The Transition Handbook
February 21, 2009 9:12 AM   Subscribe

The Transition Handbook should be helpful to you if you are a proponent of planned energy descent and independence from fossil fuels and would like to start a Transition Town of your own.
The transition model emboldens communities to look peak oil and climate change squarely in the eye and unleash the collective genius of their own people to find the answers to this big question: for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how are we going to:
  • significantly rebuild resilience (in response to peak oil); and
  • drastically reduce carbon emissions (in response to climate change)?
The Transition Network
If you're interested in learning more about the movement, don't miss:
posted by sciurus (9 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
This is interesting. Thank you for posting.
I've ranted about something similar on the blue before, so I like this (from Chapter 6):
How insights from the addictions field help the environmental movement understand how change happens

posted by yoHighness at 10:25 AM on February 21, 2009

This is awesome. I have been discussing options like this with friends and family for where we want to be in 10 years. I already have some friends with land outside the White Mountains looking to start their own farm.

Local community movements can do some amazing things.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:32 AM on February 21, 2009

Tar sands are akin to arriving at the pub to find that all the beer is off, but so desperate are you for a drink that you begin to fantasise that in the thirty years this pub has been open for business, the equivalent of 5,000 pints have been spilt on this carpet, so you design a process whereby you boil up the carpet in order to extract the beer again.
Fantastic analogy.
posted by AmberV at 10:35 AM on February 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks sciurus- I conducted that interview with Rob Hopkins on GPM, glad to see the Transition movement now finally getting some traction.
posted by andihazelwood at 2:09 PM on February 21, 2009

I really like this effort. The people I've met who are pushing it have amazing ambition, but a grounded stance it what it takes to make change happen. It is one of the first that I have seen that really connects the energy issues, carbon issues, and planning issues in a way that is both meaningful and accessible enough to be successful. Thanks for the reminder to formally sign up to our local transition town team!
posted by meinvt at 3:21 PM on February 21, 2009

Part of me thinks this is awesome. I can't knock any effort to do grassroots organizing, so ultimately I wish more power to them.

The other part of me thinks these people should stop dreaming and discussing the psychology of transition and go work for their local infrastructure district or city council. They're like "we can all come together and change the world!" but to some extent they seem to be ignoring the fact that the hard work to change the world is happening in a hundred bajillion time-consuming efforts underway now. If you have to choose between studying permaculture and studying something else, I'd say go get a degree in wastewater engineering or something and figure out how to de-oil-dependify an actual, real world wastewater plant. Making this transition is not some utopian dream that'll happen if we just get everybody on-board and smiling. It's a million decisions that are battled over every day.

Take for example the California state budget deal that just passed, in which all public transit subsidies for FY10 were cut (the so-called "Armageddon scenario" for transit), and (of all the tax increases to not implement) the proposed gas tax hike was dropped. I wish the effort that people put into painting some happy, smiling future had gone into phone banking to organize Republican voters to save transit funding. What helps the transition more, a website, or keeping transit functioning well for a state of 3 million people so that those riding buses now don't get out of the habit when the bus suddenly comes only once an hour (and potentially lose their jobs to boot)?

But again, their effort is better than nothing and who knows, could really go somewhere. Maybe next year, Transition California can get on the phones and get transit funding reinstated. That'd be awesome.
posted by salvia at 5:19 PM on February 21, 2009

i'm glad saliva said what they did, and thats basically my issue.

i have an a version to branding of rebranding. this is rebranding what folks are already doing, and have been, in order to attract more folks into it, which is ultimately for the best. I dislike it in the same way that I dislike folks talking about "permaculture"

The TT thing is definitely in the early planning stages, but its heavy on talk, social network, and planning aspects, not on the hard work part.

I wish people would stop 2.0ing everything and just walk over to their neighbor's house that they don't know and invite them to dinner.

All in all, this is a great resource for folks who have never thought about this kind of thing

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have survival blog
posted by sponge at 6:55 PM on February 21, 2009

Survival Blog reminds me of the Holnists in David Brin's The Postman.
posted by sciurus at 5:37 AM on February 22, 2009

Yeah theyre pretty intense over there, but they are responding to the question 'is today's world too complex to be stable in the long term?' with 'we don't know, lets prepare in as sane a way as possible'

i cant imagine anyone will 'transition' better than the hard working folks over there.
posted by sponge at 9:52 PM on February 25, 2009

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