Some items of interest:
- Solar PV (photo-voltaic) roofing. Solar PV is still very expensive relative to other energy sources, although it enables a high degree of energy resilience once installed. Worse, the expense is often incurred in large expensive installments in addition to the existing costs of the structure. One interesting approach that may reduce costs is to integrate solar PV directly into a home's/structure's roofing system. This approach, currently being pioneered by MSR Innovations (a Canadian Company), is a modular roofing system that is first installed as a simple roof (on new structures or as a replacement to a roof in failure). However, the design of the system allows owners to organically (which means in small affordable increments) to replace standard tiles on the modular roof with solar PV tiles. It's an interesting approach.
- An interesting story about guerrilla urban geothermal efforts outside of Toronto -- to use roadways undergoing repair as an opportunity to drill wells for community geothermal systems. Fortunately, the town's government has been cooperative in both initial funding and right of way issues. Unfortunately, the commercial costs of drilling geothermal systems is still way to expensive. This could be fixed by using a cooperative model (contribution of manual work and the purchase of a community drilling system, costs for used equipment are in the sub $100 k range) to drill the required wells. Think in terms of a volunteer fire department, but for geothermal energy. If successful, costs for heating/cooling structures in the community could drop by 60% or more -- note that heating structures consumes half of all energy we use globally.
- Hackerspaces. A wiki on building/finding physical spaces to work on open source projects. Perfect for the resilient community projects underway.
- Cooperative farming to grow food for those unable to afford it. Here's one model: Gaining Ground. First, it's a healthy and useful way to help people, particularly if you don't have the funds to donate financial support. Second, it keeps farming in the community. Third, as the depression deepens, efforts like this are going to be more important than ever.
- A James Fallows classic: "Countdown to a Meltdown."
- Speed camera "pimping" to undermine the growth automated surveillance (a key ingredient needed for future privatization of security/roadways). Sounds like fun.