Santa Rosa, CA (2. April 2010) With the media coverage on the horrific Gulf Coast oil spill largely centering on the volume of the spill and efforts to stem the outflow, Post Carbon Institute offers 12 additional important angles, each tackled by one of the Institute’s 29 acclaimed Fellows. For further perspectives, information and insight contact the Institute.

1. The Ripple Effect

RICHARD HEINBERG (Senior Fellow – Energy & Climate) – We’ve only just begun to see the true cost of the Gulf Coast oil spill. As we saw with Hurricane Katrina, the ripple effect of disruptions in oil supply can lead to profound and surprising outcomes. When you add the unimaginably large costs associated with the discovery and delivery of deep water oil to the even more prohibitive costs of cleanup and damage control and remove the oil industry subsidies, suddenly ‘alternative’ energy supplies seem far more mainstream, affordable and realistic.

Richard is Senior Fellow-in-Residence of the Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost fossil fuel educators. He has authored scores of books, essays and articles on the subjects of oil, energy and the economics of scarcity.

2. Big Oil: The (Unfashionable) Boa Wrapped Tight ‘Round the Global Economy

CHRIS MARTENSON (Economy & Preparedness) – With oil prices surging, any hiccup in new discoveries or supply can only mean increasing strains on fragile global economies. Martenson offers compelling insights into the intertwining of oil prices with U.S. and global economic systems.

Chris Martenson is the creator of The Crash Course, a 20-chapter online video course that educates viewers on our broken economic system, the crisis of population demographics, and Peak Oil. Since its launch in 2008, The Crash Course has been viewed over 1.5 million times online and has sold over 20,000 DVD copies. Prior to spending four years educating himself and developing the course and other materials to help individuals understand and take action, Chris was a Vice President at a Fortune 300 Company and spent over ten years in corporate finance and strategic consulting. He has a PhD in pathology from Duke University and an MBA from Cornell University.

3. A Geoscientist Weighs in on Mission Impossible

DAVID HUGHES (Fossil Fuels) – Drilling into the earth’s crust under two miles of water is an incredible engineering feat. From his perspective as a geoscientist with four decades of experience, Hughes contends that oil companies and engineers are pushing beyond the limits of our understandings of how to safely manipulate geological systems.

David Hughes is a geoscientist who has studied the energy resources of Canada for nearly four decades, including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager. He developed the National Coal Inventory to determine the availability and environmental constraints associated with Canada’s coal resources. As Team Leader for Unconventional Gas on the Canadian Gas Potential Committee, he coordinated the recent publication of a comprehensive assessment of Canada’s unconventional natural gas potential. He is currently president of a consultancy dedicated to research on energy and sustainability issues.

4. When Big Oil Attacks: Who Will Defend the Poorest Americans?

ERIKA ALLEN (Community Food Systems & Social Justice) – Most of the Gulf Coast state communities whose economies will be crippled by the spill are far from affluent. These communities are at the middle of looming social justice issues where big oil collides with America’s poorest. Remember Katrina?

Erika Allen is Chicago Projects Manager for Growing Power, a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization and land trust led by founder Will Allen that provides equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe, and affordable food, especially in disadvantaged communities. She helps food producers of limited resources strengthen their farm businesses and work in partnerships to create healthy and diverse food options in inner city and rural communities. Erika is co-chair of the Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council, and was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in 2008 to the Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force.

5. The CIA Knows All…

TOM WHIPPLE (Peak Oil & Energy) – As a former CIA analyst, Whipple knows better than almost anyone that cheap, easy oil supplies are long gone. The recent BP catastrophe is the latest proof that we’re getting increasingly desperate, with ruinous consequences, to hold onto that which will inevitably slip away—fossil fuels.

Tom Whipple is one of the most highly respected analysts of peak oil issues in the United States. A retired 30-year CIA analyst who has been following the peak oil story since 1999, Tom is the editor of the daily Peak Oil News and the weekly Peak Oil Review, both published by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA. Tom has degrees from Rice University and the London School of Economics.

6. Future Shock

DAVID FRIDLEY (Renewable Energy & Biofuels) – This accident drives home the difficulty, expense and danger of unconventional (deep water) oil and how the technology of accessing the oil we depend on is only going to get more expensive and more dangerous. How much more of this type of catastrophic failure can we expect to see in the future?

Since 1995, David Fridley has been a staff scientist at the Energy Analysis Program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. He is also deputy group leader of Lawrence Berkeley's China Energy Group, which collaborates with China on end-user energy efficiency, government energy management programs, and energy policy research. He spent 12 years working in the petroleum industry both as a consultant on downstream oil markets in the Asia-Pacific region and as business development manager for Caltex China.

7. The Mississippi is Fracked & So is Our Food Supply

WES JACKSON (Sustainable Agriculture) – The environmental degradation caused by oil to the Gulf Coast region is only part of the story. While the Gulf Coast spill is gushing oil into the ocean, millions of gallons of toxic chemicals and oil-derived fertilizers are pouring from rivers into the Gulf every single day, creating desertification of farmland and massive algae blooms (the infamous Dead Zone). The Mississippi is beset by oil in its mouth while pesticides constrict its throat. Jackson can put the bigger picture into perspective—if we don’t take care of our topsoil and fail to find alternatives to fossil fuels we’ll be faced with food shortages in the U.S.A. before long.

