Someone once observed that attending an ASPO-USA conference is like trying to drink from a firehose - there's just so much information, so many amazing people, so many sessions, so much to do that it can be overwhelming as well as stimulating, engaging and delightful.
Helping to RUN an ASPO-USA conference is a little like drinking from two Firehoses at once, only vastly more enjoyable. Still, the only time I remember getting that little sleep was with my newborns. The combination of absorbing all the amazing information and also acting as host to more than 300 guests, working with speakers, running sessions and dealing with any difficulties that arise is exciting, enjoyable, wonderful and exhausting.
I have come to accept that I will not touch my blog during ASPO week - I can no more blog than I can sleep, eat regular meals or swim across the English Channel during Conference week.
Still, I got a good long drink of water out of my firehoses. The best things (from my idiosyncratic point of view) about the conference were Robert Rapier's presentation on the distinction between what we could do and what we will do in regards to climate change and peak oil; Naomi Davis's stunningly delivered vision of the reanimation of her urban community, and watching Angelina Galliteva get her behind handed to her by Charlie Hall when she radically overstated the potential of solar.
My greatest moment of pride and joy was Wes Jackson's keynote - I worked hard to make that happen, and it was everything I hoped it would be.
A lot of the really good stuff happens after hours at meals and in the nearest bar, and this year was no different. The Zombie-Fightin' Women of the Apocalypse didn't quite work out - late hours meant that we were followed to the bar by a large crowd of guys, so instead of a bull session, it turned into a bash. All in all, it was a great bash, though. Maybe next year for an all-female event.
I'm still re-combobulating after the conference, and the next month represents the final countdown to my book deadline. So while I'm getting my act together, here is my question to the hivemind:
If you were going to change the name of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas to something else (note, I am in no way saying that we are going to do so), what would you change it to? The shift should a. sound professional (we've already made all the crude jokes, so you can skip them) and b. reflect and emphasis not on the peak, but on the downslope, which is, after all, more to the point?
Glad to be home,
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Association for the Impact Study of Finite Resources AISFR
Long Term Resource Management;
Aware Long-term Resource Management (ALRM); Alliance for Longterm Resource Management;
Strategic Resource Alliance; New Phase Fossil Fuels;
Society to Launch Our Web Discussion On What's Next SLOWDOWN
SLOPED: Society for Lessening Our Petroleum Dependence. It's a little awkward, but maybe you can tweak it.
Sorry, should have capitalized the E in PEtroleum. Hence, the awkwardness.
IEDSWCA: Institute for Energy Descent Studies Without a Catchy Acronym. Or I guess you could leave off that last part.
Association for the Study of Post-Peak Oil would let you use any stationery that only has the acronym on it.
I came to the sessions for educators on Saturday afternoon and felt much less crazy than usual for several hours. Nice being with folks who take the same problems seriously. Having different answers doesn't seem that much of a problem--there may be more than one. I like Greer's idea of discensus--using many different strategies for the same situation is more apt to result in some that work.
My favorite nickname for the group (maybe only on the tee-shirts) would be the Downers--energy output is sloping downward, many regard you/us as downers, but downers are the pills you want to take when suffering from ungrounded mania/optimism. Better than doomers, I think.
I like Kerrick's Energy Descent Studies.
But as TAE points out, the more immediate crisis is political/economic meltdown. Which means that the meltdown that seems to be gathering steam will *define* how we are able to respond to a changing climate, energy descent, and what that means to affluence and shifts in affluence, to food availability, and to social stability.
"Green Wizardry" is taken, alas.
I wonder if there is reason to consider ASPO as focusing on an ephemeral topic that underpins the Transition network and approach. Perhaps the most valuable use of the information and planning would be to *inform* Transition efforts, rather than as an alternative study.
Transition Media, then, is my suggestion for a new ASPO name.
Alliance for Post-Peak Studies (APPS)
Could initially transition to ASPO/APPS. "Post-peak" could allow inclusion of peaks in a variety of resources.
(Or maybe Alliance for Post-Peak Strategies, if you want to emphasize any practical applications of the research and analysis.)
I recommend that a different acronym incorporate the word ~Transition~
Community and Environmental Advocate
Consortium for the Analysis of Resource Depletion (CARD)?
ASPPO: Association for the Study of Post-Peak Oil and Gas