'Oil and the Economy' : Open Debate : Wed 19th Oct @7pm

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Joined: 10-03-04
Oct 10 2005 22:47
'Oil and the Economy' : Open Debate : Wed 19th Oct @7pm

Bristol Social Forum Open Discussion


This month the Bristol Social Forum returns with an open discussion on the theme of 'Oil and the Economy'.

Date: Wed 19th Oct. Time: 7:00-9:00pm, @ 1 in 8, 160 Gloucester Rd. Map:


The last 30 minutes will be forum business. People should feel free and able to leave at that point if they wish. How To Get To Us By Bus: From the City Centre. 71,73,75,76,77,99. The stop near to the 1 in 8 centre, ask for Pigsty Hill (just past us.)

Background Primer


The era of cheap oil appears to be at an end, with overall production of oil expected to peak anytime between now & around the year 2020. Put simply, the easy & cheap to extract part of world oil reserves have been used. In Saudi Arabia, for example, despite claims that oil output can easily be raised, much of this increase is expected to be in heavy crude, which is very expensive & difficult to refine. While in the Gulf coast of Mexico all of the U.S.A's refineries remain largely out of action.

A taste of the future appears to have arrived.

It can sometimes help to appreciate the scale of the crisis when put in terms like these:

...we drive to the supermarket in cars fuelled by oil, increasingly made from oil, on roads made partly from oil, while dressed in clothes made from or fertilised with oil. We walk into the supermarket onto a floor and building made partly from oil, and buy food, fertilised with oil, transported in oil, wrapped in oil on stands made largely from oil. We take it to the checkouts made partly from oil. It is placed in bags made from oil by a cashier probably wearing clothes made largely from oil, and paid for with a credit card made from oil...

We find ourselves ever more saturated in an increasingly finite resource. Something will soon give, if it hasn't already. Are we ready for what comes next?

Come along and join in the debate.


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Joined: 10-03-04
Oct 26 2005 17:49

Hello everyone,

Here's the notes from this open discussion.




Hello everyone,

Last weeks Bristol Social Forum meeting was a lively open discussion on the issue of Oil and the Economy. Most of the notes below are provided by Heather Witham, who is setting up a new Ecopsychology group in Thornbury. While it is not strictly a Peak Oil group (do a google on Peak Oil and you will find masses of information), it is very closely related to the issues of how society will function and survive, in it’s current form or otherwise, as oil price rises and scarcity begin to bite.

A promising aspect of last weeks meeting, in terms of how we function as a forum, was how the Ecopsychology group were not aware of an existing Peak Oil group in Bristol. That we have been able to put them in touch with each other is exactly the reason for our existence, and a reason why people should be attending Social Forum meetings so as to make connections which are not yet otherwise made. Please attend the next meeting for this very reason!

Next months meeting, scheduled for Wednesday 23rd November, will be on the issue of political representation (or the the lack of it), whether in the workplace, the House of Commons, the City Council, your Trades Union, or even within Bristol’s activist community! Please come along to join in the discussion. I’m sure you all have masses of opinion on this issue. More details to follow.

Please Note: The notes above are not intended as comprehensive minutes of the meeting. If others who attended have opinion to give, please do, or if you didn’t attend but have an opinion on issues around Oil and the Economy, please do also. If anyone would like to get involved in Bristol Social Forum meetings, so as to minute the meetings, or any other reason, you will also be very welcome.

You can either send opinion by reply, or you can also read and post opinion at the link below:


All the Best,

James Venables

(Bristol Social Forum Communications – Electronic)

PS: The existing Bristol Peak Oil group can be found at.


It could do with more support to reinvigorate it, so please do join and contribute.


Email: heather@thoughtoffering.org

Hello, everyone. James has just introduced me, but I thought I would say a bit more.

The group I have in Thornbury is an ecopsychology group, not really a Peak Oil group, but we are starting to look at Peak Oil. Soon I hope to be speaking about sustainability at the Town Council's Town Development Committee meeting. Following this, I hope to hold 'town hall meetings' where we can watch "The End of Suburbia" and talk about 'visioning' for Thornbury's future. I'd like to do this along the lines of Kinsale's project.

I'd be interested in hearing what people in Bristol are doing, as it would be good to support each other.



Here are links to ecopsychology and Kinsale.

1.) The International Community of Ecopsychology (ICE) website and the online journal, Gatherings: http://www.ecopsychology.org

2.) According to the above website, "there is a large Ecopsychology Email list you can join. To subscribe, send an email to listserv@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU and in the body of the message, type: "subscribe ecopsychology Firstname Lastname."

3.) Also, a "smaller, more intimate list was started in February of 1998. Unmoderated, with participants ranging from academics to activists, clinicians, environmental educators and wilderness teachers, the Ecology Psychology list tries to examine many of the issues mentioned at ICE in greater depth. To inquire about joining, contact Harriet Wood (h.wood@leedsmet.ac.uk) or Maureen Press (mpress@interlog.com)."

4.) And the "The NatureConnect Mailing List where you can safely share the experiences and feelings of connecting with nature."


5.) The ICE blog, which has a daily column devoted to a particular topic: Mondays (Ecotherapy), Tuesdays (art and the environment), Wednesdays (The Personal Is Ecopsychological), Thursdays (Religion and Nature: Ecumenical Reflections), Fridays (Environmental Learning), Saturdays (Grassroots Politics), and Sundays ((Un)Earthing Economics).

6. The Activist Ecopsychology Group, see:


This group is moderated and input is 'digested' so number of e-mails is kept to a minimum. (1-2 per day). To join, send a blank e-mail to act_ecopsy-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

7. The Activist Ecopsychologist Chat Room, a networking and lighter place for those in the above group, and for those that love e-mail. smile To join, send a blank e-mail to: