ohio. These officials should then
use this information in meetings with OU and Hocking policymakers to inform the
officials of the likely effects of higher transportation costs and the benefits to their
organizations in seeking local solutions. Community members and city and county
officials, when meeting with OU officials, should encourage and directly ask OU to
provide information and links on OU websites to local food marketplaces and programs
as part of OU’s sustainability program.

City and county budgets should be prepared for increasing costs in the area of
transportation and construction. City and county government should also plant fruit and
nut trees on their public spaces for use by local residents and all city and county events
that have food should exclusively use locally sourced food. A permanent location for the
Athens Farmers Market that is owned by the city and is ten acres in size should be found.

The neighborhood associations should consider commissioning a booklet by CFI,
ACEnet and/or Rural Action with gardening knowledge and tips from local sustainable
farmers for purchase by local community members. Each neighborhood association
should consider sponsoring a community garden in their area. Neighborhood associations
should consider receiving a monthly email newsletter from a contact for the local food
economy that briefly lists marketplace locations, times of operation, and a sampling of
types of available food and prices. Neighborhood associations should also consider
becoming a hub for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for local food producers.
For information on CSAs, email: greenedgegardens@verizon.net.

In the area of transportation, potential sites for park and rides at already existing parking
lots should be immediately identified and created. The expansion of bike lanes within
Athens is commendable and should continue. Express bus service within and around
Athens should be expanded if possible. Athens County officials should also propose a



                                              8
one-mil levy for the purpose of providing some funding of a passenger railway system
with workday commuter lines to and from Athens and Columbus.

In the area of energy and carbon footprint, the community of Athens should consider
purchasing its electricity as a single entity, thus allowing it to bargain for a certain
percentage to be drawn from renewable sources. The city of Athens should consider
taking out bonds to support renewable energy loans to allow homeowners to upgrade
their homes to some form of renewable energy. City and County officials should consider
getting easements on public lands, such as along rivers and roadways, to be used for solar
farms. The city of Athens should have energy audits carried out on all city buildings to
review means of making them more energy efficient and thereby reduce long-term costs.

A complete listing of recommendations is in the Detailed List of Recommendations
Appendix.




                                            9
                        Appendix I: Detailed Listing of Assets


Recent State and National legislation:

Ohio Senate Bill #221 has established benchmarks for energy efficiency and is mandating
       12 ½% supply of renewable sources of electrical energy by 2025; this makes
       investment in renewable energy highly attractive in the near term.
Ohio Department of Development has substantial grant money for renewable energy
       projects.
The recently passed $700 Billion bail-out included an eight year solar energy credit to
       help homeowners install solar energy in their homes.


Overall Athens County area:

Relatively low population/arable land ratio.
The Athens region has substantial wood, pasture, and agricultural land that can be used
       sustainably to become a center of production and economic opportunity.
Athens area has already set aside land for preservation in varying forms and there are
       number of local groups seeking to improve and enhance these lands.
The Athens region has been testing ideas in sustainable development (forestry,
       agriculture, energy) for two decades or more; this knowledge is now shared
       through networks in the central Appalachian region.
The Athens region has a combination of historical knowledge of skills and innovation to
       sustainably move the region toward becoming a center of rural production.
While cities are aggregate purchasers of products, the Athens region has the potential to
       become a relatively nearby supplier of sustainably harvested raw materials, food,
       and biomass for alternative forms of energy.
There are many local innovators in areas of alternative energy, food production, herbal
       and preventative health, alternative housing structures, recycling, and restoration
       of natural resources, etc.
People and the natural resources of the Athens region have the potential to become
       ―solvers‖ of many problems posed by peak oil, such as the need for nearby
       production of food and energy, by building a sustainable rural economy from
       within; in doing so, the region has the means to position itself into regional
       prominence and strength as the challenges of peak oil continue to unfold; in short:
       rural places will matter a great deal in the future.
Athens area contains several larger integrating organizations (e.g., ACEnet, Rural Action)
       which could aid in a rapid transition to a local economy.
Outline of sustainability structure exists in some of county’s population, some of the
       university’s initiatives, in local innovators, and in integrating structures
       mentioned above.
The Athens area has many regionally scaled organizations—such as Ohio University,




                                           10
       Hocking College, Rio Grande, several well-established nonprofits, that are sized
       correctly for creating and influencing Ohio statewide solutions if collaborations
       can be established and maintained.
There currently exists an opportunity with drops in timber markets that could allow us a
       window of opportunity to re-create the use of woodland resources in a sustainable
       manner.
Green House Project is underway to help reduce local pollution.
Sugar Bush Foundation is moving forward with plans to help improve and build
       economically on a transition of the waste stream locally and into the Athens area
       into a profitable source of recycling.
Chieftain Biofuels are about to begin production in Logan, Ohio.


Ohio University and Hocking College:

State-funded university is a source of regular income to many of the county’s inhabitants;
        Hocking College likewise provides outside revenue.
OU has signed a declaration indicating it will seek an ecological zero-footprint.
OU contains elements of research and development of local alternative energy products;
        OU research and development could move toward substantially greater local
        economic and ecological transition.
OU’s Vision Ohio plan includes support for local economic development.
OU has an active Office of Sustainability and an active recycling program.
OU has substantial number of open-minded staff willing to purchase local
        products for the university, a group of active ―true believers‖ who are advocating
        and acting for movement toward a sustainable local economy, and encouragement
        of sustainable practices is occurring at top administrative levels of Ohio.
        University.
OU’s Sustainable Living Organization (SLO) is a student organization at OU that might
        be accessed to gain student volunteers and others of interest. There are a host of
        other student organizations that might be accessed to promote these initiatives
        around Athens. The Office of Student Activities can be accessed in Baker Center
        to help link community initiatives with student volunteers.
OU’s Voinovich School has the ability to provide input from knowledge of energy
        policy, a business development team, a local government development team, and
        a GIS team that creates computer-aided maps, case studies of successful projects,
        plus other development assets. The Voinovich School usually tries to cover its
        costs to develop and distribute these materials. The Voinovich School can do a
        pre-grant cost analysis to estimate the costs of a research project that they can
        undertake.
The Voinovich School has approximately 160 students involved in projects.
The Voinovich School has networks with other areas of the university that can aid in
        business and local government development.
The Voinovich School has networks and established contacts with dozens of state
        agencies, including the Ohio Department of Development.
The Voinovich School has a grant right now for business development in three core



                                           11
       areas: Bioagriculture, Digital media, and Advanced energy. The grant will cover
       all of a portion of the costs associated with operational assistance to companies in
       these fields. To access these funds, companies must agree to go through a
       screening process which begins with a business owner contacting the following
       web site: www.techgrow.ohio.com.
University is buying local produce from the Chesterhill Produce Auction.
Hocking College has started an alternative energy program.

