Post Carbon Institute
|Founder||Julian Darley and Celine Rich|
|Asher Miller, Executive Director; Debbie Cook, Board President; Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow-in-Residence|
Post Carbon Institute (PCI) is a think tank which provides information and analysis on climate change, energy scarcity, and other issues related to sustainability and long term social resilience. Post Carbon's Fellows specialize in various fields related to the organization's mission, such as fossil fuels, renewable energy, food, water, and population. Post Carbon is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is based in Santa Rosa, California, United States.
Activities and history
Post Carbon Institute largely publishes and promotes the work of its Fellows and allies. It maintains two major websites, postcarbon.org for material from its staff and Fellows, and resilience.org for material from allies. Since 2009 it has focused on: publishing articles, reports, and books; running issue-oriented promotional campaigns; and serving as a speakers' bureau for some of its Fellows.
Founding in 2003
Post Carbon Institute was founded by Julian Darley (President) and Celine Rich (Executive Director) in 2003. Although not explicitly recognized as a founder, Dave Room worked full-time as a volunteer for two years helping build the Institute from months of its inception into a funded organization. Dave was Julian's primary partner in the endeavor, working on all programs and cultivating the first major donor to the Institute. Its initial purpose was to implement programs to educate the public on issues surrounding global fossil fuel depletion (see peak oil, peak coal, peak gas) and climate change, as well as on possible responses to these challenges. A key tool for this was a film called "The End of Suburbia," which featured Richard Heinberg and James Kunstler among others. Post Carbon promoted the concept of "relocalization," a strategy to build community resilience based on the local production of food, energy, and goods, and the development of more localized governance, economy, and culture.
Post Carbon Institute was one of the few organizations in this period actively promoting the concept of peak oil, along with groups such as the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, the International Forum on Globalization, and the Transition Towns movement, and websites such as EnergyBulletin.net and The Oil Drum. It ran the predominant online social network focused on community responses to peak oil and climate change, the Relocalization Network.
- Richard Heinberg joined PCI as a Senior Fellow-in-Residence in 2008.
- Report: Preparing for Peak Oil: Local Authorities and the Energy Crisis by The Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (ODAC) and Post Carbon Institute (2008)
- Program: The Relocalization Network, a network of groups and individuals working to educate their local communities and develop programs to re-localize food and energy production, and reduce local consumption.
- Program: Post Carbon Cities, a program to help local governments understand and prepare for the challenges of peak oil and climate change, largely through promotion of the book Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty by Daniel Lerch.
- Program: The Energy Farms Network, a demonstration and partnership program to explore production of feedstocks, fuels and electricity by local farmers for local users.
- Program: The Oil Depletion Protocol, (aka the Rimini or Uppsala Protocol) a blueprint for an international agreement to avoid price and supply volatility problems associated with global oil production.
- Program: Global Public Media, streaming long format audio and video interviews about the issues surrounding fossil fuel depletion.
Asher Miller became Executive Director in 2009, and Post Carbon restructured to concentrate its program activities on research and publishing. It broadened its topical focus to include natural resource depletion, climate change, the limits to economic growth, overpopulation, food, and other issues — partly in response to the changed U.S. political landscape following the 2008 oil crisis, the subsequent 2008 economic crisis, and the election of President Barack Obama (see Post Carbon Institute Manifesto). Most of its earlier programs were consolidated or discontinued. It entered into partnerships with Transition US and Energy Bulletin.net, a clearinghouse website on issues surrounding global energy resource depletion. Its roster of Fellows and Advisors was significantly expanded to include notable figures such as Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, David Orr, and Majora Carter.
- Book: The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg, published by New Society Publishers (2011)
- Report: Will Natural Gas Fuel America in the 21st Century?, by J. David Hughes (2011)
- Video: 300 years of fossil fuels in 300 seconds, Winner of a YouTube DoGooder best non-profit video award (2011)
- Book: The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises, edited by Richard Heinberg & Daniel Lerch with authors including Peter C. Whybrow, David W. Orr, and Sandra Postel, published by Watershed Media (2010), winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal (Environment/Ecology/Nature)
- Report: Searching for a Miracle: 'Net Energy' Limits & the Fate of Industrial Society, by Richard Heinberg, with the International Forum on Globalization (2010)
- Report: The Food and Farming Transition by Richard Heinberg and Michael Bomford (2009)
- Report: The Real New Deal: Energy Scarcity and the Path to Energy, Economic, and Environmental Recovery by Richard Heinberg, Daniel Lerch, Asher Miller (2009)
Since 2012, projects have focused on energy, economic growth, and community resilience.
