‘Health and Sustainability’ was a fascinating event, in two parts, which began to explore the implications on healthcare of peak oil and climate change.The first part was an online webcast held at Plymouth University, where the four speakers gave 10 minute online presentations and then discussed the issues raised online in a chatroom format.The webcast (I refuse to use the term ‘webinar’ which was used in the publicity!) turned out to be the most popular one that the University has ever run, with about 50 people from around the world, including New Zealand and the US, logging on to take part.It demonstrated new technology at its best, and offered a tool which could greatly reduce the amount of air travel that is required for communication.
You are invited to participate in an interactive webinar (sorry, what a horrible word!) on Health and Sustainability: exploring the future of healthcare in the face of climate change and energy vulnerability. Speakers will talk about the challenges climate change and peak oil present for the future maintenance of health and the provision of healthcare, and consider what action can be taken at a national and local level. The webcast will take place on: Wednesday 19th March 2pm – 3.30pm (British Time).
The debate has raged recently among the online peak oil/localization community about whether peak oil will result in the relocalisation of food, or whether it will in fact lead to a shoring up and revalidation of industrial agriculture. Stuart Staniford questioned the assumption that peak oil will inevitably lead to the relocalisation of food supply, an argument which was, I think, pretty thoroughly savaged by the astonishingly productive Sharon Astyk (does this woman sleep?). I want to offer a new angle on this which I hope might add to the ongoing discussion, triggered by a document produced by the British Cabinet Office recently. It raises the possibility that the discussion so far has rather missed the point, and that the key driver for relocalisation, of food at least, will not be peak oil or climate change, but could in fact be the obesity crisis.
One of the taboos among the peak oil/energy descent subject is the question of population. In a recent post Sharon Astyk wondered aloud whether as a father myself I might join in the population debate taking place through her excellent posts on the subject. I must confess, it is a subject I try to avoid, as as soon as one starts to discuss it, one can feel the British National Party and xenophobes and bigots of every persuasion rubbing their hands.