Athens Town:

Athens city government has adopted the Cool Cities Initiative.
Athens has an active recycling program.
Athens City Council recently authorized replacement of lighting equipment at the
       Recreation center to make the facility more energy efficient and cost-effective.
Town small enough to accommodate walking/biking/bus as primary forms of transport.
Athens town core community retains small town atmosphere conducive to trust and
       building more interdependent and complex community.
Athens has a local source of potable water that will probably remain reliable through
       near-term climatic change.
Real estate values in Athens did not apparently rise enough over past decade to result in
       rapid drop of market value as has occurred in much of United States.

Athens County Area:

The more rural county population has ―skills from the hills‖ (growing and preserving
       food, hunting, fishing, ingenuity in repair, etc.) that can be put to use in a larger
       scale and taught to other county residents.
The more rural county population has experience with ―getting by with nothing‖ and
       ability to function without luxuries common in city of Athens; this provides the
       possibility of flexibility in response to long-lasting economic downturn.
Outlying areas contain numerous small towns, churches, and other structures with already
       existing parking that could serve as park and rides for county residents and
       provide basis for jump into mass transportation to and from city of Athens.
County contains some sources of wood, straw, and clay that could serve as building
       materials for local area.
Perry County’s Saltlick Township contains natural sources of salt.
Sawmiller is a locally-owned sawmill that could be ramped up to help produce building
       materials for local construction.


Local Food Assets:

Already existing farms in area that could supply food locally through sustainable
       methods.
Rural Action, working with organizations such as the Appalachian Nutrition Network




                                            12
       base in Marietta is presently sourcing foods from local producers and markets to
       supply food for summer feeding programs for children in need; there are plans to
       expand this program to serve four local counties and to increase sourcing of food;
       the end goal of this process is to create a self-sustaining market entity that will
       encourage local traditional farmers to grow foods for the local market and thereby
       build capacity.
Rural Action is planning to create a webpage connected to their website listing local
       grocers who are providing local foods as part of their product line.
Rural Action is working with the Chesterhill Produce Auction to increase capacity by
       providing produce at the wholesale and the retail level; Chesterhill Produce
       Auction currently has acreage (of almost entirely Amish farmers) dedicated to its
       produce with an ability to increase capacity as demand grows; those seeking to
       visit the Auction should be very cautious when driving as the road will be shared
       with buggies.
Rural Action has numerous other programs and assets involving local food which are not
       listed due to the limits on time in researching this report.
ACEnet has a 20+ year history of success as a local food business incubator, including
        kitchen facilities and skills in helping with developing, producing, marketing, and
       distributing a local food product.
ACEnet has extensive networks locally, regionally, and nationally which cross
       community, cultural, and class barriers.
ACEnet nurtures food and farm entrepreneurs by aiding in production and processing,
       marketing and market access, and distribution channels.
ACEnet is currently working to reinvent the local farm-to-consumer infrastructure
       through a wide-range of projects: These include seeking to create farm incubators,
       shared-use production and processing facilities, regional brands, local brokers,
       and distribution through central warehouses, produce auctions, expanding
       farmers’ markets, and other approaches.
ACEnet has helped foster and create farmers markets in the area and is working with
       local entrepreneurs to create local produce stands, many of whom are reselling
       produce from the Chesterhill Produce Auction.
ACEnet is seeking to generate increased local food production through exploring food
       hybrid cooperatives, such as grocery stores that are producer/grocer/customer
       owned.
ACEnet is fostering local food production with the Local Food We Love in various
       groceries, including Kroger’s, Seaman’s, and the Busyday Gourmet in the
       Uptown Market on Stimson.
ACEnet has as part of its website a page listing local businesses and restaurants that use
       locally produced food in their products.
ACEnet’s work helps both create environmental sustainability and supports new
       economic opportunities; this is accomplished through supporting entrepreneurs,
       helping farms survive, aiding low income food producers, and many other
       programs that are cycling toward a local food economy.
ACEnet is gaining funding for green energy efficiency.
ACEnet is seeking to market sustainable harvested hardwood products.
Community Food Initiatives (CFI) has expanded services to a record number of



                                            13
        gardeners; the West State Street gardens have doubled in size this year; the rapid
        expansion is pushing the limits of CFI’s capacity to provide space and staff time
        to this project.
CFI offers training on all aspects of food production, including gardening, composting,
        and preparing and preserving food.
CFI has a community composting project underway at the Unitarian Universalist Church
        and is waiting on EPA approval to distribute the compost.
CFI is seeking to create municipal composting of restaurant waste to increase the
        capacity of local composting.
CFI’s Edible Schoolyard project helps teach children in the Trimble Local School District
        and Athens City School District how to grow and use food from their own
        gardens. CFI has also started the CFI 4H club in Trimble.
By the end of August, 2008, CFI’s Donation Station has provided 12,000 pounds of food
        to local area nonprofits and charities responsible for feeding people in need.
Athens Farmers’ Market (AFM) is a 37 year old market and one of the biggest and
        longest standing markets in the United States; in 2008 it had a record number of
        vendors (96) with a peak attendance of 65 vendors on a single Saturday.
AFM estimates a peak of 7,000 shoppers a week at the height of the season; there is a
        desire to double this turnout.
AFM has a recently created support group called Friends of the Athens Farmers’ Market
        with the mission to support the AFM as a vibrant community gathering place by
        promoting sustainable agriculture and healthy, locally grown food.
AFM has a website and a blog site to act as a source of information.
A market comparison by The Post in 2007 found that AFM products of the same or
        higher quality than other retailers were also competitive and oftentimes lower in
        terms of prices (―The Farmers Market vs. Everywhere Else‖ June 21, 2007).
The Athens Farmers’ Market blog has a comparison of prices between the Farmers’
        Market and other Athens marketplaces.
Eclipse Company Town has opened a produce stand with local produce that is open on
        Wednesdays through Saturdays 3:00pm to 6:30pm and on Sundays 11:00am to
        2:00pm.
Eclipse Company Town will open its company store with a full kitchen in January,2009.
Athens Kroger’s has made a strong effort to buy local produce for its market and
        deserves a strong ―Thank You‖ from customers who wish to support local food
        production.
Seaman’s in Athens has been increasing the locally bought produce and deserves a
        ―Thank You‖ from those wishing to support local food production; this includes
        buying from the Chesterhill Produce Auction.
Athens city and county governments have strongly supported the local food economy,
        including budgetary help, locating land for the Athens city gardens, and municipal
        composting project and should be thanked for their commitment to local food
        production.


