Transition Ojai is now live!
The Transition Town movement represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people and communities to take the far-reaching actions that are required to mitigate the effects of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Here in Ojai I see the Transition Town model as a way to bring together and empower many different community projects, organizations and endeavors that are part of creating a sustainable community.
The first in a series of informative Transition Town meetings will be held on Tuesday, January 12, 7pm, at 1215 Drown Avenue, Ojai (above Grand, last house on left before intersection with Pleasant Ave).
For more information contact Wayne Thompson at 805 798 2152 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
How Do Transition Towns Begin?
It all starts off when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared
concern: How can our community respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil and Climate Change?
Answer: The path of cooperation, conservation and sharing, along with, the path of community solidarity and preservation; in a word: Resilience. A Resilient Community is one that is able to respond and adapt to internal and external shocks while still maintaining its basic function and structure, and is, more generally, an approach of community proactivity as opposed to reactivity.
We are living in an age of unprecedented change, with a number of crises converging. Climate change, global economic instability, overpopulation, erosion of community, declining biodiversity, and resource wars, have all stemmed from the availability of cheap, non-renewable fossil fuels. Global oil, gas and coal production is predicted to irreversibly decline in the next 10 to 20 years, and severe climate changes are already taking effect around the world. The coming shocks are likely to be catastrophic if we do not prepare.
As Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything, states: “Our central survival task for the decades ahead, as individuals and as a species, must be to make a transition away from the use of fossil fuels – and to do this as peacefully, equitably, and intelligently as possible”.
(Note: Richard Heinberg is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators. A journalist, educator, editor, lecturer, and a Core Faculty member of New College of California where he teaches a program on “Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Community, he is the author of eight books including, The Party’s Over and Powerdown.)
The Transition movement represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people and communities to take the far-reaching actions that are required to mitigate the effects of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Furthermore, these relocalization efforts are designed to result in a life that is more fulfilling, more socially connected and more equitable than the one we have today.
The Transition Model is based on a loose set of real world principles and practices that have been built up over time through experimentation and observation of communities as they drive forward to reduce carbon emissions and build community resilience. Underpinning the model is a recognition of the following:
* Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Economic Crisis require urgent action
* Adaptation to a world with less oil is inevitable
* It is better to plan and be prepared, than be taken by surprise
* Industrial society has lost the resilience to be able to cope with shocks to its systems
* We have to act together and we have to act now
* We must negotiate our way down from the “peak” using all our skill, ingenuity and intelligence
* Using our creativity and cooperation to unleash the collective genius within our local communities will lead to a more abundant, connected and healthier future for all.
The Transition Movement believes that is up to us in our local communities to step into a leadership position on this situation. We need to start working now to mitigate the interrelated effects of peak oil, climate change, and the economic crisis, before it is too late. Together we can make a difference.
History of the Transition Town Movement
In 2001 Rob Hopkins began teaching a Practical Sustainablity course at the Community College in Kinsale, Ireland, based on the principles of Permaculture. It was the first two-year Permaculture-based course ever taught in Ireland and attracted very strong enrolments.
In the second year of the second course, in 2005, Rob Hopkins saw the film “The End of Suburbia” and subsequently showed it to his class. Around the same time he had Colin Campbell, the founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO), come and speak to his class. These two events put Peak Oil very firmly on the agenda of sustainability issues for the course and the combination of climate change and peak oil was given a lot of thought and attention for the rest of the course.
In June 2005 Rob organised a two day conference on “the challenge and opportunity of peak oil” with speakers such as Richard Heinberg, author of ‘Peak Everything’. As a final assignment for his graduating class, Rob set them the challenge of coming up with a well-researched and meaningful set of plans for the local Kinsale community to adjust itself to a future challenged by the need to address its carbon emissions and the economic impacts of a growing scarcity of cheap oil. This project was subsequently presented to the community and the local government authorities and it was given the name “Energy Descent Action Plan”.
The community and local government authorities, along with the college, then took the plan and begand working at expanding it, modifying and implementing it. This was the first attempt in the world at designing a timetabled strategy for weaning a town off fossil fuels, and towards a lower carbon footprint.
In September 2005, Rob moved to Totnes in Devon, England to commence work on a PhD through Plymouth University. Inspired and informed by his experience in Kinsale, Rob then co-founded the first “Transition Town” initiative in Totnes in 2006.
The rest, as they say, is history. From the learnings of the Totnes initiative and the great efforts by Rob and others to communicate their experience with the “Transition Model”, it has inspired the start up of similar initiatives all over the world.
To read more on the Rob Hopkins story and the beginnings of the Transition Towns movement click here:
10 First Steps for a Transition Town Initiative