By Tim Hjersted
Dec 9, 2011
In April 2007, Films For Action screened The End of Suburbia to an audience of 180 people, and launched a campaign to have the Lawrence City Commission create a Peak Oil Task force, which would study the local impacts of peak oil and propose recommendations for the city to take action on.
At this time, Films For Action mailed to every commissioner and many of the planning commissioners a copy of The End of Suburbia along with many research documents and a proposed resolution for Lawrence. We also met with two of the commissioners to discuss the idea of a task force. After this, the campaign went into hibernation for a year, when it was picked up again by the Sustainability Action Network, a local sustainability advocacy group (of which I am a member). After giving a presentation on the issue to the City Commission, we were successful in seeing the commission pass the resolution, and now, finally, after a lot of hard work from the Task Force, they've finally finished their report!
The final report
will be presented to our City commissioners this Tuesday, December 13th at 6:30pm at City Hall. I encourage everyone that's interested and in support of the City adopting this plan to come down and voice and/or show their support. Many thanks go to S.A.N., the City Commission and the Sustainability Advisory board for taking leadership on this issue. It made Lawrence one of around a dozen of the first cities in the U.S. to pass such a resolution.
Of course, after the plan is adopted, the real work begins, so let's all see what we can do to help the city implement the recommended actions, and think of new ideas to take us even further. If it takes a village to raise a child, the same must be true to create sustainable communities. Directing the future of a city is a tough job, and it seems funny sometimes to think a handful of people could do it alone, without much democratic participation from all the other people who live there. Our city planners (and democracy itself) will surely benefit if we can all think about ways we can get involved in improving our city on a regular basis.
Finally, I want to give special thanks to Michael Almon, a member of S.A.N. who also served on the Peak Oil Task Force for the last two years. Michael has been working tirelessly to help make Lawrence a more sustainable and wonderful place to live, for so many years, and I just have to give him my thanks for all the hard work and dedication he has given to these projects.
Cheers! See you on Tuesday!