Titanic Lifeboat Academy (Astoria, Oregon)

Helping people build lifeboats for the transition through resource depletion & climate change

Main Website: http://lifeboat.postcarbon.org/

Thomas Freedman to Speak at PSU - Free Admission!

Get in line now, Friedman fans! Thomas Friedman, columnist for The New York Times and author of gazillion-selling books "The World Is Flat" and "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," will give a free lecture at Portland State on March 9.

That's right, Friedman for free, thanks to Portland State, Ecotrust, and a long list of additional sponsors. Here's the other details: It starts at noon, it'll be followed by a question-and-answer session and a book signing, and it'll be in the Stott Center, 930 S.W. Hall St., which holds about 1,300 people. Seating is first-come, first-served. Friedman will talk about the themes he explores in his new book, "Hot, Flat, and Crowded."

Event title:
Thomas Freedman to Speak at PSU - Free Admission!
2009-03-09 12:00 (Calendar)
2009-03-09 14:00


930 S.W. Hall St. : PSU's Stott Hall
Portland, OR
United States
See map: Google Maps

2009 Energy Trust Better Living Show

It's the largest sustainable lifestyle event in the Northwest. Find everything green, good and sustainable in one place - Portland, Oregon. The Energy Trust Better Living Home and Garden Show. If you are looking to live a more earth friendly life, this is the festival for you. Seminars, workshops and music add to the expo. Admission is free to this show. Contact Michael O'Loughlin for this and other trade shows.

Event title:
2009 Energy Trust Better Living Show
2009-03-27 12:00 (Calendar)
2009-03-29 17:00


2060 N Marine Drive
Portland, OR, 97217
United States
See map: Google Maps

PLAN B 3.0: Mobilizing To Save Civilization

Author, Affiliation, Date: 
Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute, January 16, 2008

Earth Policy Institute

News Release


“In late summer 2007, reports of ice melting were coming at a frenetic pace. Experts were ‘stunned’ when an area of Arctic sea ice almost twice the size of Britain disappeared in a single week,” writes Lester R. Brown in his new book, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (W.W. Norton & Company).

“Nearby, the Greenland ice sheet was melting so fast that huge chunks of ice weighing several billion tons were breaking off and sliding into the sea, triggering minor earthquakes,” notes Brown, President and Founder of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based independent environmental research organization.

These recent developments are alarming scientists. If we cannot stop this melting of the Greenland ice sheet, sea level will eventually rise 23 feet, inundating many of the world’s coastal cities and the rice-growing river deltas of Asia. It will force several hundred million people from their homes, generating an unimaginable flood of rising-sea refugees.

“We need not go beyond ice melting to see that civilization is in trouble. Business-as-usual is no longer a viable option. It is time for Plan B,” Brown says in Plan B 3.0, which was produced with major funding from the Farview, Lannan, Summit, and Wallace Genetic foundations, the U.N. Population Fund, Fred and Alice Stanback, and Andrew Stevenson.

“Plan B 3.0 is a comprehensive plan for reversing the trends that are fast undermining our future. Its four overriding goals are to stabilize climate, stabilize population, eradicate poverty, and restore the earth’s damaged ecosystems,” says Brown. “Failure to reach any one of these goals will likely mean failure to reach the others as well.”

Continuing rapid population growth is weakening governments in scores of countries. The annual addition of 70 million people to world population is concentrated in countries where water tables are falling and wells are going dry, forests are shrinking, soils are eroding, and grasslands are turning into desert. As this backlog of unresolved problems grows, stresses mount and weaker governments begin to break down.

The defining characteristic of a failing state is the inability of a government to provide security for its people. Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, and Pakistan are among the better known examples. Each year the number of failing states increases. “Failing states,” notes Brown, “are an early sign of a failing civilization.”

“Even as the accumulating backlog of unresolved problems is leading to a breakdown of governments in weaker states, new stresses are emerging. Among these are rising oil prices as the world approaches peak oil, rising food prices as an ever larger share of the U.S. grain harvest is converted into fuel for cars, and the spreading fallout from climate change.”

“At the heart of the climate-stabilizing initiative cited above is a detailed plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent by 2020 in order to hold the future temperature rise to a minimum. This initiative has three major components -- raising energy efficiency, developing renewable sources of energy, and expanding the earth’s tree cover. Reaching these goals,” says Brown, “will mean the world can phase out all coal-fired power plants.”

In setting the carbon reduction goals for Plan B, we did not ask “What do politicians think is politically feasible?” but rather “What do we think is needed to prevent irreversible climate change?” This is not Plan A: business-as-usual. This is Plan B: an all-out response at wartime speed proportionate to the magnitude of the threats facing civilization.

“We are in a race between tipping points in natural and political systems,” says Brown. “Which will come first? Can we mobilize the political will to phase out coal-fired power plants before the melting of the Greenland ice sheet becomes irreversible? Can we halt deforestation in the Amazon basin before it so weakens the forest that it becomes vulnerable to fire and is destroyed? Can we cut carbon emissions fast enough to save the Himalayan glaciers that feed the major rivers of Asia?”

Although efforts have been made in recent decades to raise the efficiency of energy use, the potential is still largely untapped. For example, one easy and profitable way to cut carbon emissions worldwide is simply to replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs that use only a fourth as much electricity. Turning to more efficient lighting can reduce world electricity use by 12 percent -- enough to close 705 of the world’s 2,370 coal-fired power plants.

In the United States, buildings -- commercial and residential -- account for close to 40 percent of carbon emissions. Retrofitting an existing building typically can cut energy use by 20–50 percent. The next step, shifting to carbon-free electricity to heat, cool, and light the building completes the transformation to a zero-carbon emissions building.

We can also reduce carbon emissions by moving down the food chain. The energy used to provide the typical American diet and that used for personal transportation are roughly equal. A plant-based diet requires about one fourth as much energy as a diet rich in red meat. The reduction in carbon emissions in shifting from a red meat–rich diet to a plant-based diet is about the same as that in shifting from a Chevrolet Suburban SUV to a Toyota Prius hybrid car.

