Peak Oil Films

PACT:

Potsdam And Canton Transition

To create awareness and mobilize community action

to adapt to the challenges and opportunities

of Peak Oil and Climate Change.


 

60 Peak Moment TV Conversations Donated to Potsdam Public Library
Listing and Descriptions below.


For nearly two years, the Peak Moment TV has been airing on WCKN, the community access station at Channel 30 in the Potsdam Time Warner cable area. The programs air every week at 7 pm on Monday and Tuesday. Twenty four new shows are added every year, which are aired along with the best of the older shows.The programs are underwritten locally by the Center for Excellence in Communication at Clarkson University and the Seymour Family of Potsdam.

Now, 15 DVDs, featuring 60 programs total (see descriptions below), of the shows are also available at the Potsdam Public Library for borrowing and distribution interlibrary loan. “We’ve had many requests from people who don’t have cable TV, aren’t in the Potsdam Time Warner area, or don’t have high speed internet to make the shows available,” said Donna Seymour. “The Potsdam Public Library is the perfect place for the DVDs to ensure that as many people as possible have access to this important information.”


Peak Moment TV focuses on locally reliant living for challenging times, which these certainly are, given the rising gas and oil prices and the rising prices of food, not to mention concerns about food quality and safety. In each episode of Peak Moment TV, Janaia Donaldson hosts grass roots pioneers who are exploring locally reliant lifestyles. Peak Moment is cross-pollinating the most challenging shift in human history - away from endless growth to sustainable living.

The show topics include local food production, renewable energy, transportation alternatives, sustainable building, individual, family and community preparedness and psychological, business, and governmental responses. All the programs are also available on the internet at www.wordpress.peakmoment.tv/conversations/ in both video and audio format.


  A GRAPHIC REPRESENTATION OF PEAK  OIL 

Peak-a-boo:  The Oil Peak according to a prognosis of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil. Note that the US, Russian and European oil supplies have 'peaked' already years ago. After 2008, the global crisis kicks in.
http://www.exitmundi.nl/oilcrash.htm



Peak Moment Conversations:

Locally Reliant Living for Challenging Times

Potsdam Public Library

DVD Listings (4 episodes per DVD):

121 Helping Local Food Businesses Thrive
Wendy Siporen coordinates The Rogue Initiative for a Vital Economy (THRIVE), which helps small locally-Peak Moment Conversations owned businesses not just to thrive, but be more sustainable as well. A "Food Connection" directory enables local businesses to buy from one another. Their "Rogue Flavor" campaign helps consumers find locally produced food at farm stands, restaurants, and markets. Tasty ideas from the one-week "Eat Local Challenge: cooking classes, films, and cooking a meal made from all-local products from the growers market. Yum!  (2006)  

122 An Inside Look at an Emergency Survival Kit
If an emergency forced you to evacuate your home, would you be prepared? Matt Stein, author of When Technology Fails, shows what to pack in your 72-hour emergency survival kit — and why. Check out the first aid kits, sleeping bag and space blanket, LED flashlight, hand-crank disaster radio, portable stove and cook set, freeze-dried food, multi-tool, compass, water holder, and essential water treatment items; plus sewing, repair, and health items. The packing list is on his website (www.whentechfails.com). (2008)

123 Cultivating a Suburban Foodshed
Landscape architect Owen Dell has a vision: transforming suburban neighborhoods into shared "foodsheds" with food-bearing and native plants, and even chickens. Neighbors can start by finding edible plants already growing in their yards, maybe remove fences, plant what works best in each location. Best of all, share the resulting food abundance with one another ("Hey, it's lemon time. Come and get 'em!") and build the social network with shared food potlucks. Tour Owen's own edible landscape yard, including a rooftop container garden complete with visiting cat. (2006)

124 Creating our Own Neighborhood — Bellingham CoHousing
Kathleen Nolan helped shaped the beginnings of Bellingham CoHousing, based on a neighborhood design of private homes and shared buildings, managed by residents in participatory decision making. Their 5.74 acre plot originally had one farmhouse, which they modified to become the shared community building with dining, kitchen, laundry, craft, office, guest, and other rooms. The individual townhouses make a small footprint, leaving open space for gardens and a natural wetland. She stresses the importance of agreeing on shared values, and how the social connections enhance and challenge personal growth. (2006)



129  Meeting the Energy Challenge
Richard Heinberg, author of Powerdown, makes plain the dire situation we're in as declining oil supplies fail to meet demand. He notes there are no easy "supply side" solutions (like substitute fuels): we must reduce demand, initially through conservation and efficiency. Julian Darley, president of Post Carbon Institute observes that while personal action is very important, individuals can only do so much. A deeper response must come at the municipal level — to change infrastructures on how we heat, transport, and power our society. Sharing, he notes, can bring enormous energy reductions almost immediately: after all, two people rather than one in a car cuts energy use per person in half. Bottom line: Americans love rising to a challenge. And this IS a challenge! (2006)  Local Note:  Heinberg was the
North Country Sustainable Energy Fair keynote Speaker in 2008.

