Climate change, peak oil, etc.

North Quabbin Energy was formed in 2005 by a group of people who were concerned about various issues relating to energy:

  • the realities of global climate change and its links to the burning of fossil fuels
  • the long-term social, military, and economic costs, as well as the environmental ones, of the way Americans currently use energy
  • the growing concern about “peak oil” and the possibility that supplies of the fuel sources we are so heavily dependent on are becoming much more expensive to extract at a time when global demand is continuing to escalate.

All of these issues clearly relate to one another, and they also relate to nearly every aspect of the way we currently live our lives.  Thinking about them can be overwhelming and depressing–but not thinking about them seems like a worse option!  Our group is just one small local effort that tries to keep conversations going on a number of levels–among ourselves, with other groups and projects in the area, and with larger educational, research, and activist efforts that are addressing these big questions.

If you’re just getting started thinking about all of this, the amount of information can seem overwhelming! We suggest that you check out some of the links below to help orient you to some of the important work currently being done.  There are also more topic-specific links on our Conservation/Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Local Food/Farming, Recycling, and Films/Other Resources pages.  Use the “Search” feature to look for specific information on our site if you’re not finding it under those headings.


  • The Ultimate Roller-Coaster Ride:  A Brief History of Fossil Fuels” – This five-minute video narrated by the Post-Carbon Institute’s Richard Heinburg covers 300 years of fossil fuel use and shows how we got ourselves into some of the situations we’re currently trying to find our way out of.
  • The Post-Carbon Institute itself is a good place to start learning more about peak oil, climate change, and some ways to “power down” from fossil fuels.
  • The Climate Reality Project has produced a four-minute Climate 101 video, narrated by Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) about the science of climate change.
  •, a worldwide climate project founded in 2008 by Vermont writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben, helps to organize climate-related actions around the idea that we need to get the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere back down below 350 parts per million.
  • We often recommend “The Waking Up Syndrome,” a short article by Sarah Anne Edwards and Linda Buzzell, as a useful resource for people who are just starting to recognize the implications of unplugging from our current ways of using energy.  The article talks about the stages that most of us go through as we think about this, and makes a case for staying hopeful and connected to other people as we work on energy-related issues.
  • The Transition Network is another way to learn about some of the positive approaches that people around the world are taking to energy- and climate-related problems.  Here’s a map where you can find Transition initiatives near you in the U.S.

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