In the Plan B energy economy, wind is the centerpiece. It is abundant, low cost, and widely distributed; it scales easily and can be developed quickly. The goal is to develop at wartime speed 3 million megawatts of wind-generating capacity by 2020, enough to meet 40 percent of the world’s electricity needs. This would require 1.5 million wind turbines of 2 megawatts each. These turbines could be produced on assembly lines by reopening closed automobile plants, much as bombers were assembled in auto plants during World War II.

In the development of renewable energy resources, Brown notes, we are seeing the emergence of some big-time thinking -- thinking that recognizes the urgency of moving away from fossil fuels. Nowhere is this more evident than in Texas, where the state government is coordinating an effort to build 23,000 megawatts of wind-generating capacity (the equivalent of 23 coal-fired power plants). This will supply enough electricity to satisfy the residential needs of over 11 million Texans -- half the state’s population. Oil wells go dry and coal seams run out, but the earth’s wind resources cannot be depleted.

Solar technologies also provide exciting opportunities for getting us off the carbon treadmill. Sales of solar-electric panels are doubling every two years. Rooftop solar water heaters are spreading fast in Europe and China. In China, some 40 million homes now get their hot water from rooftop solar heaters. The plan is to nearly triple this to 110 million homes by 2020, supplying hot water to 380 million Chinese.

Large-scale solar thermal power plants are under construction or planned in California, Florida, Spain, and Algeria. Algeria, a leading world oil exporter, is planning to develop 6,000 megawatts of solar-thermal electric-generating capacity, which it will feed into the European grid via an undersea cable. The electricity generated from this single project is enough to supply the residential needs of a country the size of Switzerland.

Investment in geothermal energy for both heating and power generation is also growing fast, notes Brown. Iceland now heats nearly 90 percent of its homes with geothermal energy, virtually eliminating the use of coal for home heating. The Philippines gets 25 percent of its electricity from geothermal power plants. The United States has 61 geothermal projects under way in the geothermally rich western states.

The combination of gas-electric hybrid cars and advanced-design wind turbines has set the stage for the evolution of an entirely new automotive fuel economy. If the battery storage of the typical hybrid car is doubled and a plug-in capacity is added so that batteries can be recharged at night, then we could do our short-distance driving -- commuting to work, grocery shopping, and so on -- almost entirely with cheap, wind-generated electricity.

This would permit us to run our cars largely on renewable electricity -- and at the gasoline-equivalent cost of less than $1 per gallon. Several major automakers are coming to market with plug-in hybrids or electric cars.

With business as usual (Plan A), the environmental trends that are undermining our future will continue. More and more states will fail until civilization itself begins to unravel. “Time is our scarcest resource. We are crossing natural thresholds that we cannot see and violating deadlines that we do not recognize,” says Brown. “These deadlines are set by nature. Nature is the timekeeper, but we cannot see the clock.”

The key to restructuring the world energy economy is to get the market to tell the environmental truth by incorporating into prices the indirect costs of burning fossil fuels, such as climate disruption and air pollution. To do this, we propose adopting a carbon tax that will reflect these indirect costs and offsetting it by lowering income taxes. We propose a worldwide carbon tax to be phased in at $20 per ton each year between 2008 and 2020, stabilizing at $240 per ton. This initiative, which would be offset at every step with a reduction in income taxes, would simultaneously discourage fossil fuel use and encourage investment in renewable sources of energy.

“Saving civilization is not a spectator sport,” says Brown. “We have reached a point in the deteriorating relationship between us and the earth’s natural systems where we all have to become political activists. Every day counts. We all have a stake in civilization’s survival.”

“We can all make lifestyle changes, but unless we restructure the economy and do it quickly we will almost certainly fail. We need to persuade our elected representatives and national leaders to support the environmental tax restructuring and other changes outlined in Plan B. Beyond this, each of us can pick an issue that is important to us at the local level, such as phasing out coal-fired power plants, shifting to more-efficient light bulbs, or developing a comprehensive local recycling program, and get to work on it.”

We all need to educate ourselves on environmental issues. For its part, the Earth Policy Institute is making Plan B 3.0 available for downloading free of charge from its Web site, earthpolicy.org.

“It is decision time,” says Brown. “Like earlier civilizations that got into environmental trouble, we have to make a choice. We can stay with business as usual and watch our economy decline and our civilization unravel, or we can adopt Plan B and be the generation that mobilizes to save civilization. Our generation will make the decision, but it will affect life on earth for all generations to come.”

- end -

Contact for additional information:
Lester R. Brown, Author & President (202) 496.9290 x 11
Janet Larsen, Director of Research (202) 496.9290 x 14
Media Contact: Reah Janise Kauffman (202) 496.9290 x 12

Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization is now available online for free downloading at http://www.earthpolicy.org/Books/PB3/index.htm.

URL of original article: 

Energy Trust Better Living Show

[rail and group transport/pooling strongly encouraged]
A reinvention of the consumer show in a city whose favorite color is clearly green. The Energy Trust Better Living Show is a 3-day festival that provides an entertaining setting to explore sustainable choices for your home, garden and life. The event will feature companies and organizations with products and services in eight core areas: lifestyle, food and beverage, transportation, conservation, home and garden, eco adventure, clean tech, and recycling. Meet Ed Begley Jr on Friday.

The Better Living Show is here to celebrate what people and businesses are doing right and encourage everyone to improve life today for a positive impact on tomorrow. The Show is a production of Blue Ocean Events, co-owned by Michael O’Loughlin and Stephanie Frisch. “We feel so strongly that the tools and resources for people to live their best life should be easily accessible that we have made this show free to the public” shares Frisch.

Event title:
Energy Trust Better Living Show
2008-03-28 12:00 (Calendar)
2008-03-30 17:00


2060 N Marine Drive Hall E
Portland, OR, 97217
United States
See map: Google Maps
Contact Email:

GM Embraces Electrics as Oil Slips Away

Author, Affiliation, Date: 
Joshua Dowling, Detroit, The Age, January 15, 2008

THE world's biggest car maker, General Motors, believes the global oil supply has peaked and a switch to electric cars is inevitable.

In a stunning announcement at the opening of the Detroit Motor Show yesterday, GM's chairman and chief executive officer, Rick Wagoner, said ethanol was an important interim solution to the demand for oil, until battery technology gave electric cars the range of petrol-powered cars.

