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

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The Transition Handbook

I've been trying to develop interest in starting a transition movement here in Bermuda. My primary resource and recommendation is "The Transition Handbook" by Rob Hopkins. I've been thinking of writing a review for this blog but now one of my favorite bloggers over on Celsias, Jeremy Williams has done it before me.

This book really is a wonderful resource, full of pithy quotes, rationale for starting a transition movement, and practical guidance in getting the job done. I also recommend Rob Hopkins blog Transition Culture. Here's an excerpt from Jeremy's review;

"‘The Transition Handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience ‘ is the guidebook to the Transition Towns movement. It explains the problems of peak oil and climate change, re-localization and resilience as responses that will transition us to a post-carbon future, and how you can set up your own transition initiative.

All of this is divided into three broad sections, ‘the head’, ‘the heart’, and ‘the hands’. First, the problem, and Hopkins explains peak oil and climate change in simple and straightforward terms. He avoids the controversies, and focuses on the local - these are things that will affect each of us, in our every day lives. The two must be addressed together, as there are many solutions that will tackle both, and other solutions to one that will make the other worse. The US government’s Hirsch report for example, recommends coal to liquids for keeping cars on the road - a neat solution to peak oil, but devastating to climate change. Instead, a focus on efficiency and public transport would deal with both. ...

‘The Hands’ gets down to the practical details, from the principles of Permaculture, how to write a press release, working with a local council, films to show, the experiences of Totnes and Lewes, the first projects. There are sections on running productive meetings or discussions with large numbers of people. It’s practical and realistic, and really does feel like a handbook or a manual. I should also mention that from a design point of view, The Transition Handbook is a nice piece of work. It’s big and square and has wide margins that invite you to scribble notes. In its message and design, it’s a book that wants you to be involved, to add your story to the transition tales.

Transition Towns is the rarest of things, being a response to climate change and peak oil that is positive and proactive. “Too often environmentalists try to engage people in action by painting apocalyptic visions of the future as a way of scaring them into action” says Hopkins. “What would happen if we came at this the other way round, painting a picture of the future so enticing that people instinctively feel".

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