Presentation on theme: "PEAK OIL AND THE FATE OF HUMANITY Chapter 9B – What We Can Do at the Local and Municipal Levels By Robert Bériault."— Presentation transcript:
PEAK OIL AND THE FATE OF HUMANITY Chapter 9B – What We Can Do at the Local and Municipal Levels By Robert Bériault
2- Local neighbourhood level During the energy down slope, community cohesiveness will be an advantage for everybody, especially from the aspect of security. Neighbours would gain by getting to know each other. Everybody would benefit from getting involved in neighbourhood activities like sports, neighbourhood watch, energy efficiency groups.
2- Local neighbourhood level In order to prepare for the energy decline, we must absolutely reverse the process of globalization before an oil crash imposes it on us. – Because it will if we dont. For the average person like you and me, we can start at the neighbourhood level. It means living more locally, by travelling more on foot, and by buying locally made goods and services. Efforts must be made to support neighbourhood restaurants, hardware stores, bookstores, grocery stores, clothing stores, etc. This enables the money to remain in the neighbourhood, therefore increasing employment, thus making the neighbourhood economy more robust and reducing crime.
2- Local neighbourhood level What better way to strengthen a local economy than to operate a local exchange trading system (LETS). For more information on this read: Short Circuit by Richard Douthwaite, free on-line.
2- Local neighbourhood level Start a gardening plot cooperative This is the type of arrangement where a vacant city lot is divided up into small garden plots which individuals can rent to grow their own produce.
2- Local neighbourhood level Start or Join an Organic Food Cooperative Not only does this encourage local producers, BUT It also is more environmentally benign and provides a healthier diet for all of us
2- Local neighbourhood level Start an energy efficient housing cooperative This could take the form of a condominium apartment building or a housing project.
2- Local neighbourhood level It could incorporate: Photovoltaic array for electricity production Solar water heater system Gardening plots Well treed Play area Indoor parking Picnic area Daycare Community centre Coop food store Autonomous sewage treatment High efficiency insulation
3- Municipal level Thats where the decision making gets done, so lets get involved: Attend city council meetings Get to know the actors Get to meet your councillor Get involved with a committee Toronto city hall
3- Municipal level There are so many things that cities are doing wrong that there is always something for us to try to correct : These are the hard-working, well-meaning people who run the city of Ottawa on the assumption that oil will last forever. Every Canadian city is run this way.
3- Municipal level City politicians favour street widening as opposed to public transit, sidewalks and bicycle paths: All Canadian cities are hooked on perpetual growth. They havent caught on yet that Mother Nature will put a stop to this on her own terms. We have been blindly drawing down the resources she so generously bestowed upon us.
3- Municipal level Citizens all over Canada must denounce this short-sighted way of doing things and demand that their city council make our cities more suitable for walking and less dependant on the automobile.
3- Municipal level Improve public transit. Why not resuscitate the good old electric streetcar? This would be the most efficient way to use wind energy for transport.
3- Municipal level Encourage cycling. Create more bicycle paths
3- Municipal level Encourage cycling. Create bicycle lanes on all streets
3- Municipal level City councillors encourage huge shopping centres instead of small stores: Our cities have been systematically killing small businesses by welcoming large multinational shopping centre developers and Walmart. The profits from these stores are not recycled into the local economy, but are exported to the big companies overseas bank accounts. A total reversal of this pernicious trend has to come about.
3- Municipal level The people in power design the suburbs in such a way that we need a car even if were just going to the corner store: In suburbs we cannot walk to our work place, high school, arena, theatre, cinema, restaurant, library, university, store, church, hospital, fire or police station, municipal office, medical clinic or pharmacy.
3- Municipal level Municipalities segregate work place from living place. They have not thought about how people will move between the two when oil becomes rare. Ottawas Sparks Street mall blends shopping and office spaces but not residential.
3- Municipal level At the dawn of declining energy supplies, zoning laws should allow a mix of uses.
3- Municipal level Cities should invest massively in making themselves walkable
3- Municipal level Cities are still building skyscrapers – higher than ever At the turn of the 20th century a phenomenal number of apartments were built in Paris. None of the buildings exceeded 7 stories. They didnt have elevators then, so I guess they figured that there had to be a maximum tolerable number of stairs up which people would care to lug groceries. At the dusk of the age of petroleum we are still punching sky scrapers into the heavens. In view of the uncertainty that we will be able to run the elevators, would it not be wiser to limit the height of buildings?
In fact, we must develop a new ethic on consumption. For starters, we could begin by reverting to closing stores on Sundays. Whereas the practice used to exist for religious reasons, we would re-establish the custom for ecological purposes. Foregoing consumption one day a week would help create a healthy, environmental mindset…
…with the added benefit of rediscovering a more cohesive family and community life!
3- Municipal level Cities are maintaining the status quo on garbage removal: We are consuming resources faster than ever. The Chinese have joined us and they are now buying 10 million refrigerators and 7 million cars a year. We have to realize that ANY rate of extraction of resources is unsustainable because eventually they will be exhausted. The only way we can consume goods and maintain our civilization is to recycle to the maximum degree possible. In Canada we are producing more garbage than we were in 1980 despite all half-hearted efforts at recycling.
3- Municipal level We have to aim at recycling or reusing 100% of the resources we extract.
3- Municipal level Cities ought to urgently start fixing suburbs by: Joining suburb sections together with pathways Building more pedestrian overpasses Putting a moratorium on road expansion Dedicating separate bus lanes on existing multilane roads Eliminating the zoning laws that separate work and shopping areas from residential areas Encouraging individuals to start businesses from homes
3- Municipal level Cities ought to put an absolute and immediate ban on new housing developments: In the meantime municipalities should gang up on the Federal government to do what it should do (slides to follow).
Much of what municipalities do is dependent of what the Federal decides. So it is vitally important for the Canadian government to take appropriate action. This is what Chapter 9C attempts to cover.