130 Oil and Gas — The Next Meltdown?
Drawing parallels with the current financial meltdown, Matthew Simmons, the CEO of Simmons & Company International, expresses his alarm about gasoline stocks being the lowest in several decades and refinery production down following recent hurricanes. He warns that if there were a run on the "energy bank" by everyone topping off their gasoline tanks, the U.S. would be out of fuel in three days, and grocery shelves largely emptied in a week. In an interview plus excerpts from his presentation at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO-USA) conference on September 22, 2008, Matt highlights the risks and vulnerabilities in the finished oil products system, and answers audience questions. (2008)

131 Making Financial Sense of the Coming Energy Crisis
"We are living in historic times", says financial consultant Jim Puplava. As reflected in his weekly Financial Sense Newshour, actually several hour-long podcasts, Jim has been factoring peak oil into his financial picture for several years. In this interview plus excerpts from his presentation at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO-USA) conference in September 2008, Jim talks about the "crisis window" opened by the current 2008 global credit crunch, and deepening over the next several years as oil supply begins its permanent decline. He provides some basic investment guidance for navigating the coming "perfect financial storm," noting that our society will move of necessity from consumption to conservation. (2008)

132 Peak Oil and Its Effect on Climate Change
The peak oil message is slow to gain acceptance, says energy analyst Randy Udall, because it's at odds with our optimistic It's-Morning-in-America mentality. Politicians "Don't Do Depletion." Randy describes challenges, mitigations, and exciting opportunities to create a prosperous path to a lower-energy future. In an excerpt from his presentation at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO-USA) conference in September 2008, the co-founder of ASPO-USA points out cornucopian myths about energy that are being shattered by reality. His concern is that the peak oil crisis, while less known than the climate crisis, will impact us sooner, and is not being factored into climate policy decisions. Peak Oil may in fact help moderate the climate crisis. (2008)




133 Two Views of a Post-Oil Future
From the ASPO-USA 2008 conference: two long-standing peak oil awakeners: author James Howard Kunstler (The Long Emergency) and Post Carbon Institute Founder and President, Julian Darley. Darley, founder of Post Carbon Institute, is big on sharing: Sharing ideas to quickly inform a public largely unaware of peak oil. Sharing cars as a quick way individuals can get fuel usage down. He notes the "Re" in Relocalization means positive actions we can revive from the past to enable the powerdown transition.  
Kunstler describes his recent novel World Made by Hand, a richly textured life in a post-oil agrarian community where electricity and phone are rarely working, and people must of necessity rely on each other. He compares America's current financial and political "fiesta of dishonesty" with the 1850s, which preceded the "last great U.S. convulsion." (2008)

134 Shocks, Shortages, and Scenarios - Planning for a Post-Oil Future
Responding to peak oil will require reshaping our communities. These two interviews, taped in September 2008 at the ASPO-USA conference, are with Megan Quinn Bachman of Community Solutions, and Bryn Davidson of Dynamic Cities Project.  Megan observes that while the ASPO-USA conference focuses on the energy depletion problem, what's needed are solutions and strategies for communities and people. Her town's anxious response to a recent power outage provided a lesson, as many people didn't know what to do, nor had they built a network of mutual support. We need community contingency plans for sharing and surviving with less energy.  Focusing on urban planning, Bryn Davidson uses scenarios to test strategies for an energy-constrained future, particularly for infrastructure like roads. He asks, how do we invest today that'll pay us back in multiple plausible futures -- from "business as usual" to long-term energy decline and shortages. He notes wryly that as a result of peak oil, we may have also reached "peak roads". (2008)

135 Broadening the Peak Oil Conversation
Senior energy analyst Robert Hirsch reflects on the immediate liquid fuels problem, and the rebuilding of our entire energy system which will take at least twenty years. He reflects on comments made during the ASPO-USA 2008 conference presentations, noting that he remains optimistic about American response to the daunting challenges ahead.   
Political science professor Kyle Saunders is the "Professor Goose" behind the Oil Drum website. He champions the need to learn from one another about complex, interdependent topics like the economy and energy, noting that every piece of information we can get can reduce uncertainty. In the question-and-answer session at the close of ASPO-USA's 2008 conference, presenters respond about the current financial chaos and resource scarcity, how to encourage intelligent political action, the need for a peak oil high-visibility champion, peak oil's relationship to climate change, and suggestions for household energy reduction. (2008)


136 Energy Investment, Energy Return
Independent financial consultant Jim Hansen runs every investment through the "peak oil test". In this presentation from the ASPO-USA 2008 conference, he explores traditional energy investments; opportunities in renewables, rail, and electrifying the transportation system; areas to avoid like airlines and trucking; and what to watch, like electric cars and the unwinding of globalization.  In this interview, ecologist and professor Charlie Hall looks at energy return on energy invested. Whether it's a cheetah chasing antelope, or humans making ethanol -- the energy we get back has to exceed the energy we put in, or the story is over. He compares oil's energy return in the 1930's (1 calorie invested returned 100 calories of energy) with the current situation (1:12) and still declining.  Presenters respond to the final question in the Q&A session at the close of ASPO-USA's 2008 conference: how do we better harness the intellect, energy and commitment at this conference, and what one thing would you have people ask an elected official to do about peak oil? (2008)




