It’s certainly possible to work toward local resiliency without having a detailed understanding of precisely what our energy history has been, what our current situation is, or what the future projections are. Yet for many people, seeing these numbers and trends brings clarity. It’s one thing to say, “the era of easy oil is over and we need to start building a new future!” and another thing to put numbers on the “easy oil” and its limits.
What was the trajectory of petroleum discoveries in the 20th century? When did U.S. oil production peak? For which objects and services do we rely on abundant, cheap oil? Why isn’t it just an easy switch to tidal energy, solar, and wind, perhaps simply market-driven? You may hear that we’ve gotten through energy transitions in the past just fine — what’s the big deal now? These sources form a starting point for putting numbers on what is a very big deal.
Resources on responding to energy decline
- Post Carbon Institute
- Energy Bulletin
- Rocky Mountain Institute
- Sustainable Energy: Without All the Hot Air, a book and website by David MacKay
- Union of Concerned Scientists
Renewables, clean energy, and energy efficiency