Assets for Local Railway Passenger Transit:




                                           14
Athens County has an active railroad.
Cincinnati and Cleveland have limited rail services.
Columbus Mayor Coleman is an advocate of railway passenger transit.
The berm area between 4-lane highways can be used for trains; this currently occurs in
       Chicago and was proposed for passenger trains between Columbus and
       Cincinnati.
A plan for passenger trains in between Ohio cities is being created (see
       www.ohiohub.org); while this plan does not presently include Athens, feeder train
       and bus services into the central train routes are encouraged.
Retiring County Commissioner Bill Theison has recommended that a commuter train
       between Athens county and Columbus be created.
The required money for rail bed upgrade needed for passenger trains between Athens and
       Columbus is estimated to be approximately 100 million dollars; the same cost as
       the Route 33 bypass around Nelsonville.
The local scenic railroad is a possible stepping stone to passenger trains.
The freight trains are moving more freight than they have in decades, causing them to
       approach legislatures for help with building capacity on their lines; this can help
       create leverage for improvements for passenger trains.
By running passenger trains primarily during the day and freight trains primarily during
       the night, it is possible to have railways serve both needs.
Examples of successful state-fostered passenger railways include the Down-Easter
       service in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and a California railway.


Additional Rural Action Assets:

Rural Action has a vision of adapting to and bringing sustainable regional benefit from
       the challenges of Peak Oil.
Rural Action has many networks in place that bridge community and cultural differences
       and allow communication and coordination between numerous and diverse
       groups.
Rural Action has the ability to network with regional and statewide agencies and
       organizations to multiply the assets at the disposal of the area.
Rural Action has the capacity to re-create itself through members taking the lead in
       adapting to the changes and challenges presented by ongoing events.
Rural Action has the ability to carry out and achieve successful projects at a regional
       level.
Rural Action’s Energy Committee has engaged a series of speakers who have provided
       information to the group. One possible idea is to ask these and/or other speakers
       to address the community on alternative energy.
Rural Action has many other assets which limits on time in researching this report did not
       allow to be explored.




                                           15
                     Appendix II: Detailed Listing of Challenges

Present Challenges to Assets:

Water: Contamination from old mines, including Sunday and Monday Creeks.
       Toxic waste in landfill.
       Pollution from ground sources near wellheads, including railroad.

Energy/Air: Ohio University is reliant on coal for energy.
      Hocking College is a commuter campus.
      Ohio University has many commuting students in the Athens area.
      All of Ohio University’s regional campuses are commuter campuses.
      The known extent of possible wind and water generated power in the Athens area
              would only be sufficient for individual homesteads; solar power likewise
              has limited applicability to the area.

Arable land:
Near Athens city: large-scale construction.
Outside Athens: Clear cutting of land by paper and lumber companies.
       Oil, gas, and other leasing in National and State forests.
       Contamination from land fill.
       Farmland-to-subdivision conversion.

Economic: Economic competition from Ohio University with small, local businesses.
      Economic competition from projects/businesses initiated by Ohio University with
              small, local businesses.
      Budget for Ohio University strained by a variety of factors.
      Other than Sawmiller, there is a lack of local saw mills that would allow local
              sustainably timbered wood to be readily used for local building and
              woodworking.
      The economy of scales between local food producers and Ohio University and
              Hocking College make a difficult match of supply to effective demand.
      Cuts in grant funding to integrating organizations.
      Local restaurants have difficulties with transportation and having time for the
              organization’s people to access local markets.
      Marketing of local produce is a difficult issue due to the cost of advertising.
      Recent studies indicate that an average of approximately 20% of the region’s
              workforce commute out of their home county to work – transportation is a
              major issue for the rural population.
      Ongoing population loss, which may accelerate with economic dislocation,
              reduces the resiliency of the region in dealing with the challenges of peak
              oil.
      Rural Action is challenged by funding shortages and a more competitive grant
              funding environment (this will require better and deeper collaboration).
      Rural Action is also challenged by the need to maintain certain scales and scopes
              to their projects in order to make long term investments for impact.



                                           16
       Rural Action projects need to be data-driven to support successful solutions – in
              some cases more research and understanding of possibilities is needed.
              This information needs to be widely shared in cross-class discussions to
              move issues forward.
       Farmers’ Markets outside of Athens face the challenge of finding enough vendors
              to make the market viability due to the pull of venders towards the Athens
              Farmers’ Market.
       ACEnet’s largest challenge is how to find the capital to re-localize food
               production, despite the huge loss of farms and farmers since the end of
              World War II.
       Carrying out the substantial changes to the infrastructure, ranging from creating
              bike lanes to transforming fuel production to renewable sources of energy
              (creating production, converting vehicles, creating refueling stations, etc.)
              is a major challenge to alternative energy and transportation.


Athens City Community: Sprawl combined with loss of central retail outlets lessens
              ability for pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders to commute in a timely
              manner.
       Limited (or no) express bus service allowing for timely commutes of riders.
       Limited sidewalks and narrow streets.
       Aging infrastructure increases likelihood of increasing city government costs.

Athens County Community: Long-term animosity between three factions: University
              professionals; Athens city residents; Athens County residents. (Note: the
              former two groups are often transient and well off compared to lattermost
              group).
       Transient nature of college community.
       Noise, graffiti, and other factors that diminish quality of life for in-town residents.
       Athens County has a 24% poverty rate.
       Economic conditions in county causing children of long-time resident families to
              move away from county.
       Lack of mass transit in county or between major towns (e.g., Athens, Nelsonville,
              Albany) resulting in few alternatives to commuters in outlying areas.
       The cultural and community differences between relatively affluent
              environmentally-concerned people within Athens city and relatively
              impoverished people in the region seeking economic opportunity creates a
              polarized regional society that must find middle ground to take advantage
              of both the environmental and economic opportunities offered by the
              potential to create sustainable regional production of food, raw materials,
              and biomass for alternative forms of energy; missing this window of
              opportunity increases the likelihood of exploitation and destructive
              overuse of renewable resources in the future.
       One of the greatest challenges of local food production is the contemporary




                                             17
              culture of consumer convenience, which places a premium on one-stop
              shopping, already prepared food (e.g., microwave meals), and a lack of
              knowledge about processing, preparing, cooking, and baking food.
       Accessing the large and relatively affluent OU student market is a substantial
              challenge to local food production; attempting to get information to the
              students about their food buying choices, such as shopping at the Athens
              Farmer’s Market and purchasing Local Food We Love products, is
              difficult, especially since local producers and distributors do not have
              access to websites frequently visited by the students.


