Los Angeles Post Carbon
Educating our Los Angeles communities on the issue of peak oil and taking steps to prepare ourselves for the post carbon age.

Welcome to Los Angeles Post Carbon. If you are new to the issues of peak oil, you should read the primer on peak oil below. For more information on our organization, visit the About Us page. To keep informned on LA Post Carbon events and news, subscribe to our newsletter.

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Peak oil primer

What is Peak Oil?
Peak Oil is the simplest label for the problem of energy resource depletion, or more specifically, the peak in global oil production. Oil is a finite, non-renewable resource, one that has powered phenomenal economic and population growth over the last century and a half. The rate of oil 'production,' meaning extraction and refining (currently about 84 million barrels/day), has grown in most years over the last century, but once we go through the halfway point of all reserves, production becomes ever more likely to decline, hence 'peak'. Peak Oil means not 'running out of oil', but 'running out of cheap oil'. For societies leveraged on ever increasing amounts of cheap oil, the consequences may be dire. Without significant successful cultural reform, economic and social decline seems inevitable.

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Lawns into Gardens for the Future: A Free Community Exchange Program

Swan Song for a Lawn

Swan Song for a LawnHere's How it Works... You supply the materials. We supply the design and organize a workshop to help you build a beautiful and bountiful Food Forest Garden. -All at NO COST.

The Catch?!? You must grow organically, of course -and when the time comes...All you have to do is GIVE AWAY some of the extra fruits and vegetables! We'll even supply the fruit boxes and a listing on our community "lawns into gardens" links.
Please, Front Yards Only ( other conditions and restriction may apply)

Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood. Program and Services are Now Available. Can't Convert your Own Front Yard? You can still participate and help others by donating time, materials and money to this program. Your participation helps support the training programs for our FoodForestry Gardening Services!

Easy to Enroll -Sign up Now...
info@earthflow.com www.earthflow.com


Victory gardens sprout up again

By Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times
January 10, 2009

People are borrowing an old wartime concept to lessen the need for mass-produced food, reduce pollution, form communities and save on grocery bills.

These days, digging some holes and planting a little lettuce or a few beets is a political act. Just ask Julie Stern, who shares a backyard organic garden with her neighbor in Topanga Canyon. Stern worked at the polls on election day. "There's a feeling you had," she said. "You saw your neighbors, and you felt good about what you did." Growing food, she added, "I sort of do feel the same way."

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Townsfolk prepare for life after oil

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Imagine a life where each morning you cycle to work, and come home at night to tend your allotment and eat a dinner of locally produced food.

Transition Towns

In order to move to a zero-carbon lifestyle, livestock and produce will need to be locally sourced.

Maybe after your meal you take a walk down the car-free streets to the nearest bar where you buy a round of drinks with locally produced currency and settle down in a corner to watch a troupe of musicians play some local folk music.

It might sound like some kind of fairytale arcadia -- a return to the simple lives of our forefathers, before fossil fuels and consumer culture turned everything on its head.

In fact this is how many people are beginning to envision our future -- a world where we come to terms with inevitable fuel shortages and work towards a less energy-dependent lifestyle.

This vision has found a voice in the "transition initiative," a movement that encourages towns, villages and cities across the world to begin the process of preparing themselves for a carbon-free world.

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Transition Initiative Resources:
Rob Hopkin's website: http://transitionculture.org/
Transition Network: http://transitiontowns.org/


Converging Storms Presentation in Conejo Valley
Ventura Star News

Converging StormsLast Friday night I heard a terrific lecture by Lisa Lubow of Studies for Global Justice held at the Conejo Valley Unitarian-Universalist Church under the auspices of their Community Forum. It seemed important to share so this is a short summary of it.

Lubow is an engaging, fast-paced speaker who seemed to know a great deal about everything, and, as an historian by training, she possesses the broad perspective necessary to put it all together. She took her audience of approximately 25 people through a whirlwind tour of human history, ecology and economics, developing her theme: the "Converging Storms: the Crises of Energy, Capitalism and the Environment" need to be understood in a holistic, systemic way. Too many activists, she said, approach a piece of the "animal" without seeing the beast whole, without awareness of how the parts fit together. They often concentrate on saving a single species or lowering carbon emissions and thereby narrow public understanding of the magnitude of the problems and the interrelations among them. Sometimes unknowingly good people work against each other.

Read more:

Sudies for Global Justice Website


Peak Food: Blaming the Victims
By Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

I'm increasingly concerned at the way in which the food crisis is being portrayed. The Independent explains the causes of the food crisis as follows: "... millions of the world's poor face food shortages caused by rising populations, droughts and increased demand for land for biofuels, which have sparked riots and protests from Haiti to Mauritania, and from Yemen to the Philippines."

Driven by capitalist imperatives for short-term profit maximisation and long-term cost-minimisation, global agribusiness has established an international food production system that is, basically, dying.

Read more:


GardenSwap promotes Urban Gardens in Los Angeles

urban gardenCultivating Sustainable Communities (CSC) is launching an innovative new project. GardenSwap is an opportunity to pair up urban gardeners with their neighbors who have yard space in order to grow and share in the produce profits of urban food gardens. CSC is currently taking preliminary requests for participation in this program.

