Call for Submissions: Life After Oil

How do we confront the political power of the fossil fuel giants? And when we imagine a planet in recovery, what do we see? Send us your pitches by Sept. 15!
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For much of the last decade, there’s been a debate—sometimes spirited—about the biggest threat to modern civilization. One camp said it was climate change. The other claimed peak oil would get us before climate change made a noticeable difference. It seems the debate’s now over: It’s climate change in a runaway.

To the extent that counts as a victory, it's perfectly Pyrrhic, and no one’s taking it as cause for celebration.

Here’s the interesting twist: The science says that if we are to have a chance to avert the worst of climate change, we need to leave almost all carbon in the ground. That amounts to voluntarily imposing peak oil conditions.

The peak oilers have spent years now thinking about how to design a society that lives without oil. That’s knowledge we need now to deal with climate change.

The Spring 2016 issue of YES! will look at this confluence of theories. Why is it imperative to get off oil now? What can we do to create the big shift required to get a carbon-glutted system to stop using fossil fuels when there’s still plenty left. And what’s the best route to a just and liveable system in a world where carbon is no longer king? What does that world look like?

Here are some of the ideas we’re interested in:

  • What are realistic ways we can make a systemic transition off oil—from countries finding the political will to communities and individuals building resilience? What are the best bits of traditional and modern knowledge and technology to make the transition?
  • How do we take on the U.S. transportation monster? From car-based suburban sprawl to the belief that we're all entitled to limitless travel by air and by car, our culture is about oil. How do we shift those expectations?
  • How do we confront the political power of the fossil fuel giants? What would it take to inspire people to leave hundreds of billions of dollars in the ground?
  • What are some of the interesting renewable energy models, and what are realistic consumption levels if we go renewable? What can we learn from the more remote communities in the world that have skipped intense oil development and might now go straight to something else?
  • And while we're getting off oil, can we go further? The radical future is not carbon neutral. It’s carbon negative. What does that look like?
  • And when we imagine a planet in recovery, over the years and over the centuries, what do we see?

We're looking looking for stories that address useful solutions at all levels, from governments to communities to individuals. We're especially interested in stories that go beyond theory and show scalable solutions already in place.

Send us your ideas and article pitches to [email protected] by Sept 15.

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