View Full Version : Rob Hopkins: Transition to a world without oil

15th December 2010, 12:40

(mods -pls embed this here if its at all possible, thanks !!)

18th December 2010, 01:13
I thought this was worth a bump... its interesting to note that one of these transitional communities has even printed their own currency...

Why you should listen to him:

Rob Hopkins leads a vibrant new movement of towns and cities that utilize local cooperation and interdependence to shrink their ecological footprints. In the face of climate change he developed the concept of Transition Initiatives -- communities that produce their own goods and services, curb the need for transportation and take other measures to prepare for a post-oil future. While Transition shares certain principles with greenness and sustainability, it is a deeper vision concerned with re-imagining our future in a self-sufficient way and building resiliency.

Transforming theory to action, Hopkins is also the co-founder and a resident of the first Transition Initiative in the UK, in Totnes, Devon. As he refuses to fly, it is from his home in Totnes that he offers help to hundreds of similar communities that have sprung up around the world, in part through his blog, transitionculture.org

Hopkins, who's trained in ecological design, wrote the principal work on the subject, Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience, a 12-step manual for a postcarbon future.

"Rob Hopkins is the Gentle Giant of the green movement, and his timely and hugely important book reveals a fresh and empowering approach that will help us transition into a materially leaner but inwardly richer human experience."

Dr Stephan Harding, author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia

his website is here....http://transitionculture.org/

18th December 2010, 01:20

The actual practical work of implementing STRATEGIES FOR PLUGGING THE LEAKS (5.6), making LOCAL FOOD INITIATIVES (3.10) a reality, creating a community culture of SOCIAL ENTERPRISE/ENTREPRENEURSHIP (5.2) and enabling the COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP OF ASSETS (5.8) and COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE/FARMS/BAKERIES etc (5.9), all ideally in a way that has, perhaps, been identified in your ENERGY DESCENT ACTION PLAN (5.1), will require new infrastructure, whether physical or notional, to be put into place.

(We are collecting and discussing these Transition ingredients on Transition Network’s website to keep all comments in one place. Please leave feedback and comments, suggestions for alternative pictures, anecdotes, stories and projects for this ingredient here).

The Challenge

The infrastructure required for a more localised and resilient future, the energy systems, the mills, the food systems and the abbatoirs, has been largely ripped out over the past 50 years as oil made it cheaper to work on an ever-increasingly large scale, and their reinstallation will not arise by accident. They will need to be economically viable, supported by their local communities, owned and operated by people with the appropriate skills, and linked together.

Core Text

“ The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”.

Winston Churchill.

The picture above shows the last working mill to close in Totnes. It was situated in the centre of the town, was powered by the river than runs past it, and deliveries were made to and from it using a horse drawn wagon. How’s that for a low-carbon local food enterprise? Now it is the town’s Tourist Information Office, and a very good one at that., but clearly it is much easier to turn a flour mill into a Tourist Information Office than it is to turn a Tourist Information Office into a mill again.

Much of the infrastructure that would have traditionally supported a more local food economy, and have generated much of the employment in our communities has since been dismantled, converted into flats, converted to other uses. Quite clearly, the infrastructure most settlements have today is completely unequipped for functioning in an energy-scarce context. We aren’t able to grow much of our own food, process the milk from our local fields, turn our local timber into useful things, process milk into cheese, apples into cider, wool into, well, wool (clean, useable wool that is). We will need to put it back, but it won’t look like it used to look, and it probably won’t work the way it used to either. It will be appropriate to now, based on the best way of doing things that we have figured out thus far, and it will be managed for the benefit of the community.

So what new businesses, buildings, livelihoods and infrastructure might a Transitioned community need? Here is a list I came up with in order to get your Transition initiative started with coming up with its own…. just a few initial thoughts… you will notice that actually there are lots of things, lots of opportunities for local economic development, that actually require very little in the way of infrastructure, or perhaps it shifts our thinking away from a nuts and bolts interpretation of the word ‘infrastructure’:

Awesome to see, people joining and talking about how we are going to move from where we are now... to where we want to get to........

Very encouraging to see, together we can create these changes....