Knowledge Base: Lack of basic information on sustainable practices by many.
      Lack of basic sustainability skills (e.g., gardening, common repair) by many.
      Lack of knowledge and concern regarding oil depletion/global warming by many.
      A major challenge lies in getting people to change their ideas of what
             transportation is, such as the size, type and kind of vehicle used.
      People tending to carry on with the status quo is a challenge to any form of
             change.


Challenges to Railway Passenger Transit:

Columbus does not have rail service.
Infrastructure within Ohio cities are not integrated for railway passenger service into a
        downtown area.
Since freight and passenger train traffic is seen as competing with each other, railroad
        companies have resisted attempts to foster passenger train travel.
Railroad tracks are owned by the private companies; this is the opposite of the national
        highway system.
Since railroad upkeep is very expensive, railroad companies have traditionally been very
        reluctant to upgrade tracks to allow for passenger travel.
Passenger railway service is currently very underfunded; for example, the Nelsonville
        bypass costs $20 million per mile to create, but an upgrade to tracks between
        Columbus and Athens required for passenger travel would be about $1.3 million a
        mile; The bypass is under construction, the train upgrade is not being considered
        at this time.


Potential Risks to Assets:


Level I: Sustained increase in nonrenewable energy prices without a major and long-
lasting economic downturn. (Note: We are currently at or approaching Level I risks.)

Steadily increasing prices on all items, especially transportation, food, and products made
       largely from oil.



                                            18
Reliance on food for gasoline substitutes results in additional increase in food costs.
Increase impoverishment of outlying areas due to high transportation prices.
Increase hunger in the region resulting in substantial pressure on private charities such as
       local food pantries.
Increased impoverishment of outlying areas combined with relative affluence of Athens
       city exacerbates animosity between university community and Appalachian
       community.
Decrease population in outlying areas and migration to sources of employment and
       transit (This has already been occurring for decades in areas like Perry County).
Declines in enrollment at Ohio University and Hocking College due to economic
       conditions reduce outside money flows.
Wealth flow to commodity producers radically transforms wealth-holdings away from
       traditional sources, implying changes in economic power-structure that may
       further damage Ohio and Southeast Ohio’s economic situation.
Increasing costs of transportation and nonrenewable supplies (e.g., asphalt) impinges on
       the city, county and state transportation budget; corresponding decrease use of
       gasoline and transportation, resulting in lower revenues from gasoline and
       transportation taxes for state and federal governments.


(Note: Kunstler’s long-term predictions in The Long Emergency include various degrees
of Level II through Level IV risks to regions of the United States.)


Level II: Increase in nonrenewable energy prices continue rise that results in major and
long-lasting economic downturn.

All Level I risks continue and are exacerbated.
Rapid overuse of local renewable resources due to panic results in damage to sustainable
       natural assets.
Severe and possibly debilitating loss of grant dollars to integrating organizations such as
       ACEnet and Rural Action; corresponding loss of grant dollars to city and county
       governments.
Deflation of real estate values results in substantially lower inflow of property tax dollars
       to the county government.
Simultaneous budget crises for the State of Ohio, Ohio University, and Hocking College
       result in substantial reduction of employees at OU and Hocking; corresponding
       loss of revenue for the cities of Athens and Nelsonville and area economy.
Substantial increase in unemployment, poverty, hunger, and homelessness in area.
Increased competition for resources with nearby urban centers, including Lancaster,
       Columbus, Parkersburg, Wheeling, Cincinnati, Chillicothe, and Dayton.


Note: Since Level III and above risks are not presently on the near-term (three-to-five
year) horizon, this report will not detail them at this time. At the time that a lasting Level




                                              19
I risk clearly emerges or a Level II risk appears to be emerging, it will be advisable to
look into the Level III and Level IV risks.


Level III: Major economic downturn results in substantial movement of inhabitants from
nearby urban centers into food-producing rural areas, resulting in strain on county’s
natural and economic resources.


Level IV: Substantial breakdown of civil peace and safety due to massive
impoverishment of population.




                                             20
                Appendix III: Detailed Listing of Recommendations

For Community Members (and, for items #20-22, for local officials):

   1) Community members need to be aware that government leaders and officials are,
      at this time, overburdened by their jobs and are largely too busy running local
      government and responding to the needs of individual citizens to implement
      major new initiatives. The best and most productive changes will be those which
      are initiated and pursued by individual citizens in coordination with the
      community, local nonprofits, and the local governments. If community members
      are concerned about these issues, community members are urged to productively
      and cooperatively volunteer time and effort to help bring about these
      recommended changes (and similar initiatives) to the Athens area.

   2) It is recommended that community members refer to the contact information for
      groups of interest at the end of this report and contact the group(s)/organization(s)
      to which they wish to volunteer time and/or money. Community members should
      educate themselves on how local nonprofits have been and are continuing to
      prepare a sustainable future and find ways that their individual skills and talents
      can aid this work.

   3) Community members need to seek to build a community cohesion and peak oil
      and climate change in a bottom-up and built-from-within manner. This
      community-wide action should be done in coordination with regional nonprofits
      and organizations. Groups should center on six identified areas of need and
      coordinate with already existing organizations and committees: local food
      production (coordinate with ACEnet, CFI, Friends of the Athens Farmers’
      Market, and Rural Action); alternative energy (coordinate with Rural Action’s
      energy committee); alternative transportation (coordinate with city and county
      transportation committees, and the TRACRS passenger railway committee);
      recycling and waste management (coordinate with the Sugar-Bush Foundation
      and existing recycling programs); preventative, herbal, and alternative health, and
      lessening the carbon footprint of the area (coordinate with the Cool Cities
      Initiative).

