Randy Udall to speak tonight in Steamboat
January 19, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Randy Udall, one of the West's foremost experts on alternative forms of energy and the impending tilt toward "peak oil," will give a talk tonight called Sustainable Energy Ideas for Routt County.
Udall was the director for 13 years of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency on the Western Slope of Colorado, and is co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA.
Peak oil is the point at which the world's oil production tops out and begins an irreversible decline with unavoidable implications for a society that Udall says is living in the era of the Big Bonfire.
"Per capita, we consume our body weight in petroleum in every eight days," Udall said in an e-mail. "We are petroleum people, the Oil Tribe."
Peak oil is not about running out of oil, Udall said, but crossing a line from the growing flow of petroleum-based energy to an era of declining flow.
Transition Steamboat and the Colorado Environmental Coalition are hosting Udall's talk in Steamboat Springs. The event at Steamboat Springs Community Center starts at 6:30 p.m. with a local green business expo.
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Organizer John Spezia said the audience could expect to hear Udall talk about what he termed the artificially low cost of petroleum-based energy in the United States, which is impeding the transition to alternative forms of energy.
Three "years ago, the cost of gasoline went up to $4 and Americans reduced their consumption of gasoline by 5 percent, which is monster," Spezia said. "You saw people walking more, using mass transit and carpooling. That's the future. If we saw solar and wind energy getting the subsidies that oil gets from tax policy, they would blossom."
Udall's talk will follow the expo. Among those expected to present is BioHeat USA/Tarm Biomass, of Oak Creek, a wood boiler company.
"We have local businesses to demonstrate that we can be independent to a degree of coal, oil and gas," Spezia said.