What I’ve been doing……

Just got back from delivering the keynote at the Kentucky League of Cities. My topic? Peak oil, climate change, the end of economic globalization, and the relocalization of Kentucky. To 600 city leaders.
 
Nothing too big.
 
I admit I was a little hesitant to give a talk on such topics, as the reality they represent means that we are on a different path than probably most of my audience thought they were on.
But you know, I got a really great response. Very positive. People want to believe that we can use the new realities in the world today for the benefit of local communities. And we can. Barring a runaway greenhouse effect, or nuclear war, we are going to be here for a while longer.

Community leaders want support when they say that things will get better. Today they got it from me. Peak oil and a global price on carbon will help Kentucky cities. Peak oil, by making distance matter a great deal, and a carbon price, by rewarding us for being more environmentally sensitive, will bring jobs back.  But we can’t, you know, be in denial.  These are AMERICAN issues, not repub or demo. 

My central point: the future is local in Kentucky.

(Want to read my speech? Let me know)

I nomially hosted a panel afterward with some great people who showed how all this is working in practice. We had Becca Self from Lexington’s own Seedleaf, showing how community is built through food. We had Mike Bomford from Kentucky State who wowed us with the potentials of biofuels – but only at the correct scale! We heard from Josh Jacobs who is leading sustainability efforts at Murray State. And finally, we heard from George Perkins, a co-founder of Transition Louisville, about their efforts at relocalization.

Wow. I think most people’s heads were ready to explode. But – dammit that’s what you get when you come to a Steve Austin seminar.

I just love listening to Becca and Mike – they are leading such cool suff. 

All in all, a good day for local in Kentucky.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “What I’ve been doing……

  1. Ernie Yanarella

    Good to hear the themes you brought home to the Kentucky League of Cities folks. They need to hear them and they need to have them reinforced. Please send me a copy of your presentation.

    Ernie Yanarella
    ejyana@email.uky.edu

  2. Aaron German

    I’d like to read the presentation too.

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