   4) Community members with connections to Ohio University and Hocking College
      should seek to inform coworkers and policy makers of the role that the local area
      will play in aiding these organizations in coping with the challenges of peak oil
      and climate change. Policy-makers should be encouraged to take an active role in
      shaping the future of the local area in a sustainable manner that fosters both the
      resiliency of the area and the resiliency of their organization.

   5) Community members who have access to and influence with Ohio University
      should encourage OU to provide information and links on OU websites to local
      food marketplaces and programs as part of OU’s sustainability program.



                                            21
6) Community members can recognize that professionally staffed organizations can
   serve as resources to partner with and advocate for and with the needs of the
   community.

7) Community members need to educate themselves about the situation of peak oil
   and climate change and develop informed and realistic views about what they and
   regional organizations can do to advance solutions to these challenges.

8) Community members who work in town should begin to walk or ride bikes to
   work if possible. This will improve one’s health, one’s mood, save money, and
   lessen in-town traffic congestion and pollution.

9) Community members should begin to access the numerous local gardening
   resources in the area to learn how to garden effectively for personal use.
   Individuals should consider learning composting, canning, and pickling. Contact
   information for learning this information is: Community Food Initiatives, 94
   Columbus Rd, Athens, OH 45701, 740-593-5971, cfi@frognet.net,
   www.communityfoodinitiatives.com.

10) Community Food Initiatives reports that the doubling of their Westside Garden in
    2008 is straining their room for land and their staff time. They recommend that
    those wishing to plant ―Hope Gardens‖ do so in their own yards. These can be
    thought of as being akin to the ―Victory Gardens‖ of the World War II era, except
    ―Hope Gardens‖ are seeking to overcome the challenges of peak oil and other
    modern problems.

11) Community members should seek to purchase local products sold by local
    merchants as much as possible for their means. Supporting local merchants and
    producers will enhance the capacity of the area to respond constructively in the
    future.

12) Community members may consider lessening their eating of meats to conserve
    money. However, like other food purchases, community members should consider
    purchasing their meats from local producers.

13) Community members should seek to support the Athens Farmers’ Market through
    joining or supporting Friends of the Athens Farmers’ Market. Contact information
    to join is: Joe and Lynda Berman at berman@ohio.edu.

14) The Athens city community should seek to strengthen marketplaces that provide
    access to local foods, such as Kroger’s, Seaman’s, the Farmacy, the Busyday
    Gourmet’s Uptown Market, and the Eclipse Company Town food stand.




                                        22
   15) Community members should ask restaurants and grocery stores if they have items
       that are composed of locally-grown food. If they do, community members should
       thank the business owners and try to incorporate the foods into their diet.

   16) Consumers should accept seasonality of diet in their food by eating food in season
       during the growing year and preserving food during the harvest months for use
       throughout the winter. This will both support the local food economy and provide
       cheaper food to the consumer.

   17) Community members should consider planting fruit and nut trees on their
       property. These trees should be purchased from local nurseries and local
       merchants if possible.

   18) Community members interested in encouraging passenger railway travel in Ohio
       should consider contacting All Aboard Ohio, a state lobbying group seeking to
       expand passenger train traffic in Ohio; to contact All Abroad Ohio email: Andrew
       Bremer, Executive Director of All Aboard Ohio at andrew@allaboardohio.org.

   19) Community members seeking to encourage passenger railway travel in Ohio
       should also consider contacting the 21st Century Transportation Task Force, the
       Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning
       Commission.

   20) Community members and local officials should advocate a long-term goal for the
       berm areas between 4-lane highways to be used for passenger railroad beds
       owned by the State of Ohio.

   21) Community members and local officials should seek to have passenger service
      extend from Columbus past Athens into West Virginia and Kentucky; allies for
      passenger train travel in nearby areas of these states should be sought out.

   22) Community members and local officials should consider urging the Ohio
       legislature to lower the liability limit for train accidents and to improve the track
       conditions requirements.



For Neighborhood Associations:

   1) Community members should identify a central liaison person (or people) who will
      meet regularly with local leaders in the sustainable economy movement to help
      inform neighborhood associations, local action groups, and city government
      members of updates and opportunities in the localization of the area economy.

   2) ―Smart, local growth in the face of rising energy costs‖ public meeting(s) should
       be held to discuss positive individual and community responses to the challenges



                                             23
   of increasing energy costs and potential changes in the area’s climate. Local
   sustainability leaders should be asked to give brief talks on the assets and
   challenges to a local, sustainable economy with an emphasis on immediate,
   practical steps that community members can take. Ideally, local leaders would
   include leaders in sustainability from Ohio University, Hocking College, Rural
   Action, ACEnet, the Farmer’s Market, CFI, alternative energy, and herbal and
   preventive health.

3) The neighborhood associations should consider commissioning a booklet by CFI,
   ACEnet and/or Rural Action with gardening knowledge and tips from local
   sustainable farmers for purchase by local community members. This would be the
   first in a series of gathering of the practical knowledge and ingenuity of those
   with ―skills from the hills‖ for local individuals who lack these skills. A booklet
   that provides simple recipes for local foods should also be considered.

4) A Wikipedia-like web resource on regional assets and a face book social
   networking system needs to be created and maintained to help coordinate the
   Athens area and the larger region to move forward with responding to the
   challenges of peak oil and climate change in a coordinated manner. It should
   include links to ecological and carbon footprint calculator websites.

5) Each neighborhood association should consider sponsoring a community garden
   in their area. Gardens could potentially be located on public land if the city or
   county government allowed a reasonable leasing arrangement, or on private land
   with some of the produce going to the owner in exchange for the use of the land.

6) Neighborhood associations should consider receiving a quarterly or monthly
   email newsletter from a contact for the local food economy that briefly lists
   marketplace locations, times of operation, and a sampling of types of available
   food and prices. For example, the newsletter would list the Athens Farmers
   Market, The Marketplace on Columbus Road, the Eclipse Produce Stand, and the
   Chesterhill Produce Auction with hours of operation, location, and prices for
   some of the foods available at that time.

7) Neighborhood associations should consider carpooling to the Athens Farmers
   Market, The Marketplace, The Eclipse Produce Stand and the Chesterhill Produce
   Auction and helping neighbors in need in their areas by offering rides to these
   markets. Drivers in the area of Chesterhill should be very cautious because they
   will share the road with buggies.