137 Peak Oil - Politics, Geopolitics, and Choke Points
These four presentations were taped at the ASPO-USA 2008 conference. Morey Wolfson shows a stunning Google Earth presentation of oil's planetary transportation Choke Points, primarily in the middle east. Jeff Vail discusses how our energy future is not controlled solely by what's possible economically, technologically and geologically but, equally importantly, geopolitically. He notes we will increasingly produce less because of geopolitical problems--as in Nigeria, Iraq, and elsewhere.  Editor Tom Whipple discusses two significant publications available free on the ASPO-USA.com website and through email subscription: daily Peak Oil News and the weekly Peak Oil Review. He describes how oil scarcity is already being felt in island nations and other less-developed countries.  
Connecticut State Legislator Terry Backer provides sound advice on how to get a peak oil resolution through a legislative body: through someone experienced in getting legislation introduced, and by speaking the language of legislators. He succeeded in his state by framing peak oil within economic issues and government's responsibilities to the people of his state.  (2008)

138 The Twilight of an Age
In his book, The Long Descent, John Michael Greer observes that our culture has two primary stories: “Infinite Progress” or “Catastrophe”. On the contrary, he sees history as cyclic: civilizations rise and fall. Like others, ours is exhausting its resource base. Cheap energy is over. Decline is here, but the descent will be a long one. It’s too late to maintain the status quo by swapping energy sources. How to deal with this predicament? He lays out practical ideas, possibilities, and potentials, including reconnecting with natural and human capacities pushed aside by industrial life. (2008)

139 The Transition Movement comes to America
One response to the global crisis that is gaining enthusiastic momentum is the Transition Towns movement. Jennifer Gray, a pioneer in the Transition Initiative in the UK and cofounder of Transition US, describes it as "a community-led response to the twin crises of peak oil and climate change. It's ... positive, pro-active [and] engages the whole community in building resilience into their world." Sharing highlights from The Transition Handbook by founder Rob Hopkins, she elaborates on a flexible twelve-step process to empower community organizers in unleashing the creative genius of their community and building an Energy Descent Action Plan. One innovative aspect is backcasting: envisioning one's community in 20 years, and then designing steps to get from here to there. (2008)

140 Transit on Demand (Have Cell Will Travel)
What if you could make a call at any time on your cell phone and have a vehicle come to you within minutes, take you to your local destination, and cost about as much as a bus ride? Allen Hancock's notion of demand-responsive transit fills the gap between the private automobile and public transit. Rather than fixed routes and schedules, smaller vehicles guided by intelligent software with gps (geographic positioning system), circulate to where riders are and want to go. Flexible, efficient, low-cost, it uses existing vehicles and roads. Where's the town that will implement this exciting pilot project?



141 Creating a Home Graywater System
Trathen Heckman takes us on a step-by-step tour of how to make a safe, ecological and legal suburban home graywater system. Follow the water as it drains from the bathroom tub (and sink and laundry) through a unique valve leading into the backyard garden. It  flows into an optional wetland and underground pond for filtering. The water is then piped below ground to several destinations in the yard, where it will supply water for plants growing above it. Trathen discusses the process with local government agencies, the system design and construction (with pictures), costs, resource books, and why to undertake a graywater system in the first place. (2008)

142 Energy Co-op Brings Power to the People
What if a community owned its electric utility cooperatively, rather than paying a for-profit company? Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative could be a model. Energy Services manager Jessica Nelson describes how this locally owned, democratically governed non-profit serves the good of the community. Besides lower rates, customers benefit from incentives to conserve electricity, install geothermal heating/cooling systems, and solar panels (photovoltaics). The coop's dream? To not only distribute power but to generate it -- through a wind turbine project.  (2006)

143 Corporate Couple Become Permaculture Activists
Asking "wouldn't it be wonderful if our city could feed itself?" Joe Leitch ponders everybody in Portland planting a chestnut tree. Pam Leitch relates how they both left the corporate world after reading the book Your Money or Your Life. As educators on sustainability and resource depletion, permaculture and social justice, they soon learned of Peak Oil. Pam initiated bringing a Peak Oil resolution to the Portland City Council, who passed it unanimously in 2006 and set up a citizen task force to make recommendations for city action. See a bit of the permaculture farm Pam and Joe are creating in residential Portland, cultivating fruit trees, vegetables and compost, rainwater catchment, and innovative neighborhood cooperation. If every city were full of such projects, maybe they really could feed themselves!  (2006)

