Energy descent

Energy descent

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Energy descent is the post-peak oil
Peak oil
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. This concept is based on the observed production rates of individual oil wells, projected reserves and the combined production rate of a field...

 transitional phase, when humankind goes from the ascending use of energy that has occurred since the industrial revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 to a descending use of energy.

Energy descent refers to retraction of oil use after the peak oil
Peak oil
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. This concept is based on the observed production rates of individual oil wells, projected reserves and the combined production rate of a field...

 availability. Planning and preparing for this peak oil
Peak oil
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. This concept is based on the observed production rates of individual oil wells, projected reserves and the combined production rate of a field...

 energy descent period has been recently promoted by Holmgren, Rob Hopkins of the Transition Towns
Transition Towns
Transition Towns is a grassroots network of communities that are working to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability...

 movement, and Richard Heinberg in the book Powerdown. That oil reserves are dwindling is now becoming acknowledged more widely, especially after the International Energy Agency released the 2008 World Energy Outlook report. Between 2007 and 2008 the IEA changed its figures for projected rate of decline in world energy supply from 3.7% a year (2007) to a projected rate of decline of 6.7% a year (2008). In 2008 several major companies including Arup, Yahoo and Virgin created the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security (ITPOES) and released a report, The Oil Crunch, which calls for 'collaborative contingency planning' by government and industry in the face of dwindling oil reserves.

An Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) – is a local plan for planning and preparing for energy descent. It goes well beyond issues of energy supply, to look at across-the-board creative adaptations in the realms of health, education, economy and much more. Energy Descent Planning is a process developed by the Transition Towns
Transition Towns
Transition Towns is a grassroots network of communities that are working to build resilience in response to peak oil, climate destruction, and economic instability...

 Movement.

Criticism


Some techno-optimists, such as Julian Simon
Julian Lincoln Simon
Julian Lincoln Simon was a professor of business administration at the University of Maryland and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute at the time of his death, after previously serving as a longtime business professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Simon wrote many books and...

, have disputed energy projections such as this, arguing that as oil becomes more expensive, humanity will tend to diversify its energy sources away from a reliance on oil, thus avoiding undesired global reductions in energy usage.