What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Transition 101- post #1

As I posted yesterday, we are very likely now in a world where oil production has peaked and I've posted repeatedly we are without a doubt experiencing the early stages of climate change.

Even if oil hasn't quite peaked yet and certainly if it has, we need to reduce our dependency on resources that we can't control access to, are bound to get more scarce, and more expensive from both a financial and environmental perspective. There are many reasons to do so, chief among them is our own personal and community resilience and the gorilla in the room, Climate Change. Just about anything you do in the modern western way of life is contributing to climate change and is dependent upon fossil fuels. It doesn't take a genius to see the risk to our well being of continuing down the path we are on. Business as usual will not do!

But weaning ourselves and community off of fossil fuel dependence is not an easy thing to imagine. Fortunately there are those who have already done it or are in process. On a large scale, Cuba had to deal with a rapid reduction of oil supply when the Soviet Union collapsed. On a smaller scale, towns like Totnes in England have become Transition Towns.
See a more complete list below of the 152 transition towns worldwide.

Transition is a growing movement designed to prepare ourselves for the coming of the hydrocarbon twins, Peak Oil (PO) and Climate Change (CC). I am currently involved in helping to start up a transition movement in Bermuda. As a result I am working with others to prepare some basic materials to begin to educate the public about the twin threats of PO and CC as well as the nuts and bolts of transition. As this process progresses I will post these materials here on this blog.

Here is what I have so far;

Transition initiatives are based on 4 key assumptions:
1. Life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable and it's better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise.
2. Our community presently lacks the resilience to enable them to weather the severe energy shocks that will accompany peak oil.
3. We have to act collectively and we have to act now.
4. Unleashing the collective genius of us all to creatively and proactively design our energy descent, we can build ways of living that are more connected, more enriching and that recognise the biological limits of the planet. (Hopkins 2008 p134)

6 principles underpin the model;
1. Visioning - imagine in detail what the goal is
2. Inclusion - all sectors involved with all other sectors
3. Awareness raising - start with an assumption that everyone is ignorant of the issues, insures that all are informed to an equal level. Mainstream media intentionally tries to downplay these issues and is therefore confusing.
4. Resilience - rebuilding resilience is central and crucial
5. Psych insights - understand and remain sensitive to the psychological impacts of the message
6. Credible and appropriate solutions - what can be achieved at a community level while still working on the personal and governmental levels. (Hopkins 2008 p142)

