New Series of Film Nights

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Posted 16 Oct 2010 in Uncategorized

New Series of Film Nights Begins

Our new series of monthly film nights kicked off with a screening of ‘The End of Suburbia’ on Friday 1st October.

The film illustrates how supplies of easily available oil are beginning to diminish, and asks serious questions about the sustainability of a way of life which is so dependent on car travel.

In a competition afterwards the audience was asked to guess how much the price of crude oil has risen over the last decade.  We found out that the average price per year has more than doubled in this time, and that the highest price it reached was almost twice the current price!

Then the audience was encouraged to reflect on what lessons there are for us to learn as the planet approaches this critical era.  If the end of cheap oil and gas indicates the end of suburbia for Americans, what does it indicate the end of for us in the UK?

Nearly a half mentioned the fact that the end of cheap oil signifies the end of cheap travel and almost as many mentioned the knock-on effects of higher transport costs: more expensive goods, and a rise in food prices.  A significant minority mentioned the end of cheap energy and one the end of economic growth.

We then asked what action could be taken at a community level to mitigate the effects of diminishing supplies of cheap fossil fuels.  The majority suggested becoming more self-sufficient in one way or another, whether by encouraging the local economy by buying locally produced goods and using local services, by increasing local food production or by developing the means to produce our energy locally.  Several thought that improving and promoting public transport and cycling facilities is important, and some mentioned the need to consume less and to share more.

On the question of how we as individuals can tackle the issue, a third advocated lessening our use of the car and aeroplane.  Walking and cycling more, or changing work habits to work from home were mentioned as ways of achieving this.  The idea of growing our own food was popular, as was buying local goods, organic goods, eating less meat and reducing personal consumption generally.  The notion of sharing and getting to know our neighbours appeared again here; we think that by getting out and about more on foot or by bike and by living and operating locally, this happens almost by default and is one of the ways we can all benefit from responding to these challenges.

Thank you to everyone who came and contributed to this thought-provoking evening.

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