We are interested in working towards a sustainable future, survival cooperation is the concept of exploring what might be required to survive in a post-industrial world and exploring the process of cooperation that we can start with now that will lead us towards a sustainable path. To do this we will need to address multiple issues simultaneously. Not least the fact that we have not been taught how to cooperate or how it will feel to try. The context of why this is needed is that if future projections about the effects of Peak oil are correct, then several areas of life that we currently take for granted will need to be met by providing the needs of the local community from within that community.
Food and fuel are the key issues as they will be needed at a large scale and potentially soon, other items such as clothing, healthcare housing and energy will need careful planning. One area of thought is that the production of items that need multiple functions from say growing a fibre crop through to weaving and actually making will need to involve a variety of different people with different skills, from previous research the number of people needed to cover all relevant skills is thought to be around 600.
Several people are already addressing issues such as these in the movement known as transition towns, whereby groups are coming together all over the country to look at issues and plan for a low oil supply economy. What we are interested in is that concept transposed on to a rural setting; this has advantages, such as more resources per person and disadvantages, such as less people per area causing critical number issues.
Potentially there is no such thing as future economic development, as there will be no energy supply to power it, as all fuels are at their peak of production, as such we will be looking to develop the energy supply potential from the woods, this will include the firewood and woodchip potential as well as the electricity generating potential from the hydro and river system.
Looking at a changing economy we are planning to try and achieve most of the infrastructure developments as soon as possible whilst we are still in an oil economy, when you realise 1 gallon of diesel is equivalent to 500 hours of labour, you can understand the importance of that sort of subsidy, we are planning to use big harvesting equipment initially but also move towards harvesting with horses.
We see the future development being in social terms rather than economic, hence our initial focus on education, as we believe that we are all going to need new skills. However whilst the current economy prevails we are developing markets and skills to enable us to bring in revenue to develop this project, and as we have no idea of when the changes will happen or how they will be felt we are just moving towards them with our eyes open.
We are interested in hearing from anyone is thinking along the same lines and looking to be part of the solution, especially those living within a few miles or planning to move to the area.