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PowerSwitch - Statement of beliefs - the update

 
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PowerSwitchJames



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 929
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: PowerSwitch - Statement of beliefs - the update Reply with quote

Dear PowerSwitch forum members,

After 4 years, our understanding of the situation has developed, and therefore its statement of beliefs needs updating. We would very much appreciate your feedback, suggestions and ammendments to this proposed new SoB to improve this. We would appreciate all comments, either in this thread or by email to info@powerswitch.org.uk, by 31st May 2008.

We find this to be a very useful document in clarifying our general position as a group.

Original Statement of Beliefs

The proposed PowerSwitch Statement of Beliefs 2008 is as follows:



We recognise:

That the evidence backs up the growing consensus amongst the World's leading petroleum geologists and geophysicists that the peak of global oil supplies will occur at some point within the next 10 years, after which there will be a permanent and ongoing decline in the global supplies of oil, followed by a similar peak and decline in natural gas production.

That the percentage of global oil production will be increasingly concentrated in non-OECD countries.

That oil supplies are more relevant than oil production, and that each country will experience their historic peak of oil supplies at different points; the subsequent decline will occur at varying rates.

That there are a reducing number of oil exporters and an increasing number of oil importers.

That the global discovery of oil peaked in 1962 and has been declining ever since.

That the accepted reserve numbers of IEA and USGS are not verified and are likely to be overstated due to political and financial pressures.

That the strong economic advances by China, India and other emerging economies are dramatically intensifying global competition for access to oil reserves and supplies.

That technology, government and the market alone cannot provide a solution to this problem and action must be taken by government, business, community and the individual.

That due to oil being so essential for economies there is a very high risk of intensification of economic, political and military conflict over the control of remaining resources and supplies.

That any solution to the global decline in oil supplies must take into account climate change.

That our economic and social structure has been dependent on cheap oil and gas: transport, food production, plastics, healthcare etc.- which so many jobs, and thus the financial system, rely.

That future trends will be different to the experiences of the twentieth century.

That the prevailing expectations, standards and aspirations of many in modern industrialised societies is a culture based on the cheap and easy supply of oil, and thus any solution must address that culture.

That continued economic growth cannot continue in a world of declining oil supplies without serious consequences for the economy and financial system.


We recognise that it is essential to act immediately, and that every day of delay reduces our options for mitigating the inevitable decline of global oil supplies. We therefore call for Government to urgently:

Conduct a thorough risk-assessment of the impact of declining oil supplies on all aspects of society.

Conduct a full, honest and major public awareness campaign on the reality and consequences of declining oil supplies.

Plan, encourage and enable clean, renewable energy self-sufficiency by 2025.

Plan, encourage and enable crisis-resilience in our food, energy, water and healthcare systems.

Create and then act upon a long-term plan to secure the well-being of every member of a low-carbon economy and society.

Establish measures and policies to encourage efficient use of energy throughout the economy within a framework of reducing total energy consumption, such as Tradeable Energy Quotas (www.teqs.net) or Cap and Share (www.capandshare.org)

Rethink and revise climate change policies and targets in the light of oil depletion data, especially with regards to the climate impact of other liquid fuel replacements such as biofuels, coal-to-liquid etc.

Recognise the fundamental significance of declining oil and thus prioritise the budget allocation to scientific research, energy efficiency, skills development and other policy measures aimed at commerce, industry and individuals, designed to manage the transition to a low-carbon society as speedily and painlessly as possible.

Recognise the importance of oil and gas in agriculture and thus address how food will be grown and distributed in the future.

Pro-actively work on international cooperation on energy resource management and energy solution development - e.g. sign and follow the 'Oil Depletion Protocol' so as to cut imports to match world depletion rate.


We also recognise that relying purely on Government to mitigate the inevitable decline of global oil supplies might abdicate responsibility from other sectors of society and therefore call on individuals, communities and business to:


Engage in awareness raising and discussion with friends and family on the reality of, consequences, and responses to declining oil supplies.

Plan, encourage and enable clean, renewable energy self-sufficiency by 2025 on a personal/community/business level.

Plan, encourage and enable personal/community/business crisis-resilience in food, energy, water and healthcare systems.

Create and act upon a long-term plan to secure their own well-being as a member of a low-carbon economy and society.

Actively support measures and policies to encourage efficient use of energy throughout the economy within a framework of reducing total energy consumption, such as Tradeable Energy Quotas (www.teqs.net) or Cap and Share (www.capandshare.org)

Rethink and revise future individual/community/business expecations in the light of oil depletion data, especially with regards to the climate change.

Recognise the fundamental significance of declining oil and thus prioritise individual/community/business budget allocation to energy efficiency and other measures designed to manage the transition to a low-carbon society as speedily and painlessly as possible.

Recognise the importance of oil and gas in agriculture and thus address how individuals and communities will have access to reliable food supplies.
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Last edited by PowerSwitchJames on Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:32 pm; edited 4 times in total
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MacG



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 2863
Location: Scandinavia

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why so long and formal? Like a UN declaration. Less than 1% of even intelligent people will find it easy to read.

Why not two versions? A short and a long?

Suggestion for a short version:


- Oil is powering all aspects of modern societies, like transport, food and clothes. Oil is modernity.

