Peak oil ideas for Madison zoning rewrite commitee

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ed Blume provided the following to the Zoning Code Rewrite Advisory Committee at its meeting on September 10:

Peak Oil
“When the production rate of oil reaches its geological limit and begins to decline, the world’s economies will be forced to live within a shrinking, not expanding, energy budget. The economic impact of peaking oil production is what concerns us, not the amount of oil yet to produce. We won’t “run out of oil” for another 100 years or more, but it will be produced at ever-declining rates.

This is an essential concept. Talking only about the number of barrels of oil that might exist somewhere, without also talking about the rate at which that oil can be produced, and when, entirely misses the target. -- Peak Oil Media Guide, Chris Nelder

“Energy resources will be volatile post-Peak Oil, as decreases in oil supply will stress energy sources. By decreasing reliance on non-local energies through conservation and renewable energies, San Buenaventura can buffer itself from these energy spikes.” Transforming Urban Environments for a Post-Peak Oil Future, City of San Buenaventura, CA

- Energy efficiency becomes critical in all activities and plans, e.g., requirements for more insulation in homes and businesses
- Solar hot water systems on as many structures as possible; large solar generation facilities within the city limits
- Streets, buildings, and plantings oriented for maximum solar capture
- Planting to enhance solar capture
- Local heating and power generation
- Preserve and develop urban lands for biomass production, e.g., wood and switch grass

- Emphasis on:
+ Public transit; more routes and buses to serve more areas of the city
+ Biking with more and wider bike paths; more bike racks
+ Walking
+ Electric vehicles
- Smaller and slower vehicles
- Shorter travel distances; more need for nearby work, shopping, and recreation

- Capture and reuse rain water, as well as grey water
- Reduce overall water consumption

- Emphasis on locally grown food
- Provide garden space for individuals
- Provide commercial gardening within city limits