GM is working on an electric car, the Volt — due in showrooms in 2010 — but delays in battery technology have slowed its development.

Mr Wagoner cited US Department of Energy figures that showed the world was using about 1000 barrels of oil every second and demand was likely to increase by 70% in the next 20 years.

"There is no doubt demand for oil is outpacing supply at a rapid pace, and has been for some time now," Mr Wagoner said. "As a business necessity and an obligation to society we need to develop alternate sources of propulsion.


URL of original article: 

Oregon Tilth's 33rd Annual Winter Conference

An exciting roster of stimulating and topical symposia and roundtable discussions, practical workshops, and an engaging roster of speakers who are sure to draw a crowd—and keep it talking well after the event is over. Enjoy an organic wine tasting, gourmet meals prepared with local, organic ingredients, and the company of others involved in sustainable and organic agriculture.

This year’s conference will offer a rich variety of topics relevant to anyone involved with food systems, organic agriculture and livestock, sustainability, advocacy, and many other issues. It is also a wonderful opportunity for consumers and the general public to learn about sustainable agriculture and organic food production.

Download a brochure about the conference.

Click here to register.

$20 per day for Oregon Tilth members, or $50 per day for non-members.

Event title:
Oregon Tilth's 33rd Annual Winter Conference
2008-01-18 07:30 (Calendar)
2008-01-19 17:00


Salem, OR
United States
See map: Google Maps

Oregon Local Climate Protection Workshop

How do cities and counties develop and implement effective, fiscally responsible actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

The City of Hillsboro, the Oregon Environmental Council and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability invite you to Oregon's first-ever Oregon Local Climate Action Workshop at the Hillsboro Civic Center on Monday, December 10th. Take this day-long opportunity to meet leaders in government and the non-profit and private sector that are on the forefront of Oregon’s efforts to develop climate policy. Learn how to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, while improving community livability and saving taxpayer dollars.

See the complete agenda here.

Speakers and presenters include:

Mayor Tom Hughes, Hillsboro
Helen Berg – Former Mayor, Corvallis
Amy Shatzkin, ICLEI
Sallie Schullinger-Krause, Director of Climate Change Programs, Oregon Environmental Council
Councilor Rex Burkholder, Portland Metro
Michael Armstrong, Deputy Director, Portland's Office of Sustainable Development
Linda Lovett, Sustainability Manager, City of Corvallis
Bill Bradbury, Oregon Secretary of State
Bruce Abernethy, Mayor of Bend
Jan Schaeffer, Director of Communications and Marketing, Energy Trust of Oregon
Robert Del Mar, Renewable Energy Development Coordinator, Oregon Dept. of Energy
Kitty Piercy, Mayor of Eugene
Eric King, Interim City Manager, Bend
Jeremy Hayes, National Organizing Director of the Apollo Alliance
Kat West, Multnomah County Sustainability Director
Susan Milhauser, Sustainability Planner, Lake Oswego

The conference is free, but a suggested donation of $25 is appreciated.

Register and RSVP here.

Highly recommended!

Event title:
Oregon Local Climate Protection Workshop
2007-12-10 22:00 (Calendar)
2007-12-10 22:00


Hillsboro City Hall - 150 E. Main St
Hillsboro, OR, 97123
United States
See map: Google Maps
Contact Email:

Washington County Peak Oil Reading Group

Author, Affiliation, Date: 
Paige Richmond, Willamette Week, December 5, 2007

A bunch of neighbors in the ’burbs have the peak-oil book market cornered.


OIL FREE: The Washington County Peak Oil Reading Group’s
Donna Maebori and Peter Lunsford at the
Cedar Hills Crossing outpost of Powell’s Books.
IMAGE: Darryl James

When the global oil supply dries up, Donna Maebori, 56, and Peter Lunsford, 49, will be ready. Or, at least they’ll be well-read.

This pair of suburbanites are the founders of the Washington County Peak Oil Reading Group, a collection of citizens who, since April, have been meeting monthly at the Cedar Hills Crossing Mall. While the owners of compacts, hybrids and SUVs shop and Beaverton traffic moves steadily on nearby Sunset Highway, the Peak Oil group’s 10-plus members—including a few twentysomethings but mostly middle-agers—are inside the mall’s Powell’s Books outpost reading in preparation for what they call “life after the oil crash,” or what’s commonly known as the peak oil crisis. In simplest terms, it’s when the global demand for oil exceeds the rate of oil production, and the price and scarcity of oil will increase dramatically.

Maebori and Lunsford agree that books are one of the most effective ways to educate their unprepared neighbors.

Maebori, a physical therapist at Providence St. Vincent, starting reading up on oil when her daughter left for college a few years ago. Lunsford, who moved to Portland last year because he feels “it’s the most sustainable city in the country,” first learned about peak oil by reading When Technology Fails by Matthew Stein. The pair sat down with WW to explain what the suburbs can do to power down.

WW : Why start a peak oil group in Washington County, rather than just working with the Portland Peak Oil group?
Peter: Washington County has separate issues, and we have a different population base that has different ideas about the world. The city of Portland is traditionally very progressive and—by Washington County standards—very liberal. There’s a large agricultural community [in Washington County]. Portland Peak Oil has made great strides in getting the message across to the city, but they are not interested in exerting the effort required in the individual cities of Washington and Clackamas counties.

How did you decide to add a reading group to your monthly informational meetings?
It’s an excellent format for discussing the issues and bringing up the authors who have done such great research on [peak oil]...We’ve been discussing the problems through books like PowerDown [by Richard Heinberg], A Short History of Progress [by Ronald Wright] and [James Howard Kunstler’s] The Long Emergency. Already [we’re] figuring out what we can advocate, what can we do so that some good can come out of this.

How do the books you read address specific problems in Washington County?
Both The Long Emergency and PowerDown discuss in detail the challenges to agriculture from the peak oil perspective. Most people do not make the connection at all here. Ninety-five percent of all the energy used in agriculture comes from oil. People don’t realize that our pesticides and fertilizers come from natural gas and oil. When the supplies from natural gas and oil become short or very, very expensive, that’s going to pose a serious challenge to the farming industry.

