Minutes, March 15

Mad River Post-Carbon
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
At Rootswork in East Warren

In attendance: Tom Fugate, Brian Degen, Brendan Degen, Richard Czaplinski, Dennis Derryberry, Jennifer Grace, Serena Gulisano, John Vitko, Nils Behn, Anne Sidney, Robert Riversong, Alex Maclay, Mason Wade, Dorothy Tod, Barry Simpson, Peter Laskowski

We began this meeting with a slide show by Richard Czaplinski on his experiences with living “low on the hog�. Richard has been homesteading in Adamant, Vermont for the past 28 years. He built his modest house using rock and wood from his own property. The entire house cost less than $5,800 to build. He showed us his vegetable gardens, apple trees (varieties which he chose and grafted himself), root cellar, wood cook stove, and attached greenhouse. Richard grows much of his own food and uses various methods of preserving it for winter consumption including canning, drying, root cellaring, and a passive solar greenhouse. He also hunts deer which are locally abundant. He is completely off grid and uses only a tiny amount of electricity which he gets from three solar panels and batteries. All together an impressive and inspiring lifestyle which we all should seek to emulate as energy supplies become scarce.

Tom gave a few news updates alerting people to the impending bird flu outbreak which the US government is warning about. Health and Human Services director Michael Leavitt is advising Americans to store canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds to prepare for the coming flu crisis. This appears to warrant serious consideration and preparation on our part. Peter mentioned that each town has an emergency coordinator who should be alerted to the possibility (likelihood?) of a bird flu outbreak.

In other updates the US is now a net food importer for the first time in history and the federal debt limit of $8.2 trillion has been breached. This would also indicate the likelihood of impending food shortages and financial collapse.

Tom mentioned a Beyond Peak essay scenario competition which you can find by going to http://beyondpeak.com/. Also there has been an extensive post-carbon preparation document done by a group in Ireland called the Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan. That can be downloaded here: http://transitionculture.org/?p=129. A suggestion would be for someone to try to produce such a plan for our own local community.

Next meeting will be coordinated by Nils at his house on Tuesday, April 18.