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Sunday, September 21, 2008


Many years ago, when I and the world were young, I did a TV interview for GBC in Gibraltar. In the studio I met James Machin, who if my memory serves me right and it rarely does, was producing a series of science films for schools.

Well many tides have come and gone in the bay zone before I met James again several years ago. The occasion was an Ecologistas en Acción demonstration in Campamento in San Roque against the pollution from the nearby Cepsa oil refinery.

James told me he’d send me some information on “peak oil” which he was promoting in the area. At that time “peak oil” was a potty theory promoted by batty environmentalists of which James was proud to be one.

Of course with the present fuel crisis if you Google “peak oil” you will find it is the current buzz phrase used by financial analysts and politicians. “Peak oil” has gone from being an ecologists’ rant to the mainstream of political and economic thought.

Now step forward “Peak food”.

James with a group of people in Estepona, largely members of Ecologistas en Acción, have launched a new environmental initiative. It is called “Estepona – Ciudad de Transición’ and is based on a rapidly growing movement in the UK called Transition Towns.

James is acting as the co-ordinator for the venture. He told me: “We are starting with a promotion, the object of which is to pass on the agricultural knowledge based on growing without chemicals from the older generation to local youths before it disappears.”

The project is linked to “peak oil” and James explained: “World oil production has been on a plateau for four years now at 85 million barrels a day. Demand has however been increasing. The gap has been plugged so far by bio-fuels. From almost nothing five years ago we are now planting 80 million hectares for bio fuel production.”

“This land was formerly dedicated to food so we have also passed “peak food” on an industrial basis and hence the ‘huerta’ initiative.”

If you are interested in learning more about the important Transition Towns project which will become a main steam political theme in the future you can visit the UK website at http://www.transitiontowns.org/

1 comment:

JL said...

This link might serve for an article or 3.
He does a particularly good job on peak oil - parts 17 a,b and c. You could start there.