Based upon his experiences with Post Oil Solutions, the 10 year old, 501c3 organization that he helped found, Tim Stevenson’s Resilience and Resistance: Building Sustainable Communities for a Post Oil Age, is a collection of original, as well as previously-published essays that center around the author’s perspective on what communities need to do in order to both survive the climate crisis, as well as thrive in a post petroleum world.
The collection emphasizes the importance of re-localization, where communities increasingly learn to be self-sufficient around their basic needs. Central to this idea is the conviction that social justice must be at the heart of all efforts. This is emphasized in the essays that focus on food security and especially detail the initiatives that Post Oil has taken to make local food both accessible and affordable to our low-income neighbors.
In other essays, Stevenson argues for the importance of preparedness. For example, he calls for,“intentional communities,” where people purposely come together now, while there is still time, to prepare for severe weather events, share work and materials, and develop strategies where they can learn to be collaborative. He also calls for town select boards to organize Citizen Climate Committees that would help their citizens to become better prepared for the possible multiple effects of the growing crisis. Most of all, perhaps, he encourages people to just talk about climate change with their families, neighbors, work mates, and fellow students, as if it was a part of their daily reality
While emphasizing the importance of resilience and preparedness, Stevenson also believes that we have to resist Big Oil and its continuing efforts to drill for fossil fuels. From campaigns that encourage individuals and institutions to divest from petroleum companies to direct action and civil disobedience in the face of efforts to expand fossil fuel infrastructure, he believes that we have to build a large, popular movement to create the political will to keep the oil in the soil, the gas in the grass. and the coal in the hole.
About the Author
TIM STEVENSON founding director of and community organizer with Post Oil Solutions, has done community organizing much of his adult life around such issues as welfare rights, peace and war, box stores, and nuclear power plants. He lives with his wife, Sherry, in Athens, Vermont, where in their imperfect ways, they do the best they can to walk the talk. He also thinks a lot about his two children and two grandchildren living in a world of climate change.
“Resilience and Resistance defines the power of sustainable communities to address global climate change by how we live in relation to others. Tim Stevenson’s work is an important, and very timely, voice guiding us to take care of ourselves and our community; and in doing so, how we can heal ourselves and our planet.”
–Enid Wonnacott, has been the Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) since 1987
“Tim Stevenson makes a powerful case for both resilience and resistance in the face of our rapidly changing climate. He draws from the work of many others that have documented and decried the self-destructive and delusional path of our fossil-fueled behaviors, yet he also offers up optimism and encouragement by identifying positive actions that can and are be taken to help us change course. Tim speaks to the big picture of climate change politics and science but balances this information with descriptions of local community programs that are so necessary to engage people in action. By weaving together personal, place-based stories with factual, intellectual arguments he has created an informative and inspirational book addressing what is widely recognized as the most important issue of our time.”
–Vern Grubinger, Extension Professor, University of Vermont, and coordinator, Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, USDA
“Tim Stevenson’s compelling analysis reflects the growing awareness that greed-based, oil-soaked capitalism is perilous to people and the planet. This book lays clean a path to activation, starting at the table, where delicious local organic food starves the beast of our dollars and complicity. As the economy of war and extreme extraction provide a taste of changing climates, mass extinction and untold human suffering, it is ironic that those steeped in living sustainable lifestyles report out its enriching viability. Stevenson is not so naïve to propose that individual action is enough, and not so naïve to imagine corporations and government transforming without massive pressure. At the leading edge of this pressure are savvy, inclusive, caring communities fluent in post-oil solutions.”
–Jim Merkel, author of Radical Simplicity Small Footprints on a Finite Earth; founder of the Global Living Project
Published: Nov.6, 2015
6 x 9; trade paperback original; 156 pages; $19.95 | 978-0-9961357-8-8
The author is available for readings throughout New England. Distributed by Midpoint Trade Books, Ingram’s, Baker & Taylor. Available wherever books are sold.
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