Post Carbon Institute integrates and connects high-level thinking with on-the-ground action. We bring together the best ideas and models for transitioning from the carbon-addicted world to the post-carbon world as quickly, equitably, and sustainably as possible. We implement our broad strategies — Setting the Agenda, Changing the Conversation, and Building Resilience — through the mutually reinforcing projects.
setting the agenda
Daunting, interrelated challenges — runaway climate change and other environmental crises, depleting natural resources (particularly cheap fossil fuels), a contracting growth-dependent economy, and a widening gap between the haves and have-nots — are growing at a rate faster than our ability to solve them using traditional approaches. In conjunction with 29 Fellows and broad set of partners, Post Carbon Institute is helping individuals, families, communities, and thought leaders make sense of this rapidly changing reality, develop appropriate responses, and build their capacities to act. Our focusing question is simple yet profoundly vital: How can we build a more resilient society?
We define and diagnose the 21st century’s daunting and interrelated energy, environment, economy, and equity challenges. Every year, Post Carbon Institute publishes books, reports, articles, commentaries, and blog posts that build awareness, challenge misconceptions, promote promising models, and inspire action. We’re promoting set a new and inspiring agenda by providing both an in-depth understanding of the key challenges, and an integrated roadmap for transitioning to a promising future.
changing the conversation
For the most part, the national conversation on our economic crisis — with increasing desperation — focuses on “getting back to normal”: robust economic growth, profligate energy use, unbridled consumerism, etc. Not only is this impossible, but the constant repetition of the same ideas sets up a dynamic where all but the most ardent environmentalists and alternative economists compete in an unwinnable debate, trying to prove that sustainable means a future “just like the present; only more so.”
Post Carbon Institute provides new ways to understand and respond — through game-changing books, award-winning videos, hard-hitting reports, and trend-setting social media. We’re helping to shift the public dialogue toward a common sense understanding of the practical limits of resources, the environment, and the economy, and a meaningful exchange of ideas for how best to respond. We’re bringing furtive whispers about resource constraints, the end of economic growth, and the need to live within Nature’s budget of renewable resources out into the open. We’re replacing the debate about growing faster with a meaningful exchange of ideas about transitioning effectively to living with limits.
Given the challenges we face, PCI believes the future resides in resilient communities. Resilient, because the complex economic, energy, and environmental challenges we face require not solutions to make problems go away, but responses that recognize our vulnerabilities, build our capacities, and enable us to adapt to an increasingly unpredictable future. Communities, because the future is grounded in local relationships: among families and neighbors, respecting the ecological resources that sustain us, and through the institutions with which we govern ourselves.
Post Carbon Institute offers concrete, tangible resources that help individuals and communities grow their resilience, take appropriate action, and build a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable future…for all.