Do people ever just feel scared by these books and give up on the group?
This is something we’ve had detailed discussions about. There is a phenomenon with peak oil, where once people have assimilated the idea that peak oil is imminent, they start to go through the stages of grief, just like a loved one has died. All of a sudden there’s denial, and then bargaining, anger and despair, and finally there’s an acceptance. But that’s never a happy acceptance. It’s more pragmatic, but the depression is there.

Donna: And another thing, too, is that when you’re just discussing peak oil with family and friends there is denial, or the interest level blanks out pretty quickly. It’s only in these reading groups and book clubs that I have felt free to talk in some depth about this.

What can people in Washington County do to reduce their dependence on oil?
We all need to power down. Become a one-car family and make that car as fuel-efficient as possible. And plan your trips: You don’t have to go to the grocery store for a loaf of bread and haul a 3,000-pound machine around with you. Wait until you need a whole basket full of groceries. Plan your errands so that they don’t occur during rush hour.

Donna: Baby steps are really helpful. I found two main things. One is I bought four fluorescent light bulbs...and emotionally that was a bigger deal than the second step, which was putting up solar panels and a heat pump [for my house]. I mean, that was huge, but I remember it took a real inertia to go out and buy [the light bulbs], because it was so symbolic of “I am changing my life.”

JOIN: The Washington County Peak Oil Reading Group meets every fourth Tuesday at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing. The group’s public information meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Hillsboro. Check out washingtoncountypeakoil.com for more info.

URL of original article: 

Pacific University Screening "A Crude Awakening"

Please join us at Pacific University in Forest Grove for our screening of

See the film trailer here

An unforgettable and shocking wake-up call, A CRUDE AWAKENING: THE OIL CRASH offers the rock-solid argument that the era of cheap oil is in the past. Relentless and clear-eyed, this intensively-researched film drills deep into the uncomfortable realities of a world that is both addicted to fossil fuels and blissfully unaware of the looming "peak oil" crisis, and its unfathomable implications.

This event is generously sponsored by the Pacific University Environmental Club and the film will be followed by a discussion of the coming issue of energy uncertainty and Q&A with a panel of government, educational, and environmental leaders. The public is invited.

No admission fee. Bring a friend or two!

Event title:
Pacific University Screening "A Crude Awakening"
2007-11-18 19:00 (Calendar)
2007-11-18 22:00


2043 College Way at Pacific University in the Milky Way Gallery
Forest Grove, OR, 97116
United States
See map: Google Maps

Is the NPC Report Admitting the Peak Has Been Reached?

Author, Affiliation, Date: 
Peter Lunsford, Co-coordinator, Washington County Peak Oil, July 20, 2007

In a news item posted here last week we asked if the just-published IEA's Medium Term Oil Market Report was essentially admitting that the peak in oil production had been reached. Our conclusion was that, although the report didn't say so directly, its evidence was pretty clear and that the report was admitting we were at peak.

This week the National Petroleum Council published the first public draft of their report (two years in the making) which received a significant amount of criticism from the peak oil community -- mainly complaints that since the NPC's makeup was largely petroleum industry executives that the report was skewed to support the industry's own contentions rather than the stark realities of the issue. It was billed as a case of the "fox guarding the hen house".

There have been significant analysis of the report in recent days by all sorts of players. And reading through them, the major complaints seem to be that the NPC report skirts the issue of peak oil and paints a rosier picture than is realistic. But what they have apparently actually reported is not so much unrealistic as it is vague. By presenting information that minimizes the focus on the "probable" reality and disperses the readers attention to a broader focus is a classic diversionary tactic, "Hey! Look over there!"

But here's the real "smoking gun". Buried deep in the bowels of the 450 page report is the following paragraph discussing the concept of peak oil, and how the NPC views it:

"Peak oil forecasts project that oil supply will not grow significantly beyond current production levels and therefore may not keep pace with projected global demand; a peak and decline in oil production is inevitable and may be near-at-hand. The conclusions lead to calls to develop additional resources to increase supply, accelerate the use of unconventional resources as substitutes for oil, and moderate demand in order to bridge the supply shortfalls. Such actions generally converge with the recommendation of this study."

Uh, oh.

LIFEBOAT SHOW "Prepare to Prosper!"

Here is a message from Caren and Christopher, Founders of the Titanic Lifeboat Academy, and Lifeboat Show:

Hello Everyone!

On Monday, July 16 at 9:30 am, the Lifeboat Show takes emergency preparedness in a very positive direction. You'll laugh with us! And, in the week following, you'll probably find yourself taking at least one step toward making your life a little safer.

I met our guest, Ana-Marie Jones, at the Pacific Northwest Citizen Corps training last month in Portland. A brilliant, funny, extremely knowledgeable "Preparedness Geek," as she terms it, she avoids ominous statistics and scenarios. Her positive approach starts with individuals and their personal circumstances. She believes even the least powerful community member can learn to survive, thrive and prosper, in the face of local or national disasters. She knows how to motivate, and she knows how to build community!

Don't miss this half hour of fun and good ideas:
Monday, July 16, 9:30 am KMUN 91.9 fm KTCB 89.5 fm www.coastradio.org

Thanks for listening!
Caren & Christopher

Event title:
LIFEBOAT SHOW "Prepare to Prosper!"
2007-07-16 09:30 (Calendar)
2007-07-16 22:00
Event Website:

Washington County Peak Oil Poised to Launch

Author, Affiliation, Date: 
Peter Lunsford, WCPO Co-coordinator, July 1, 2007

It has been almost a year since Edward Culp established a Meetup Group website to attract and connect with local area citizens who were concerned about the peak oil issue. Ed had studied the issue extensively and wanted to meet others who shared his deep concerns about the implications of petroleum depletion. For several months interested people found the website and asked when a peak oil group would be forming in the Washington County area.

In March of this year, several of those original members decided to do something about it and came together to organize a formal grass roots outreach group to address energy depletion issues for Washington County. Ed was joined by Donna, Tatjana, Carla, and Peter and Washington County Peak Oil was born.

