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Transition Towns on the move

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletinhomepage


Transition Town networking site for the United States - beginning of a movement?

Transition United States
TRANSITION UNITED STATES is a networking site for those interested in exploring and/or implementing the Transition model in their community. This site is being created through grassroots participation, and is continually evolving. It is a spontaneously arising effort to connect 'transitioners' with each other and to encourage and support the development of local Transition Initiatives.

The Transition approach empowers communities to squarely face the challenges of peak oil and climate change, and to unleash the collective genius of their own people to find the answers to this momentous question: ...

All 50 States in the U.S. are now live. Encourage people you know in each state to join and contribute to their respective localities. Tell us what's happening in your local area. Help us locate the movers, shakers, and catalysts in your locality, and in your area.
(January 2009)
A exciting development -- this is beginning to feel like a real movement! -BA

List of Transition U.S. Activities & Resources
Transition California Online by Bob Banner (the story of the site)



Post Carbon Institute launches a partnership with Transition United States

Shelby Tay and Asher Miller, Relocalize.net
Message to all Relocalize.net members

Summary:

Post Carbon Institute launches a partnership with Transition United States to continue to inspire and support communities as they shift quickly away from dependence on fossil fuels
Body:

Dear Relocalize.net members,

We are excited to announce that Post Carbon Institute has launched a partnership with Transition United States to continue to inspire and support communities as they shift quickly away from dependence on fossil fuels. The challenges we now face as a result of peak oil and climate change require all the collaboration and coordination we can muster. Rather than have two similar but distinct efforts to aid citizens as they prepare for a post carbon world, we are pleased to work together with the Transition movement, which has been hugely successful in establishing relocalization projects around the world.

Post Carbon Institute will be providing financial, operational, and strategic support to the newly formed Transition United States. As part of this partnership, we will be shifting our focus away from maintaining relocalize.net as an online community platform. We will be working directly with groups to identify their needs and transition content on relocalize.net to other web hosting platforms. More information about this process will be posted next week. We are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible.

Many members of the Relocalization Network have already been involved with the Transition Network and are familiar with the Transition model, which was founded by Rob Hopkins in the UK. If you have yet to explore the Transition movement, we encourage you to visit the links listed below. You can also download the Transition Primer (PDF).

While the partnership with Transition United States will focus on supporting communities within the US, Transition initiatives are growing by leaps and bounds in New Zealand and Australia and are just beginning in earnest in Canada. Browse the emerging list of official Transition Initiatives worldwide.

We wish to thank everyone for all their creativity, openness, patience, encouragement, and hard work in making the Relocalization Network into such a vibrant community over the past few years. It has been our huge pleasure to work with everyone and we hope to continue our relationships with members of the network through the development of this partnership.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at team @ relocalize.net.

Very best wishes,
Shelby and Asher

(15 January 2009)
Links about Transition Town movement at original




Transition Town Movement Gains Traction in New Zealand

Ray Songtree, Motueka Guardian (New Zealand)

Navigating the Future
by Transition Town Motueka, New Zealand

... From the oil decline projections outlined above, we see tourism contracting severely and permanently. Although right now tourism is doing okay, the unemployment crisis will soon be a world wide front page topic. We are calling a heads up reality check for all tourist-based businesses here in Motueka and throughout the region. We will see discretionary spending dry up, and a domino effect as we all tighten our belts and spend less. All retail businesses except those supplying basic necessities will be affected.

In this realistic crystal ball, we see little need for new housing tracts, as buyers will be scarce in the Depression we are facing. The whole business of loans will change also. Many baches will become year-round homes. We see more and more families living with grandparents, or even sharing housing with other families. We see no need for new industrial zones, because many businesses will fail, leaving empty commercial property available for new transition enterprises. We do not see a steady 1.3% growth rate at all, but something much more unpredictable, with Australians fleeing from drought, Europeans leaving over populated cities, and especially, suburban Kiwis spreading out from every city and relocating to rural farms. Some areas will depopulate and others get more settled.

While there is presently an exodus of young people seeking employment overseas, world wide Depression could bring back many in droves. Will Motueka contract down to the need for agriculture and horticultural workers? Or will it explode with desperate families crowding every sleep-out? Many in Transition Town movement see these and other possibilities all happening much sooner than 25 years.

All Transition Town thinkers agree that the present status quo is not sustainable.

We do not see endless growth. We see a reversal. Then we see transformation. We see people learning to produce the necessities for their families and trading surplus with their neighbours. Necessities, not luxuries. Lawns will become potato patches. Knitting will come back. We will learn to compost everything, including our own 'soil inputs'. Over time mechanized work will go back to manual work. And there will be new opportunities. All houses may be insulated and solarized. Fiber processing. Clothing. Horse power. Cycle shops. Shoe makers.... And some industries shipped overseas will return to service New Zealand.

We see hard times ahead, but are not depressed about this, because we have had time to accept it. For some readers, these conclusions are new and difficult to read and will take some time to accept. When one really understands what this all means, it may feel like the party is over. It is. The 'cheap oil' consumption party of the last 60 years is over. Though it is unpopular to be party poopers, we, as intelligent caring people feel that now we must blow the whistle, the realistic whistle. That our crystal ball is backed by very legitimate counsel, gives us some courage in this 'against the grain' message.

Adversity is a challenge, not depressing. Changing lifestyles is difficult, not scary. We humans are smart and strong and will adapt using a combination of old time traditional skills and newer technology while we still can afford it. Necessity is the mother of invention. Young people are fearless. This is the vision of Transition Towns, and is why over 50 towns and cities in New Zealand have groups preparing for the realisitic future, all signing up in the last 12 months.

So what does Transtion Town Movement propose exactly? If the status quo is not sustainable, what's next?

Our main message is that globalization will contract, and localization, the return of self sufficient communities, must emerge. This transition will be very difficult, because the unemployed will need their neighbours to give them some form of occupation before the reorganization comes about, or they will be forced towards crime. We don't want that. We want a transition to a new self-reliant community, not chaos. There will be a period of haves and have nots. This is the dangerous time. Only compassion will ease this period. The gap between global retailing and healthy local production is tough because presently almost all our clothing, 60% of NZ food, and even our toilet paper comes from overseas.

How will we navigate this? Council has no mandate to aid this transition, and national government is alligned with World Trade Organization policies which have a blind disregard for local producers. Because of this vacuum of leadership to protect local communities, the grassroots Transition Town Movement, starting in UK just a couple years ago, has come forth quickly worldwide. Forward looking people know the status quo won't last, are anxious, and are now grouping up and starting to talk. We are facing a Depression! How it works is small groups of people sharing areas of interest or expertise form project goals. We are just beginning this formation.

Let's have a realistic 2009. New Zealand will harvest this year while the northern countries are beginning to face huge problems. When their summer comes in 6 months, this Depression will be in full swing and we, in our coming winter, have a period of planning to be shouldered. By next October we need to start taking care of each other in new ways. Neighbour will need to help neighbour. As soon as we can, we need to map how this transition might occur because no one but ourselves is creating a plan. As things get tense, who will be cool? We will. ...

New Zealand TT groups can be found at www.transitiontowns.org.nz
(13 January 2009)
Not posted at the Motueka Guardian website. I hope the full article will be posted at the Transition Towns New Zealand website.

Author Ray Songtree writes:
This post offers some hope to those worrying alone about these huge issues. Grass roots movement is arising despite status quo denial. In sending this article to World Watch Institute, I found that their staff had never heard of Transition Town Movement. With that realization, I send article to the Energy Bulletin readers.

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