We’ll be there!

Win an efergy Shower Timer

Would you like a Christmas gift from the Trafford Eco-House?

Thanks to ecooutlet we’ve got an efergy Shower Timer to give away. To be in with a chance to win you just need to signed up to get our updates by email – if you’re not already getting email updates from us just click here to subscribe.

We’ll draw the competition on December 23rd, and you’ll need to pop in to the Trafford Eco-House to pick up your prize – good luck!

We’ve currently got one of these on test too – expect a review soon!

This morning we awoke to the first frost of the season, which probably means it’s our first frost for about six years. I just thought it was worth recording the date so we can use it to plan next year’s planting and harvesting.

For the record, the forecast was 2°C !

We’ve not been posting much the last two days because we’ve been busy getting the word out, with great results. It’s been a crazy couple of days, but here are the results:

Normal service will resume shortly. We’re about to order the polytunnel and have been busy mulching trees, changing energy suppliers, and other exciting tasks.

Hi there, and welcome to the website for the Trafford eco-house, our little patch of 3-bed pre-war eco heaven in sunny Sale, south-west Manchester. To ensure you don’t miss any of our successes or failures you can click here and get updates by email or follow our eco-nattering on Twitter:

You can find out what the Trafford eco-house is all about on the About page, and don’t forget to have a look at what our partners are up to: Urban Grown and Trafford Council.

In an interesting article on the Obama approach to Peak Oil, The Huffington Post reports that ExxonMobil have declared that U.S. Gasoline Consumption peaked in 2008.

Even the oil patch’s biggest cheerleaders, ExxonMobil, who earlier helped frighten a public and a market to $147/bbl oil, now finds itself obligated to acknowledge that that U.S. consumption of gasoline has peaked.

 The article goes on to propose that remaining Oil and Gas reserves be taken into a National Oil Trust – essentially nationalising the U.S. Oil industry. Very interesting.

From today’s Guardian – “G20 forgets the environment“:

“We, the Leaders of the Group of Twenty, will use every cent we don’t possess to rescue corporate capitalism from its contradictions and set the world economy back onto the path of unsustainable growth. We have already spent trillions of dollars of your money on bailing out the banks, so that they can be returned to their proper functions of fleecing the poor and wrecking the Earth’s living systems. Now we’re going to spend another $1.1 trillion. As an exemplary punishment for their long record of promoting crises, we will give the IMF and the World Bank even more of your money. These actions constitute the greatest mobilisation of resources to support global financial flows in modern times.

Oh – and we nearly forgot. We must do something about the environment. We don’t have any definite plans as yet, but we’ll think of something in due course.”

Tragically accurate. Doesn’t that just sum it up?

Just a short post to flag an article on Mexico reaching Peak Oil production and ceasing to be an oil exporting economy by the end of 2009. This has major implications for the stability of Mexico’s economy – where’s it going to get those export dollars from now? And also for US energy security as the USA currently imports 1.3 million barrels a day from Mexico (alomst as many as the 1.4 million it gets from Saudi Arabia).

The article also discusses International Energy Agency forecasts of 9% yearly oil depletion – that’s hard to picture on a global scale, but just try to work out how you’re going to get by with 10% less energy each year. Think about how your life would look if you had to drive 10% less miles each and every year, and had to heat your house with 10% less energy each and every year.

Focusses the mind a little doesn’t it.

The new Lewes Pound

The new Lewes Pound has just been officially launched by the Mayor of Lewes in front of an audience of over 450 people. Speakers included Rob Hopkins from Transition Totnes and Polly Toynbee from the Guardian. I’m a little ambivalent about the long-term impact of local currencies, but their introductory paragraph gives a good feel for the reasons they are important to the transition movement:

The Lewes Pound is a creative yet practical way for local people to make money work for Lewes. Money spent locally circulates within, and benefits the local economy. Money spent in national chains doesn’t. The Lewes Pound encourages demand for local goods and services. In turn this builds resilience to the rising costs of energy, transport and food.

This is really big step for Transition Lewes – they have over seventy traders accepting it already, and some starting to put up special offers for those paying in Lewes Pounds (effectively starting to create an exchange rate).  It’ll be interesting to see how it goes from here!

A really interesting interview with Charles Maxwell has just been published by Barrons, in which he explains why he thinks we’re heading for $300-a-barrel oil. He is predicting peak oil arriving in 2015:

At some point, doesn’t it come down to lowering consumption or tapping alternative sources of energy?

Right, and we will probably do both. Ten years ago, 40% of the world’s energy was in oil, versus 39% in 2006. It should reach 38% in the next five years — and 37% three years after that. So oil is slowing, and I expect it will stop its growth around 2015, at which point the supply begins a slow retreat.

He is forecasting $300-a-barrel oil following that peak in 2015, and is clear that we will all be highly dependant on OPEC oil from 2010 onwards. I am always interested in what people think this mean for society, and here is his take on the future:

It will be a little simpler. Your friends are going to be a little closer to you than they were before. Your vacations are going to be a little closer to home. You are going to have lower temperatures in the house. We will drive smaller cars with less horsepower, but they will get 60 to 80 miles to the gallon, enabling us to stretch gasoline supplies a lot further. There are going to be thousands of new adjustments leading to new investment opportunities. But the adjustment to that rising oil price, which could take as long as 20 years, will be a very harsh social experience — not only for our society, but for every society.

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