Cowart's Common Room
Food for Thought

I don't normally plug my blogs in the Common Room (sorry HM, yes, I know, lines... *sigh*) but this is important!

I went to a West Wales Soil Association meeting last night and really had my eyes opened to the impending crisis threatened by Peak Oil.

Monty Don was the guest speaker, alongside SA director and local farmer Patrick Holden, to talk about, and join in a discussion on, local food production. It really brought it home to me that, particularly in the UK, we are rather taking our lifestyle and its dependance on oil, totally for granted.

Anyway, I have blogged about it this morning and I would love to know what others feel about Peak Oil and the way it will affect the way we live and eat.


Posted at 9th Apr 2008 - 11:06AM   Posted by Preseli Mags   Food for Thought Comments: 15

Pipany's Avatar Off to read it now PM xx

Posted by: Pipany on 9th Apr 2008 at 11:06AM

Westerwitch's Avatar Me too. We rely heavily on oil where we are - no gas and electricity is too expensive.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 9th Apr 2008 at 11:14AM

Ivy's Avatar WW gas is just a by-product of oil so it does not matter if you used oil or gas we need to insulate our houses better so that not so much heat is lost. Investing in alternative energy is THE task for the years to come. Here in Germany we have two companies who offer gas and electricity who do that. we joined them some time ago at only a fraction more than we normally pay for gas and the same amount for electricity. Greenpeace is collaborating with them so I believe they are doing what I pay them for. Put their money in research and produce as much green energy without destroying the food production (rape seed oil instead of Diesel is not the answer to the oil crisis I am afraid) as possible.

Posted by: Ivy on 9th Apr 2008 at 12:24PM

Fennie's Avatar Most excellent - well worth the plug. We should all read and act!

Posted by: Fennie on 9th Apr 2008 at 01:10PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Since the fire both cottages are extremely well insulated . . . so we have that to be thankful for I guess.

I turn off what we don't need and turn down what we are using. Then I see on the news and hear from people on their travels about the pollution in other countries where they are making no attempt whatsoever to reduce their emissions and I do wonder if our efforts are not even big enough to be a drop in the ocean.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 9th Apr 2008 at 01:20PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar I think it can be very dispiriting. I have always tried to be eco-conscious (since a trip to CAT in Wales in the early 80s)... but people I know still fly all over the world and drive vast gas-guzzling cars without a second thought. We are insulating the Bonkers House to within an inch of its life and I had hoped to use a combo of woodburning stove/solar panels for heating but turns out it's not as simple as that and looks like we may be stuck with oil as our main fuel source for the time being, which makes me deeply unhappy. However hopefully the technology will catch up soon. If I were back at the farm, I'd be looking at geothermal for sure - and possibly a wood pellet stove too. But it's all expensive and you have to jump through hoops to get any funding (the grant business is another con as far as I can see, as you can only get them with certain installers (usually teh most expensive ones). Sorry if this sounds cynical but I am pretty fed up with it all.
OK, I have ranted on without reading your blog PM!!! Expect I shall now look a total idiot.... troops off.....

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 9th Apr 2008 at 01:48PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Westerwitch's Avatar That's the key though isn't it - if you go for the earth friendly option if costs a berludy fortune and yet people who don't bother enjoy the benefits of everything cheaper. Would love to have solar panels and a wind turbine but we simply couldn't afford it.

So the result is that those who don't bother are actually rewarded . . .

Posted by: Westerwitch on 9th Apr 2008 at 01:57PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar According to the peeps I spoke to, the solar technology WILL get much better and much cheaper within the next ten years (not soon enough). Then I will definitely want photovolwotsit panels on the roof to generate electricity. What pees me off is that we have all these options for free energy and don't use it....our town used to have a hydroelectric do-dah on the river which provided tons of energy - now there's nothing. I recently suggested we try to become an ecotown, get the hydro up and running again, be pro-active with solar/farmers' markets/wind etc etc - but it all fell on deaf ears.
Trouble is, most of the locals just can't afford to do it - and those can can are, predominantly, the weekenders who can't be parsed. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 9th Apr 2008 at 03:23PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar PS, why does your post begin 'Westerwitch's Avatar', ww? Hope that broomstick isn't turbo-powered?!

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 9th Apr 2008 at 03:25PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Um - it starts with that because I redid my comment a copied and pasted the previous bit and it copied Witch's Avatar . . . or something . . .Embarassed

Eeeeek and what is all these saying Peeps . . . pet hate of mine . . . rakes nails down the blackboard . . . revs chainsaw.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 9th Apr 2008 at 04:06PM

Read your blog but cannot comment for some reason. I so agree with what you and the other comments have said. I would loved to have been there. Is this what transistion towns are about, have heard the term but not sure what it is but sure it is about growing locally and producing energy locally.

Posted by: Quilting Cat on 9th Apr 2008 at 04:40PM

Ivy's Avatar Yes you are right it can be very discouraging if you think you are the only ones who cares but that is how all great changes began. Organic farming, natural medicine alternative energy have been issues in my family for as long as I can remember. When my parents began to support these things they were looked at like idiots in the 70ies but today most supermarkets sell organic food alongside normally produced food. There are providers who offer "green electricity" and there are cars which use less petrol than 20 years ago.There have been changes and the more people start to support all this the more it will become the norm. The set backs and the ignorance are frustrating yes but there are others and everybody has to do what he or she can do in her/his place so don't give up because the others don't care.

Posted by: Ivy on 9th Apr 2008 at 06:17PM

Milla's Avatar sorry, have ranted rather on yours PM, for which much apologies - I was friends, a long time ago, for one of the people who made MD rich as a jewelller and a bigger charlatan you couldn't find at the time. If he has changed, forgive me, but I can;t see past that glib face, although the message is true. I just hate the messenger being so supposedly important.

Posted by: Milla on 9th Apr 2008 at 06:46PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Oh flipping heck, had totally forgotten he was a jeweller once upon a time. Didn't come across him (at least I don't think so) when I was doing my fashiony thing (though given my poor memory might have been married to him for all I can recall). Know what you mean though - once you have a bad impression of someone it's hard to throw off.
Ivy, yup, think you're right - I too grew up with green stuff/alternatives and suppose I am now impatient for change (given that finally, oh finally, people are starting to talk about the environment). But then again, is it just another fashion, like organic is for many people....all nice and good as long as it doesn't upset their lifestyle too much?

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 9th Apr 2008 at 07:53PM

Preseli Mags's Avatar It might upset their lifestyle a bit when the oil all runs out. Oh Lord I've come over all DOOM now...

Fascinating views on this though. Monty D did seem to be a thoroughly nice and genuine bloke. He was absolutley charming, slightly self-deprecating, humble and spoke intelligently and made well-informed, off-the-cuff comments.

It wasn't really a 'celebrity' event, there were no books to sign or anything, just a bunch of like-minded folk in a room, one of whom happened to be that guy off the telly. For much of the time he was ignored by the masses as we were too busy having our own debates. He seemed happy about that, though.

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 9th Apr 2008 at 08:10PM

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