144 Local Living Economies — Protecting What We Love
Judy Wicks' love of place has made widening ripples on a global scale. She's the founder of BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies), a national network of sustainable, small businesses. After moving onto a quaint street in Philadelphia, she learned it was slated to be torn down. Organizing her community, she saved the block as a walkable community. She opened White Dog Cafe coffee shop on the first floor of her home, which grew to a large restaurant proudly serving food from local farmers.  Reading John Robbins' Diet for a New America about the cruel treatment of factory farm animals, she located small family farmers and created a cruelty-free menu. Rather than hoard this proprietary information, she founded a local sustainable business network based on cooperation between businesses, and later the national organization, BALLE.  (2007)



145 Resourceful Guy Builds Solar House, Solar Power, Solar Car
John Weber's Boise, Idaho house with south-facing windows rarely needs heat and never air conditioning. Meet a man who has built a passive-solar house with solar electric power and solar hot water; plus a solar-powered electric car — and who rides a bike! With photovoltaics tied to the grid, he sells surplus electricity back to the power company. John shows how he converted his "Sun Car" from a junked Festiva to all-electric, with added solar panels on top to extend its range. Ride with us — and hear how quiet it is!   (2008)

146 Permaculture for Humanity
The future is abundant, asserts permaculture designer Larry Santoyo. His vision of living in the present provides a wonderful antidote to fear about uncertain futures. People need to rediscover that we're part of the ecosystem, and apply permaculture design principles to the many problems we face. Larry teaches sustainable permaculture design as a discovery of the world around us. He notes that trying to be self-sufficient is really anti-permaculture. Instead, we need to develop self-reliance skills. Then as we find others in our communities to interact with, everybody gets to play!   (2006)

147 A Geodesic Greenhouse — Year-Round Gardening at 6000 Feet
In Colorado it's cold for much of the year, but inside this cozy dome greenhouse, the plants are growing happily. Take a grand tour with Buckhorn Gardens manager and permaculturist Breigh Peterson: the greenhouse structure with its interplay of light and water, warmth and air; curving raised beds of vegetables and flowers; fish tanks moderating the temperature; vertical trellises and shelves to use vertical space. Outdoors a huge garden of row crops and a young orchard are complemented by free-roaming chickens and ducks.  (2007)

148 Finding an Ecovillage / Sacred Activism — Love, Grief, and Empowerment
Diana Leafe Christian, author of Finding Community: How to join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community, zeros in on how to find an ecovillage. Once you determine what you want, what are the criteria to explore whether an ecovillage is a good fit/match for you?  Bob Banner, publisher of Hopedance magazine, shares insights from Andrew Harvey's Sacred Activism workshop: "What breaks your heart, what you really love, is the thing that will sustain you. That's what you ought to be doing." For Bob, it's using media to bring together the political with the spiritual; the environmental and business. (2007)



149 Santa Barbara Students Lead the Way to Sustainability
Take a personal tour with members of Santa Barbara City College's Student Sustainability Coalition. They're propelling action — like bringing fresh, local organic produce daily to the salad bar, and placing recycling bins in the cafeteria. They're educating the campus all year round and especially during Sustainability Week — on the climate crisis, renewables, and campus transportation alternatives. Now their advisor, professor Adam Green, has formed a Center for Sustainability for the college campuses, curriculum and community. (2006)

150 The Waking-Up Syndrome
Ecopsychologist Sarah Edwards, PhD, explains stages people often go through when facing the implications of climate change and resource depletion. She outlines various aspects of Denial, Anxiety, Awakening, Despair, Powerlessness  and eventual Acceptance.
Differentiating these from the normal grief process, Sarah emphasizes how we can face inevitable feelings of grief and free our energy for positive, practical action in our personal and community lives.  (2008)

151 Baked in Telluride: Making Dough in a Tough Economy
Biting into a fresh-baked cookie from "Baked in Telluride" is a double treat — a yummy goody that also supports a local independent business. Owner Jerry Green has been going "green" for decades before it became fashionable. He shares the challenges of running an independent business in a tourist town while competing with bakeries thousands of miles away. While a town councilor, Jerry helped shape projects like affordable public housing and public transportation.  (2007)

152 The Placemeant Project: Stories of Why "Where" Matters
Kate Magruder feels that "Opinions make walls. Stories make bridges." Using narrative, music and images, Placement Project participants create short stories that not only empower the tellers, but also elicit respect, admiration and tenderness from listeners.
Kate hopes that telling our stories can build an honest sense of community in her town of Ukiah and beyond. Watch some digital stories at
http://www.storymapping.org/placemeant.html. (2006)



153 How Do I Invite You to Grow Food?
Jenny Pell's infectious enthusiasm will sweep you up into creating a future that's beyond sustainable — to one that's "additive." This lively permaculturist suggests that you belong where you live and get (re)connected to your "chain of inputs and outputs". She invites us to to regain skills, especially in food production, and to participate in creating abundance, which is "the only way forward, the only way for the human family to survive."  (2006)

154 Bicycling on Three Wheels — Transportation of the Future?
In Peak Moment's very first field production, bicycle enthusiast Galen Shumacher takes us for a spin on a three-wheeled "tadpole." This human-powered vehicle (HPV), built for competition by the Chico State University HPV club, has two wheels in front and a single in back. Janaia's unrehearsed ride shows that it's easy to learn, comfortable to ride, stable, highly maneuverable, and fun! Galen also shows us the improved model being built for the upcoming competition. (P.S. they won!) (2006)