How does it work?

GardenSwap is a program that pairs up people who want to garden with people who have gardening space. In urban neighborhoods, some people have yards, and some people don’t, so why not pair up those who have garden space with people who will actually use that space to grow food? In the process, everyone involved can share in the produce “profits”, get to know each other, and learn something new!

Each arranged “pair” will be unique. This means that individual gardens may be small or large, high-intensity or low-maintenance, and can otherwise be tailored to the arrangement that works best for the people involved. Cultivating Sustainable Communities will help to coordinate the pair arrangement, facilitate initial and periodic training, and be available for questions and concerns at any time. The organization will also be involved in evaluating the garden from time to time and making sure everything is going smoothly. The goal is to support urban gardeners in their endeavor by adequately facilitating the relationship between gardener and yard-owner, while still allowing the arrangement to be sufficiently “organic” to the liking of the participants.

Find out more:



Transition California

Transisition CaliforniaTRANSITION CALIFORNIA is a networking site for those interested in exploring and/or implementing the Transition model in their community. This site is being created through grassroots participation, and is continually evolving. It is a spontaneously arising effort to connect 'transitioners' with each other and to encourage and support the development of local Transition Initiatives.

The Transition approach empowers communities to squarely face the challenges of peak oil and climate change, and to unleash the collective genius of their own people to find the answers.




How Cap and Dividends can reduce CO2 Emissions

Cap and dividend is a simple, market-based way to reduce CO2 emissions without reducing household incomes. It caps fossil fuel supplies, makes polluters pay, and returns the revenue to everyone equally.

Read more at http://www.capanddividend.org/



Global Green Cuts the (Green) Ribbon on Eco-Friendly School
by Marissa Moss, Los Angeles, California on 10.27.08

Global Green in Hollywood Cuts Ribbon
photo credit Global Green

Global Green, Hollywood's favorite environmental non-profit, is showing they have the substance to back the style: last week, they launched their pilot program to create five green schools serving low income children in the Los Angeles area. Along with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Global Green unveiled two of the finished projects with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Of course, the ribbon was green. Pics of the school after the jump.

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Slow Food Nation "Food for Thought" videos now online

Food For Thought is a series of lectures and discssions which took place at Slow Food Nation 2008. Videos of the sold-out discussions are available on-line, including one on Re-Localizing Food. In this Re-Localizing Food video, a panel explores the challenges of building a local food system and compares the environmental and social impacts of both a local and global approach to food.

Food for Thought videos

For more information on Slow Food in Los Angeles, visit www.slowfoodla.com



By Richard Heinberg

The worldwide financial crisis, and the decline in available energy, mean that we may also have seen the final year of aggregate world economic growth.

This is a breathtaking statement. I found myself uttering it yesterday at a strategy meeting of some environmental and economic justice organizations organized by the International Forum on Globalization; I surprised even myself, and immediately began wondering whether what I had said could possibly by true.

There are obvious objections. Perhaps the wealthy nations could still wring out a few years of growth by increasing global economic inequality. But this is essentially what they did over the past two decades with the strategy of corporate globalization—and that strategy is losing steam because of high transport costs due to Peak Oil.

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Plastic Bag Ban for Pasadena Considered

Turtle eating a plastic bagIn a mostly unheralded decision last week, a subcommittee of Pasadena's Environmental Advisory Commission voted to recommend the complete ban of single-use plastic shopping bags for retail establishments in Pasadena.

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A CSA without a farm?

This was posted by Jennifer Murphy on the CityRepairLA list.

CSA Famers using neighbors yardsA CSA without a farm? Instead they use their neighbors' lawns and backyards in Portland, OR, to grow food.

"We provide you with an organic vegetable farm right outside your door, customized to your family's size and dining choices. We do the work, you enjoy the healthful harvest!"

Reminds me of an idea Larry [Santoyo] talked about in his [Permaculture Design] course but I've never seen anybody actually do it and do it so well.


Their website www.yourbackyardfarmer.com/news.htm


Permaculture at Santa Monica City College

West Side Permaculture Gatherings

Mixing sand clay and strawClose to 200 people came to the Permaculture Festival in Santa Monica on Sunday, September 21st, to show their support and celebrate Permaculture on the final official day of summer. Fun seemed to be had by all.

I was around the cob bench for most of the time but I experienced something magical that day. True community was happening. Neighbors were talking to neighbors, people of all ages came together, and the possibility of a different world appeared for us all.

The food was excellent!! Thanks to everyone who shared their bounty on this day. There were some great looking tomatoes there. Whoever grew those, good job!!

Public art and music were also on hand to show us the beauty in the world that we can create. Thank You guys for coming out.

Larry Santoyo was also on hand to give a spectacular presentation to a standing room only crowd on the basics of Permaculture as well as a "Swan Song for A Lawn."

A special thanks as well to Traci Reitz and Sustainable Santa Monica. Traci organized and put all of this together. Without her nothing could've happened. Thanks. Westsidepermies (a t) gmail.com.


