Adoption of the Oil Depletion Protocol for West Central Indiana sign now

January 4, 2007

Elected Officials of West Central Indiana:

Over the past century, industrialized nations such as ours have achieved prosperity due in great part to easily accessible and inexpensive oil. Our modern industrial way of life is based upon having a sustained and abundant supply of cheap and non-renewable petroleum. This being the case, we have developed an unsustainable dependence on oil and have thus come to a point in time where our cultural survival is threatened by the very thing that allowed us to come this far.

By now, many have heard about global climate change, or Global Warming. But how many people are familiar with the other inconvenient truth: Peak Oil? Peak Oil is when the extraction rate of petroleum from the Earth reaches its maximum and can no longer meet the ever-increasing demands of our lives and our economy (consumption rate).

The United States, reached peak oil extraction in 1970. The United Kingdom reached their peak in 1999. Norway reached peak in 2001. Currently, 33 of the 48 major oil-producing nations are past their extraction peaks. Expert opinions estimate global peak oil extraction within the next decade. This does not mean we are running out of oil. Running out isnt the problem. Getting oil out of the ground cheaply and at a rate that exceeds demand is the problem.

Peak Oil is on the horizon, whether it is now, in 2 years, or by 2030. Experts worldwide stress the importance of early and sustained preparation --pointing to the fact that there is currently no energy source available that can fully substitute for petroleum. It is now time to seriously consider our options and take appropriate action to prepare for an energy-constrained world. As Peak Oil approaches, reducing our dependence on oil will not be an option: it will be forced upon us whether we are prepared for it or not. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that we begin now to gradually wean ourselves off of oil.

Why does this matter? One major reason is economics. Our modern industrial way of life is based on growth capitalism and for the most part, the accessibility of inexpensive energy -- oil. This growth is based on having a sustained and abundant supply of a resource that is not renewable in our lifetimes. Without a sustained and abundant supply of oil there is no growth -- period. This goes beyond paying more at the pumps and to utility companies. Virtually everything we do in the communities of West Central Indiana: transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, technology relies on cheap available petroleum products. Reduced consumption will be forced on us whether we like it or not.

We the undersigned ask you to endorse and adopt the Oil Depletion Protocol for the communities of Crawfordsville, surrounding Montgomery County, and the greater West Central Indiana Region.

The Oil Depletion Protocol is a policy tool that can be used by municipal leaders to gradually reduce dependence on oil before it is forced upon us. It is absolutely essential that we begin now to gradually wean ourselves off of oil, and the protocol allows us to do just this. The protocol calls for communities to reduce their consumption of oil by about 2.5\% per year. If this were to be adopted globally, consumption of oil would decline gradually and predictably, thus stabilizing prices, preserving the resource base, and reducing competition for remaining supplies.

It is imperative that our communities begin to grasp the facts of Peak Oil and learn what can be done to prepare for living in a post oil world. You are encouraged to visit the following websites for additional information:

http://www.oildepletionprotocol.org/theprotocol
http://www.aspo-usa.com
http://www.odac-info.org
http://www.indianaenergyconference.org

This petition is presented by the board of Sustainable Indiana, Inc. (http://www.sustainableindiana.org) and published on January 4, 2007. Sustainable Indiana, Inc. is a not-for-profit 'umbrella organization' based in Crawfordsville, IN that provides services geared toward networking, education, sharing, outreach and building community with regard to various aspects of sustainable living.

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Ernestine CastroBy:
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Elected Officials of West Central Indiana, USA

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