8) Neighborhood associations should consider becoming a hub for Community
   Supported Agriculture (CSA) for local food producers. CSAs are season-long
   contracts between producers and consumers to provide allotments of the
   producer’s harvest to consumers at bulk rates. A neighborhood hub would have a
   source of food, a treasurer to insure payment to the food producer, a plan to either
   carpool to the food producer or receive food at a central drop off point with



                                        24
      storage space for food distribution, a plan to donate food not picked up by a
      certain time, and a plan that deals with vacation plans, etc., when key members
      are out of town. For information on CSAs, email: greenedgegardens@verizon.net.

   9) Neighborhood associations should consider having members assess tree food
      crops in their areas, such as a listing of fruit and nut trees presently not being
      harvested. The associations should look into means to harvest and process these
      foods, possibly for resale at local markets.

   10) Discussions between local food producers, community members, and others
       should seek to creatively bridge the supply/effective demand scale problems in
       providing local food to Ohio University and Hocking College markets.


For City and County Governments:

   1) A Peak Oil Liaison Committee (POLC) should be formed to 1) act as a central
      liaison group and promote coordination between the many already-existing assets
      to help coordinate responses to pressures brought on by continuing high energy
      prices (membership should include one member each from city and county
      governments, Rural Action, ACEnet, CFI, OU Office of Sustainability, the
      Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, the newly formed Rural Action energy
      committee, passenger railroad committee, the local citizens’ Athens Area
      Resiliency Committee (AARC), Athens city neighborhood associations, and
      others); and 2) research best potential responses to the twin challenges of peak oil
      and global warming. Its focus should include transportation, food, alternative
      energy, recycling and waste management and lessening the local ecological
      footprint. AARC should network with and learn best practices from other
      communities and pass this information onto the POLC and the community as a
      whole. It should seek local, long-term responses to problems in these areas while
      also seeking immediate, interim responses to pressing challenges. Both
      committees should seek to be formed primarily of community members, as
      government leaders are already overburdened with work. Suggestions from
      research, potential local needs, and opportunities for capital investment in local
      ventures should be funneled to the Liaison committee through the Athens area
      resiliency group.

   2) In general, work of the AARC and the POLC should be focused on specific
      projects which are goal-oriented and provide a clear value-added effect to the
      local community. For example, projects that would fit this definition include
      creating a park and ride, work on establishing a bio fuels conversion and refilling
      station, and neighborhood associations sponsoring community gardens.

   3) AARC and POLC should seek to communicate, measure capacity, and network
      with others to carry out projects quickly and efficiently.




                                           25
4) AARC, POLC, and any other groups that form to deal with the challenges of
   peak oil and climate change should seek to network with each other closely and
   build solid relationships to increase their ability to function effectively and get
   grant proposals accepted and projects successfully completed.

5) City, and possibly county, officials should be prepped with information on how
   the Athens region can be sustainably developed in the near future to better serve
   the needs of Ohio University and Hocking College. These officials should then
   use this information in meetings with OU and Hocking policymakers to inform
   the officials of the likely effects of higher transportation costs and the benefits to
   their organizations in seeking local solutions to their needs now as a means to
   build the capacity of the local economy. The city/county officials should also
   encourage shared ventures with these institutions to build local capacity for the
   benefit of all groups.

6) City and County officials should seek grant monies to commission a series of
   projects by the Voinovich School on possible cost savings by Ohio University if
   the university were to begin local sourcing of goods; for example, a study that
   compares costs of purchasing foods grown on farms within 50-100 miles
   compared to buying from present sources at varying levels of gasoline costs.
   Ideally, the study would include a feasibility study, a GIS study of available
   farmland, a business and marketing analysis, and a local capacity and reliability
   study of the food sources. Once completed, city and county officials should
   present the results of the study to University officials.

7) City and County officials, when meeting with Ohio University officials, should
   encourage and directly ask Ohio University to provide information and links on
   OU websites to local food marketplaces and programs as part of OU’s
   sustainability program.

8) The city of Athens should consider creating a minimum LEED certification level
   for environmentally friendly buildings standard for all city buildings and create
   incentives for businesses to adopt LEED certification for their buildings.

9) The community of Athens should consider purchasing its electricity as a single
   entity, thus allowing it to indicate that it would like a certain percentage to be
   drawn from renewable sources.

10) The city of Athens should consider taking out bonds to support renewable energy
    loans to allow homeowners to upgrade their homes to some form of renewable
    energy.

11) City and County officials should consider getting easements on public lands, such
    as along rivers and roadways, to be used for solar farms.




                                          26
12) The city of Athens should have energy audits carried out on all city buildings to
    review means of making them more energy efficient and thereby reduce long-
    term costs.

13) Potential sites for park and rides at already existing parking lots should be
   immediately identified and sought to be created. For example, Hocking College
   should be approached about using its spare parking areas for Park and Rides with
   monthly parking lot passes at a reasonable rate (e.g., $10/month). Likewise,
   parking areas in local towns, including Nelsonville, Albany, and elsewhere,
   should be identified and created.

14) The expansion of bike lanes within Athens is commendable and should be
    continued. Express bus service within Athens and bus services between larger
    towns in the area should be expanded if possible.

15) Athens County officials should propose a one-mil levy for the purpose of
    providing some funding of a passenger railway system with workday commuter
    lines to and from Athens and Columbus. To increase the viability of this solution,
    Athens County should network with other counties and with locations in West
    Virginia and Kentucky to make passenger railway systems more appealing to
    public and private sources of revenue.

16) Athens city and county officials should seek to contact counterparts in the
    Columbus area to find allies in seeking to connect passenger railroad traffic
    between Columbus and Athens and beyond.

17) City and county budgets should be prepared for increasing costs in the area of
    transportation and construction. Long-term responses that limit use of
    nonrenewable resources should be sought.

18) City and county investments in local businesses, especially local food production,
    is commendable and should be continued and, if at all possible, expanded.

19) A permanent location for the Athens Farmers Market that is owned by the city
    and is ten acres in size should be found.

20) All city and county events that have food should exclusively use locally sourced
    food.

21) Any city code obstacles to growing gardens for food should be removed or
    changed to allow residents to grow food for their own use in their back and front
    yards.

22) City and county government should plant fruit and nut trees on their public spaces
    for use by local residents. These trees should be purchased from local tree farms
    and local merchants if possible.



                                        27
23) Athens county tourism bureau should consider celebrating the local foods
    economy with slogans and events along the lines of ―Welcome to Athens: Healthy
    Food Oasis.‖

24) Athens county tourism bureau should host a ―Taste of Athens’ Local Foods‖ and
    encourage local restaurants to participate with a signature dish made from locally
    produced food. The signature dishes should then be part of the restaurants’ regular
    menus.