World Without Oil - a collaborative simulation of a global oil crisis

What if an oil crisis started on April 30, 2007 - what would happen? How would the lives of ordinary people change?

Over 1900 people signed up as players of World Without Oil, and submitted over 1500 stories from inside the "global oil crisis of 2007." Their work comprises a rich, complex, and eerily plausible collective imagining of such an event, complete with practical courses of action to help prevent such an event from actually happening.

Research is showing that "the wisdom of crowds" can outperform panels of experts when addressing certain kinds of questions. In World Without Oil, people not only helped create and quantify a more complete imagining of an immensely complex disaster, they helped visualize realistic and achievable solutions.



Identity Politics in Climate Change Hell

Do you want to save the biosphere or boost your own brand of politics? You can’t do both.

By George Monbiot. Published on Comment is Free, 22nd August 2008

If you want a glimpse of how the movement against climate change could crumble faster than a summer snowflake, read Ewa Jasiewicz’s article, published yesterday on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site(1). It is a fine example of the identity politics that plagued direct action movements during the 1990s, and from which the new generation of activists has so far been mercifully free.

Ewa rightly celebrates the leaderless, autonomous model of organising that has made this movement so effective. The two climate camps I have attended – this year and last – were among the most inspiring events I’ve ever witnessed. I am awed by the people who organised them, who managed to create, under extraordinary pressure, safe, functioning, delightful spaces in which we could debate the issues and plan the actions which thrust Heathrow and Kingsnorth into the public eye. Climate camp is a tribute to the anarchist politics that Jasiewicz supports.

But in seeking to extrapolate from this experience to a wider social plan, she makes two grave errors. The first is to confuse ends and means. She claims to want to stop global warming, but she makes that task 100 times harder by rejecting all state and corporate solutions. It seems to me that what she really wants to do is to create an anarchist utopia, and use climate change as an excuse to engineer it.




Mother Earth's Triple Whammy: Why North Korea Was a Global Crisis Canary

by: John Feffer, TomDispatch.com

That small Northeast Asian land, one of the last putatively communist countries on the planet, faced the same three converging factors as we do now -- escalating energy prices, a reduction in food supplies, and impending environmental catastrophe. At the time, of course, all the knowing analysts and pundits dismissed what was happening in that country as the inevitable breakdown of an archaic economic system presided over by a crackpot dictator.

They were wrong. The collapse of North Korean agriculture in the 1990s was not the result of backwardness. In fact, North Korea boasted one of the most mechanized agricultures in Asia. Despite claims of self-sufficiency, the North Koreans were actually heavily dependent on cheap fuel imports. (Does that already ring a bell?) In their case, the heavily subsidized energy came from Russia and China, and it helped keep North Korea's battalion of tractors operating. It also meant that North Korea was able to go through fertilizer, a petroleum product, at one of the world's highest rates. When the Soviets and Chinese stopped subsidizing those energy imports in the late 1980s and international energy rates became the norm for them, too, the North Koreans had a rude awakening.

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Organic Farming Could Feed the World

The Ram's Horn, July 2007

The authors of a new study claim that a switch to organic farming would not reduce the world's food supply but could actually increase food security in developing countries. They claim their findings lay to rest the debate over whether organic farming could sustainably feed the world. The team of researchers has compiled research from 293 different comparisons into a single study to assess the overall efficiency of the two agricultural systems.

They found that in 'developed' countries organic systems produce, on average, 92% of the yield produced by conventional agriculture. In 'developing' countries, however, organic systems produce 80% more than conventional farms. Then, using data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the team estimated what would happen if farms world-wide were to switch to organic methods today.

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Guerrilla gardener movement takes root in L.A. area

By Joe Robinson, Publish in the Los Angeles Times

Brimming with lime-hued succulents and a lush collection of agaves, one shooting spiky leaves 10 feet into the air, it's a head-turning garden smack in the middle of Long Beach's asphalt jungle. But the gardener who designed it doesn't want you to know his last name, since his handiwork isn't exactly legit. It's on a traffic island he commandeered.

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Future Scenarios - Mapping the Cultural implication of Peak Oil and Climate Change

The FutureScenarios website, created by David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept, looks at the challenges of Climate Change and Peak Oil. David describes four energy descent and climate change scenarios and strategies.

The simultaneous onset of climate change and the peaking of global oil supply represent unprecedented challenges for human civilisation. Global oil peak has the potential to shake if not destroy the foundations of global industrial economy and culture. Climate change has the potential to rearrange the biosphere more radically than the last ice age. Each limits the effective options for responses to the other. The strategies for mitigating the adverse effects and/or adapting to the consequences of Climate Change have mostly been considered and discussed in isolation from those relevant to Peak Oil. While awareness of Peak Oil, or at least energy crisis, is increasing, understanding of how these two problems might interact to generate quite different futures, is still at an early state. FutureScenarios.org presents an integrated approach to understanding the potential interaction between Climate Change and Peak Oil using a scenario planning model. In the process I introduce permaculture as a design system specifically evolved over the last 30 years to creatively respond to futures that involve progressively less and less available energy. -- David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture concept. May 2008

Read more at www.FutureScenarios.org


L.A. Eco-Village Stops Bulldozers

It was quite a shock when Eco-Villagers learned in August, 2007 that Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) planned to use eminent domain to obliterate and bulldoze the affordable housing on White House Place and their neighbors’ housing the next block over in order to build a new elementary school. Not only would dozens of people in this densely populated working-class neighborhood loose their homes, but Eco-Villagers in the two apartment buildings would live across the street from a heat island of asphalt and a chain link fence. The heart of this renowned urban ecovillage project would be gone practically overnight.

