Sunday, January 27, 2008

Betsy and I just returned from a wonderful weekend here. I'll post pics and other details about this sustainably-designed community later this week.

For now, Daily Sprawl wonders how many people continue to have what we'll call a "Mr. Wissner Moment":
Mr. Wissner has had more than a few fretful nights since he became "peak-oil aware," as he calls it, about 30 months ago. In embracing the theory that the world's oil production is about to peak, Mr. Wissner has tossed himself into a movement that is gaining thousands of adherents, egged on by soaring oil prices, the rarity of big new oil finds and writings on the Internet.

There are now dozens of "relocalization" working groups scattered from Maine to Southern California pushing for people to spurn cars, buy local produce and work where they live. Mr. Wissner's own congressman, a Republican nuclear physicist named Vernon Ehlers, is part of the 13-member congressional Peak Oil Caucus formed in late 2005. City councils from Bloomington, Ind., to Portland, Ore., have passed peak-oil resolutions to gird for the looming crunch.

Many converts, like Houston oil banker Matthew Simmons, remain firm members of the suit-and-tie energy establishment. Others have gone "off-grid," cutting ties to the mainstream economy and growing yams in their garden as they wait for the coming chaos. Mr. Wissner and his wife fall somewhere in the middle -- alienated by a car-obsessed culture, but still part of it.

Ms. Sager remembers well her husband's conversion. She returned home one afternoon in August 2005, from her job as a software engineer for General Electric Aviation and found him at his computer, deep into a Web site he had found while researching gas prices called
Read the whole thing at the link above, including an interview video.