Resource Guide: Can We Live Without Oil?

energy efficiency and renewable energy/fuels

Alternative Fuels Data Center offers resources about alternative fuels, locations of refueling stations, alternative fuel vehicles, federal and state financial incentives, and links to related resources.

Solar Energy International sells how-to books and videos on using renewable energy and natural home building. Also offers hands-on workshops and online courses in solar, wind, and natural building technologies.

American Wind Energy Association provides resources for implementing small wind systems and allows you to search for wind projects by state. Offers the 2003 educational video, The Power of Wind, and other educational resources.

Green Power Network allows you to search by state for utilities that give customers the option of paying a “green price” that supports the utility company in making a greater investment in renewable energy. Also describes how you can purchase green power and provides a database to see if your state has this option.

The Veggie Van Organization offers online resources to better understand biodiesel and From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel. Their website also explains how to make tax-deductible donations of old diesel vehicles to become biodiesel demonstration vehicles and they provide a link to learn about the FuelMeister, a personal biodiesel processor system.

Alliance to Save Energy provides information on how to maximize energy efficiency for consumers, educators, policy makers, and others on topics such as insulation, lighting, appliances, building, and financing energy efficiency. They also run programs on green campuses and schools, state efficiency initiatives, and more.

Rocky Mountain Institute shows how to create employment and protect natural resources through efficiency and renewables. Their website includes the Community Energy Opportunity Finder, an interactive tool that helps determine your community's best energy solutions. They also have a new book, The New Business Climate, which guides business owners and managers in improving energy efficiency and cutting operating costs.

Worldwatch Institute recently published Signposts 2004, a CD-Rom, which tracks social and environmental trends, such as oil consumption. The CD contains charts, powerpoint slides, a web-linked timeline of environmental milestones, and full text (searchable and hyper-linked) of recent State of the World and Vital Signs publications. Worldwatch's website also offers other resources related to climate change and energy, including an online guide called Good Stuff? A Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Things We Buy. This guide includes tips, facts, and links to make informed choices about lighting, appliances, electricity, and other topics.

Student Environmental Action Coalition, a youth-run national network, offers an action packet that guides students through running a clean energy campaign and provides resources on energy audits, green building, clean energy purchasing, and more. The website lists state coordinators who help network campaigns and advisors who will consult with students about energy projects.

Carfree Cities by J.H. Crawford (International Books, 2000) argues that carfree cities would maximize quality of life for individuals and communities. He suggests ways to design modern cities for pedestrians and public transportation. offers resources for car-free and sustainable development initiatives.

The Natural Step for Communities : How Cities and Towns Can Change to Sustainable Practices by Sarah James and Torbjörn Lahti (Consortium, 2004) chronicles over 60 Swedish eco-municipalities, such as the town, Övertorneå, whose government operations recently transitioned to 100 percent fossil-fuel-free energy. Discusses how they achieved these sustainable changes and how other communities can replicate them.

Energy Revolution : Policies for a Sustainable Future by Howard Geller (Island Press, 2002) examines policy options for accelerating the transition to a more sustainable energy future. Provides examples of successful strategies that promote energy efficiency and renewables in various countries.


alternative transportation

Clean Car Campaign provides guides and updates on greener vehicles.

SpaceShare web applications lets conference or cultural event attendees connect with one another for carpooling, lodging, or car-rental. If event organizers sign up for the service, attendees can submit room and transportation preferences and SpaceShare sorts other people's posts to find a match.

Car Sharing Network explains the benefits of car sharing programs and how they work. Their website also lists car share projects by city.

Transportation and Sustainable Campus Communities : Issues, Examples, and Solutions by Will Toor and Spense Havlick, (Island Press, 2004) examines techniques to manage more sustainable transportation options in campus communities.


reducing climate change

Natural Resources Defense Council devotes webpages to ending our dependence on oil, called Break the Chain, and global warming. The pages include letter-writing tips and information on clean cars and climate change.

Stormy Weather : 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change by Guy Dauncey and Patrick Mazza (New Society Publishers, 2001) gives clear guidance on concrete and practical climate solutions and a wealth of resources for further reading and action.

Solar Electric Light Fund has a carbon neutral webpage to calculate your carbon dioxide emissions for the year or specific trips. Donations to offset your emissions support SELF's projects, which bring renewable energy to the developing world.

International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, through its global Cities for Climate Protection campaign, helps over 500 local governments reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ICLEI provides training, technical assistance, professional networks, and greenhouse gas emissions software to help local governments set and achieve emissions reductions targets.


understanding the problem with oil

The End of Oil by Paul Roberts (Houghton Mifflin, 2004) explores the possible results of peaking oil production, including severe price spikes, worldwide inflation, recession, and war. Discusses which energy sources will replace oil, who will control them, the transition to a world beyond petroleum, and the race for alternative energy sources.

The Party's Over by Richard Heinberg (New Society Publishers, 2003) explores the transition into a new era, as cheap oil disappears, and possible impacts of oil depletion. He predicts chaos unless a global program of resource conservation and sharing is initiated and recommends a “managed collapse” that would lead to a slower-paced, low-energy, and sustainable future.

Hubbert's Peak : The Impending World Oil Shortage by Kenneth Deffeyes (Princeton University Press, 2001). Deffeyes, an oilman and geologist, states that world oil production will peak in this decade and that the only long-term solutions lie in conservation measures and alternative energy sources.

The New Great Game : Blood and Oil in Central Asia, by Lutz Kleveman (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003) examines the struggle between the United States, China, Russia, Iran, and multinational oil corporations for control over the energy-rich Caspian region.

Oil Depletion Analysis Center maintains an up-to-date information base to increase awareness of the world's oil

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