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Resilient Communities: A Guide to Disaster Management

MuseLetter #192 / April 2008 by Richard Heinberg

Global oil production appears already to have entered its plateau phase, with a gradually steepening decline in total production—and a much more rapid drop in export capacity among nations with any oil to spare—likely to commence within the next two or three years. It appears that the time available for adaptation is probably far too short to enable needed work to be accomplished. Meanwhile, the financial solvency crisis initiated by the US subprime mortgage fiasco threatens to obliterate trillions of dollars of investment capital, impeding whatever efforts might be undertaken toward energy conversion. Thus few if any communities—including those that have initiated worthwhile projects—will be prepared for the shocks of high fuel prices and fuel shortages that will inevitably follow in the coming years. What to do?

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Redefiining Progress Lesson Plans

Redefining Progress, in partnership with Earth Day Network, has developed single-day environmental education lesson plans for K-12 educators. The lesson plans are designed to integrate easily into science, social studies, math, and/or economics curricula. These include: Food and You - The Trash We Pass - Have and Have-Not - Sustainable Dining - Renewable Energy

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Regeneration: The Art of Sustainable Living on PBS

Greenologist and Permaculturist Claude William Genest hosts this show on how to rebuild, repair and restore our world - naturally. Claude is a sustainability specialist who combines years of rich on-camera experience to his expertise in ecological design. He’s crisscrossed the globe to study Permaculture, what David Suzuki calls “the most important work being done by any group on the planet”. ClaudeGenest.com

Regeneration on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/RegenerationClaude



Oil Price Rise Fails to Open Tap


A central reason that oil supplies are not rising with demand is that major producers outside OPEC, like Russia, Mexico and Norway, are showing signs of sluggishness.

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Urban Scout on Rewilding

Urban Scout's Warning: Dismantling civilization now greatly reduces the effects of ecological collapse.“No other word encompasses the act of abandoning civilization and its root of domestication like the verb rewild. It also struck me because, as a verb, it implies an action, a process, rather than an end point.” - Urban Scout.

His entry on Agriculture vs. Rewilding provide a good introduction to rewilding.

The Adventures of Urban Scout website also has some fun thought provoking videos. One intersting one is Urban Scout and Derrick Jensen in “The Secret of Sustainability”.


Los Angeles Permaculture Guild Newsletter

The Los Angeles Permaculture Guild Newsletter is a useful and lengthy compilation of needs, surplus, events and articles, videos, pictures and announcements of interest to permaculture students, environmentalists, activists, gardeners and others. Some of the information is gathered from community input - so your suggestions are welcome. The newsletter can be viewed online at taylorist.googlepages.com/permaculturelosangeles, or you can subscribe to the newsletter by sending an email to taylorist@gmail.com.



Luz: The Girl of the Knowing

Luz: The Girl of Knowing is an online comic about a 12-year-old latina girl who tends to be on the serious side and finds herself reflecting on life. She ponders the state of humanity and where we fit in Nature. She is curious, cares about people and animals, and tends to assume the best in everyone.

But Luz knows a big change is coming as she hears on the news and sees in headlines that petroleum is becoming expensive and scarce, and the climate is noticeably getting more erratic. Although surprised that no one seems very concerned, she doesn't wait for somebody else to take the lead.

Read More: www.transmission-x.com/luz/


Beyond Hope and Doom: Time for a Peak Oil Pep

by Richard Heinberg

Post Carbon Institute Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg, on the psychological aspects of working to counteract the problems caused by peak oil and climate change. His "pep talk" reaches out to those working hard to make sure their families, their communities, and their planet are safe in a situation with many unknowns.



Rainwater as a Resource

Are our cities beyond repair? TreePeople doesn't think so.

As part of its Natural Urban Systems Group, TreePeople has been involved in the implementation of several retrofits designed to restore the natural functions of urban sites. From single-family homes to large public sites such as schools and parks, we've helped show that integrating nature's cycles into the urban landscape is not only technically and financially feasible but also highly desirable for individuals and cities alike.

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The Church Model for Peak Oil Activists

By Sharon Astyk, a subsistence farmer and author

So far, peak oil and climate change groups have focused on the other people who have figured out what is going on. But right now, in the early stages of the crisis, there are simply too few people who have put all the pieces together. With another decade to prepare and teach, such an approach might work. With only a short time, the odds are against it. Compare this to churches or synagogues or mosques, who invite in nearly everyone in a given community, opening their doors as widely as they can.

