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Our Renewable Future: a talk for Willits Economic LocaLization

January 5, 2016

On a cool November Sunday the hall of the Little Lake Grange in Willits, CA, filled with members and supporters of WELL – Willits Economic Localization. 11 years earlier many of them had come to hear Richard Heinberg after reading his book The Party’s Over: Oil, War & the Fate of Industrial Societies.

The 2004 Canadian documentary, The End of Suburbia, featured an interview with Heinberg and became an inspiration here as well as for the emerging international Transition Town movement.
Arguing that modern life as we know it will end as oil reserves begin running out and climate change does not allow us to burn the rest, the Transition Town Movement focuses on the interrelated issues of energy and economy and all the positive projects of local self reliance that are already under way.

Richard Heinberg’s talk on “Our Renewable Future” is set among all the frightening news about accelerating climate change. However his message was serious but positive. He asks how our daily life will change as we fully embrace the era of renewable energy? How will we need to shift the ways we use energy – offering both opportunities and challenges.


In Part TWO Heinberg prsents his three level plan for the transition to renewable energy. He is touching on food production, transportation, housing, manufacturing, steel and cement construction mining, the internet and much more. He calls this the economic transformation for the remainder of our life time. He was recorded and filmed by TUC Radio at the Little Lake Grange in the small former logging town of Willits, CA, on November 15, 2015.


Originally published and recorded by TUC Radio.

Renewables image via shutterstock.

2 Comments, RSS

  • while I don’t doubt Richard’s sincerity
    the second half of this lecture could just be stated as:
    We are going to have to——
    then fill in whatever list you think is applicable to yourself.

    Not sure whether this comes under wish politics, wish science or wish economics.

    maybe a concoction of all three

  • We need to do EVERYTHING that he outlines. The three layers from easy to major changes is helpful to see what can be done when.
    We should have started this decades ago when we began to realise that there was a problem. The more we drag our feet the harder and more costly it will be.
    We halved our home heating requirement by doing basic stuff, a solar water heater and a heat recovery ventilation. We have since then displaced 80% of the gas we used by installing a log-burning stove in the living room. There’s always more to be done and we keep working on it.