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Transition & responses - Oct 12

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage.


Global Work Party: 10/10/10 day of climate action
(photo slideshow)
Guardian
Environmental campaigners planted trees, collected rubbish and rallied against pollution yesterday in more than 7,000 community events in 188 countries around the world. Organisers 350.org claimed the 'Global Work Party' was the largest day of environmental activism in history
(11 October 2010)



Review of the Totnes Energy Descent Action Plan
(PDF)
Michelle Colussi, i4 magazine
.The Transition Town model is a series of steps or ingredients for engaging a whole community in the process of reducing reliance on fossil fuels. The model assumes that life with less oil is inevitable, and that making the changes required is up to us – to you and me. It also assumes that everyone needs to be part of the solution. Residents of Totnes, England first developed the model in about 2005. Today, close to 500 communities around the world have adopted it and are recognized as “Transition Towns.” An international Transition Network has formed to connect these initiatives and support training related to the model.

You might say that the purpose of Transition Towns is to build a community’s awareness, knowledge, engagement, relationships, and tools such that it can complete a multi-sector, comprehensive Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP) and have the capacity to implement it. The EDAP presents a long-term vision of life with less oil in major sectors of community life, and then identifies the incremental steps required to get there.

... This spring, Totnes published their EDAP: Transition in Action - Totnes and District 2030, an energy descent action plan. Running at over 200 pages, it sheds some light on these questions. If your Transition Town is wondering how to organize and carry out an EDAP process of its own, Transition in Action is a great place to start.

... Transition in Action does not actually define “readiness” anywhere that I could find. But reading between the lines, I detect the following:

  • If you have solid Working Groups, in major sectors, with a bit of success behind them …

  • If your core group functions well and likewise has some stability and success …
  • If you have some likelihood of getting paid staff to manage the process …
  • and if you have some positive partnerships and relationships with other key organizations and government …

… then you are likely ready to start planning your EDAP process.

... In short, as impressive a document as Transition In Action is, it falls short of being an Energy Descent Action Plan. Instead, it seems to be more of a vision – a remarkably explicit, exciting, and community-based vision that tells us exactly what is to come about, but not how or by whom. Ultimately, the document acts like more of an Energy Descent Invitation, than a Plan. It entices other communities to have a go at the process for themselves. Given the time and resources that an EDAP will require, will this invitation be compelling enough?
(30 September 2010)
The article was re-posted as HTML at Transition Culture. Rob Hopkins writes:

... here is a detailed and fascinating review of the Totnes one by Michelle Colussi, from i4 magazine. It offers some excellent insights and well informed commentary on the Plan, and argues that it should really be thought of as an ‘Invitation’ rather than a Plan. The Totnes EDAP is still available here.

-BA



Oxfordshire town sees human waste used to heat homes

Dhruti Shah, BBC News
Householders in Didcot have become the first in the UK to use gas made from their own human waste and supplied via the national grid to heat their homes.

Up to 200 Oxfordshire homes will be using biomethane made from sewage they had flushed away three weeks earlier.

British Gas, Thames Water and Scotia Gas Networks now hope to roll out the process across the UK.

According to an EU directive, by 2020 the UK must ensure 15% of the energy it produces comes from renewable sources.

Martin Orrill, head of energy, technology and innovation at British Gas told the BBC News website supplying this type of gas through the national grid was a logical step in the UK's bid to meet these targets.

He added that customers had no need to feel squeamish but should be proud of taking part in the unusual recycling effort.

"They will not notice any difference as the renewable energy source has no odour, and the infrastructure to deliver the gas is already in place," he said.

The whole process should take about 23 days from flush to finish.

The practice of using anaerobic digesters - carefully managed bacteria - to turn faeces into a means of generating electricity is already well established across the country.
(4 October 2010)



Transition and Social Enterprise: a short film

Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
Here is a great short film made by Harvest Creative for EMSSE (East Midlands School for Social Entrepreneurs) about the exciting overlaps between Transition and social enterprise, which will be a core theme of the second edition of the Transition Handbook. Excellent stuff…

In May 2010 Harvest Creative made this film for EMSSE (East Midlands School for Social Entrepreneurs).
http://www.harvestcreative.co.uk
(11 October 2010)
Co-editor Simone has been talking about "social enterprises," and I had no idea what she was getting at. This video explains the concept. Well, good. People have been asking about how they can make a living through Transition projects - here's the beginning of an answer.

For more information, the video refers us to The Business of Transition.

-BA



Google Invests in $5bn Wind-Power Superhighway

Edward Helmore, Guardian
The Atlantic Wind Connection Project will serve 1.9m homes from New Jersey to Virginia with electricity from dozens of offshore windfarms
---
Google is extending its investment in green technology with a $5bn (£3.2bn) programme to build an undersea, wind energy transmission backbone along 350 miles of the Atlantic seaboard.

Today's announcement offers hope that further investment will pour into the lagging US wind-energy programme. Consistent wind through Montana and the Dakotas, off the South Carolina coast and across the Texas panhandle gives the US windfarm industry an opportunity to supply significant amounts of electricity to the grid.
The grid project, which stands to serve 1.9m homes from Virginia to New Jersey with up to 6,000 megawatts of electric power from dozens of windfarms 10 miles off the mid-Atlantic coast, is the most ambitious of its kind.
(12 October 2010)



Rob Hopkins Interview with OneWorldTV

OneWorldTV via Transition Culturre
Here is an interview I did recently via. Skype with the OneWorldTV people who are broadcasting from the current rather unproductive climate talks in China. We had a few technical hitches but we got there in the end…

(12 October 2010)

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