Read More at casaubonsbook.blogspot.com


Permaculture Defined

The Permaculture Activist, a periodical and website of permaculture resources, has an introduction to Permaculture. Here's a small excerpt.

1. From Bill Mollison: Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments.

2.From the Permaculture Drylands Institute, published in The Permaculture Activist (Autumn 1989): Permaculture: the use of ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, appropriate technology, and community development. Permaculture is built upon an ethic of caring for the earth and interacting with the environment in mutually beneficial ways.

Read more at permacultureactivist.net/intro/PcIntro.htm


Urban Agriculture for Entrepreneurs

by Sarah Rich
Published by World Changing

Wally Satzewich operates Wally's Urban Market Garden which is a multi-locational sub-acre urban farm. It is dispersed over 25 residential backyard garden plots in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, that are rented from homeowners. The sites range in size from 500 sq. ft. to 3000 sq. ft., and the growing area totals a half acre. The produce is sold at The Saskatoon Farmers Market.

Read more at www.worldchanging.com/archives//006935.html


Peak Oil - How Will You Ride the Slide?

A short animated film by Bruce Woodside

Los Angeles local, Bruce Woodside, has recently created an animated short concerning Peak Oil

On nofatclips.com: http://nofatclips.com/02007/12/02/oil/Peak%20Oil.mp4

On youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulxe1ie-vEY


Survive LA

Self-sufficiency Tips and Tricks from an Urban Homestead

Survive LA is a Los Angeles based blog which covers a variety of topics including the uses of local plants such as the broadleaf plantain, how to cook Rusks, a sturdy biscuits of Dutch South African origin, and reviews interesting local events, such as the Bike Scouts Campout, and the Street Signs and Solar Ovens: Los Angeles Social Craft Exhibit.





Update: Only the trailer is available on YouTube at this time.

Barry Silverthorn, the producer of The END of SUBRBIA: Oil Depletion and the Collapse of the American Dream, uploaded a 52-minute version of The END of SUBURBIA to YouTube. The END of SUBURBIA documents how peak oil may affect our industrial society in the U.S. (and in the rest of the industrial world) as the globe faces the downslope of petroleum extraction. Since its release in March 2004, The END of SUBURBIA has sold over 29,000 copies, and may now likely reach a much wider audience on YouTube.

Watch the trailer of END of SUBURBIA on YouTube:

If you recognize the importance of this documentary, please forward the link on to friends & family. You can also help promote it by goint to YouTube and rating it and commenting on it. This will help it reach the Top Rated, and Most Commented lists.

The director of the END of SUBURBIA, Gregory Green, is working on a sequel named Escape From Suburbia

"Through personal stories and interviews we examine how declining world oil production has already begun to affect modern life in North America. Expert scientific opinion is balanced with “on the street” portraits from an emerging global movement of citizen’s groups who are confronting the challenges of Peak Oil in extraordinary ways. " http://escapefromsuburbia.com/.

For a documentary with more of a focus on solutions to Peak Oil, there is The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, http://www.communitysolution.org/cuba.html.


Walk, Bike, Ride L.A. Campaign

C.I.C.L.E. has announced a Walk, Bike, Ride L.A. Campaign and ask us to send a message to the Mayor. C.I.C.L.E. created pre-addressed postcards for people to send to Mayor Anonio Villaraigosa asking him to include bicycling and walking as part of his vision of a clean and green L.A. Print out our pre-addressed postcard and send it to the mayor today. C.I.C.L.E. will be distributing these postcards within the L.A. area, but asks others to help circulate these postcards too. www.BikeNow.org

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Permablitzing the suburbs down under


A permablitz is basically a permaculture-inspired backyard makeover where people come together to share knowledge and skills about organic food production in urban gardens while building community and having fun.

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The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook
Recipes for Changing Times

A new book on post carbon life and the transition

By Albert K. Bates

Over the coming years we will need to move from a global culture addicted to cheap, abundant petroleum to a culture of compelled conservation, whether through government directive or market forces. The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook provides useful practical advice for preparing your family and community to make the transition.

This book takes a positive, upbeat, and optimistic view of "the Great Change," promoting the idea that it can be an opportunity to redeem our essential interconnectedness with nature and with each other. The many rifts that have grown up since oil became the world's prime commodity can be mended: between cities and their food sources; the design of the suburban built environment and its car-oriented sprawl; runaway greenhouse warming, clearing of forests and toxification of rivers, oceans, and land.

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(How can we already be) looking at the end of the age of oil and abundant energy

by Jan Lundberg
Published on 22 Sep 2006 by Gristmill

In my travels I'm called upon to answer difficult questions on energy supply and how today's complacent U.S. population will cope with petroleum famine. While there are technical answers and a crying need for skills like permaculture and revived handcrafts of all kinds, the key to our survival post-peak oil will be cultural, not technological. I've benefited from going around the country to speak and learn about our petroleum reality and how our ecosystems and communities will have to quickly adapt.

