Cooking on gas - fears of rising prices.
Transition - energy
The rise and rise of energy prices has been hitting all of us. Even though petrol prices have fallen in recent months, the long term trend is ever upwards. And what happens when our supply of fossil fuels can’t meet demand?
Everyone's feeling the pinch at home, in the supermarket, and in business. Even local government is struggling to meet its energy bills.
But, one group of people think they have a way forward - a blueprint to tackle the twin challenges of climate change and "peak oil".
It's called the Transition Network - and already Nottingham, Leicester and Market Harborough have joined more than 120 towns across the UK to sign up.
The transition network is a grassroots movement which aims to take us all back to basics.
Transition at the grass roots
The founder of the transition movement is Rob Hopkins.
His idea is that communities across the globe need to gear up for a profound shift in the way they operate because of dwindling supplies of cheap oil and increasing concern about carbon emissions.
Pump priming - transition could help.
The "transition" - as he sees it - will be from high energy lifestyles which are totally reliant on fossil fuels and very vulnerable to supply shocks, to more local, sustainable, low carbon and above all resilient clusters of population.
In contrast to those doomsayers who warn of bleak times ahead, "transitioners" are keen to stress their positive vision of the future.
They believe more emphasis on local food, skill sharing, cycling and even community energy schemes could reduce bills and bring communities back to life.
Pros and cons
Critics point out the transition network struggles to reflect diverse communities and its grassroots nature means it tends to be disorganised and rely on well meaning volunteers.
But the movement has already won the support of Nottingham City Council and Leicestershire County Council.
They see a community based response to climate change as essential if they are to meet their new targets to curb emissions.
Leicestershire County Council have voted unanimously to support their transition towns.
And Nottingham City Council became the first city to pass a "peak oil motion" in December 2008 committing councillors to taking a future of expensive oil into account in their planning and policy.
Your energy needs...
Energy is also an issue that is exercising the minds of the public.
So how much do you know about the energy industry?
Take the Inside Out quiz and check the answers at the bottom of this web feature.
Peak Oil Quiz
1. How is the price of oil measured?
2. How much of the world's transport depends on oil?
3. How many barrels of oil does the world use in one year?
Source: International Energy Agency
4. What does ASPO stand for?
A) Ask Sheiks for Plenty of Oil
5. According to ASPO how many of the 65 largest oil producing nations have already peaked?
The answers can be found at the bottom of this web feature.
Find out more about the energy industry in the following reports...
Peak Oil Quiz - Answers
The correct answers to the quiz are:
last updated: 29/01/2009 at 12:40