Meeting monthly, this core group tackled a significant number of issues to organize the group. They saw the need to create awareness in Washington County about the peak oil crisis and it's economic, environmental and social implications; serve as a community network to identify and share individual and collective strategies to effectively cope with the peak oil crisis; and influence Washington County government policies for constructive and sustainable solutions. They additionally constructed a mission statement, a group vision, decided on meeting times and frequency, organized a book club, identified relevant discussion issues for the group meetings, developed a communications strategy, and identified a number of achievable goals for the first six to nine months. None of this occurred without significant debate, revelations, decisions, and hard work.

The book club was launched in May, introducing readers to the peak oil masterpiece, Power Down, by Richard Heinberg. More people started to join the meetup site as the organizers quietly continued to work on group strategy. This initial organization work resulted in a decision to formally launch the group's monthly public meetings in July of this year in a very public way, by screening a film that addressed the peak oil issue very directly, and which has received numerous international awards; A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash.

A location for the first public meeting and film screening was secured for July 10th, and arrangements were begun. Press releases were prepared and submitted to local media, posters were designed and placed in visible public locations (e.g., Starbucks), a website address tear-off flyer was developed to post in public locations, business-card sized handouts defining the peak oil issue and providing meeting and contact information were created, public presentation rights were secured from the film's producers and U.S. distribution agent, and website content was developed. Simultaneously, the group elected to affiliate with the Relocalization netork of the international Post Carbon Institute; a think, action and education tank offering research, project tools, education and information to implement proactive strategies to adapt to an energy constrained world.

Washington County Peak Oil will follow some important guidelines in its work; namely the group is non-partisan, will not bash political or industrial entities, will not advocate violence, isolationist approaches, survivalism or partisan values, and will uphold and strongly promote relocalization, community principles, and community building approaches. It is the intent of the initial organizers that Washington County Peak Oil will become a formidable and recognized community resource for education, discussion, ideas and information on the energy depletion issue, and a catalyst of solutions to enable the citizens of Washington County to mitigate the risks of the coming energy crisis.

Oregon Country Fair - A Field Trip

The Washington County Peak Oil group invites you to join us on July 14th. We will be heading to Veneta, OR, to attend the Oregon Country Fair, and to meet and hear David Room speak on peak oil and sustainability.

Each post Carbon group should coordinate a carpool. We'll meet for mid-morning breakfast (brunch) at the Denny's restaurant on Hwy 20, just a block or two east of the I-5 interchange (map) in Albany at 10:30am...so leave early enough to arrive there by that time.

We'll have a chance to get to know one another, compare stories and approaches, and then caravan to the Oregon Country Fair where we will have time to enjoy the fair and hear David Room speak at 1:00pm.

Tickets should be purchased in advance to save 20% at the entrance. The Oregon Country Fair website is: http://www.oregoncountryfair.org/ and tickets to attend are $20 per person if purchased in advance (call 800-992-8499 to purchase) or $25 at the gate.

If you decide you'd like to go, please contact me at wcpo@petraworld.com to coordinate.

Event title:
Oregon Country Fair - A Field Trip
2007-07-14 09:00 (Calendar)
2007-07-14 21:00
Contact Email:

Film Screening: "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash"

On the 10th of July, we will be launching our public meetings with a screening of the film, "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash".

Orenco Unitarian Universalist Church
22785 N.W. Birch Street
(Walking distance from the Orenco Max station. Map)
Hillsboro, Oregon 97214 USA
6:30pm - 9:30pm

This outstanding film is internationally acclaimed and is currently showing in theaters in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with theater engagements in the UK and Switzerland scheduled for later this summer. This will be the Oregon premier.

The film focuses closely on the peak oil issue and investigates the implications for society. The film is sobering and carries the message very directly. It has won countless awards at dozens of international film festivals.

The film will be followed by a Q&A and an overview of the purpose and goals of the group.

Please join us for this important film and the launching of the Washington County Peak Oil group. And we encourage you to also invite your family, friends, acquaintences and colleagues who need to understand the issue, especially those in Washington County who need to be involved in the peak oil issue.

If you are unable to attend the screening and still want to see the film, you may purchase the DVD here. To view the official film website, click here.

Event title:
Film Screening: "A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash"
2007-07-10 18:30 (Calendar)
2007-07-10 21:30


22785 N.W. Birch Street
Hillsboro, OR, 97214
United States
See map: Google Maps

A Proper Connection to Food

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LIFEBOAT SHOW Monday Jan 15 @ 9:30 am PST

Happy New Year! THE LIFEBOAT SHOW starts our new year Monday, January 15 at 9:30 am on Coast Community Radio, KMUN Astoria 91.9 and KTCB Tillamook 89.5 and www.coastradio.org .

The start of a new year always seems to be a time for reflection and prediction. We predict that's what this LIFEBOAT SHOW will be about! And, we predict we¹ll have some important guests, like local mayors and city managers: Mayors Gramson,Williams, Van Dusen and Larsen of Warrenton, Cannon Beach, Astoria and Seaside -- and City Manager Jerry Taylor of Manzanita.

Richard Heinberg will make a personal visit by phone from California.

And, we'll "go into uncharted waters" and talk with a student of behavioral psychology-turned-astrologer named Bill Herbst.

We also predict that YOU could "win" an important resource, just by listening. If you phone KMUN (325-0010) during the Lifeboat Show and say you're a Lifeboat Listener, we'll set aside a free copy of YES! Magazine's Winter 2007 Go LOCAL! issue, filled with ideas and examples of ways to support local prosperity, plus articles on "Fishing for the Future", an organic farmers' cooperative, alternative energy, local economic independence, "Commerce and the Commons", and the local "multiplier effect." Featured writers are Wendell Berry, Winona LaDuke, Frances Moore Lappe and John Stewart of The Daily Show.

Just call KMUN at 325-0010 when we remind you during THE LIFEBOAT SHOW and we'll take your name and save a copy for you at the station. Simple as that! (If you are from the Manzanita/Nehalem area, Caren will deliver them the following week to It's Only Fair so you can pick them up there. -- Thanks Gin!)