155 Peak Oil — Adapting for Big Changes Ahead
With a long-time eye to declining energy resources, Bart Anderson envisions a very different society in five years. The former editor of Energy Bulletin.net offers advice for post-oil living: Understand the problem. Prepare psychologically for big shifts and the unexpected. Find your niche and get good at it. See what your great grandparents did as a model for living well within limits. "Live poor and learn to do it well" as Bart did as a graduate student. Things will be very different, he said, but we'll make it through. (2009)

156 High on Permaculture in the Rocky Mountains
Kris Holstrom's off-grid permaculture farm at 9000 feet high is living proof that food can be grown nearly anywhere. Managing with a very short growing season and water constraints, she and her interns have created magic. Tour the sun-warmed, insulated greenhouse where greens are grown year-round. It's home to a waterfall and pond with fish, trellises for grapes and seedlings, artwork for the soul, and mushrooms growing from straw. The outside garden offers herbs, berries, greens and prayer flags. Kris sees herself as a steward of the land, and delights in sharing it with kids and interns in a spirit of love and reciprocity. (2007)



157 The Heart of Permaculture
Former truck driver Bill Wilson tells an insightful story about the energy packed in a gallon of gas — which we  won't always have in cheap abundance. Now a  permaculture educator, he sees permaculture as a  viable, realistic way to use nature to provide the abundance we really need — harvesting sunlight, food,  wind, water and more. Can you guess what the magic stuff is that we all can't live without? (No, it's not oil.) In his classes, Bill not only passes on a bounty of practical, common sense ideas, he also inspires people to experience being alive on the planet, finding their connectedness with life, their passion and ways to make a world that works for everybody. (2008)

158 A New Paradigm for Development
The corporate capitalist system is destroying people and the planet. Can we imagine alternatives? Ravi Logan and Jason Schreiner's model is based on valuing our interrelatedness and interdependency within the natural world. It replaces profit-driven with cooperative enterprises, and emphasizes a balance between local self-reliance and bioregional networks, with some global structures to meet global needs like telecommunications. They describe applying permaculture principles like the zone approach in on-the-ground projects in Eugene, Oregon. (2006)

159 Reflections on the End of the World As We Know It
Taped in late 2005 before Peak Moment Television began, this conversation feels eerily prescient about  the effects of the 2008 financial collapse. William Stewart reflects on the shadow side of the fossil fuel bonanza, which enabled hyper-individualism and mobility that have shredded our connections to community and place, along with increased violence and dysfunction. Likening our oil-dependent culture to an addict who must first bottom out, he suggests there may be a silken lining after collapse: the possibility of more communal and connected ways of life.  (2005)

160 A Young Couple Find Freedom in Simple Living
Rather than follow the customary American dream, Tammy Strobel and Logan Smith sold their car, and moved to a small apartment in a bikeable/walkable neighborhood in Sacramento, California. After reading Derrick Jensen's writings, this couple used Your Money or Your Life as a means to get out of debt and, they feel, regain their lives and their future. While they recount the psychological challenges of facing a future of declining resources, the catalyst that continues to move them forward is a dream of living in an affordable tiny house within a supportive community.  (2009)



161 Local Food — By and For the People
What if the food system benefited local producers, nourished nearby people, and built a stronger community? Krishna Singh Khalsa of Eugene, Oregon wants to turn the food system on its head. He wants it to be run by, and for the benefit of, ordinary people — not corporate profit. He's exploring models of local cooperative, entreprenuerial organizations where people provide the labor, share and hire resources, caretake the land, use all of nature's abundance, support farmers and food producers, distribute food so that no one goes hungry, and build strong social bonds. Empower people, not profits!
(2006)

162 Innovation Bears Fruit for Family Farm
Tour the century-old organic Chaffin Family Orchards where even the animals are "farm hands." Visit chickens in their egg-mobile, scratching for bugs and pooping fertilizer in the heirloom stone-fruit orchards. Goats chomp off low branches from the olive trees, so no fuel or human labor is needed. This certified predator-friendly enterprise includes 200 acres of olive trees plus various fruit and nut trees; sheep, goats, broiler and egg-laying chickens. They distribute only locally through fruit and meat CSAs (community-supported agriculture), growers markets and a farmstand, providing fresh foods that burst with flavor and nuance.  (2009)

163 Economy, Ecology, Social Equity — Empowering Future Leaders
What if future leaders became sensitive to local environmental and social issues before stepping into leadership roles? Tanya Narath describes nine day-long events in the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy's program: Students visit a watershed for ecological context; tour an organic farm (sustainable agriculture); take a walking tour from which students' urban design ideas are presented to the mayor; explore social issues like racial injustice, homelessness, and poverty; consider water ecology, local economy, transportation and land use. (www.ecoleader.org) (2006)

