NYC Local Energy Solutions Conference

[Editor's Note: Note Location Change to Cooper Union for the Second Two Days. They are also holding a full slate of events next week]

The schedule has been posted for the upcoming NYC Local Energy Solutions Conference. I am glad that the focus will be on solutions at the local level. The event is being put on by the local NYC peak oil meet-up group on a shoestring budget, so if you are in a position to be a sponsor, click here. I encourage anyone with a personal or professional interest to register for at least a day or two and maybe even volunteer. Moreover, please send a formal invitation to all of your local elected officials. Even if they don't come, they may take notice of the issue.

Pre-Conference Reception, Dinner - Wed. April 26th Location: Wai Cafe, 583 Avenue of the Americas ( 6 th Ave. ) between 16 th and 17 th Streets. (212).414.2003.

Reception - Food and conversation with the speakers who arrive in town early (we'll announce who later) at Café Wai from 6 – 8. Cost for this is $50.

Dinner - Pre Conference Dinner with the panelists – limited to 20 people. Have a chance to dine in an intimate warm setting where we've held our meetups for the year with 10 of our panelists. Cost is $125

Attend both reception and the Dinner for $150. Or you can choose the Full Package for $400 which includes reception, dinner and a 3 day ticket to the conference. To register for any of these events, please visit our registration site.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- After the conference: Permaculture: An Introduction A two-day course with Geoff Lawton and Andrew Jones

“Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is theharmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.” - Bill Mollison

April 30-May 1 9am-5pm

$250/Lunch Included

April 30th at Neighborhood Preservation Center

232 East 11th Street

New York, NY 10003

May 1st at Sixth Street Community Center

638 East Sixth Street (between Avenue B & C)

New York, NY 10009

Make checks out to:

Local Energy Solutions LLC

PO BOx 654

New York, NY 10116

For more information email Philip Botwinick at phil [at]

I'm watching the 60 Minutes article on NYC's response to terrorism, police surges, for example.

The other day, I read an AP article saying that numbers of rental units were declining.  This Reuters article says much the same thing:

So, it is one thing to talk about moving close to work, but quite another to find someplace available.  

It'll only get more valuable over time. In talking to people about why they are willing to pay so much for such small spaces, the answers are easy: No car payments / insurance / gas / repairs. When I owned a car in Queens and used it just for weekend stuff, it easily cost about $3-4000/year and gas was a minor cost. The incentive to live in dense urban areas will only increase as gas prices rise.

The best thing that the city can do is start rezoning a lot of the major mass transportation hubs for increased density. Then start a cycle of expanding the reach of good mass transit to service more areas and then increasing their density...rinse and repeat. This was NYC's pre-Robert Moses defacto development strategy. After a 75 year auto-obsessed interlude, this is starting to happen again in some areas but will take a long time to realize fully. It would be a lot better investment in light of PO than trying to sustain the 'burbs.

Peak Guy;
  Glad to hear this is happening.  I hope there will be some kind of review on this Blog about what issues and directions come out of the discussion.  I lived in NYC for 19 years, until 2002, and have a lot of interest in what we can do with both 'my city', and these power-hungry urban areas in general.

  I did read a great discussion in Whole Earth Catalog once, where someone wrote in about how inefficient cities were, and a New Yorker responded about how much energy is conserved in Urban life, in transport, heating apartment buildings instead of separate homes, eating at diners, etc, where one kitchen is feeding hundreds of people for every meal, etc..  AND, New York in particular is very Neighborhoody and Interactive, in my experience, and stands a good chance of finding ways to work together when it's necessary.


Yes, we will do our best to cover as much as possible over the 3 days of the conference.

Urban areas existed long before the suburbs were viable because of how efficient they are in transportation, heating, lighting, etc. They are also a place where you have the great convergence of labor supply, commerce, industry, trade, ports, rail hubs, universities, government/courts, innovation etc.

Rural farms also existed for even longer period of time because many of your basic needs are co-located on site with only marginal inputs from other areas.

As for the suburbs, they are a total fossil fuel enabled enterprise. They will live or die based on the supply of cheap energy.

Peak Oil NYC, the organizers of "Local Solutions to our Energy Dilemma," the April 27 - 29 conference, invites the entire Oil Drum community to help us out.  

Our hope in organizing this conference is to bring fuel depletion and peak oil firmly into mainstream public discussion.  We salute Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-MD, and other members of the Peak Oil Caucus in Congress, for calling for a national emergency program.  They need our help in raising the alarm and calling for national action - and they need yours.  If public awareness grows sufficiently, our elected officials will have to act, and hollow actions will be revealed.

If you are in the NYC metro area, please register for the conference, and spread the word widely.  We have a great lineup of speakers.  Whether you liked the CNN show or not, there's a new level of mainstream credibility about this issue, and there's never been a better time to raise the issue to friends, relatives, business associates.  Ask them - how will NYC prepare for the coming energy crisis?  It's a tough question, and before we can begin the process of answering it together, we must take it public.

Contact your elected officials!  At, we have a page with a sample letter, and contact information for local, state and federal officials.  Break the silence, and contact all of them - especially Mayor Bloomberg, and City Council Speaker Quinn.  On our site we have a basic list of actions individuals can take to lower their energy use, and a full report, "Preparing NYC for the Coming Energy Crisis," that catalogs a host of short and medium term policy responses for NYC.

NYC is one of the world's financial and media capitals.  If we can raise the profile of the message here, it can travel nationally.  Whether you're in NYC or not, think of your personal networks - which civic and business organizations can get involved in preparing for the coming difficulties?  Let them know the potential consequences of oil price shocks, and ask them to get involved.

If you're not in NYC, you must have friends or relatives who are. Ask them to come to the conference.

By the way, we are all volunteers putting this together in our free time, and we're paying for the hall and speaker travel & lodging out of our own pockets.  So far, registration is a little slow.  We want this conference to spread the message on a local and national level, and having a full house will make that more likely.  

We invite the entire peak oil community to help spread the word.  Wouldn't Rep. Roscoe Bartlett want you to pitch in here? Please register if you can, and even if you can't, please spread the word, to friends, press, and elected officials.  


Dan Miner
Organizer, Peak Oil NYC

Sorry for being OT, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned Cyclone Larry's hit on Australia:,5744,18543700%255E601,00.html

probably because the cyclone hit a week and a half ago...;)
That comment was posted a week and a half ago, too.
ahh- the NYC link must have bumped this up top again - didnt know that - sorry.

I have been thinking about the delivery of healthcare in a constrained, localized, post peak world, it has left me with a lot of questions and not many answers. I'll be at the conference for the 3 days, is there any plan for a noticeboard or some such, either at the conference or here to allow people to informally contact others who share such interests?

I am also interested in this topic and will be attending the conference.  Contact me at the email in my bio, and let me know what you had in mind.
In a related vein, May 4-7, 2006, the AIA is having a sustainabilty conference starting in DC and ending in Shepherdstown WVA

Is sustainable design an oxymoron?
Is sustainability part of an architectural or environmental agenda?
Does the renewed interest in the environment affect both the style and substance of architecture?
What is the relationship between sustainability and form-making?
What has been the impact of sustainable design on the world?
What lies ahead for our profession, and what are our responsibilities as influencers of the built environment?

Almost $600, I think.

By way of example, NYC will start using tidal energy to power buildings on Roosevelt Island. Turbines will be submerged in the East River to capture energy from the tidal currents. It's a great innovation and an exciting development.