The business case for going radically green is becoming clearer by the day. While those economies that are still addicted to oil slide ever further into debt and financial chaos those communities that are at the cutting edge of the transition to a post fossil-fuel economy are experiencing rapid economic growth, falling unemployment, falling carbon emissions, increased local economic resilience and increased biodiversity. The last two blogs looked at Gussing, an example of sustainability, and the unsustainable US debt, a result of an unsustainable economy.
Gussing is not alone. Many other places around the world are showing what can be done. Varese, in Liguria, Italy, is one such. The island of Samso and the town of Frederikshavn are two of many possible examples from Denmark. These and a growing number of other communities are pretty well 100% self sufficient in local renewable energy: heat, electricity and transport fuels. The small Bavarian town of Wildpoldsried is perhaps even further advanced in that it produces about three times as much energy as it consumes. All these places have seen tremendous economic and ecological advantages as they have made the transition to a post fossil fuel economy.
In Herefordshire, where I live, we have tremendous opportunities to make a similar transition with multiple benefits. There are a few great businesses striving to do good projects, and there would be strong community support if people could see what has been achieved in some of these examples of best practice. I’m taking this message out into the community of Herefordshire: in January I shall be teaching an evening class in Hereford, Kington and in Ledbury, each course will consist of 8 sessions. Watch this blog for all the latest on that. Meanwhile:
- Saturday 15th October I shall be speaking at the opening of the Clehonger Village Hall Community Solar Roof, 11.00 am to 4.00 pm at Clehonger Village Hall. (Drop-in event)
- Tuesday 18th October I’ll be giving a presentation to the students doing the Bulmer’s Masters Degree in Sustainability Advocacy. (Not open to the public)
- Thursday 20th October I’ll be talking at the REconomy event at the Bishops Palace in Hereford, 7.30 to 10.00 pm. REconomy is a process that seeks to Re-imagine, Re-view and Re-create the local economy, and is a project of the Herefordshire in Transition Alliance. (Booking required via Nick Sherwood, text 07957348885 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is a terrific youtube video of Wildpoldsried here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9mnrKdI_QY