Wes Jackson is one of the foremost figures in the international sustainable agriculture movement. Founder and president of The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, he has pioneered reserach in Natural Systems Agriculture — including perennial grains, perennial polycultures, and intercropping — for over 30 years. He was a professor of biology at Kansas Wesleyan and later established the Environmental Studies program at California State University, Sacramento, where he became a tenured full professor. He is the author of several books including Becoming Native to This Place (1994), Altars of Unhewn Stone (1987), and New Roots for Agriculture (1980). Life magazine predicted Wes Jackson will be among the 100 "most important Americans of the 20th century." He is a recipient of the Pew Conservation Scholars award and a MacArthur Fellowship, and has been listed as one of Smithsonian's "35 Who Made a Difference".

8. A Time for Leaders, not Politicians

GLORIA FLORA (Public Lands) In 2000, Gloria made national headlines when she resigned as Forest Supervisor for the largest national forest in the lower 48 states to call attention to antigovernment zealots engaged in the harassment and intimidation of Forest Service employees. Gloria has spent her career battling those who would destroy ecosystems through development of natural resources. President Obama, now gifted with the ultimate opportunity to turn disaster into real progress, must now take a page from Gloria’s playbook and promote powerful legislation that will significantly lessen the U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.

Gloria Flora is founder and Director of Sustainable Obtainable Solutions, an organization dedicated to the sustainability of public lands and of the plants, animals and communities that depend on them. In her 22-year career with the U.S. Forest Service, Gloria became nationally known for her leadership in ecosystem management and for her courageous principled stands: as supervisor of the Lewis and Clark National Forest in north-central Montana, she made a landmark decision to prohibit natural gas leasing along the 356,000-acre Rocky Mountain Front. She serves on the Montana Climate Change Advisory Committee and works throughout the U.S. with the Center for Climate Strategies in assisting states develop climate change action plans.

9. From Every Disaster, a Perfect Opportunity

BILL MCKIBBEN (Climate, Ecology & Economy) – As the most active environmental leader alive, Bill McKibben is a vocal proponent for meaningful climate legislation. From a policy perspective, McKibben offers well reasoned, inspiring calls to action, the timeliness of which are greatly amplified by BP’s blunder.

Bill McKibben, scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, is an American environmentalist and environmental writer. He is the author of twelve books, including The End of Nature (1989), the first book for a general audience about global warming, and, most recently, Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (2007). His latest book, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet explores what it means to live on a planet we’ve changed fundamentally. Bill's Day of Action on October 24, 2009, was the largest environmental action in history.

10. The Repercussions Will Last for Generations STEPHANIE MILLS (Biodiversity & Bioregionalism) – From her perspective as a renowned author and lecturer on ecological restoration and community economics, Stephanie offers an analysis of the devastating, multigenerational impact of the spill on the pristine ecosystems, wildlife, and human communities.

Stephanie Mills is a renowned author and lecturer on bioregionalism, ecological restoration, community economics, and voluntary simplicity. Stephanie has lectured at numerous institutions, including the E.F. Schumacher Society, the Chicago Academy of Sciences, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In 1996 she was named by Utne Reader as one of the world's leading visionaries.

11. Corporate Responsibility, Where Art Thou?

BILL SHEEHAN (Products & Waste) – Atlanta-based Sheehan recently helped craft the nation’s first Product Stewardship Law, a critical piece of legislation that puts manufacturers on the hook for the cost recycling and trash disposal of their products. With BP looking to escape the cost of cleanup by passing it on to consumers, the idea of corporate responsibility through product stewardship has never been more relevant.

Bill Sheehan co-founded the Product Policy Institute in 2003 and serves as its Executive Director. Bill advocates for public policy that protects public health and safety and slows climate change by encouraging waste prevention, clean production and reduced use of toxics in products. He helped develop a historical analysis that showed how municipal recycling and waste management services enable product manufacturers to design and sell goods without considering disposal costs and impacts. Since 2005, Bill has worked with local governments, communities and NGOs to bring "extended producer responsibility" (EPR) policies to the U.S. to spur green product design.

12. Envisioning a World Without Oil

ANTHONY PERL (Transportation) – It can’t be denied that an overreliance on fossil fuels is the root cause for the Gulf Oil spill. So what does transportation look like in a world where fossil fuels are no longer the go-to source for motive power? Anthony Perl is a globally recognized expert on urban transportation systems, whose vision of post-oil transport is highly sought after by governments around the world.

Anthony Perl is Director of the Urban Studies Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia; he has previously worked at the City University of New York, the University of Calgary, and Université Lumière in Lyon, France. He has authored or co-authored four books, most recently Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil (2008). Anthony's research crosses disciplinary and national boundaries to explore the policy decisions that affect transportation, cities and the environment. He has advised governments in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, and the United States on transportation and environmental research and policy development, and currently chairs the Intercity Passenger Rail committee of the U.S. Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Research Council.

ABOUT POST CARBON INSTITUTE Post Carbon Institute provides individuals, communities, businesses, and governments with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy, and environmental crises that define the 21st century. PCI envisions a world of resilient communities and re-localized economies that thrive within ecological bounds.

In addition to Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg, PCI Fellows include Bill McKibben, Majora Carter, Wes Jackson, David Orr and 24 others. Full list of PCI Fellows.

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