Event title:
LIFEBOAT SHOW Monday Jan 15 @ 9:30 am PST
2007-01-15 09:30 (Calendar)
2007-01-15 10:30


United States
See map: Google Maps
Contact Email:

8/25-27: 10th Annual Northwest Permaculture & Bioregional Gathering

Author, Affiliation, Date: 
Jan Spencer & Sundog(& Sarah Smith), 8/18/06

We are gearing up here in Eugene for a wonderful weekend of networking, sharing what we are learning about eco logical/sustainable culture and moving forward the ideals of a more healthy and peaceful Planet Earth.

Contents of the Update, scroll down for more details.

1] Nuts and Bolts about the Gathering- Location/directions, cost, volunteer, ride share, accommodation, no pets, minimize cars....

2] Schedule for the Gathering

3] Small Town and Rural Initiatives- A special part of the Gathering. Connect with others in rural and small towns in Oregon, Washington, California
Contact Pam at pam-hewett@earthlink.net for more info on the network.

4] On the Air! Jan Spencer of the Organizing Guild will be on Jefferson Exchange August 23 at 9 am. Support Culture Change on the air!

Nuts and bolts

website info www.eugenepermacultureguild.org/06gathering.htm

website includes schedule and description of workshops and presentations, description/scope of the event, directions, food contributions, accommodation, ride share, bring visual displays, photos from last year and more

contact Jan Spencer; e-mail preferred -spencerj@efn.org or 541 686 6761

Please minimize use of automobiles. Very limited on site parking only by special arrangement with Dharmalaya. 541 344 0553 or ihsgeo@yahoo.com If you drive, consider bringing a bike so you can remote park and ride the bike to the Gathering. Most accommodation is within 4 blocks of the Gathering site.

If you live in Eugene, please ride a bike or take the bus [#51 Santa Clara]

There will be a secure bike corral on site.

If you are driving from out of town, please make the most of your vehicle. We have a ride share coordinator. If you can offer a ride or you need one, please e mail Steve at ultrawillow@qwest.net Thanks!

Pets- please leave pets at home. Service dogs are fine.

Detailed directions to the gathering can be found here:

Food- Vegetarian meals are included in the cost of the Gathering beginning Saturday morning up to Sunday lunch. As much as possible, food will be organic and mostly local. We encourage people to bring organic fruit and veggies from their gardens, we welcome food donations from organic farms and natural food stores such as pasta, grains, cooking oils etc.

Volunteer- The Gathering depends on volunteers. E mail Megan at megan@decisionresearch.org for volunteer opportunities such as site prep, food prep, registration, kids, site upkeep, clean up, "all purpose", etc. Worktrade is $10 off the cost of admission for each one hour of work.

Accommodation- For out of town guests. Dharmalaya has dorm space for $10 per night and limited on site camping. Contact Dharmalaya at ihsgeo@yahoo.com For other accommodation, such as nearby camping and floor space at nearby neighbors contact Steve at ultrawillow@qwest.com

Displays and Information- Please bring any educational display and local information about what you are doing. Show and tell is fun and educational!

Donate- If you would like to donate [tax deductible] to the event, contact Jan at, preferred -spencerj@efn.org or 541 686 6761

Brief Update

We are excited with the Gathering! It is timely more than ever, it is positive, it is fun and educational! We will ask participants to make a name tag and include on the tag several of their primary interests they would like to connect with others. We will encourage people to be initiating. Lets make the most of this opportunity to advance good ideas for a peaceful planet!

The Gathering's primary goals include the creation of region wide networks based on particular interests such as local food security, "people's" media, human potential, urban land use, rural land use, small town and rural networking, health and well being, social forestry, renewable energy, localizing the economy, water issues, eco building...

We would like to empower these networks to share the knowledge they have to mentor new activists and networks throughout the region and also to be a vital part of planning next year's Gathering.

There will be a "Connecting Exchange" center to facilitate connecting with people based on common interest and geography. We encourage people to bring printed information for distribution, educational displays and Permaculture/Culture
Change reading material for sale. The Gathering assumes no responsibility for any books for sale.


Check the website schedule for updates and more details on the workshops and presentations as well as bios on presenters and panel members. www.eugenepermacultureguild.org.

Registration begins at 1 PM
[also expect several more workshops including credit unions and economics]

Workshops at 2:30 will include

1] Permaculture Site Track- Introduction to Permaculture with Devon Bonady

- Learn the basics of Permaculture. Its all about design.

2] Food Security Track- "Culinary Herbalism: Growing and Preparing Foods That Will Nurture and Nourish the Unique Needs of Each Individual" with Krishna Singh Khalsa and Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa of the International Integrative Educational Institute (Eugene, Oregon).

3] Peak Oil, Global Warming & Wild Weather in Permaculture with Michael Sunanda

Workshops at 4 will include

1] Human Potential Track- Permaculture For the Inner Landscape with Melanie Rios

2] New Paradigm Track- End Times, New Beginnings: Design for an Earth Society. What to Do? Act Together Now! with Joshua Smith

3] 'Mushroom-Growing 101' with by Ryan Woolverton- teacher and board member, Cascade Mycological Society

6 PM Vegetarian Potluck, please bring a vegetarian dish to share. [Meals will be provided from Saturday morning to Sunday lunch.]

7 PM Plenary Session

7- Opening Ceremony followed by welcome from Ravi Logan, founder of Dharmalaya on behalf of the organizing committee and the Eugene Permaculture Guild, followed by an overview and scope of the Gathering by Jan Spencer of the organizing committee followed by a brief theatrical performance by Melanie Rios and Rob Tobias

We will then break into groups based on our particular interests. The goal is to connect with others to create region wide networks based on similar interests. Lets avoid reinventing the wheel. Lets mentor each other with sharing and expanding on what is already "on the ground". At Sunday's closing plenary, we will break into such groups again to update and fortify those connections. The Connecting Exchange [see above] is also intended to facilitate bringing people together with similar interests.

End Plenary, Mix and Mingle


6:30 Yoga

7:00 Meditation

7:30 Breakfast

8:45 Morning Circle

Saturday workshops

1] Permaculture Site Track- Permaculture from the Back Yard to the Bioregion also Preview of Perma Site Track- Jan Spencer

2] Health and Well Being Track- Herbal Medicine with Sue Sierralupe of Wise Woman Herbals
-Permaculture shouldn't stop at the medicine chest..

