Tuesday, August 28, 2007

There's a Plan C

It won't be enough to just switch energy sources so that we can continue to live our lives as usual, only cleaner. We're going to need to cut back on our consumption on many levels. That's the way it looks to me, given the limits we're discovering. One way of cutting back at the individual and family level is to share and cooperate with others. Live as active communities.

One organization exists to present the public with such a vision. The Community Solution sees it like this:

While Plans A and B seek to maintain unsustainable levels of resource consumption through energy alternatives, Plan C advocates for cultural change.

Plan A – More and dirtier fuels like tar sands, oil shale, coal-to-liquids, and “clean” coal (bury CO2) to keep up with growing energy consumption.

Plan B – The "clean and green" approach proposes using large-scale renewables like wind, solar, biofuels and hydrogen to maintain our high energy way of life and keep us complacent and consuming.

Plan C – Our strategy of culture change, conservation and curtailment.

Through reductions in resource consumption, dramatic conservation and curtailment of energy use coupled with an increase in local community living we can survive peak oil and create a sustainable world in its wake. Plan C addresses many of today’s issues head on and reduces the impetus for war. Our solutions look at how each individual can make a difference, reduce CO2 emissions, and help bring peace to the world.

For 12 years I lived with hundreds of others in a Plan C lifestyle. It was mostly enjoyable. I made many lifelong friends, learned a lot and used way less resources than the average American. I still prefer to live lightly on the earth. And ultimately it's true: You can't take it with you.

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