Friday 6 March 2009

Talking to teens again

Last Monday I and two other members of FADA spoke to two auditoriums of teenagers at local schools, and it went very well – the faculty were great, the kids asked serious questions, and we didn’t get any heckling this time around.

I gave a brief rundown of peak oil, climate change and the economy, focusing on what possible futures they might see and how they might prepare. As tempting as it is to scare the sullen out of them, these are also kids, so I tried to avoid getting too dire, and instead focused on how good the future could be and how easily we could make simple preparations.

Then my colleagues Trionna Ryan and Liam Heavey came to their part – enlisting the kids to help with an Energy Survey of the town. Each teen received a flier describing the different ways energy is used inside a home, with survey questions about each house; for example, are the windows single- or double-glazed? How thick is the insulation around the water boiler? How many square metres does the house have? Is the heating oil, peat, wood, gas, electricity? What does the meter read?

We hope that, by tallying up a sample of homes in the area, we can get an idea of where many people are wasting energy, who will see difficulty if this or that resource were to fail, and what changes our communities need to make first.

We didn’t film any of the talks, either mine, Trionna’s or Liam’s, but an acquaintance did film a rehearsal of a talk I gave last November to the Kildare Transition Town meeting, and we’ve started putting that on this YouTube and Energy Bulletin. I’ll post them here if I can figure out how. Stay tuned.

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