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- clearinghouse of news related to global energy peak.

- Planetizen: news and commentary for the planning, design, and development community.

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    Published 1 December 2007 by Deutsche Presse-Agentur

    Inspired by Braungart and McDonough's 'cradle-to-cradle' philosophy and the dictum that 'waste equals food,' the Dutch town of Venlo is launching a number of sustainability projects, including one that will take advantage of the region's strong horticulture industry. The plan will convert carbon dioxide to biofuels, by way of greenhouses growing algae.

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    Published 5 December 2007 by The Guardian (UK)

    The Conservative party in the UK wants to see private residences and businesses generating electricity for the grid. This move to distributed micro-generation would be encouraged through laws requiring energy suppliers to contract to buy power from whoever might produce it.

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    Published 1 December 2007 by Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    Record-setting rainstorms such as those that have recently deluged the Northwest are likely to become more common due to climate change, according to a report from the organization Environment Washington. Dealing with downpours in cities like Seattle requires both city-level infrastructure change and individual actions.

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    Published 1 December 2007 by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Health care is Pittsburgh's economic anchor. Unfortunately, it is also heavily dependent on cheap petroleum, both as a material for crucial supplies and in the form of cheap energy. Medicine must overcome its conservatism, bureaucracy and ethos of uniqueness to recognize and then respond to the challenge of peak oil; there is much that can be done to become more efficient.

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    Published 2 December 2007 by Rutland Herald (VT)

    The costs of globally tight oil supplies are already being felt by Vermonters whose budgets are stretched to heat their homes and put food on the table. There is little to no response at the federal level. At the state level, the Energy Affordability and Climate Change bill that was passed by the state legislature but vetoed by the governor would have been a positive step. Vermont, with cold winters and economic dependence on tourism, has a lot of adjustments to make.

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    Published 26 November 2007 by The Guardian (UK)

    In Maasbommel, Netherlands, new homes are being designed that will float when flood waters rise above their foundations -- a prudent adaptation in a country that is already 50% below sea level. "In Holland we have always lived with this threat. We have to live with the water and not against it, so something needs to be done."

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    Published 14 November 2007 by The Gazette (IA)

    The City Council's smart growth score card proposal is a result of lengthy discussion about how to discourage urban sprawl, which is costly for cities because it requires them to extend police and fire and other services to a wider and wider area. Council members are pushing for some refinements, including a more detailed set of goals to measure a project's environmental and energy impact.

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    Published 19 September 2007 by Global Public Media

    Queensland, Australia's Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation talks with Global Public Media's Andi Hazelwood about departmental changes in response to climate and energy challenges, the public release of his government-commissioned report on "Queensland's Vulnerability to Oil Prices," and the importance of relocalisation in the face of oil depletion.

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    Published 20 November 2007 by Japan for Sustainability

    The statistics showed that the household electricity demand in 76 municipalities was completely satisfied by renewable energy sources, and that more than 20 percent of the demand in four prefectures was covered by renewables. Micro-hydropower generation accounted for a majority of this renewable power, and is particularly appropriate for Japan's steep topography and abundant precipitation.

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    Published 18 November 2007 by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Pittsburgh Councilman William Peduto has introduced two pieces of building-related legislation. The first, which passed earlier this month, allows LEED certified buildings to be larger than noncertified buildings in their zoning areas. The second would require new or newly renovated city facilities and development backed with tax-increment financing to attain a LEED silver certification.

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    Published 25 November 2007 by The Environment Report

    Spurred to action by the predictions of local climate scientists, King County, Washington is pursuing both mitigation and adaptation strategies for dealing with the coming realities of climate change.

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    Published 2 November 2007 by Reuters

    The Australian desert community of Cloncurry plans to be one of the first towns to operate on solar power alone, with a new solar thermal power station that will be paid for by the state of Queensland. The plant will use the heat of the sun to generate energy consistently through nights and cloudy days.

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    Published 12 November 2007 by The Ellsworth American (Maine)

    In Maine, as in much of the northeast, escalating heating fuel and gasoline prices hit consumers with a one-two punch. It reduces the amount of disposable cash available to most households and contributes to an increase in the cost of other essentials, such as groceries. Those who budget for heating schools and hospitals are keeping a close eye on oil prices.

