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.
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.