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A new game

The post-World War II economy has experienced its share of crises, and each time the economy has rebounded and gone on to bigger and faster global growth. But something different happened last summer -- and we're not diagnosing the problem correctly, and we're not pursuing the correct solutions. We've essentially failed to recognize that the game has changed.

London mayor launches plan to retrain jobless as energy advisers
Published 7 January 2009 by The Guardian (original article)

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, unveiled proposals to set up a "retrofitting academy" to train an army of energy advisers as he aired his ambitions to place the city at the forefront of green industry. Johnson also vowed to push ahead with the retrofitting of buildings in London that in one way or another reside in the public sector – believed to be around 25% of all buildings in the capital.

Report/Paper: Hamilton, Ont. report and recommendation regarding Peak Oil study
Published 18 November 2008 by City of Hamilton Planning and Economic Development Department (original article)

This report and recommendation were submitted to the City Council of Hamilton, Ontario on November 18, 2008. It details the steps Hamilton has taken to date on the issue of peak oil, and recommends the creation of a volunteer peak oil task force based on the model of Portland, Oregon. The council approved funding for the task force on December 8, 2008.

Austin wants to be green energy capital
Published 3 December 2008 by The Houston Chronicle (original article)

A consortium of businesses, the city-owned utility and environmentalists said Wednesday they plan to make Austin’s power grid a model of “green” energy and a test bed for new and emerging technologies. They hope startup and established companies will come to Austin to develop technologies that will eventually be used in other cities to modernize the electric grid.

Reducing Energy Costs in Local Government
January 22, 2009 - Jan 22 2009
Published by Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network (original article)

Local governments are facing serious economic challenges because of increased costs as well as decreased revenue. Furthermore, volatile and unpredictable energy costs are adding to these stresses on local government budgets. This conference will give your organization a head start in preparing for an uncertain future. Learn about actions that local government can take now to reduce energy costs.

Report/Paper: Major US City Preparedness for an Oil Crisis
Published 10 November 2008 by Common Current (original article)

This study by Warren Karlenzig, author of How Green Is Your City?: The SustainLane City Rankings, ranks the largest 50 US cities by their readiness for $4+ a gallon gas and $100+ barrel oil prices. It considers a variety of factors, including city resident public transit use, city carpooling rates, metro public transit ridership, metro area sprawl, telecommuting, biking and walking-to-work rates, and use of heating oil. This is an update of the May 2008 report.

Benefit plans allow riders to pay with pre-tax dollars
Published 12 November 2008 by Chicago Tribune (original article)

Under federal tax law, a commuter can shelter up to $115 a month, or $1,380 a year, in pre-tax dollars to help pay commuting expenses. But few employers provide programs that would allow their employees to take advantage of this. San Francisco recently became the nation's first to require businesses with more than 20 employees to offer transit benefit programs -- and Chicago may soon follow.

UK will face peak oil crisis within five years, report warns
Published 29 October 2008 by The Guardian (UK) (original article)

The risk to the UK from falling oil production in coming years is greater than the threat posed by terrorism, according to an industry taskforce report published today. The report, from the Peak Oil group, warns that the problem of declining availability of oil will hit the UK earlier than generally expected - possibly within the next five years and as early as 2011.

Transit systems in a bind
Published by various

The atmosphere in the U.S. is right for growth in mass transit, but those who are trying to make the shift are finding that the funding is not there - due to years of neglect, underfunding, and now systemic economic problems that are threatening many new and existing plans.

Report/Paper: Relocalisation: Urban case studies, trends and local government role
Published by Municipal Association of Victoria (original article)

A research paper produced for the Municipal Association of Victoria, Australia explores the energy uncertainty adaptation strategy of relocalization through case studies. The report also touches on ways in which local governments can encourage these efforts.

© 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.