England: first Towns prepare for life after oil
Many people envision future
where we come to terms with
inevitable fuel shortages
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.
The first so-called transition town was pioneered in the southwest English town of Totnes, by the inventor of the concept Rob Hopkins, 18 months ago.
Since then almost 50 other places in Britain have signed up to the movement, as well as a smattering of towns in New Zealand and Australia.