It might seem that the Post Carbon Institute casts too wide a net. But after translating German at the Vatican and becoming a Hollywood filmmaker, Julian Darley, the institute’s director, is accustomed both to setting and to reaching lofty goals. Yet the mission of the Post Carbon Institute is rather simple, Darley explains: They want “to get society off of fossil fuels fast.”
The institute thus provides individual citizens, farmers, organization leaders, and local governments the tools they need to support what Darley calls “relocalization.” After all, with the help of the institute’s five major initiatives, the dismantling of our oil-dependent world seems not only possible but increasingly probable.
One of these efforts, called Post Carbon Cities, hopes to assist governing bodies to better understand the implications of climate change and peak oil (the point at which global oil production peaks, from there going into irreversible decline, its supply never again equaling demand). The Energy Farms Network and the Relocalization Network are two other means through which Darley hopes to inspire a rearrangement of the world.
Relocalization is key: “Ideally, it would take us five minutes of walking to get everything we need. That means a lot more dwelling and a lot less flying and driving around,” Darley suggests. A realist, he doesn’t claim that taking longer walks can save the planet or that individual lifestyles are even the only necessary thing to fix. Instead, he says, “Energy is really what life is about. We should spend more time thinking about energy, because we’ll all start to notice when it’s gone.”