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Eli Pivnick sees a future with less jet-setting, more local living

As part of the Tar Sands Reporting Project, The Vancouver Observer asked its funders what the energy future looks like to them. Teacher and wilderness guide Eli Pivnick says people will use far less energy and fewer petroleum products, leading to less influence from corporations in civic life. Second in a series.

Eli Pivnick in a photo provided by him
Eli Pivnick has faith in resilient local communities to create a future that doesn't depend on fossil fuels.
 
A Kamloops-based teacher and wilderness guide with a deep interest in climate change, Eli Pivnick imagines a future in which people will undergo huge changes in lifestyle and consumption habits with ease.
 
"Fifty years from now, people will be doing much less jet-setting. There will be fewer ships with container traffic, fewer oil tankers, and more people living from local resources," he imagines.
 
As for the argument that fossil fuel is needed to make many of people's day-to-day household items, Pivnik believes people will craft what they need from natural materials that don't require petroleum to create. 
 
"If people were once able to live without so many petroleum products, it should be possible now," he said.
 
"It means a lot more use of natural material and resources that are grown rather than extracted out of ground. That means a lot less plastic (made from fossil fuels) and more leather and wood."
 
This shift in consumption will have a profound impact on a social and political level as well, in his view.
 
"Large corporations will have much less influence and a lot more decisions will be made on a local level." He sees  a reversal in trends with people migrating from to cities to rural areas. 
 
Things will change significantly in how food is grown and transported, as well, he believes.
 
People will be far less dependent on big agri-businesses and rely instead on locally cultivated food. More people will be growing produce in their own back yard and eating fresh from the garden.
 
"There will be less homogenization of fast food around the world and people will no longer be eating exotic foods.
 
"We'll also be eating far fewer processed foods." 
 
In Eli Pivnik's view, the future looks healthy and we'll get there by becoming more at home in our own backyards.

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