                                        28
Appendix IV: Some measures of local impact of increasing fuel prices

1) Park and rides places are filling up - yes

2) Carpooling will increase – yes

3) People are buying bikes/walking to make short trips to Grocery stores - yes

4) Increase in purchases and repairs of bikes – yes

5) Increase in use of bikes for commuting – yes

6) Bus ridership will rise to near capacity - no

7) People decrease trips outside of the Athens area – yes

8) People begin to buy smaller, more efficient cars – yes

9) Increase in business for neighborhood retailers (e.g., Seamans’ on Athens’
        Westside)

10) Local foods of same or higher quality cost less than foods shipped in –
       beginning

11) Effective demand for local food outstrips supply of local food - no

12) Increase buying of seeds and plants for food production, decrease buying
       of seeds and plants for flowers, measured at local greenhouses, etc.

13) People begin to grow their own food (including in town) – CFI gardens in the
       West State Street Park doubled in size to 95 plots serving 125 people in
       2008.

14) People in town begin to keep their own chickens – yes

15) Increased thievery of basic needs – copper, gas, etc.

16) Increasing poverty in outlying areas of county, measured in increases in
        application for food stamps, families seeking food from food pantries, etc.

17) Declining sales and prices of real estate in outlying areas; corresponding
       increasing prices of real estate near occupational and transport centers.




                                      29
                  Appendix V: Some local websites for information

Integrating Organizations:

ACEnet: http://www.acenetworks.org/
Rural Action: http://www.ruralaction.org/
Community Food Initiatives: http://www.communityfoodinitiatives.com/
OU Office of Sustainability: http://www.facilities.ohiou.edu/planetohio/
OU Sustainable Living Organization: http://www.ohio.edu/sustliv/
Athens Own: http://www.athensown.biz/
Athens County Links: http://www.jaknouse.athens.oh.us/athens/athenscolinks.shtml
Blue Rock Station: http://www.bluerockstation.com/

Energy Innovation:

Ohio Energy Project: http://ohioenergy.org/
Third Sun: http://www.third-sun.com/
Dovetail Solar: http://dovetailsolar.com/

Food Innovation (also see integrating organizations):

Athens Farmers Market: http://www.athensfarmersmarket.org/page1.aspx
Athens Farmers Market Blog: http://athensfarmersmarket.blogspot.com/
The Farmacy: http://www.45701.com/farmacy/

Recycling and Reclamation:

ReUse Industries: http://www.reuseindustries.org/
Sierra Club: http://ohio.sierraclub.org/appalachian/
Raccoon Creek restoration: http://www.raccooncreek.org/
Monday Creek restoration: http://www.mondaycreek.org/
Sunday Creek Restoration: http://www.sundaycreek.org/
Hocking River Preservation: http://hockingriver.org/
Athens County Arbor Day Committee: http://www.seorf.ohiou.edu/~xx010/
Buckeye Forest Council: http://www.buckeyeforestcouncil.org/
Athens Conservancy: http://www.athensconservancy.org/

Transportation:

Passenger Rail:
http://www2.dot.state.oh.us/ohiorail/Ohio%20Hub/Website/ordc/index.html
Ohio Department of Transportation: http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Pages/Home.aspx
Rideshare/carpooling website: http://www.erideshare.com/
Ohio Rideshare/carpooling website: http://rideshareohio.com/




                                              30
            Appendix VI: Contact information for local groups of interest


For follow-up on this report and for the Athens Area Resiliency Committee:

Milton Greek, PO Box 2305 Athens, Ohio 45701, mgreek1@hotmail.com


For Food Security and Integrating Organizations:

Rural Action: The Kuhre Center For Rural Renewal P.O. Box 157 Trimble, Ohio 45782;
Ph. 740.767.4938; Fax. 740.767.4957; info@ruralaction.org

ACEnet: 94 Columbus Road Athens, OH 45701; (740) 592-3854

Community Food Initiatives: 94 Columbus Rd, Athens, OH 45701; 740-593-5971;
cfi@frognet.net

Friends of the Athens Farmers’ Market: Joe and Lynda Berman at berman@ohio.edu

Community Supported Agriculture: greenedgegardens@verizon.net


For supporting passenger train travel in Ohio:

TRACRS (an Athens area committee): Todd Bastin at hlafbrot@yahoo.com

All Aboard Ohio, a state lobbying group seeking to expand passenger train traffic in
Ohio; to contact All Abroad Ohio email: Andrew Bremer, Executive Director of All
Aboard Ohio at andrew@allaboardohio.org




                                            31
     Appendix VII: Predictions by Peak Oil Theorists: James Howard Kunstler

Peak Oil  Housing price collapse  Securities Collapse and Economic jobs loss 
Stock/Bond Market Collapse  Severe Economic slowdown
Peak Oil  20th century industrial economy now impossible
Peak Oil  High price of gas and fuel oil, plus all derivatives (e.g., asphalt)  Gasoline
shortages  localizing of economy around available food sources  Need for
transitional cities and towns

Kunstler Specific Predictions for 2006:

   1)   Oil $100 a barrel
   2)   Gasoline $4 a gallon
   3)   Housing price collapse & collapse of securities and credit crisis
   5)   Dow Jones at 4000

(Kunstler believed that the general predictions above would happen in rapid sequence,
thus inflating his expectation of rapid rather than a slow train wreck of the U.S. and
world economy. This allows for world governments to at least slow the economic effects
of peak oil and possibly adapt to some of the more problematic effects.)

Kunstler predictions for 2007 (made in December 2006):

   1) Predicts securities collapse and collapse of financial banks
   2) Predicts losses for stock markets
   3) Explains that oil stopped at $60 a barrel due to demand ―destruction‖ of many
      impoverished nations—i.e., the end of oil/industrial age for many countries
   4) Predicts increasing localization of 3rd world economies and increasing violence in
      these countries
   5) Predicts continued rise in oil prices

Kunstler predictions for 2008 (made in December 2007):

   1)   Predicts oil will be between $80 and $160 a barrel throughout 2008
   2)   Predicts continued credit crisis and loss of substantial number of banks
   3)   Agrees with predictions of spot gas shortages in U.S.
   4)   Predicts continued drop in housing market and significant drops in stock markets


Note: Kunstler’s website contains prominent use of profanities and his blogs often
contain somewhat rambling accounts of complex macro-economic and ecological
conditions. His predictions are used as an example of peak oil theory because of the
relatively accuracy of his 2007 and 2008 predictions, which, in large part, seem to be a
slower version of his predictions for 2006. For more information on peak oil, see
―Appendix IX: Some websites and books for more information‖ on page 36.




