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Sustainability – Surviving Oil Depletion & Climate Change with Community Solutions’ Plan C 2009 Illinois Renewable Energy Association Oregon, Illinois.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainability – Surviving Oil Depletion & Climate Change with Community Solutions’ Plan C 2009 Illinois Renewable Energy Association Oregon, Illinois."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainability – Surviving Oil Depletion & Climate Change with Community Solutions’ Plan C 2009 Illinois Renewable Energy Association Oregon, Illinois August 8, 2009 Presented by Pat Murphy – Executive Director Community Solutions (CS) Yellow Springs, OH 45387

2 Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions Founded in 1940 to support Small Local Communities Represents a trend to re-localization/localization Small communities under assault since World War II  Made possible by cheap energy In 2004 we began focusing on Climate Change and Peak Oil  The factors that will lead to small community resurgence Humans develop optimally in a place over generations  Our “Home Town”

3 New Watchword Needed! 1987 – Sustainability, 2009 – Survivability Three Interrelated Threats to Humanity  Increasing CO 2 (From burning fossil fuels) Threatens life on earth  Shrinking amounts of Fossil Fuels – “Peak Oil (Energy)” Implies a declining material standard of living  Record Inequity – result of cheap fuels and cheap credit More violence, suffering and alienation today Related to current economic crisis

4 World Threatened with Climate Crisis CO 2 – 387 ppm; Increasing 2.1 ppm annually James Hansen’s new theoretical max. – 350 ppm!!

5 World Facing Energy Decline Association for Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) says occurred in 2008 IEA World Energy Outlook 2009 – Acknowledged Peak Oil

6 World Inequity Highest in History Energy consumption correlates to inequity!! Ivan Illich – 1974 U.S. Military predicting perpetual resource wars Contraction and Convergence – Europe and NGOs

7 Modern Technology – Problem or Solution? 10,000 years of Agrarian living  ~250 years of technology living  65 years hyper-technology living Modern world is an “energy” world Technology is limited  Fuel cell car a 30 years effort  Electric cars 90 years old  Fusion 40 years late  Ethanol has not succeeded

8 Energy Sources Are Limited Fossil Fuels and Uranium Oil and Gas Not enough resources Coal–Tar Sands–Oil Shale Not enough atmosphere Nuclear fission Not enough resources Nuclear fusion Too difficult Renewables Biomass (burn food for fuel) Not enough air/water/soil Hydroelectric Not enough sites Hydrogen folly Needs energy to be produced Photovoltaic & Wind Power Proven – But will they scale? Why are there so few options?  Are we at a point of diminishing returns?  Has anything been added since crisis of 1970s?

9 Energy Devices Are Limited Fuel Cell cars a 30 year debacle  $17 billion spent – few cars EV a less expensive debacle  Few $ billion spent – 4,000 made Green Building not very green – Energy Star and LEED  15 – 25% savings at best: need 80 – 90% PHEV next techno fix – but just a coal car (no better than hybrid)  And how much lithium exists in the world? Power plants have changed little – a few IGCC generators  But only a handful built in last 20 years  Carbon Capture and Storage doubtful

10 Three Technology (Societal) Options Plan A – Black (fossil fuel technology)  More oil, gas, tar sands  Proponents are oil, gas, coal, agribusiness, car companies  Maintain current life style – 90% (or more) of population Plan B – Green (solar, wind, switch grass) technology  Focused primarily on intermittent electricity generation  Proponents are Al Gore, Lester Brown, Environmental NGOs  Maintain current life style – 9% (or less) of population Plan C – High Satisfaction Low Energy Life Style  Focused on curtailing fossil fuel usage  Reduce current life style –.9% of population

11 Plan C – Curtail Consumption First Community Survival Strategies  We must cut energy use – fast ! Cuts must be deep  IPCC: 80–90% by 2050; 4–5% yearly Take responsibility  Can’t wait for techno-fixes Our focus:  Cut energy under personal control  House, Food, Cars – 2/3 US energy

12 Plan C – High Satisfaction, Less Energy A “Community” Context A “sufficiency” lifestyle  Cooperating vs. Competing  Sharing vs. Hoarding  Saving vs. Consuming Context where curtailment is not suffering  Happiness is relating, not accumulating  “Live simply that others may simply live” Community is a cooperation principle  Capitalism/Competition destroying life And high tech 20 th century socialism  Need high satisfaction cooperative living