164 The World of Ecovillages
The ecovillage movement is gaining a lot of traction and in some surprising forms, says Diana Leafe Christian, the author of Finding Community: How to join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community. Drawing from ecovillages worldwide, she describes many examples of these "human-scaled, full-featured settlements." Ecovillages aim to integrate human activities harmlessly into the natural world and be sustainable indefinitely. To succeed, they need to have multiple centers of initiative (e.g., business enterprises), and support healthy human development (like cooperation and having fun).  (2009)



165 Finding Excitement Creating a Life-Sustaining Society
Lavendar farmer Dana Illo and her partner Catherine Johnson will infect you with enthusiasm. They've turned their initial response to resource declines from "it's horrible and overwhelming" into "we can create new ways of doing." Dana is bringing "Dragon Dreaming" to her community. This organizing model starts by having a group totally buy into a specific dream, like being locally food self-sufficient. Then in every cycle of implementation, members Dream, Plan, Do and — just as importantly — Celebrate! Why not have fun while we build community and security? (2006)

166 The Crash Course — Exponential Growth Meets Reality  
"The next twenty years will be totally unlike the last twenty... We’ll face the greatest economic and physical challenges ever seen by our country, if not humanity.” So opens Chris Martenson's much-viewed online Crash Course illuminating the relationship between economy, energy and the environment. Starting with the power of exponential growth, he tidily sums up our economic problems: Too Much Debt. Chris discusses the implications if we continue the status quo, and ways to prepare. He believes that “if we manage the transition elegantly we can actually improve things.”  (2010)

167 Bag It! Packaging Bulk Foods with Nitrogen
Nevada County locals Loraine Webb and Jim Wray demonstrate the how and why of packaging bulk foods with nitrogen. They're using equipment available for community members to use at minimal cost. Jim demonstrates packaging: make plastic bags using a heat sealer, fill with foodstuffs, suck out the oxygen with a small vacuum, then replace the air with nitrogen and seal. Loraine, organizer of The Neighborhood Readiness Project, has arranged with several locally-owned grocery stores to sell 25 pound bags of grains, beans and other bulk foods at just above cost. Loraine's vision is our having food caches in every neighborhood in the county, so that, if the trucks stop rolling in an emergency, we'll have food for ourselves AND to share with our neighbors.  (2010)

168 Four Acres and Independence — A Self-Sufficient Farmstead
Take a tour, accompanied by curious sheep and geese, of Mark Cooper's self-sufficient small farm. Over several years, he transformed a rundown house and hillsides of berry brambles into pasture and gardens where he produces and preserves most of his family's food. Visit the Goose Grotto in a constructed pond, a heritage fruit tree orchard, logs producing shiitake mushrooms, and a cheap-and-easy container kitchen garden. Mark gives us a close-up view of the solar dehydrator he constructed from salvaged materials —  and his tips on food drying. He has husbanded up to fifty animals at a time, including two Tibetan yaks! This farmstead in Rough and Ready (CA) lives up to the town's name — and is a testament to hard work, wide-ranging construction skills, and love.  (2009)



169 The Sacred Demise of Industrial Civilization
As a historian, Carolyn Baker has a keen eye for current events that are indicators of the collapse we’re seeing all around us. But she's also a psychologist concerned about how we personally navigate the turbulence and find meaning within it. The author of  Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse, she describes the old story that isn't working anymore (humans are separate from nature), and the new story we must live by for real sustainability. Her Speaking Truth to Power website is a rich collection of articles reflecting both collapse and preparedness action.  (2010)

170 Preparing for Disasters and Hard Times
In this animated dialogue, natural resource analyst Sean Brodrick provides a sharp-eyed perspective on what may be coming in this precarious economy and how to prepare for it. The author of The Ultimate Suburban Survivalist Guide, Sean is hip to peak oil and other resource declines as well as the Katrina hurricane lesson — don't rely on government to save you during disasters. Urging us to prepare for hard times while we're in good times, he covers smart money moves, food and water storage, basic preparations in case you have to evacuate, and creating bonds with your neighbors to increase home security. (2010)

171 A Permaculture Course for Busy People
Bill Wilson and Wayne Weiseman pour their hearts into their permaculture design courses, changing lives as well as landscapes. In a unique format, students do initial course work online and then attend a one week hands-on course. In this chat along with Sivananda Yoga Farm sponsor Vidya Chaitanya, Wayne discusses principles starting with with observing elements like wind, water, sun and topography in a specific property. Bill provides alarming information on "peak soil." Together they note that permaculture's goal is to create small, intensive ecologies, a foodweb where everything is exchanging with everything else. Eat and Be Eaten, and Share the Bounty.  (2010)

172 The Pee and Poo Show
Laura Allen gives an intimate tour of a home-built composting toilet in her Bay Area urban home. The nutrient-rich composted "humanure" is used to enrich the lush, edible landscape, and doesn't waste precious drinking water like flush toilets. The co-founder of Greywater Action shows the throne-like toilet compartment whose distinctive feature is a urine diverter. Pee and poop are collected in separate containers beneath the toilet, and are accessed outside the house. Sterile pee is watered in at the base of plants, while poop is collected in barrels and aged for a year or more until it has composted fully. What a way to go! (2010)



