Statesman-Journal article on STIR kickoff

Author, Affiliation, Date: 
Stefanie Knowlton, Salem (OR) Statesman-Journal, 2/24/09

Meeting is meant to adjust energy thinking
Organizer hopes to start a grass-roots movement

By Stefanie Knowlton • Statesman Journal
February 24, 2009

Residents concerned about the future of energy are invited to help launch a grass-roots effort to rethink energy use at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Straub Environmental Learning Center.

Some experts think the world has reached its maximum oil production, a concept called peak oil, said John Gear, one of the event's organizers.

He said that means that as the population increases, more people will compete for less oil, which will drive up prices and change everything.

"Our society is organized on the assumption that energy will always be cheap and abundant, and that's not the case," he said.

Gear said he hopes the meeting will kick-start a movement to help find solutions, share resources and educate the community about the impacts of peak oil. Some of the solutions could be as simple as converting a lawn to a vegetable garden to offset the rising cost of food.

Gear got the idea from a grass-roots movement that started in England called Transition Towns, which essentially helps people and the community decrease their dependence on oil. More than 100 cities around the world started similar campaigns. or (503) 399-6735

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