Here is a list of the "official" Transition Towns as found at the Transition Network WIKI
, many more are thinking over and are termed "mullers";
  1. Totnes, England
  2. Penwith, England
  3. Kinsale, Ireland
  4. Ivybridge, England
  5. Falmouth, England
  6. Moretonhampstead, England
  7. Lewes, England
  8. Stroud, England
  9. Ashburton, England
  10. Ottery St. Mary, England
  11. Bristol, England
  12. Brixton, England
  13. Forest Row, England
  14. Mayfield, England
  15. Glastonbury, England
  16. Lostwithiel, England
  17. Forest of Dean, England
  18. Nottingham, England
  19. Wrington, England
  20. Brighton&Hove, England
  21. Portobello, Scotland
  22. Market Harborough, England
  23. Sunshine Coast, Australia
  24. West Kirby, England
  25. Llandeilo, Wales
  26. Bro Ddyfi, Wales
  27. Whitstable, England
  28. Marsden & Slaithwaite, England
  29. Frome, England
  30. Brampton, England
  31. Isle of Wight, England
  32. Waiheke Island, New Zealand
  33. Orewa, New Zealand
  34. Dunbar, Scotland
  35. Rhayader, Wales
  36. Seaton, England
  37. Bath, England
  38. Exeter, England
  39. Isle of Man
  40. Canterbury, England
  41. Kapiti District, New Zealand
  42. Carbon Neutral Biggar, a Transition Town, Scotland
  43. Presteigne, Wales
  44. Wolverton, England
  45. Leicester, England
  46. Holywood, Northern Ireland
  47. Westcliff-on-Sea, England
  48. Isles of Scilly
  49. Liverpool South, England
  50. Norwich, England
  51. Tring, England
  52. Crediton, England
  53. Boulder, CO, USA
  54. North Howe, Scotland
  55. Lampeter, Wales
  56. South Petherton, England
  57. Armidale, NSW, Australia
  58. Chichester, England
  59. Bell, VIC, Australia
  60. Bellingen, NSW, Australia
  61. Berkhamsted, England
  62. Forres, Scotland
  63. Sandpoint, ID, USA
  64. Opotiki Coast, New Zealand
  65. Newcastle, NSW, Australia
  66. Chepstow, Wales
  67. Coventry, England
  68. Bungay, England
  69. Nelson, New Zealand
  70. Hervey Bay, QLD, Australia
  71. Dorchester, England
  72. New Forest, England
  73. Mersea Island, England
  74. Maidenhead, England
  75. Ladock & Grampound Road, England
  76. Leek, England
  77. Horsham, England
  78. Tynedale, England
  79. Stafford, England
  80. Chester, England
  81. Exmouth, England
  82. Cambridge, England
  83. Hereford, England
  84. Kingston-upon-Thames, England
  85. Buxton, England
  86. Taunton, England
  87. Eudlo, QLD, Australia
  88. Cotati, CA, USA
  89. Kildare, Scotland
  90. Ketchum, ID, USA
  91. El Manzano, Chile
  92. Sydney, NSW
  93. Lyons, CO, USA
  94. Whanganui, New Zealand
  95. Langport, England
  96. Sidmouth, England
  97. York, England
  98. Katoomba, NSW, Australia
  99. Louth, England
  100. Santa Cruz, CA, USA
  101. Fujino, Japan
  102. Monteveglio, Italy
  103. Arran & Holy Isle, Scotland
  104. Ely, England
  105. Monmouth, Wales
  106. Sampford Peverell, England
  107. Berlin, Friedrichshain Kreuzberg, Germany
  108. Tunbridge Wells, England
  109. Hastings, England
  110. Deventer, Netherlands
  111. Brooklyn, New Zealand
  112. Kilkenny, Ireland
  113. Wingecarribee, NSW, Australia
  114. Kenmore, QLD, Australia
  115. Newton Abbot, England
  116. Peterborough, ON, Canada
  117. Montpelier, VT, USA
  118. Portland, ME, USA
  119. Belsize, London, England
  120. High Wycombe, England
  121. Lancaster, England
  122. Sebastopol, CA, USA
  123. Bassingbourn, England
  124. Leamington Spa, England
  125. Sevenoaks, England
  126. Chesterfield, England
  127. Sheffield, England
  128. Woodbridge, England
  129. Laguna Beach, CA, USA
  130. Pine Mountain, CA, USA
  131. Ashland, OR, USA
  132. Kirkbymoorside, England
  133. Downham Market, England
  134. Berea, KY, USA
  135. Pima, AZ USA
  136. Dorking, England
  137. Hawick, Scotland
  138. Los Angeles, CA, USA
  139. Cooran, QLD, Australia
  140. Castle Ward, Bedford, England
  141. Tayport, Scotland
  142. Redland, Bristol England
  143. Barraba, NSW, Australia
  144. Denver, CO, USA
  145. Newent, England
  146. Whatcom, WA, USA
  147. Mount Shasta, CA, USA
  148. NE Seattle, WA USA
  149. Louisville, CO, USA
  150. Newburyport, MA, USA
  151. Omagh, Northern Ireland
  152. Oxford, England

Hopkins, R 2008 The Transition Handbook; From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience - published by Green Books

Transition Towns WIKI - Transition Network/Transition Communities http://transitiontowns.org/TransitionNetwork/TransitionCommunities

thanks to
Transition Towns WIKI - Transition Network/ Transition training for the image http://transitiontowns.org/TransitionNetwork/TransitionTraining

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