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Preparing for a Crash: Nuts and Bolts

by Zachary Nowak
Published on 31 Aug 2006 by Energy Bulletin

This essay is intended to address the serious “peaknik,” that is to say a person who accepts as axiomatic that Peak Oil will occur and that the consequences will be devastating for most of the world’s Homo sapiens sapiens. As one of these people, I am often frustrated by the lack of practical suggestions for what to do to survive the Peak and the Crash. Recently I read a list of things that the people who participate in the forum of a noted Peak Oil site were doing “to prepare for a future that can no longer depend on cheap oil.” These included having a rain barrel, a one-month supply of canned goods and a one-week supply of bottled water, “adjusting my stock portfolio with more energy and other commodity stocks,” setting the thermostat at 62, and replacing the light bulbs in the house with compact fluorescents. While all of these are good things to do now, they fail to even minimally prepare for a world with no food distribution, no electricity, and lots of hungry people, things that I think are an acceptable picture for a post-Peak future. Therefore I would like to set out my suggestions, assuming that the worst-case scenario is the one we may have to deal with.

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Why the Survivalists Have Got It Wrong

by Rob Hopkins

I have very little time for the survivalist response to peak oil, and on the back of a new article about it, Preparing for a Crash: Nuts and Bolts by Zachary Nowak, posted recently on the ever indispensible Energy Bulletin, perhaps it is time to deconstruct the whole survivalist argument, which is still a strong theme in the peak oil movement.

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Humanities Institute Fall 2006 Lecture Series
The End of Oil

In the fall semester of 2006, the Humanities Institute at Scripps College will sponsor a lecture series on the "The End of Oil." To help us understand what a post-oil age may look like, we are inviting energy analysts, economists, geologists, journalists, scientists and environmentalists, as well as political scientists to discuss with us the impact of the end of oil on the global economy, on the world's geopolitical balance of power, on our food supply and way of life, as well as on the environment and climate change.

For more information please write or call the Scripps College Humanities Institute at 1030 Columbia Avenue, Claremont, CA  91711, (909) 621-8326 or visit our website:   http://www.scrippscollege.edu/dept/humanities/index.html

All events are free and open to the public.  The events are listed on the LA Post Carbon event calendar.


Third U.S. Conference on “Peak Oil” and Community Solutions

As the world nears Peak Oil, energy prices are skyrocketing, geopolitical tensions are escalating, and the push for energy alternatives is intensifying. Yet many proposed solutions to Peak Oil will accelerate climate change, worsen global inequity, and further degrade our environment and communities. Still others have limited short-term technical feasibility. “The time has come to move beyond energy alernatives to creating alternative lifestyles and communities.”

Learn more about the 3rd US Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions which will take place in Yellow Springs, Ohio, September 22-24th.



Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) Primer

Here is a good introduction to "Energy Descent Action Plans" from the Energy Bulletin, including a brief primer on peak oil and permaculture. This would be a good article to send to neighborhood council members, council district staff and other public official types to try and start a conversation, if you are so inclined.

- Jennifer (Pasadena Post Carbon Outpost).

The concept of Energy Descent Action Plans isn't a widely known or discussed one. Even the issue which forms the EDAP's main inspiration - Peak Oil - may not be widely appreciated. So I've written a background briefing below. It's a work in progress, and being adapted from a document written for the Melbourne Food Network, so there may be some regional assumptions. But I hope that it might be a useful source document for others.

– Adam (@energybulletin.net)




View more news articles


Event Calendar

This calendar includes events organized by local post carbon outposts () as well as other relocalization related events. If you know of an event that should be listed here, send us the event information.


Los Angeles Permaculture Guild Newsletter - archive of Jan 2009 Issue


C.I.C.L.E.'s Urban Expeditions: LA Creek Freak River Tour
Saturday, January 24th, 11:00 AM

Urban Expeditions gets Wet and Wild

River Tour

Join renowned LA River guide, Joe Linton, for a bicycling adventure down the LA River. From its graffiti laden walls, to its wild inhabitants, the LA River has an incredible story to tell. Sometimes maddening, sometimes funny and often inspiring, this tour is sure to ignite your inner Creek Freak as you come to know the LA River's inner-most self. Bring a brown-bag lunch and enjoy some eats along the way.

Meet at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, 570 West Ave. 26,
L.A., CA 90065

For more information visit www.CICLE.org or call 323.478.0060


Path to Freedom: Potluck and Film Screening
January 25th, 5:00 - 9:30 PM

The Human Footprint

The urban homesteaders at Path to Freedom will host another one of their popular film & food nights. We encourage everyone to bring a dish and or something to drink for the vegetarian potluck that preceeds the insightful documentary THE HUMAN FOOTPRINT ( 90 min). The event will start with a So Cal Freedom Gardeners gathering with tables set up to SWAP N TRADE seeds, crops and more.

