Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Bristol's Future after Peak Oil

This is worth reading. Not just reading, but following up with pressure on the city's elite to actually lift their heads out of the sand and see the reality out there.

The Peak Oil report spells it out:

"An oil crunch would fundamentally threaten the way our city operates with challenges to transport, healthcare, food distribution, social cohesion, public services and other sectors"

"Peak oil is currently not even considered as a risk for most businesses, yet its effects would make many of today’s business models redundant"

"Major Bristol transport planning schemes do not currently consider the potential impact of different fuel prices"........."Peak oil fundamentally alters the viability of the private car as the leading mode of transport"

"Bristol Council has no statutory responsibility around food and no plan around food security. The city is totally reliant on major supermarkets for food supply."

"It is essential that planning decisions keep sufficient cultivatable land available in and around the city to allow for a low energy local food system. This is already at risk as developers move to buy green belt land around the city from farmers in anticipation of more relaxed planning laws"

"Current Bristol planning strategies, which are guided by central government, do not factor in peak oil as an issue or a risk."

"In order to raise some of the funding for the green space programme the Council is planning to sell some‘low value’marginal land. Changes in priority for land use brought by peak oil are not yet integrated into this strategy."

"Bristol does not have a strategic energy plan."

It wasn't Transition Bristol that produced this powerful, hard hitting, but constructive report. It's the child of that august body, the Bristol Partnership's 'Green Momentum Group', until now known mostly for its 'Green Capital' hype.

But the report's conclusions are in many cases diametrically opposed to the things the city fathers are actually doing - for instance, encouraging more traffic while cutting public transport.

It looks like its time to challenge the council - and the business people - on how seriously they will take this report. Can we hope they might even put its suggestions into practice, not just pay lip service? The consequences of failure are unthinkable.

No comments: