508 #144: Transition Towns

posted by Mike on February 12th, 2011

508 is a show about Worcester. This week’s panel is Joe Scully and Brendan Melican. They are joined by Ian Anderson, Drew Wilson, Jeremy Shulkin, and some Clark University students.


Audio: mp3 link, other formats, feed

Video: Downloads and other formats

Contact info.

[1:00] The School Committee decided, narrowly, not to do additional investigation into the Goddard test scandal.

[5:52] Joe tells us about the Transition Towns movement and we talk about the concept of resilient communities. Joe recommends this video series.

Mike mentions this story: WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep a lid on prices.

[15:08] Clark students tell Mike why the Community Thrift Shop isn’t like the Grinch; Jeremy Shulkin tells us about researching stories; what’s Worcester’s worst large building?

[24:47] More about Transition Towns from Brendan.

[33:36] Brendan shows us his Google Cr-48 laptop running ChromeOS.

[37:41] Mike is happy that Worcester Magazine is covering “underground” stuff like pop-up restaurants.

[38:52] Mike reads from a purported “guide to off-campus parties” for Clark students. More importantly, he reads this off of an unlocked Nexus S phone, another piece of Google-branded hardware.

[41:44] Worcester Veg Fest is April 17.

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One Comment Leave a comment.

  1. On February 14, 2011 at 15:04 Joe Scully said:

    Another point to make is that Peak Oil is not a conspiracy theory at all, but a fact related to discovery and production. Dr. M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production would peak in 1970 based primarily on the fact that the domestic discovery curve peaked in 1930. He was proven correct when domestic production did indeed peak in 1970.

    Worldwide discovery peaked in 1964. Energy experts now believe that around 90% of discovered reserves are currently in production. Discovery has declined sharply in the last ten years, indicating that we have pretty much found all the oil we’re going to find with the exception of deep ocean reserves.

    Currently we’ve reached a production plateau due to OPEC’s control of the flow of oil. In order to manage their reserves and prices, OPEC cut back on production a few years ago. Recently OPEC announced that they would increase the flow of oil into the market. As a result, we may be past the predicted “peak” of production because of artificially scaled down output.

    So the facts remain:
    – There is only so much oil in the ground.
    – We know where almost all of it is.
    – The easiest, most energy and cost efficient production is behind us.
    – Worldwide demand continues to increase.

    Given the facts, it’s only a matter of time before the predicted effects of production peak begin to be felt. I and others argue that waiting until then is a very bad course of action. Given the state of our economy and the devastating impacts of oil consumption on our environment, we will likely be unable to handle the effects of such an energy crisis while maintaining our current standards of living. Something’s gotta give and the moral imperative now ought to be to do what we can to mitigate negative effects to our community and landbase.

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