- Book: Our Renewable Future: Laying the Path for One Hundred Percent Clean Energy, by Richard Heinberg and David Fridley, published by Island Press (2016)
- Report: Renewable Energy After COP21, by Richard Heinberg (2015)
- Report: Six Foundations for Building Community Resilience, by Daniel Lerch (2015)
- Book: Vermont Dollars, Vermont Sense, by Michael Shuman and Gwendolyn Hallsmith (2015)
- Report: Tight Oil Reality Check, by J. David Hughes (2015)
- Report: Shale Gas Reality Check, by J. David Hughes (2015)
- Book: Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels, by Richard Heinberg, published by New Society (2015)
- Report: Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check on U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom, by J. David Hughes (2014)
- Report: Drilling California: A Reality Check on the Monterey Shale, by J. David Hughes, with Physicians Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy (2013)
- Report: Resilient Against What?: How Leading U.S. Municipalities Are Understanding and Acting on Resilience, by Jim Thayer, Morgan Rider, and Daniel Lerch (2013)
- Report: Climate After Growth: Why Environmentalists Must Embrace Post-Growth Economics and Community Resilience, by Asher Miller and Rob Hopkins (2013)
- Book: Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future, by Richard Heinberg (2013)
- Campaign: The Energy Reality Campaign, with various allies
- Book: ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth, edited by Tom Butler and George Wuerthner, published by Watershed Media with the Foundation for Deep Ecology (2013). With essays by Lester Brown, Amory Lovins, Bill McKibben and others.
- Book: The ENERGY Reader, edited by Tom Butler, Daniel Lerch, and George Wuerthner, published by Watershed Media with the Foundation for Deep Ecology (2013). With essays by Winona LaDuke, Vandana Shiva, and others.
- Book: Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems, by Philip Ackerman-Leist, published by Chelsea Green Publishing (2013)
- Report: Drill Baby Drill: Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance, by J. David Hughes (2013)
- Book: Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects, by Greg Pahl, published by Chelsea Green Publishing (2012)
- Book: Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity, by Michael Shuman, published by Chelsea Green Publishing (2012)
- Website: In 2012 Post Carbon Institute launched Resilience.org, the successor website to EnergyBulletin, intended as a resource platform for communities building local self-reliance, emphasizing community-based responses to the rapidly emerging fallout from the end of cheap fossil fuels.
- "Post Carbon Institute" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Vancouver Straight (2009-07-23). Hello local, goodbye global: Relocalization movement gains momentum
- San Francisco Chronicle (2008-05-27). Supply-demand imbalance boosts oil prices
- The Scotsman (2008/10/09). Scottish councils urged to get into peak oil practice
- Toronto Star (2008-01-03). Is oil supply at its peak?
- Boulder Daily Camera (2007-09-28). Lifestyle changes prepare locals for energy changes
- Homer News (2008/08/13). Homer in good shape to tackle energy volatility, says expert
- New York Times (2009/04/19). The End is Near! Yay!
- Crawford Kilian, The End of Growth...and Then What?, The Tyee, 11 June 2012.
- Susan Carpenter, Natural gas: study raises doubts on U.S. supply, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2011.
- Jim Jubelirer, A Primer for the Post-Carbon World, GreenBiz, 10 December 2010.
- Peter Moskowitz, Sapping the sweet spots: How long will US energy boom last?, Al Jazeera America, November 10, 2014.
- Anne Mulkern, Is Calif.'s Monterey Shale a major oil resource or over-hyped?, EnergyWire, 5 December 2013.
- InfrastructureUSA, Resilient Against What?, 21 October 2013.
- Candice Bernd, Post Carbon Institute Calls on Environmentalists to Embrace Post-Growth Economics, Truthout, 9 October 2013.
- Richard Heinberg, Was the Oil and Gas Industry Promoting Peak Oil to Make Maximum Profits?, AlterNet, 19 August 2013.
- Tara Lohan, The Coming Crash: Our Addiction to Endless Growth on a Finite Planet, AlterNet, 27 March 2013.
- Publishers Weekly, Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems, 4 February 2013.
- Wendy Koch, Could fracking boom peter out sooner than DOE expects?, USA Today, 3 November 2013.
- Alvin Lee, Shale Oil and Gas: The Contrarian View, Forbes, 6 May 2013.
- Brita Belli, Owning Your Energy, The Environmental Magazine, September/October 2012.
- Michael Shuman, 5 Ways to Make Your Dollars Make Sense, Yes! Magazine, 14 February 2013.
- FinancialPress, Energy Bulletin has Moved to Resilience.org, 3 January 2013.