Energy

The flow of energy sustains all of life. Sunlight is the ultimate source. The unlocking of its ancient stored forms over the last 300 years – coal, then oil and natural gas – has been the feedstock for explosive growth in human population and the technologies that have so dramatically extended human reach.

The age of cheap, easily accessible fossil fuels is over. Higher prices are inevitable. 40% of all our fuel comes from oil. 90% of all global transport depends on it. As oil prices continue to climb the necessity to meet many of our most basic needs closer to home will increase. The age of the “3,000-mile Caesar Salad” is over.

Transition to a radically different energy regime challenges all of us to make significant changes in the way we live. No level of action – individual, household, community, region, nations, global – is unimportant. The extent to which we are capable of rapidly reducing our dependence on fossil fuels remains an open question.

Significant innovation is underway to be sure. Indeed, there are communities diligently working to become fossil fuel free. The potential is there. The challenge is how to connect the dots and rapidly scale up what is already working.

CCCR's Approach

The Canadian Centre for Community Renewal is working to:

  • Animate citizens, their organizations and their networks to organize and plan decreasing community dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Track best practices in energy conservation and renewable energy production.
  • Create teams that effectively support planning for energy descent and investments in conservation and renewable energy.
  • Help structure community and co-operative ownership of energy enterprises.

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Resources We Recommend

In October 2006, Hupacasath First Nation opened Upnit, a $14.5 million, 6.5 Megawatt hydroelectric plant in their traditional lands near Port Alberni, B.C. They accomplished this despite their small numbers, no experience in renewable energy, and little even in economic development. How did this happen? By 2002 it was both practical and strategic for the First Nation to devote more resources to... Continue reading: A Powerful Idea ...
The end of cheap oil will close many of the economic doors that have been open to communities or that communities have pried open over the last 50 years. Just as surely, new doors will open, or open wider, to those who have eyes to see them. A number of initiatives are already acting on that mix of opportunity and threat, showing us how to build vital communities when energy is dear. "Oil has... Continue reading: Peak Oil, Marginal Communities, & You ...
This incisive exposition of oil production data and its implications for energy descent in the near term, is one of many valuable resources available from The Oil Drum, a website that facilitates civil, evidence-based discussions about energy and its impact on our future. Continue reading: Tipping Point ...
This excellent presentation demonstrates the critical importance of Peak Oil and climate change assumptions when it comes to planning at the community level, whether the focus is transportation or other basic needs. It has been produced by the Dynamic Cities Project, a nonprofit organization that is creating energy transition strategies in response to Peak Oil and climate change. Continue reading: Peak Oil, Climate Change and Transportation ...
Feasta (pronounced fasta and meaning “in the future”) is leading a collective thinking process about our future. It is an international think-tank exploring the interactions between human welfare, the structure and operation of human systems, and the ecosystem which supports both. It strives to identify the economic, cultural, and environmental characteristics of a truly sustainable society, and... Continue reading: Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability ...
The Pembina Institute uses highly innovative research, education, consulting, and advocacy to help First Nations and municipal governments shape practical solutions to energy conservation and renewable energy production. Continue reading: Pembina Institute ...