Cartoon Energy Descent!

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Well, it had to happen at some point. It’s all been a little full-on recently. Work pressure, parenthood . . . taking their toll on the old blog.

Anyway, I have been turned into a cartoon by A2 Geography student, Max, as part of a homework task on energy security. Not sure about my bug-eyed cartoon alter-ego, but some excellent questions dealing with the theme of peak oil and climate change.

The 'Guy from Texas' looking happy with the oil industry . . . for now!

The ‘Guy from Texas’ looking happy with the oil industry . . . for now!

Interesting take on the ‘business as usual’ approach of big business, as represented by the ‘guy from Texas’!


Here’s the overview!

Thanks for the flattering hair situation . . .

Thanks for the flattering hair situation . . .

And finally . . . the rise of Green Man to move us onto renewable energy resources. Resistance is futile.


Energy Descent Conundrums Part One

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Energy descent is not an easy concept for most people to grasp. As we have all grown up in an era of unprecedented energy ascent, the idea of a future with less available energy is an uncomfortable one, even for those of us within the Transition movement.

I was thinking about what the best ways of getting energy descent across to people who haven’t come across the concept before. Then I thought about an idea raised a while ago by a friend in TTW about the role of an agony aunt in a post-peak-oil world. What sort of issues and problems would they be dealing with? Secret addiction to the smell of unleaded? Nipping out into the garden at midnight with a pick axe hoping to find a new reserve?

So what are the small things in life that energy descent will mean to people? Not just the obvious ones like getting to work or heating the house, but the more mundane things that don’t even register when discussing big scary stuff like peak oil. These are more random, trivial questions for an energy descent future . . .

It’s life Jim, but not as we know it

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Inspired by a couple of poems in the Totnes EDAP book, and the work of Matt Harvey, I put on my bard’s hat one afternoon when I should have been working . . . Transition Town Worthing have since done a live performance of it, complete with shakers and a musical saw. Oh dear!

It’s life Jim, but not as we know it.

Please select an option:

Lots of time,

Or GM wine?

Adults on skateboards,

Or Dr No vocal chords?

Organic peas,

Or electric SUVs?

Transition chic,

Or another giant Gulf of Mexico oil leak?

Nature-loving kids,

Or online bids?

Productive foody back gard-ons,

Or more stuff to spend credit card ons?

Embracing energy powerdown,

Or burning coal to make the sky turn brown?

Cycling to do a useful job,

Or rioting over petrol prices with an angry mob?

Learning new skills for future needs,

Or buying a packet of biotech corporation hybrid seeds?

Playing ukulele to keep amused,

Or watching your 60-inch plasma screen till your life is
used (up)?


Or dystopia,

Or Worthing Pier?

Drinking a pint of local beer,

Or a processed meal that makes you feel a bit queer?

Making the most of your one wild and precious life,

Or feeding your addiction to oil for the remainder of
your life?

Helping create a vibrant town,

Or complaining about cycles and wind turbines and
dragging me down?

Living a fruitful existence without too much fossil

Or digging a fall-out shelter in my back garden?

Seeing the A27 transformed into a dual cabbageway,

Or keeping quiet when they take another allotment away?

Whatever options we take,

Whatever way we go,

It’s life Jim,

not as we know
. It.

Steve Last, June 2010.

TTW has started a Transition Tales Group to foster stories, poems, spoof adverts of the future, agony aunt columns, and a story writing competition. I’d really like the EDAP to include as much of this element as possible to keep it firmly based within the community and to avoid it becoming a dry, boring document that no-one wants to read. Deciding what stays and what goes is another matter . . .

Cartoon by Spencer Hill