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 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! [www.postcarbon.org]
Yuba Gals Independent Media production partners Robyn Mallgren and Janaia Donaldson have been producing local video programs for community access television since 2002.
The Yuba Gals live in rural Nevada City and their business is named for the nearby South Yuba River, a part of the Wild and Scenic river system in California. They live on 160 acres of forest land, in a 1500 square-foot off-grid home using about 10% of the electricity of the average American home (including home office). Their home is heated by a wood stove using deadfall wood from their property. Propane heats the cookstove, on-demand water heater and backup generator (needed only during gray-day periods in winter). Not yet energy independent, but moving in that direction!