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.
To build the resilience of communities against coming changes in global oil supply, urban planners and policymakers will need to turn to more systems-informed approaches to community governance and development.
Though it's been around for longer, the Transition Towns initiative really blossomed as an international movement this year with the release of the Transition Handbook. In its home country, the United Kingdom, Transition activities led to several peak oil related resolutions (as well as a host of non-governmental community developments, like the creation of local currency). This year, the idea leapt the pond, taking root in the United States with the formation of Transition United States.
Fatih Birol, chief economist to the International Energy Agency, told the Guardian that conventional crude output could plateau in 2020, a development that was "not good news" for a world still heavily dependent on petroleum.
2008 saw a flurry of new government responses to peak oil, plus groundbreaking legislation in California. Also, the oil price spike, the intensifying global recession, and the historic US presidential election have all helped create a sea change in our thinking about energy and what it means for the economy.
Oil production is up, but prices are back to 2005 levels. You might think this means the pressure's off on peak oil. But a closer look at what's actually happening -- and what the peak oil concept says about the real long-term constraints on oil supplies -- reveals the low prices will actually create more problems, and sooner.
EMBARQ works with cities in the developing world to catalyze and help implement sustainable solutions to the problems of urban mobility. By working with EMBARQ, cities can reduce the cost, risk, time, and complexity of diagnosing transport problems and designing and implementing sustainable solutions. EMBARQ has also proven that sustainable transport in developing countries can translate into economic opportunities for the forward-thinking business. This year's conference has three themes: BRT, Safety, and Climate.
As the closest government level to citizens, municipal leaders can accelerate behavioural change within their community and can drive and implement effective actions. Local governments will offer national governments their partnership to limit global warming when nations gather at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland on 1-12 December 2008 to negotiate a new global climate agreement.
'Combined heat and power' (CHP) plants and 'district heating' systems have been around for well over a hundred years. And yet, only a handful of modern cities and towns have made use of these highly efficient technologies until very recently. Now that we've rediscovered CHP and district heating, what role will they play in retrofitting our economies to rely on local energy?
At a time when climate change is a major priority for the international community, this Symposium aims at pushing forward the research agenda on climate change from a city's perspective. Specifically, the main questions will be structured around the impacts of city and urban growth on climate change; measuring and anticipating the consequences of climate change on urban quality of life, city assets, and local and national economies; and assessing alternatives to increase the resilience of cities and related costs and incentives required for successful implementation.