Thursday, May 26, 2005

Clueless in California

The Unplanner, a planning official for a county in central California, has for weeks been preparing us for the moment when he would broach the subject of limits on energy supplies to his boss. What followed when he did should scare everyone. If planning departments throughout the United States are this clueless about the energy challenges we face and remain so, we will walk right off the edge of the energy cliff without warning.

Can anyone make a dent in the planning establishment so that it will at least consider the uncertainties we face in the area of energy? If so, can it be done in time?

(Comments are open to all. See the list of environmental blogs on my sidebar.)

2 comments:

Left Peakoil.com due to the crap said...

Can anyone make a dent in the planning establishment so that it will at least consider the uncertainties we face in the area of energy? If so, can it be done in time?

No. Why? Planning about the 'bad news' of energy means you are not selling an 'easy, optimistic future' but one 'worse' than today's world. Selling bad news as investment is hard to do. What with the present economic system based on growth and that growth tied to the conversion of energy to work as a subsitute for human labor.

We are disconnected from the actual labor VS our labor saving devices and how we power them. Having spent an 8 hour day planting 30 tomato plants (move 'waste' brewing grain 20 miles, diging holes to put grain in, moving water in wagon 200 feet to water the plants, cutting plastic soad bottles as plant covers and clean up later) *I* may have an idea of human labor to end up with some tomatos to make into paste in 3 months, but the person who flips burgers for min. wage and buys paste for $0.69 in a can has little connection between the effort in manual labor to make paste VS the cost.

The best idea (that I have seen so far) for re-connecting "us" to what we consume is making a "money" based on wattage. A wattage based trade system would 'solve' the old gold-based system - only so much gold can exist (wattage is only limited by what the Earth can capture from the Sun - a very large number that exceeds gold and if one wishes to make more money for circulation, just create more watts of power)

I could have planted all of my tomato plants in under 3 hours with a 8 HP post hole digger on a 2 HP mobile platform.

UNplanner said...

Amen to that...

I have been literally told we will not deal with the subject matter until it reaches "crisis" proportions. Those wise words of wisdom originated from my supervisor. (Not the flat earth one either) This is sheer crap, if you ask me.

Planning is about making those decisions now to achieve long range goals. If you wait until there is a crisis, you are reacting.

We may as re-name our planning department as the Reacting Department because that is all we ever do. We react to development proposals and more often than not modify our plans to fit the proposal rather than the otherway around. Then we plan for only what we know or want to occur rather than reality.

Don't count on solutions coming from those in charge.