13 Justifying Plan C Our work is Technology/Science driven  Technology of depletion – proven by M King Hubbert  Climate Science – Universally accepted now (IPCC)  Psychology/Sociology – “Bowling Alone”  Ecological Economics Our Research in Plan C Intermediate Technology  Buildings  Transportation  Food Expose false solutions

14 “If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It!” – per Capita Thinking Need to understand energy accounting  EROEI, LCA, Embodied energy vs. operating energy Understanding requires per capita comparisons  Country comparisons are always misleading  Media obscures per capita – lets us feel righteous There are three key “macro” considerations  CO 2 Generation (tonnes per capita per year)  Energy Consumption (BOE per capita per year)  Income (PPP) ($ per capita per year)

15 CO 2 – 90% Reduction Required for Survival Per Capita Comparison  33 most populous nations  80% of world population Survival (sustainable) level  1 tonne CO 2 yearly per capita  4 tonne CO 2 world average today  19 tonne CO 2 U.S. average today U.S. greatest CO 2 contributor  4.5% of world made 27% of CO 2  Need a 90% cut

16 World Organization by Energy Rich world is most of OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development) OECD–L = OECD minus US, Turkey, Mexico (moved to ROW) U.S. is a separate category

17 U.S. Energy Consumption Breakdown Population: U.S. – 300M OECD–L – 700M ROW – 5,700M U.S. Household sector (food, cars, home)  Each sector uses more than total energy of ROW

18 Setting 80 – 90% Reduction Targets Housing (15.4 BOE/c/year)  Deep Building Retrofits – German Passive House as model  ACI’s 1,000 Home Challenge Cars (13.5 BOE/c/year)  Smart Jitney ride sharing – shared transit  Metrolite from India  Electric bicycles – China’s real transportation growth Food (10 BOE/c/year)  Elimination of fossil fuel based industrial animal products  Change your diet  Eat locally grown non-industrial food

19 #1 Target – US Homes – Size Matters Most Per capita square foot  1950 – 260  2008 – 800 New US home size  1950 – 1,000 sq. ft.  2007 – 2,300 sq. ft US residences almost twice as large as Europe or Japan A cultural issue

20 U.S. Energy Use in Buildings 50% of US energy is used in buildings  40% operating, 10% embodied (building) energy US has about 130 million residences (80 million buildings)  New building – about 1.0 million units yearly

21 “Green Building” – Too Little, Too Late LEED, Energy Star Ineffective Programs reduce energy use by 15% – 25% (need 80% – 90%) “Green buildings” are less than 5% of new construction  Less than 1% of existing stock after a decade Would take about 75 years to turn over the building stock

22 Home Energy Reductions Easier  Lighting – CFLs reduce energy use by factor of three  Plug leaks: 15 – 30% of heat loss – low cost  Insulate attic – inexpensive  Window coverings – inexpensive and fast Harder and costly – but with very large payoff  Replace windows  Modify (thicken) the building envelope  Move ductwork into the conditioned space

23 Needed – A Thick Building Envelope

24 The German Passive House Passive Houses use 90% less heating and cooling energy  They have no external heat source or air conditioning

25 13th Annual Passive House Conference Held four months ago in Frankfurt  1,200 attendees from around the world  100 presenters Tours of homes/schools About 20,000 passive houses/buildings to date 18 years since first build – a maturing technology  Windows, heat exchangers, insulation, sealants Achieving the 90% heating/cooling reduction

26 Challenge – Retrofit Existing Buildings 1,000 sq. foot. Carriage House  Thicken walls, roof, floors  First floor 4” rigid, 7 “ fiberglass  Double wall added – 12’ total  Roof rafters – from 2x4 to 2x12 Installed a heat exchanger Replaced windows A model for retrofitting

27 Retrofit Building Energy Savings and $$ Wide range of estimates to redo all homes  130 million $40,000 is $5 trillion.  Impossible? Maybe – only 7 years of US real military budget  Or a year or two of bailing out banks ! Far cheaper than paying fuel bills – e.g to 2050 (42 yr)  Save 10 boe yearly– estimate $300 boe eqv. in  $3,000 yearly for 40 years = $120,000 Culture likely to adopt 1950s values – homeowners do work! Any serious sustainability group must have a retrofitting plan!