173 Transitioning to the Elm Street Economy

How can you contribute your skills towards meeting real needs now and in the future? Paul and Sarah Edwards, the authors of Home-Based Business for Dummies, focus on the "Elm Street Economy" of locally-owned businesses rather than "Main Street", which we hear so much about, but is comprised mainly of franchises. In the Elm Street Economy, local businesses meet local needs — for food, shelter, clothing, heating, electricity, healthcare, and other products. Sarah and Paul suggest: Keep your job and pay off your debts, while gaining enduring skills for the future. A large number of today's professions won't be around in five years. (April 18, 2010)

 

174 The Power of Neighbors

Jan Spencer didn't stop with a permaculture makeover of his suburban home in Eugene, Oregon. Now he's taking on the neighborhood! As a result, his neighborhood association is teaming up with city programs like Neighborhood Watch and Emergency Response to empower neighbors to work together. They're transforming lawns and abandoned lots into edible gardens, and sharing knowledge about energy efficiency, permaculture, and preparedness. These grass roots endeavors help people feel more secure in their homes, because they're connected with neighbors they can rely on. (April 12, 2010)

 

175 Time's Up! An Uncivilized Solution

What kind of life do you want, and what are you willing to do to get it? Author Keith Farnish sees industrial civilization as the most destructive way of living yet devised by humans. And it's over: environmental degradation and depletion tell us it can't continue. The system has myriad ways to make us believe we can't live without it. But Keith believes we can - there are countless ways to move forward into contented, happy, and full lives. We can "disengage" and reconnect with the natural world, ourselves, and others. (June 2, 2010)

 

176 How We Live at Lone Bobcat Woods

Peek behind the scenes at Peak Moment TV's home base. Janaia Donaldson shows guest host Ivey Cone the solar power system, woodstove for heat (and winter waffles), and super efficient refrigerator. Choosing to reduce their footprint, she and Robyn Mallgren, Peak Moment videographer, don't feel deprived at all. Janaia discusses what led them to leave the Bay Area, what it's like to live on 160 acres of forestland, which they've preserved "in perpetuity" as a wildlife sanctuary, and shows us some of the members of the natural community they live in. (May 30, 2010)

 

Thirty-Seven Views from Lone Bobcat Woods

An artistic prologue to "How We Live at Lone Bobcat Woods" (Episode 176). Ever wonder how an artist sees the world? In 1998 Janaia created an image from each window in her Sierra Nevada home. Her paintings in many styles emerge from a photographic backdrop in a music video panorama created by Robyn in 2004. Sharing what attracted her eye as the artworks pass by, Janaia reveals her own imaginative response to the natural world. An official selection of the 2004 Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival. (2004)


 

177 Hooked on Growth — Meet the Filmmaker
Dave Gardner's upcoming documentary looks at modern society and asks, why are we behaving irrationally? There's overwhelming evidence we've reached the limits to growth, yet continue in our addiction to it. In a search for the cure, Dave starts with the need to tell different stories and shares examples from several folks he's interviewed. He highlights an amusing segment which depicts a family's impacts remaining in their yard! This "crowd-produced" film will also show activities at the community level which could make a huge positive difference. (2010)

178 Beyond Back Yard Sustainability
Four years ago (episode 51), Scott McGuire asked "how much food can I grow in my back yard to feed my family?" In this episode, we learn the results, and that food supply is not an individual project — it takes a community to feed one another. Scott's garden later became a CSA (community-supported agriculture) for eight families. Scott is a co-creative gardener — he asks the plants where they want to grow. When plants participate in the design of a garden, they build in energy meridians (like acupuncture lines in our bodies) for optimal vitality and health.  (2010)

179 Fences Down! Fostering Community in an Urban Neighborhood
Gardens replace driveways, a chicken coop replaces a garage, and personal relationships are deepening. Meet the residents of three adjoining houses, who removed the fences and talk about shared projects (and their one auto!), meals together, ecological living, and treasured   conviviality. This idea could transform urban and suburban neighborhood life anywhere. (20100

180 Taking Back Our Lives from the Wall Street Mafia
"Get rid of Wall Street!" says David C. Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy and The Great Turning. Wall Street is about phantom wealth — real wealth is about happy, healthy families, local living economies in balance with Earth’s resources, and caring, resilient communities that provide life’s basics, like food, shelter, and education.  To do that, we must change the rules to reduce the power of corporations, the politicians in their pocket, and a destructive money system. (2010)



181 Partners in Preparedness: Neighborhoods and Emergency Responders
The last thing "Dr. Doom" Bob Hamlin expected was citizens offering to help his county Emergency Management Department. But when Deborah Stinson from Port Townsend's Local 20/20 came to Bob's office after Hurricane Katrina, they formed a partnership. Citizens are organizing and educating neighborhoods to be more self-reliant in emergencies. And they're at the table with emergency responders in planning for disasters.  (2010)