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    Published 17 November 2007 by Sacramento News & Review

    Green buildings are important to efforts to create a more efficient infrastructure, but the term itself may confuse. "Green building" is not a standardized product, but a guiding philosophy of building. Green buildings, foremost, need to be appropriate to their surroundings and take advantage of the resources specific to their place.

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    Published 19 November 2007 by New York Times

    The city of Fort Collins, CO wants to become more energy independent and be involved in the production of "zero-carbon" energy. But they find themselves weighing energy options that may conflict with their convictions and intentions.

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    Published 15 November 2007 by Streetsblog

    While the political battle over congestion pricing continues in New York City, responses to the "Request for Expressions of Interest" have the city's Economic Development Corporation sanguine about the market feasibility of the project. Over thirty companies submitted proposals for a system to reduce traffic in downtown New York that would be similar to the program implemented in London.

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    Published 14 November 2007 by Falls Church News-Press (VA)

    The U.S. government's Energy Information Administration announced bad news on the fuel front. The announcement, predicting that gasoline prices are due to go up another 20 cents a gallon in the next few weeks, has been reported on widely. But the real message to take from this announcement is that the EIA is seeing, and starting to report, a real change in the oil markets.

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    Published 16 November 2007 by New York Times

    In a case brought by 4 environmental groups and 13 states and cities, a federal appeals court rejected the Bush administration’s year-old fuel-economy standards for light trucks and sport utility vehicles. It said the rules were not tough enough because regulators had failed to thoroughly assess the economic impact of tailpipe emissions that contribute to climate change.

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    Published 30 September 2007 by Urban Land

    Charles Lockwood interviews Post Carbon Institute President Julian Darley about peak oil and what it means for the shape of human settlement. From the October edition of Urban Land, published by the Urban Land Institute.

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    Published 15 November 2007 by The Arizona Republic

    Maricopa County will replace its 2000 vehicle fleet with hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles. The county's fleet travels 25 million miles a year and puts out more than 30 million pounds of emissions, both pollutants and greenhouse gases. County officials estimate they could cut that down by between 3 million and 15 million pounds a year.

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    Published 13 November 2007 by The Portland Tribune

    The mayors of Chicago and Portland, OR met to discuss forming a sort of city partnership that would enable the two cities to collaborate on research and development in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and green building. In the absence of federal and, in some cases, even state legislation around climate change and the ever-increasing demand for energy, cities have been pulling together more.

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    Published 11 November 2007 by Smart Growth Online

    1000 Friends of Maryland have documented one hidden cost of Maryland's recent development patterns -- the rapidly increasing school bus budget. Their report, Yellow School Bus Blues, focuses on two issues local governments can control. Local governments' decisions affect the number of students in the county and where these students live. Land use decisions also determine if schools are located so that students can walk or bike to school.

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    Published 11 November 2007 by The Wild Green Yonder

    Oil shortages are a lot less simple than having to turn down the A/C and line up to refill the gas tank. For one thing, models predict that once production starts slipping, it’ll slip fast – far faster than it’ll take to replace our needs with wind, solar or even nuclear. And in the last five decades, we’ve become dependent on petroleum in countless ways, and seemingly insignificant disruptions in supply can have far-reaching repercussions.

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    Published 10 November 2007 by The Independent (UK)

    It is surprising that the world economy has managed to carry on growing strongly despite the recent rise in oil prices. There's growing recognition of the finite limits to global oil production, but also growing demand that probably can't be offset by efficiencies in developed countries. While it's hard to connect the current US economic slump with oil prices, the impact of rising prices will be felt sooner or later.

  • kidbike.jpg
    Published 9 November 2007 by Bike Radar

    New bike parking facilities in London demonstrate a commitment to get kids on bicycles. Since one in five cars in London's morning rush hour is on a school run, successfully getting students on bikes will reduce traffic; but in the long term, getting youth into the habit of cycling may help ensure better health and less traffic in the future as well.

© 2009 Post Carbon Institute

Post Carbon Cities: Helping local governments understand and respond to the challenges of peak oil and global warming.
Post Carbon Cities is a program of Post Carbon Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in the United States.