                                             32
                  Appendix VIII: Kunstler’s Washington Post Op-ed

(To get a feeling for Kunstler’s website, imagine this with a liberal sprinkling of
obscenities.)

Wake Up, America. We're Driving Toward Disaster.
By James Howard Kunstler
Sunday, May 25, 2008; B03

Everywhere I go these days, talking about the global energy predicament on the college
lecture circuit or at environmental conferences, I hear an increasingly shrill cry for
"solutions." This is just another symptom of the delusional thinking that now grips the
nation, especially among the educated and well-intentioned.

I say this because I detect in this strident plea the desperate wish to keep our "Happy
Motoring" utopia running by means other than oil and its byproducts. But the truth is that
no combination of solar, wind and nuclear power, ethanol, biodiesel, tar sands and used
French-fry oil will allow us to power Wal-Mart, Disney World and the interstate highway
system -- or even a fraction of these things -- in the future. We have to make other
arrangements.

The public, and especially the mainstream media, misunderstands the "peak oil" story. It's
not about running out of oil. It's about the instabilities that will shake the complex
systems of daily life as soon as the global demand for oil exceeds the global supply.
These systems can be listed concisely:

The way we produce food

The way we conduct commerce and trade

The way we travel

The way we occupy the land

The way we acquire and spend capital

And there are others: governance, health care, education and more.

As the world passes the all-time oil production high and watches as the price of a barrel
of oil busts another record, as it did last week, these systems will run into trouble.
Instability in one sector will bleed into another. Shocks to the oil markets will hurt
trucking, which will slow commerce and food distribution, manufacturing and the tourist
industry in a chain of cascading effects. Problems in finance will squeeze any enterprise
that requires capital, including oil exploration and production, as well as government
spending. These systems are all interrelated. They all face a crisis. What's more, the stress


                                             33
induced by the failure of these systems will only increase the wishful thinking across our
nation.

And that's the worst part of our quandary: the American public's narrow focus on keeping
all our cars running at any cost. Even the environmental community is hung up on this.
The Rocky Mountain Institute has been pushing for the development of a "Hypercar" for
years -- inadvertently promoting the idea that we really don't need to change.

Years ago, U.S. negotiators at a U.N. environmental conference told their interlocutors
that the American lifestyle is "not up for negotiation." This stance is, unfortunately,
related to two pernicious beliefs that have become common in the United States in recent
decades. The first is the idea that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.
(Oprah Winfrey advanced this notion last year with her promotion of a pop book called
"The Secret," which said, in effect, that if you wish hard enough for something, it will
come to you.) One of the basic differences between a child and an adult is the ability to
know the difference between wishing for things and actually making them happen
through earnest effort.

The companion belief to "wishing upon a star" is the idea that one can get something for
nothing. This derives from America's new favorite religion: not evangelical Christianity
but the worship of unearned riches. (The holy shrine to this tragic belief is Las Vegas.)
When you combine these two beliefs, the result is the notion that when you wish upon a
star, you'll get something for nothing. This is what underlies our current fantasy, as well
as our inability to respond intelligently to the energy crisis.

These beliefs also explain why the presidential campaign is devoid of meaningful
discussion about our energy predicament and its implications. The idea that we can
become "energy independent" and maintain our current lifestyle is absurd. So is the gas-
tax holiday. (Which politician wants to tell voters on Labor Day that the holiday is over?)
The pie-in-the-sky plan to turn grain into fuel came to grief, too, when we saw its
disruptive effect on global grain prices and the food shortages around the world, even in
the United States. In recent weeks, the rice and cooking-oil shelves in my upstate New
York supermarket have been stripped clean.

So what are intelligent responses to our predicament? First, we'll have to dramatically
reorganize the everyday activities of American life. We'll have to grow our food closer to
home, in a manner that will require more human attention. In fact, agriculture needs to
return to the center of economic life. We'll have to restore local economic networks -- the
very networks that the big-box stores systematically destroyed -- made of fine-grained
layers of wholesalers, middlemen and retailers.

We'll also have to occupy the landscape differently, in traditional towns, villages and
small cities. Our giant metroplexes are not going to make it, and the successful places
will be ones that encourage local farming.




                                             34
Fixing the U.S. passenger railroad system is probably the one project we could undertake
right away that would have the greatest impact on the country's oil consumption. The fact
that we're not talking about it -- especially in the presidential campaign -- shows how
confused we are. The airline industry is disintegrating under the enormous pressure of
fuel costs. Airlines cannot fire any more employees and have already offloaded their
pension obligations and outsourced their repairs. At least five small airlines have filed for
bankruptcy protection in the past two months. If we don't get the passenger trains running
again, Americans will be going nowhere five years from now.

We don't have time to be crybabies about this. The talk on the presidential campaign trail
about "hope" has its purpose. We cannot afford to remain befuddled and demoralized.
But we must understand that hope is not something applied externally. Real hope resides
within us. We generate it -- by proving that we are competent, earnest individuals who
can discern between wishing and doing, who don't figure on getting something for
nothing and who can be honest about the way the universe really works.

James Howard Kunstler is the author, most recently, of "World Made by Hand," a novel
about America's post-oil future.

---




                                             35
             Appendix IX: Some websites and books for more information


Samples of Peak Oil Websites, arranged in order of objective to pessimistic:

http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php
http://www.peakoil.com/
http://www.peakoil.net/
http://kunstler.com/ - James Howard Kunstler’s website – profanities prominent
http://www.peakoil.org/ - A viewpoint that is very pessimistic

Examples of macro-level policy changes that are being suggested:

http://www.earthpolicy.org/
http://www.postcarbon.org/
http://www.richardheinberg.com/
http://www.oildepletionprotocol.org/


Websites on local transition to a lower energy future:

http://transitionculture.org/
http://transitiontowns.org/

A few books of interest:

Richard Heinberg:

The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies
Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World
The Oil Depletion Protocol
Peak Everything

Lester Brown:

Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water
Tables and Rising Temperatures

James Howard Kunstler:

The Geography of Nowhere
The Long Emergency




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