182 Changing the World One Bike Rider at a Time
A weekly free bike coop where you can use mechanics' tools and expertise to fix your bike? Free clinics where schoolkids or neighbors learn to maintain or build their own bikes from used parts? While Chauncey and Dash Tudhope-Locklear make a living repairing bicycles, volunteer projects support their mission of empowering "social change through bicycles." With an eye to local food self-reliance, they even repair farmers' bicycles for free. (2010)

183 Coping With the Decline
This time Janaia's in the hot seat! In this interview by Jim Fritz on Port Townsend Television, she tackles corporate control and a dysfunctional system that profits from increasing unhealthiness and consuming the planet. She points to Peak Moment guests as models for the average family to gain genuine security. They're withdrawing from the money system, growing food, and joining neighbors to prepare for emergencies.  (2010)

184 YES! Ready for Anything
"An awful lot of what we've taken for granted about the future can't continue," says executive editor Sarah van Gelder of YES! Magazine, whose fall 2010 issue is about people creatively building resilient families and communities. Publisher Fran Korten describes local food as an important avenue into a much larger vision of what we can become. Fran and Sarah discuss sources of real happiness that don't destroy the planet, an upcoming YES! Magazine issue on families, their weekly "YES! This Week" e-newsletter, and the YES! emphasis on possibilities and positive initiatives.   (2010)



185 Claiming the Commons — Food for All on Haultain Boulevard
Rainey Hopewell's crazy idea has ended up feeding a neighborhood and creating community. She and Margot Johnston planted vegetables in the parking strip in front of their house. They offer them free for the taking — to anyone, anytime — with messages chalked on the sidewalk noting when particular veggies are ready to pick. Neighboring children and adults are joining in to work on the garden, harvesting fun along with food, and even handing fresh-picked veggies to passers-by. (2010)

186 Your Money, Your Life, Your Happiness
Published 20 years ago, Your Money or Your Life was written for these times, asserts co-author Vicki Robin. Following its nine steps has transformed our own lives and those of some of our Peak Moment guests. People examine their assumptions about money, decide what is "Enough," get out of debt, and free up life energy to invest in what matters most to them. Vicki discusses applying these same tools to relationships with our time, opportunities for creativity and exchange, building community, and her ten-mile food diet. (2010)

187 How to Boil a Frog - Meet the Filmmaker
Filmmaker Jon Cooksey is one funny guy, even while presenting the most serious problems facing humanity. In this fast-paced conversation, he gallops all over the map with five big problems, five big solutions, and a playful and heartfelt approach. Wacky, sobering, full of animations, with Jon in dozens of personnas, "How to Boil a Frog" is a film to view and discuss with friends.  (2010)

188: Your Personal Baker — A Bakery CSA
Watch baker Jen Ownbey whip up a batch of zucchini bread while she talks with Janaia about doing what she loves. Every week, members of her bakery CSA (community supported agriculture) get a handmade, local, mostly organic, and even personalized box of breads and bakery desserts. Jen talks about getting started, selling wholesale and at growers markets, plus the joys, lessons, and challenges of running a solo business. (www.8armsbakery.com) (2010)


 

189: Menu for the Future - Bringing Farmers to the Table

What happens if you create 25 small groups to discuss food values and issues, and include a local farmer or food producer in each one? Innovative organizers Judy Alexander, Dick Bergeron and Peter Bates facilitated the “Menu for the Future” groups to support local farmers and educate eaters. Results? Eaters changed their food choices, and the market for local food products expanded. Winners all around! http://www.nwei.org  (February 13, 2011)

 

190: Reclaiming Childbirth

Why does industrial culture consider this natural event a medical problem? People in the radical birth movement want to broaden the conversation about options for families giving birth. Squat Birth Journal co-editors Jaydee Sperry, Meghan Guthrie, and Danny Scar want families to know they can choose birth processes in which they develop ongoing relationships with midwives and doulas. They also discuss medical costs, safety, health insurance, legal hurdles, and educational challenges. [squatbirthjournal.blogspot.com] (February 27, 2011)

 

191: The Vegetarian Myth

What we eat is destroying both our bodies and the planet, according to author Lierre Keith, a recovering twenty-year vegan. While she passionately opposes factory farming of animals, she maintains that humans require nutrient-dense animal foods for good health. A grain-based diet is the basis for degenerative diseases we take for granted (diabetes, cancer, heart disease) - diseases of civilization. Annual grain production is destroying topsoil and creating deserts on a planetary scale.  Lierre urges the restoration of perennial polycultures for longterm sustainability. [http://lierrekeith.com]

(March 14, 2011)

                                                                                                      

192: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises

“There are no real solutions, there are only responses.” So say the expert contributors in The Post Carbon Reader, pointing to society’s complex, interdependent systems squeezed by growing demand and declining resources. Co-editor Daniel Lerch tells us renewable energy will never be able to replace fossil fuels. Thus resilience — the capacity of a system to withstand disturbance while retaining its fundamental integrity — needs to replace sustainability as a guide to action. [http://www.postcarbon.org/reader]

(March 26, 2011)


 

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