[Excerpt] Our current system of trade is based on the availability of cheap fossil fuels. Yet the time nears when prices will rise and oil will become increasingly scarce. If we want to avoid this vulnerability, we must now begin to think about ways to reduce our dependency and promote the idea of self-sustaining towns and communities.

In June, Lloyds Insurance and Chatham House issued a report called “Sustainable Energy Security: strategic risks and opportunities for business”, which argued that “energy security is now inseparable from the transition to a low-carbon economy and business plans should prepare for this new reality”. So what might it look like if our response to climate change is also designed to respond to energy security, and the imminent peaking in world oil production (or ‘peak oil’)? The Transition movement, which began in Ireland and is now active in hundreds of communities around the world, is a huge collective experiment in trying to figure this out. Its premise is that just as cheap energy, particularly liquid fuels, have made economic globalisation possible, so will it become increasingly difficult to sustain as these fuels become scarcer...
Originally published October 24, 2010 at The European Magazine

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