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Richard Heinberg's House

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Getting Ready For Less - Enjoying More

They have a solar food dryer, 25 fruit and nut trees, solar cookers, solar hot water heater and photovoltaic panels, plenty of food in the garden and chickens in the yard.

Richard Heinberg, senior fellow at The Post Carbon Institute and author of several books on resource depletion, most recently The End Of Growth, gives us a tour of the home he shares with his wife in California.

It's a beautiful example of a sustainable house -- but the real value of this video is in his wise and enlightened commentary on where we are headed.

He sees clearly the changes coming to our modern industrial way of life, being that so much of his work centers on the study of declining fossil fuels, and our collective denial of the predicament. But he does not promote fear, blame, panic or negativity on any level.

He speaks about the end of our growth - based culture in positive tones. As we near the end of this unnaturally GDP-obsessed, fast paced economy that is constantly globalizing all sorts of processes of production and consumption, we are headed instead to an economy that is shrinking, and becoming more localized.

"We can in fact increase people's quality of life as consumption declines." Heinberg says confidently. "It's mostly a matter of what we aim for. Because we've created a financial system that depends on growth, we've been aiming for GDP growth above all else. But if we aim instead for the integrity of our environment and the quality of our community life as goals, then we can achieve those things while actually reducing our consumption."

This type of homestead- minded house, and these insights and goals, are exactly the type of thing we DO need MORE of!

--Bibi Farber

This video was produced by Fair Companies.

Richard Heinberg is the author of:
The End of Growth: Adapting to our New Economic Reality (June 2011)
Blackout: Coal, Climate, and the Last Energy Crisis (2009)
Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines (2007)
The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism and Economic Collapse (2006)
Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World (2004)
The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003)