626 Cypress Ave, Pasadena CA

Cost: $10 (children are free)

5:00 PM - event starts / Freedom Garden Meetup & Swap N Trade
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM - potluck
7:00 PM - film screening ‘HUMAN FOOTPRINT’ ( 90 min)
8:30 PM - 9:30 - discussion

Space is limited so please RSVP by calling 626.844.4586 or visit urbanhomestead.org


Caracol Marketplace
Sunday, January 25th, 10 AM to 3 PM

Caracol MarketplaceCaracol Marketplace takes place at Proyecto Jardin Community Garden in Boyle Heights every last Sunday of the month from 10am to 3pm. The marketplace is a place for creating a sustainable economy through conscious creative expression. · Hand crafted and fine art Natural products and body care · Medicinal herbs · Kombucha Healthy food · Creative organic energy · Indie fashion designers · Jewelry Books · Photography · Live music · Workshops and more.

1718 Bridge Street, Boyle Heights (map). For information, booking, vending, gardening, volunteering, contact: caracolmarketplace@yahoo.com www.myspace.com/caracolmarketplace


Hands-On Pruning and Grafting
Sundays, Jan 25, Feb 1, 8, 15; 2:00 - 4:30 PM

Pruning and grafting in most instances aren't difficult, but they can be almost impossible to learn from lectures or books. How do you "read" a tree or shrub to know what should be cut this year, what should stay for another year, and what should stay permanently? How does the way woody plants naturally grow determine how they're pruned? How can you tell if a tree has been topped and what can be done to restore it? What is the correct motion to cut a whip into a scion for grafting?

In a series of four sessions at locations throughout Los Angeles, these questions and many more will be addressed. The Jan 25 session in North Hollywood will be the core introduction to both pruning and grafting, and will include mostly lecturing. The remaining three sessions will be primarily hands-on practice, field lecturing, and coaching. At each location we'll consider the challenges, advantages, and opportunities for different tree species and individual trees at that site.

To contact instructor Darren Butler:
(818) 271-0963


Los Angeles Critical Mass
Friday, January 30th, 7 PM

A monthly bicycle ride to celebrate cycling and to assert cyclists' right to the road. Now Meets At Western & Wilshire at the Metro Stop at 7:00 PM Leaves at 7:30 PM sharp! This is a easy-paced ride. The last Friday of the month.

USC riders meet at Tommy Trojan 6:00pm, Ride to LACM at 6:30pm.

UCLA riders meet at the Bruin Bear 5:30pm, ride to LACM at 6:00pm

Westside/Culver City/Mar Vista/Palms riders meet at Crank Mob park 6:00pm, ride to LACM at 6:30pm


International Seed Swap Day of Action
January 31, 2009

Seed SwapJanuary 31, 2009 is International Seed Swap Day of Action. Host a seed swap in your neighborhood in solidarity with Food Not Lawns, the White House Organic Farm project, Eat the View, and other organizations urging Obama's new Administration to support and encourage local food networks, permaculture, and sustainability, in this Nation and beyond.

Join the Environmental Change-Makers for a Seed Swap Celebration in conjunction with Heather Flores' International Seed Swap Day of Action.

Westchester / Los Angeles

We'll hold a Seed Swap (of course) but also a winter garden celebration, with a local foods potluck, garden classes, and more. Check www.EnviroChangeMakers.org for details as they unfold.

California Seed Exchange Discussion

Discussion list for gardeners in California and in other parts of the world who want to exchange extra plants and seeds we may have with others, as well as information on gardening.groups.yahoo.com/group/casape2/


Christopher Nyerges: Wild Food and Archery
Saturday, Jan. 31, 10 AM

Christopher Nyerges collects chickweed

Join Christopher Nyerges, a survival skills teacher with a unique style of teaching as he explores a chaparral-riparian area, and teaches about various plant uses. Bring your bow if you have one. This is south of the Rose Bowl in the Arroyo Seco, near the Archery range. Cost: $25 For more information visit and for a complete listing of outings visit http://www.christophernyerges.com/


Pasadena: Energy and Water Committee
Monday, February 2nd, 5:00 PM

The Energy and Water Committee of the Environmental Advisory Commission meets on the 1st Monday of every month. 150 S. Los Robles Avenue (Water & Power) 2nd Floor Conference Room.


Santa Monica Critical Mass
Friday, February 6th, 2009, 6:30pm

Come to a rolling celebration of bicycles, an organized coincidence that happens every 1st Friday at the Santa Monica Pier (Ocean Ave @ Colorado Ave.) Gather at 6 PM, depart at 6:30 PM.


Earthbag Construction
February 12th - 27th

The Ojai Foundation is pleased to present a winter work retreat on Earthbag Construction using Nader Khalili's Super Adobe



How to disengage from the water grid
Friday, February 13 at 7:30 pm

Greywater Guerrillas give a talk on Greywater, Rainwater, and Composting Toilets

How to Disengage from the Water Grid- with Rainwater, Greywater, and Composting Toilets. We will connect the water in our lives to local and global water struggles, look at rainwater as a resource, explore options of reusing greywater, and contemplate waterless (composting) toilets. From the apartment, to the house, to the city, ecological sanitation offers a path to a sustainable and just water future. L.A. Eco Village.

