One Word: Relocalization

Steve Balogh of Baloghblog has summarized his experiences for us from last week's Local Energy Solutions Conference on Groovy Green and he boils it down to one word:

What is our only option for riding the peak oil production plateau and inevitable slide (or shock, as it may be)? Relocalization.

Balogh also wrote a Letter to friends that includes his whole Groovy Green post. He has decided that he wants to stay put where he is instead of relocating somewhere else. He's also written in the past about why he thinks his town of Syracuse is a good place to weather the peak oil storm.

Here's Balogh's list of what he's doing to relocalize his life.

1. Shop at regional market weekly.
  1. Find organic local dairy farm, and inquire about whole/raw milk, and artisan cheeses.
  2. Move money from Chase to our local credit union.
  3. Resume blogging at geddesblog. Use this as a tool to promote local businesses, and continue to encourage others to spend locally.
  4. Share CSA and garden veggies with friends, family and neighbors, so they may share in the wonderful harvest of fresh, local organic food. Use this as an opportunity to meet neighbors within a 3 home radius of our house.
  5. Find a source of local meat.
  6. Buy New York state wines from the Finger Lakes Region, versus cheap bottles of wine that have travelled around the world from Australia.
  7. Buy beer from local brewers.
  8. Get wax for Mrs. Balogh's candle making from local candle factory, instead of shipping from Texas
  9. Talk to local politician (in charge of an energy task force) about peak oil, and local energy generation possibilities.
  10. Write to Centro (bus company) about expanding bus hours and frequency of routes for downtown trips (currently ending at 5:15 pm).
  11. Frequent local arts and musicians for entertainment, instead of watching TV.
  12. Find an alternative to shopping at Lowe's or Home Depot - our guilty pleasure.
  13. Find a list of locally produced goods/services and support those businesses. Chamber of commerce?
  14. Talk to 40Below group, to see if there are plans for community gardens in the city, and volunteer time.
  15. Make sure that money is spent and invested in line with beliefs.
  16. Research ethical investment options.
  17. Find local grower of fruit trees to plant in yard.
  18. Learn how to make strawberry jam from Gram. Get raspberry shoots from Aunt Kathy's garden. Learn how to can tomatoes this summer. Then get others together and pass on those techniques.
  19. Learn how to make yogurt.
  20. Join local church.
  21. Clean off and service bicycles given to us. Look into bike cart for kids/groceries. What is the road distance to regional market by bicycle?
  22. Get serious about reducing waste and recycling. Remember that the majority of local garbage collection is incinerated into the air.
  23. Make rudimentary water catchment system from gutters.
  24. Learn how to make charcoal.
  25. Have a local showing of "End of Suburbia" in community. Invite friends and family. Encourage discussion of local solutions, and the importance of community.
  26. And finally, help inform others to prepare, by talking to them and setting an example with my actions.

That's quite a list. I would break this down into 3 main categories:

  1. Spreading Awareness of Peak Oil in the local community and making connections with other concerned citizens
  2. Relocalizing food supply and learning new useful skills
  3. Making physicial improvements in living environment to prepare for the worst

How many people want to stay where they are and relocalize their life? If so, what's on other people's lists? If not, where would you like to move?
All things being "normal" I'd rather not stay in NYC my whole life - I'm not very "New York" in my disposition.  But I'm here for at least the next 5-10 years, as I see things now, and given the possibilities of global warming and peak oil (I'm generally more optimistic about the latter, and more pessimistic about the former), I'm definitely looking to "localize" while I'm here.

That's a great list, depending on where one lives.

If I were to move, somewhere less vulnerable to sea level rises would probably be my first criterion...

Hello TODers,

After reading Baloghblog's well-written article on why he thinks Syracuse is an excellent postPeak location: I was wondering if they have jumpstarted any secession desires, like other New England states, in order to eventually start building a large and distinct biosolar habitat?  I am all in favor of the relocalization efforts, but I was wondering if they have started to consider isolational security to deal with Overshoot ramifications.  Recall the EnergyBulletin article discussing how small isolated survival habitats will be hopelessly overrun postPeak--  What is the Syracuse area's defensive response to this eventuality?  Thxs for any replies.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

I would suspect that Syracuse is large enough that
it would have its own internal conflicts to sort out before worrying about external security.  However it is true that if there is a catastrophic collapse it
will be much safer living in groups.  A quick look at most of the world through history shows people gathered in villages etc with walls to keep out marauding bandits
and we might see that kind of situation develop.
It is more likely that fascist governments will try to control things from the centers of power so organized terror might be the first issue.  In any event localisation is the only sustainable survival mode.  I think it is a waste of time to try and plan in detail but we can begin actions that can be flexible enough to repond to the actual situation as it develops, from serious recession to outright collapse.  I think generally we should:
1- examine our family. friends and neighbours and decide who we can cooperate with right away and start doing it.
2- decide who among the above isnt ready yet but will want to cooperate once things get bad
3- decide who would be uncooperative and perhaps dangerous and be ready to try and keep them from doing harm.
4- be ready to change your evaluations of everyone as things develope.
Joining churches, co-ops, etc is a good idea to expand our circle of friends and learn to work together.  I live in a small town in Ontario and am beginning to work on a local exchange that will facilitate the trade and sale of locall goods and services.  We are starting small but hope to lay the groundwork for a working system before events overtake us.  We will have to depend upon each other in each of our communities.
Jacking in from Portland Maine... that's a great list and I'm going to use it at a talk I'm giving this Friday night on energy and resource depletion, relocalization, steady-state economy, public health, global warming, economic justice.  What is Maine going to look like in 20 years?

Take one off your list after you hook up with St. Lawrence nurseries for your fruit trees.  They are in upstate NY.

Add one, start a local farmer's market.