Monday, October 6, 2008

Transition Towns, an Introduction

Whether peak oil and climate change actually will cause the degree of chaos that is predicted is not the issue, if we can develop a confident, self-reliant community, we will be better placed for the future whatever it brings.

The process of mobilising the skills and goodwill of a community to get prepared is called ‘transitioning’. The movement is called ‘transition culture’ as it aims to help communities develop their own strategies for moving into a world of decreased energy and resources, and developing food, water and transport security. The process has been proven to be an exciting and joyful one (tried in many areas of the UK and other parts of the world) as it does not concentrate on ideas and facts, but looks at the needs of people for social interaction, creativity, meaning in their life, hope for the future, and basic needs security .

To quote Rob Hopkins, author of The Transition Handbook:
The transition process is a process of re-localising all essential elements that a community needs to sustain itself and thrive. It builds local resilience in the face of the potentially damaging effects of Peak Oil, while dramatically reducing the community's carbon footprint. In this way, it addresses both Peak Oil and Climate Change.

If we plan and act early enough, and use our creativity and cooperation to unleash the genius within our local communities, then we can build a future that could be far more fulfilling and enriching, more connected and more gentle on the earth than the lifestyles we have today.

The three levels of action – global (eg Kyoto, oil depletion protocol and C&C), national (eg tradable energy quotas) and local (eg transition initiatives) – hold much promise to see humankind through the great energy transition of the 21st century.

As a species, we’ll be transitioning to a lower energy future whether we want to or not; Far better to ride that wave rather than getting engulfed by it.

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