3] Food Security Track- How to Design Your Edible Landscape with Jude Hobbs

4] Social Forestry Track- Restoration Forestry with Greg Marchese

5] Energy Track- "Connecting the Dots on Energy, Sustainability, Peak Oil, and Climate Change"- Jim Maloney, EWEB Energy Resource Project Mgr

1] Permaculture and Rural/Small Town Networking Tracks combine- Rural
Permaculture- Don Schneider, Rick Valley, Pam Hewitt with the Small
Town/Rural Guild.

2] Human Potential Track- Heart of Now
- a set of structured exercises and individual and group interactions,,

3] Food Security Track- "Development of Sustainable, Self-Organizing
Labor Cooperatives."

4] Social Forestry Track- Restoring our Wounded Forests with Joshua Smith

5] Health and Well Being Track- Body Mind Spirit Connection with Norrine Powers

12 Noon- Lunch

1:15 Afternoon circle

Afternoon Workshops

1] Permaculture Site Track- Urban Permaculture- Gary Delfiner, Skeeter Duke, Jan Spencer

2] Water- Conservation, Trends and Issues with Tammie Stark

3] Social Forestry Track- Living with the Land with Bill Burwell

4] Bicycle Restoration Tour Bicycle Restoration Tour For Permaculture Design with Yotokko Kilpatrick


1] Permaculture Site Track- What if we started making the Right Choices? Permaculture visions of what could be. Jason Schreiner, Rep from UO Urban Redesign Class, Devon Bonady, Marilene Richardson

2] Food Security Track- "Save the Seeds: Practical, Spiritual and Artistic Aspects" with Melinda McComb,

3] Human Potential Track- Prana- The Animating Substance of Life with Ravi Logan

4] Social Forestry- Saving Our Forests Now- Panel

5] Energy Track- Keeping Your Solar Lifeboat Afloat w/Energy-Efficient Renewable Energy Design with Gary Higbee & Newt Loken


1] Meet, mingle, browse the displays

2] Rural and Small Town Caucus- all are welcome. What Culture Change is happening in rural areas and small towns? Review of initiatives and projects from Snohomish to Cave Junction and beyond,

6 PM Dinner

7 Plenary Session, An exciting set of presentations describing good works from rural areas, small towns, larger towns, suburbia, individuals and groups. Learn from others and share your experiences- what positive Culture Changing work is already moving forward and how can we mentor each other to greatest benefit.

8:30 Video- "The Power of Community- How Cuba Survived Peak Oil". Their pro-active response to a dramatic decrease in petroleum in early 1990s


6:30 Yoga

7 PM Meditation

7:30 Breakfast

8:45 Morning Circle

Morning Workshops

1] Permaculture Site Track- Walking tour of 3 nearby Permaculture Sites; solar, gardens, water catchment, concrete removal

2] Media Track I Grass Roots and Independent Media in a Sustainable Culture with Sue Supriano and Associates

3] Human Potential Track- Sustainability and Spirituality with Krishna Khalsa and Ravi Logan

4] Social Forestry Track Demonstration- Sustainable Products from the Forest with Greg Marchese
Social Forestry advocate Greg Marchese will build a chair from forest by-products

5] Tour of Dharmalaya's model urban Permaculture landscape with Heiko Koester


1] Media Track II Grass Roots and Independent Media in a Sustainable Culture continued from above

2] New Paradigm Track- A New Paradigm or Just Another Pair of Dimes? with Jason Schreiner

3] Social Forestry

4] "Community Begins with YOU" Led by Caren Black, Crew Member, Titanic Lifeboat Academy, Astoria, OR

5] Health and Well Being Track- Rei ki, The Energy of Health and Well-Being with Rei Ki Master Yelaina Svenchana

12 Noon Lunch- Sharing Sunday lunch with others having similar topical interests is encouraged. We will facilitate reconnecting with others met at Friday evening's topical networking breakouts to help strengthen those regional networks.

1:30 Closing Plenary- New Paradigm
This closing plenary is intended to make the connections between the many elements of a sustainable culture and our way of life. We will encourage making our ideals more a part of our goals. This will be a fascinating synthesis of the many perspectives regarding what we might expect in the coming few years and what to do about it. We will continue to strengthen our topical networks and touch on planning for next year's Gathering.

Closing Ceremony

Small Town and Rural Network

This is a wonderful and exciting development by way of this year's Gathering. A number of small town and rural culture change advocates will convene at the Gathering to compare notes and build a regional network to help mentor each other and new members to the network. E mail Pam for more info at pam-hewitt@earthlink.net

On the Air

Jan to be on Jefferson Exchange Jan Spencer, of the Organizing Guild, will be on the Jefferson Exchange Wednesday the 23rd at 9 AM and rebroadcast at 9 PM same day. Expect Jan to connect global trends and local choices- affluence, culture, US foreign policy, localizing and downsizing, global capitalism, permaculture, the environment and more.

The Exchange is a popular daily radio interview program with a diverse set of topics featuring thoughtful dialogue with host Jeff Golden. The Exchange originates in Ashland. Much of the region is in the Jefferson Public Radio network. Find a station near you at www.ijpr.org/Page.asp?NavID=1029. Please call in at 1 800 838 3760.

Support Jeff Exchange hosting speakers talking about Ecological Culture Change. e mail them at exchange@jeffnet.org to say you want more guests to talk about Culture Change/downsizing and localizing.

Please forward and hope you can join us for the Gathering!


Author, Affiliation, Date:
Jan Spencer & Sundog(& Sarah Smith), 8/18/06 Teaser:

Creating A Sustainable Culture!

URL of original article: 

The structure of a surviving society

Building a lifeboat is not easy. It should protect its inhabitants in harsh conditions as well as providing them with mecessities.
Necessary for survival is food, water and some wheather protection. These are basic needs, Further, for convenience, extra energy, clothes and such are necessary.
Some long-term ways of providing the basic needs are discussed on my homepage (www.holon.se/folke/), as well as necessities for making them sustainable (e.g. recycling of phosphorus)
The possible structure of a lifeboat society is discussed on a newly formed discussion group: http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/holonicfuture/

Titanic Lifeboat Academy


Helping people build lifeboats for the transition through resource depletion & climate change

How to get involved:

Internships available!