28 #2 Target – The Private Car U.S. has 210 million cars/SUVs/pickups  U.S. has 30% of the 700+ million cars in use worldwide  U.S. cars/trucks generate 45% of auto CO2 in world  Average American buys 13 cars in his/her lifetime 75 million new cars and trucks are built each year worldwide  Net addition to world car population – 55 million yearly U.S. fleet mileage 21 mpg; Europe 42 mpg; Japan 47 mpg Replacing this fleet with new cars would take decades  Hybrids less than 1% of cars after 10 years  This is a little known “scale” issue

29 U.S. Drivers Tend to Drive Alone Passengers per trip  U.S. Transportation Energy Book, 2008

30 New Mass Transit Success Questionable Mass transit typically just supplements cars  Paris, London, Toronto, New York – high car populations  In Europe cars growing faster than mass transit Mass transit overrated (BTU per passenger mile)  Private Car – 3,496SUV – 4,329  Bus Transit – 4,318Airplane – 3,959  Amtrak Train – 2,760Rail transit – 2,569  Vanpool – 1,294 How much and how long for a mass transit system?  Can it even be done in places like Los Angeles?

31 Efficiency Ineffective – (Jeavon’s Paradox) Efficiency isn’t the answer  From 750 million 30 mpg cars to 3 billion 100 mpg cars?  3 times the efficiency – 5 times the number of cars  1–2% yearly tech improvements and population increase  2–4% yearly oil depletion rate

32 What About a Jitney? A small bus that carries passengers over a regular route on a flexible schedule An unlicensed taxicab Essence of the Jitney  Shared transit with cars  Not mass transit with buses Common in 85% of world

33 The “Smart” Jitney Proposal Every existing car can be jitney  “Shared transit” – not mass transit Made possible by new communications/GPS technology  A software problem – not hardware; All components exist! Will provide anywhere/anytime/anyplace pickup and drop off  Not limited to tracks/lines/schedules “Smart” enough to cut transport energy use 75–80% Status – Operational!!!  Avego of Ireland is first out of the box  First US “Real Time Rideshare” conference April ’09 at MIT  Should expect announcements soon in MA and CA

34 #3 Target – Food May be the hardest changes – behavior changes  But the easiest physically – no new technology Step 1 – stop eating factory meat and processed foods  Marion Nestle and Michael Pollan  Modern meat generates more CO 2 equivalent than cars Suffering of food animals is horrific Garden and buy locally grown food  CS has its own garden – supports CSAs John Michael Greer – Organic garden is contemporary!! Restore rural America

35 Local Work in Yellow Springs Council formed Electrical System Task Force in 2007  Cancelled a new $3 million substation  Withdrew from planned AMP-Ohio coal plant Council formed Energy Task Force for long range planning New home energy audit company – working with local college CS received grant for Yellow Springs Energy Partnership  Will review town’s energy use  Different than token sign ups for Architecture 2030 or Kyoto Must measure usage and design solutions – not easy  Metro Lite

36 Time Is Getting Short Peak Oil may have already occurred – July 2008  IEA November 2008 report – acknowledges depletion Climate Change is extremely serious – IPCC report “desperate”  Artic ice melt is accelerating Survivability needs 80-90% reduction of energy use (4-5% yearly)  “Incrementalism is death”… Stephen Tanner (BioHaus) No time to hope for “breakthrough” technologies – CCS, PHEV Must change habits and way of life – become different people  Using intermediate proven technologies

37 Financial Crisis Creates Opportunity Financial corporations have defrauded–swindled–cheated us  Will mean cutbacks in energy exploration and R & D  This could end our love affair with corporate America Important to consider inequity in post great depression period  Up to 1929: Very high inequity  1930s – 1980s: focus on increasing equity  1980 – 2008: Inequity buildup like pre 1929 period Curtailment will be unavoidable – and that is not all bad  In the depression community flourished ! !

38 Expect a Community Resurgence Early 2000s was like pre-depression period (roaring 20s) Things were declining before October 1929 – like now The financial crisis is a crisis of character  The smartest and the best of us built Ponzi schemes  Consumer debt triggered both depressions Free Market has become a license to steal Community provides the alternative value system  Cooperation, not competition  Values of “caring and sharing”

39 Summary CS Plan C is focused on Curtailment and Community  No techno–fix(es) can maintain current way-of-life CS projects are directed at personal 2/3 of energy consumption  Houses, Cars, Food  Working with Low Energy building organizations – Affordable Comfort, Inc., Passive House Institute – US  Working with Smart Jitney developers in Ireland (Avego) & India  Working with farmers for local food production Our view – A return to high satisfaction low-e communities  World sacrificed community for consumerism  Horrible mistake – community will be reborn  Strong community means less materialism (energy)

40 Einstein’s Reminder “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” All our thinking (and values) since WWII has been to consume more Our current way of living (values) is threatening life on earth Time for new thinking & new values  How about Community?  And High Satisfaction Low–e Living


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