- For 150 years we have got more and more oil almost every year.

- Very soon we will get less and less oil every year. The shift is known as PeakOil.

- If we don't discuss the problem in the open, we will likely end up with a miserable pulp of blood, gore and guts, not to mention the starvation, diseases and premature deaths.

- In fact, our only hope for the future is to have open discussions about ourselves and society and how we want things organized. Such discussions are difficult, we know, but it's our only hope.
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fifthcolumn



Joined: 22 Nov 2007
Posts: 2525

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I allowed to question the need for a "statement of beliefs"?

Is this the UK's peak oil discussion forum or is it a political group?

This kind of ties in with my discontentment about what I call "groupthink".
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PowerSwitchJames



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 929
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PowerSwitch is not a political group but we do engage with bodies that are political in nature. It is helpful for us, and for them, to clarify what our position is on the very topic we are engaging on (and hence its length). This Statement of Beliefs does not mean that forum members are bound by it, and agree upon it - the PowerSwitch discussion forums are distinct from the element that engages.
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SunnyJim



Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 2915

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fifthcolumn wrote:
Am I allowed to question the need for a "statement of beliefs"?

Is this the UK's peak oil discussion forum or is it a political group?

This kind of ties in with my discontentment about what I call "groupthink".


I've seen this criticism of group think before. It's generally used by individuals to disrupt the work of groups, and to justify continuing pointless disagreement that gets in the way of useful discussion. Is is tantamount to saying "My one view is equally important as all of your views, and I reserve the right to continue disagreeing and getting the majority of opinion." This then often prevents discussion getting past the fundamentals that are argued about, and prevents any organisation around a set of principals, and prevents solutions being made. In my view it takes a group of commited agreed individuals that should exhibit some kind of group think to get things done.
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Tess



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Truro

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This 'organisation', like all other well-functioning organisations, works by the people who care to do things actually doing things, while those who prefer to talk (like me), do the talking. If the do-ers need a formal statement to back up their do-ing, more power to their elbow.
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PowerSwitchJames



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never has the word 'organisation' needed quote marks around it more than when related to PowerSwitch Laughing
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Keela



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 1941
Location: N.Ireland

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacG... I like your version!
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PowerSwitchJames



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too like where MacG is going with his suggestion and I think I have use for that somewhere else...
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MacG



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PowerSwitchJames wrote:
I too like where MacG is going with his suggestion and I think I have use for that somewhere else...


Personally I feel I'm just a short step away from a bearded prophet in a robe proclaiming something balanced like "doom is nigh".
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stumuz



Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 624
Location: Anglesey, North Wales

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I support MacG?S statement, short, concise and to the point.

The other one is verbose, preachy and reminds me of the scene in life of Brian when Judith runs into the room and screams,

?? they?re going to crucify Brian??

?? Right??, says Reg,

?? THIS CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE DISCUSSION!
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Vortex



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 6097

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the long version. Works for me.

The 'Financial Times' v 'The Sun'. Take your pick. Both have their place.
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snow hope



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the long one is intellectual and comprehensive. It covers all the bases and portrays the situation in a reasonable amount of detail.

BUT it is hard to read and will not impact Joe Public....... and to me that is a problem. Rolling Eyes

The short version IS analogous to the Sun, but the Sun (unfortunately or not) is bought and read by many of Joe Public and sways the opinion of the country and is talked about in many places of work, gathering and general communal meeting, whether you or I like it or not!

Do we want to appeal to the the few percent of the population who are not sleep-walking and actually still read the Times and still THINK about things (and may either know about Peak Oil or have a real good perception that things are going downhill fast).

Or do we want to wake up the vast majority of Joe Public who are sleep-walking towards a cliff and need to be told in SIMPLE but stark terms that we have a serious problem about to hit and that if they don't wake up and take note then they are going to go over the cliff?

I vote for the latter to be honest, but agree also with the former in the appropriate place.....

Thanks for the hard work James.
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PowerSwitchJames



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Snow Hope. I think it is important to clarify that this isn't a document that we'd use to sell Peak Oil or its solutions to one and all - rather it is a text to clarify the position of PowerSwitch, the organisation, and that probably needs longer text.

snow hope wrote:
Yes, the long one is intellectual and comprehensive. It covers all the bases and portrays the situation in a reasonable amount of detail.

BUT it is hard to read and will not impact Joe Public....... and to me that is a problem. Rolling Eyes

The short version IS analogous to the Sun, but the Sun (unfortunately or not) is bought and read by many of Joe Public and sways the opinion of the country and is talked about in many places of work, gathering and general communal meeting, whether you or I like it or not!

Do we want to appeal to the the few percent of the population who are not sleep-walking and actually still read the Times and still THINK about things (and may either know about Peak Oil or have a real good perception that things are going downhill fast).

Or do we want to wake up the vast majority of Joe Public who are sleep-walking towards a cliff and need to be told in SIMPLE but stark terms that we have a serious problem about to hit and that if they don't wake up and take note then they are going to go over the cliff?

I vote for the latter to be honest, but agree also with the former in the appropriate place.....

Thanks for the hard work James.

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'Being green is not what you think, it is what you do.'
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