Plan A seeks to maintain economic growth by developing unconventional fossil fuels (tar sands), increased use of “clean” coal and more nuclear power plants. Plan B also seeks to maintain the status quo, believing this is possible with “renewable” energy sources – bio-fuels, wind turbines and solar photovoltaics (PVs). Both require technological breakthroughs or very rapid scaling up of existing technologies. Both are expensive with high technical and ecological risks.
Plan C focuses on ways to dramatically reduce, or “curtail,” our per capita energy consumption by reducing the goods and services we consume. This is in contrast to “conservation” which refers to reducing the energy required to produce and use goods and services. Plan C focuses on solutions for the household sector of the economy – homes, auto transportation and food – which account for two-thirds of the total energy consumed and CO2 generated in the United States. These areas of use are under our direct personal control.
Curtailment and Community
The two main components of Plan C Solutions are Curtailment and Community. Curtailment is the action of reducing our consumption of fossil fuels. Community is the context for a culture where consumption is not the primary value. Community also describes a culture or way of living where relationships are more important than material goods. Since World War II our consumption of fossil fuels has risen dramatically while at the same time the values and benefits we obtained from “community” have declined.
We are facing massive challenges and there is no guarantee that they can be solved or solved quickly. Thus the C of Plan C also stands for Contingency as in “a contingency plan.” Even though it is possible that some breakthrough technology will suddenly make all our concerns go away, it is unlikely. If we do not take seriously the possibility that oil depletion or climate change will force change upon us, we might not begin looking for other options until it is too late. A contingency plan More…