Caren Black


tlifeboatacademy@charter.net Pacific Northwest

Couple does its part to avoid guzzling resources


Fear of U.S. reliance on limited world oil prompts lifestyle decisions

The Daily Astorian, July 22, 2005

“The party’s over.�
“The mortgage is due.�
“You cannot take more than you put back forever.�

Astorians Caren Black and Christopher Paddon have hundreds of ways to describe peak oil, but they all lead to the same conclusion: Life is going to change dramatically as a result of oil depletion, and that change is happening now.

Peak oil refers to the fact that global oil production is at its height. There is only so much oil in the ground, and the world has produced or is near producing the most it ever will.

In other words, half of the earth’s oil has already been consumed.

Even with a move toward alternative sources of energy, there won’t be enough energy to meet the demands of society. This includes running factories, heating homes, producing pharmaceuticals and fueling the large-scale agriculture that feeds the public.

Black and Paddon’s research over the last decade has led them to establish a nonprofit organization to provide information about peak oil and to discuss its ramifications. The Lifeboat Academy is affiliated with the larger Post Carbon Institute, which explores what culture might look like without the use of hydrocarbons.

The husband-and-wife team are also working on converting their 1970s home and their own lifestyle to sustainability. They hope their home will serve as a demonstration and resource center where people can learn about sustainability and alternative and pre-petroleum technologies.

“We hope to help build a counter-culture that is sustainable, so when the other one goes down you can have the information,� Black says, sitting at a table covered by books published on peak oil. Above her, a single energy-efficient light shines down.

No doubts
For anyone who doubts industrialized countries’ dependence on oil, Black says to pick a product at the grocery store. Take milk. It takes oil to drive to the store to buy the milk, and it takes oil to get the milk to the store in the first place. It takes oil to run the refrigerators that keep the milk cold, and it takes oil to run the milking machines that suck the milk from the cow. Trace it back further, and the cow likely ate feed harvested with a tractor fueled by, what else, oil.

With the use of fossil fuels so integrated into today’s lifestyle, converting to sustainability isn’t an overnight process, and it can’t be done successfully without the support of the community and major investments in the development and production of renewable energy sources, Paddon says.

But the couple says that instead of using the remaining oil to research and develop wind and solar power, current oil supplies are being used to feed the U.S. appetite and to secure the remaining oil fields in the middle east.

“Their entire focus is profit, to make as much as they can in the time that’s left,� Black says.

Black and Paddon are afraid that by the time people wake up to what is going on it will be too expensive to produce and develop alternative energy sources, and there won’t be the fuel to do so.
“There’s a lack of awareness that things will go wrong,� Black says. “Technology will save us. The economy will save us.�

A struggle
But eliminating a dependence on fossil fuels isn’t that easy, they say.
While television commercials are promoting cleaner coal, it still causes acid rain and smog. Most of the easy-to-get coal has already been extracted, which means that eventually it will take more energy to mine the remaining coal than can be produced from the coal itself.

Natural gas isn’t the answer either, because it will peak in 15 years then drop off, Black says.

Paddon and Black call hydrogen power a “diversion to give the public hope.� They say hydrogen production always uses more energy than the resulting hydrogen will yield, and that current hydrogen fuel cells are powered with hydrogen extracted from natural gas.

“Other countries are all aware of peak oil,� Paddon says. “Spain just launched a tidal power plant. Germany is buying solar panels up all over the world.�

The couple say transitioning to a post-petroleum world isn’t a blip of a challenge, or a scare like Y2K. Before the expansive use of fossil fuels, the world’s population was about 1 billion. Today it’s 6.5 billion.

“We cannot feed the earth’s population with current farming methods,� Black said, referring to the reliance on fertilizers that dramatically increase output and the method of transporting food long distances.
What to do?

For now, Black and Paddon are starting by changing their own habits.
“We don’t want to do the hard-core survivalist thing. Hole up in a cabin with ammo. What’s the point in that?� Paddon says.

They’re conserving energy by things as simple as using energy-efficient lightbulbs and hanging their wash to dry outside. They’ve cut their garbage in half, and make sure to separate out burnables and cardboard for mulching. They’ve put thermal windows in their house to make it more efficient.

There’s a “chicken tractor� in the garden, where chickens are put in a tiny house without a floor. There they eat, defecate and scratch, helping with composting and fertilizing the ground. The tractor is moved around the garden to fertilize different areas.

They buy local, organic produce and local materials, and produce some food themselves. An Oberhasli goat, Fanny, gives about 2 quarts of milk a day. Their other goat, Bhri, is still a kid.

They aren’t keeping up the lawn, and will use the yard in the front of the house for a pasture for the Percheran draft horse they plan to purchase, after they finish building the barn.

Solar thermal and photovoltaic cells to provide hot water and some electricity are propped up against an outside wall.
There’s a wood and coal-burning stove in their garage. Rusty farm implements from 100 years ago sit waiting for Paddon to restore them. Even a horse-drawn carriage sits in the garage. But while some of the items are dated, Black says they aren’t trying to go backward.

“We as a culture are not going back to the 1800s,� Black says. “We’re trying to model another way of life.�

Instead they hope to combine current technology with the old, for example, applying regenerative breaking to a horse carriage.

They’re also trying to adopt a positive view of the future, focusing on how the end of fossil fuels might allow people to spend more time with their friends and families.
“We need to look at it as an opportunity to lead a simpler, slower life,� Black says.

Fear of U.S. reliance on limited world oil prompts lifestyle decisions

The Daily Astorian, July 22, 2005

“The party’s over.�
“The mortgage is due.�
“You cannot take more than you put back forever.�

Astorians Caren Black and Christopher Paddon have hundreds of ways to describe peak oil, but they all lead to the same conclusion: Life is going to change dramatically as a result of oil depletion, and that change is happening now.

Peak oil refers to the fact that global oil production is at its height. There is only so much oil in the ground, and the world has produced or is near producing the most it ever will.


Event title:
2006-01-13 18:16 (Calendar)
2006-01-13 18:16

Titanic Lifeboat Academy (Astoria, Oregon)

Research & Education in Sustainable Living

Helping people build lifeboats for the transition through resource depletion & climate change

Main Website: http://lifeboat.postcarbon.org/

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