What is a Transition Town?

Here’s how it all appears to be evolving…

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?

They begin by forming an initiating group and then adopt the Transition Model with the intention of engaging a significant proportion of the people in their community to kick off a Transition Initiative.

A Transition Initiative is a community working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:
“for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

After going through a comprehensive and creative process of:

  • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
  • connecting with existing groups in the community
  • building bridges to local government
  • connecting with other transition initiatives
  • forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
  • kicking off projects aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
  • eventually launching a community defined, community implemented “Energy Descent Action Plan” over a 15 to 20 year timescale

This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we’ve lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community’s carbon emissions drastically.

The community also recognises two crucial points:

  • that we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and
  • that there’s no reason for us not to do the same on the down-slope

if we collectively plan and act early enough there’s every likelihood that we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today.

Final point

Just to weave the climate change and peak oil situations together…
Climate change makes this carbon reduction transition essential
Peak oil makes it inevitable
Transition initiatives make it feasible, viable and attractive (as far we can tell so far…)

(Personal Note from Cllr Graves)

It’s also about taking the politics out of the green agenda because it’s more, much more, important than that. It’s not about what each of the various political parties are doing to attract your vote by looking to care about green issues, it’s about us all taking responsibility for the way we live and finding a more sustainable, more community responsible manner, in which to live our lives. Because when Peak Oil hits (and it’s not far off) the world will change dramatically and it’s better that we be ready for that change, than just hoping someone (government) will do everything for us when the time comes.

It’s also about having fun whilst getting to that more sustainable point. The green agenda has, up till recent, been mostly about a kind of haranguing / puritanical, message. It doesn’t have to be that way. It can be fun and encouraging to change the way we live and this approach will, in turn, help to recreate local, mostly self sustainable, communities; which can only be a good thing.