Those of us who believe in the veracity of peak oil know that coming to terms with the end of the Age of Oil was a very big deal. After that emotional breakthrough we may have thought personal preparation would be the most challenging task to confront us. That was before we tried to communicate to others our newfound knowledge. This is when we realized that the most monumental aspect of powering down was communicating it.
There are two parts to every communication; context and content. The content of energy descent was not a problem for me since I’m a chart aficionado. However,
finding the appropriate avenue of communication has alluded me until now. When a fellow Transioneer mentioned Rotary Clubs I knew I had found my path.
Within the Capital Region counties there are about 30 Rotary Clubs of between 25 and 65 members. All meet once a week, usually during the lunch hour. Many of their meetings have a guest speaker. I start by emailing the club contact a sampling of my slides with a short description of my talk. About 1 in 5 clubs have invited me to speak and I’m in the process of using those folks as references for future clubs.
I call the talks ʻThe Economics of Peak Oilʼ and they are going well. I spend about 15 minutes explaining the slides and 5 minutes for Q&A. I don’t pull any punches nor do I proselytize. Whereas on a one to one basis I am frequently tuned out, somehow being a guest speaker gives me credence. To date I’ve received much interest and little resistance.
Rotary Clubs are service organizations. They consist mostly of business and civic leaders from the political and economic middle. They joined Rotary because they want to network, socialize, and help. Their projects are both local and international.
I am not delusional about the effects of these presentations. Probably most Rotarians are living their lives exactly how they did before the talk. However, with each talk 30 or more become familiar with the concepts of peak oil, Transition, and relocalization.