1. INTRODUCTION

Introduction

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

Sunset in Cuba silhouetting powerlines and oil fired power station smokestack in a country still recovering from the fuel and electricity shortages

How to use this site

This site is arranged as a long essay broken into micro-chapters. Ideally you’d read it in order, navigating via the menu on the left.

The gallery for each scenario contains extensive photographs and commentary which illustrate various aspects of the four energy descent scenarios.