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The Transition-Town Economy

Posted: 2012-06-18
From: Mathaba
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by Tjerno

We are facing great challenges as the world seemingly stays oblivious at the problems of “Peak Oil” and “Climate Change”. The resilience of communities is impaired by the ever broadening globalisation that ships products, raw-materials, energy from where it is most common to where is generates the most profit. More than half the things we buy have travelled around the globe so that we can use, eat, wear them. The global economy is based on infinite growth as if unaware we live in a finite world and the decisions, having to come from politicians and economical leaders, needed to keep us from going down in this uncontrolled mayhem are being waited upon. We can't go on in this frenzy of robbing and polluting our planet.

So to generate an answer for themselves, to be able to face up to the challenges ahead and get some resilience to the glooming shortage of cheap energy, food and all we need in every aspect of our daily life, more and more communities are transitioning to a more local economy.

What is a Transition Initiative?

It's a community-led process bound to a geographical area to become less vulnerable, more resilient, stronger and often with that follows happier.

It's now happening in well over a thousand highly diverse communities across the world that have started up projects in areas of food, transport, energy, education, housing, waste, arts etc. as small-scale local responses to the global challenges of climate change, economic hardship and shrinking supplies of cheap energy. Together, these small-scale responses make up something much bigger and help show the way forward for governments, businesses and the rest of the world. It's the opposite of complaining about what's wrong all day , and instead, getting up and doing something constructive about it, alongside neighbours and fellow townsfolk. And people tell that as a result of being involved in their local "transition initiative", they're happier, their community feels more robust and they have made a lot of new friends.

The video above is a brief introduction to Transition from Rob Hopkins, author of the Transition Handbook, co-founder of Transition Network and Transition Town Totnes.

For most people, their own local community is where they can have the quickest and greatest impact. The hope is that when the governments see what communities can do in terms of this transition, it'll be easier for them to make decisions that support this work.

Apparently, the model started that has it's roots in the UK, is flexible enough for other cultures that face different challenges. The hope and goal of the Transition Network is that the very broad range of groups experimenting with the Transition model across the world are able to share successes and failures, adding strength and momentum to the whole movement.

So far, initiatives have started up in over 35 countries around the world leaving a long way to go but ever so faster growing in numbers as awareness rises .

Transition isn't a process defined by people who have all the answers, you need to be aware of a key fact; It truly isn't known if this will work. Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale.

What the Transition Network, its members and supporters are convinced of is this:

• if we wait for the governments, it'll be too little, too late

• if we act as individuals, it'll be too little

• but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.

Everything accomplished is the result of real work undertaken in the real world with community engagement at its heart. There's not an ivory tower in sight, no professors or scientists churning out incomprehensible papers, no inflexible plans that MUST be adhered to.

It starts with community gardens, organised ride-along services, educational lectures on permaculture and energy-management at home, community investments into wind and solar energy, and some communities like Totnes, Lewes and Bristol have even started with their own currencies that empowers the local economy and shields it from the volatility of the markets.

The “Transition Network” website, just like the Transition model, is made and conceived by people who are actively engaged in transition in their own community. People who are learning by doing - and learning all the time. People who understand that they can't sit back and wait for someone else to do the work. Hopefully the world is filled with them...

Links:

The transition Network website: https://www.transitionnetwork.org/

The movies:
http://www.intransitionmovie.com/

Videos:

Transition Towns Explained in 5 Minutes (Agenda 21?)

The Twelve Steps Rob Hopkins 1-6

The Twelve Steps Rob Hopkins 7-12

On “peak Oil”: Peak Oil - Visually Explained

Energy Shock: How Peak Oil Will Change Your Life

This article is based upon the introduction of the Transition Network website.

About Tsjerno

Just someone fed up by how the world is going down the drain. If I could shield myself from it I would. But unfortunetly it affects all of us. You can't run, you can't hide. So I fight the good fight, the good cause. Trying to see through the lies and deception, trying to put in my share and contribute to make this world wholesome. Regardles of nationality or creed. We started a transition town initiative. That's something local you can do. For the rest I try to be informed and inform. But a lot out there are still asleep!
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