Reservations Required:  213/738-1254 or crsp@igc.org

Gourmet Wild Food Class
Sunday, February 15

During this class we will take a short hike and forage for specific plants - probably Stinging Nettle and Curly Dock. We'll learn how to cook the plants and review various "gourmet" recipes that can be made with them. Some of the cooking will be done on location; And I'll also bring some already cooked dishes. Be ready for an interesting culinary experience! Duration: From 10 A.M. to around 1 P.M. Cost $ 20.00
Location: Hahamongna Watershed Park in Pasadena. More information at http://urbanoutdoorskills.com/Schedule.htm


Pasadena Environmental Advisory Commission
Tuesday, February 17th, 6:00 PM

The Environmental Advisory Commission consists of nine Pasadena residents who advise the City Council and make policy recommendations in support of the goals and objectives of the City's Environmental Charter and monitor and guide the Green City Action Plan. This commission holds monthly open meetings to the public and serves as a forum for the discussion of environmental issues with local, regional, and global impacts. Agenda info, reports, documents, etc: George Ellery Hale Bldg, 175 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91109.

Visit website to verify meeting time & place:


Tree Purning Workshop
February 21st, 10:00 AM

EarthWorks Community Farm is holding a Tree Pruning Workshop with Ned Boyer, Master Gardener and Horticulturalist, on February 21, from 10am to 1pm, at EarthWorks Farm in South El Monte.  This is open to anyone who wants to come and learn! Visit  www.ewent.org for more information.


Pasadena Critical Mass
Saturday, February 21st, 10:00 AM

Pasadena Critical Mass is a fun social bike ride for all ages and ability levels. We ride the streets of Pasadena at an slow easy pace. You're welcome to bring your kids on the ride - make sure they can ride predictably in a straight line, or bring them on a tag-a-long or in a trailer. Helmets are required by law for anyone under 18. We often have music on the ride and end up at a park to play or for picnic afterward. Meet at Memorial Park at 10:00 AM, ride at 10:30 AM. More info at PBike.org


Free Class/Meeting. Urban Preparedness - The Emergency Bug-out BackPack
Sunday, February 25, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Earthquake? Wildfire? This is more like a "meeting" than a class and everyone who has an interest in Urban Survival and Preparedness is welcome.

If you don't have an emergency backpack, I suggest that you put one together – even a simple one based on the limited information you may have – and bring it with you. We'll exchange ideas, review the various choices individuals have made, learn how to create a very well thought-out "Emergency Backpack", and what the content should be based on your actual environment (I.E. if you live in a potential fire area, a breathing mask would be a good idea). If you've already put an emergency backpack together, you'll probably come back with new ideas on how to improve yours. This is meant to be very informal and fun. We will also review some of the emergency foods that you can purchase for your backpack and taste a few. I know that some individuals choose to have firearms as part of their emergency backpack; But, due to existing California laws and the meeting location, please do not bring any firearms with you.
Location: Deukmejian Wilderness Park in Glendale/La Crescenta - we'll meet near the old winery (stone building). More information at http://urbanoutdoorskills.com/Schedule.htm


Composting Workshop at Griffith Park
February 28, 2009, 10:00 AM - 12:00 noon

Residents can learn about backyard composting, worm composting, types of compost bins, grasscycling, and other smart gardening techniques at the City's free backyard composting workshops. In addition to the workshops, special discounted compost bin sales events are held throughout the year.

Griffith Park Composting Education Facility
5400 Griffith Park Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027



A Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition Fundraiser
April 11th, 2009, midnight

On April 11th, 2009, riders will assemble at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles at midnight - and shortly thereafter, on April 12th, just after the last Gold Line train pulls into the station, the riders will begin an epic journey featuring monumental landscapes bathed in moonlight, routes through towns deep in the arms of sleep, and climbs that will take the riders far above the blanket of lights from the city. The route is 50 miles with over 6300 ft in ascent, overnight in early Spring: an incredible odyssey and experience.








Related Organizations

Post Carbon Institute
LA Post Carbon is an outpost of the Post Carbon Institute. LA Post Carbon operates independantly of the Post Carbon Institute, and has a relationship of mutual support based on a similar mission.

Post Carbon Institute is an educational institution and think tank that explores in theory and practice what cultures, civilisation, governance & economies might look like without the use of (non-renewable) hydrocarbons as energy and chemical feedstocks.

A significant part of the Post Carbon Institute is the Outpost initiative. The Outpost initiative is the way the Post Carbon Institute supports local communities where groups of concerned citizens working together to prepare their community for permanent energy scarcity. The outposts are run democratically and generally work on several projects that will dvelop the knoweledge, infrastructure, and working relationships that will be valuable in a fossil fuel constrained future. Outposts generally work on projects involving car cooperatives, urban farming, and local money. They also work to raise the awareness of oil peak and declien in their community. Outposts aim to make an immediate postive difference in thier communities and have fun along the way.

Peak Oil Information

New: Printable Versions of Peak Oil Related Articles Published Online
This folder contains PDF and Word DOC versions of articles published online. These are great to make available at Meetups, END of SUBURBIA screenings or other events. There are also flyers from all the past events here. Feel free to use these as examples for your own flyers. Print copies of this LA PostCarbon Flyer