Transition movement

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robshepler's picture
robshepler
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Posts: 112
Transition movement

Has anybody looked into the transition movement as a means to build community?

I am starting to dig into it and I am finding that it is pretty intriguing. It addresses peak oil and the need to build resilient communities based on local services.  Started in the UK by Rob Hopkins, there is quite a bit of background and history to work with when building an initiative. What has worked and what hasn't is there to draw from.

We have become market growers and we had an issue with an order for lady bugs, picked up the phone to call our organic supplier and got a call center in India. It pissed me off to be frank. It really drove home the need to IN-SOURCE jobs back to our communities and get our dollars going round and round inside our local business rather than having them take a one way trip out of our community never to return.

I would love your thoughts.

Rob

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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Posts: 1988
Transition movement thoughts\

As far as I can tell, you need to live near a transition town for it to matter much. Since I don't, my initial enthusiasm for the movement faded. I've been watching them on and off for almost ten years and nothing I have seen has changed that opinion. 

drbost's picture
drbost
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Posts: 66
Transitiion US

Have you visited the Transition US website (transitionus.org)?  There are good recommendations, online training, and links to resources about community building there that can be helpful in starting to build one's own neighborhood and community.

David Allan's picture
David Allan
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Transition or delusion?

Over the last 6 years I have been peripherally involved with with the transition movement. I've found almost no one involved , while they may be aware of peak oil and resource depletion,  has integrated the practical implications into their world view. Nice people but they will be in the same predicament as everyone else when the SHTF. We made our own transition more than 5 years ago - we moved to the country, established food resiliency and have almost achieved a net food positive property ( fruit and nut trees take a long time!).

If you think you'll be driving to the supermarket in your electric car in 20 years time TT  is a movement for you. Otherwise there are more practical places to spend your time.

I've read various material from the founder of Transition Towns , Rob Hopkins  (hmmm this post is started by Robs helper - could there be a connection?? ) Anyway Hopkins  seems not to understand the behaviour of complex systems, the possibility of tipping points and the potential (liklihood) of catastrophic consequences manifesting quite suddenly. Enough said

robshepler's picture
robshepler
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Posts: 112
Fed up!

Thanks for your input!

As I wander our rural community I find that folks are frustrated with our economic system and our political system and are open to change. Righties and Lefties seem to unite around the thought of a local community driven economic system where we all agree to buy from each other even if it is a bit more expensive. If we can make our dollars go round and round within our community we can create wealth.

We have had an eight year head start in preparing for the SHTF event, our ranch is an intentional family back up plan. If and when it goes down our kids can leave the city and have a place to live a good life. We are a net producer of organic food, we have taken on the management of two farmers markets and we are helping to grow growers. We are making an impact in our community and we are feeling the love.

We are an isolated mountain community, most of us drive off the mountain (about an hour) to buy our goods. Walmart seems to get the bulk of the dollars we spend, people understand that those dollars go out of our community forever.

No mater who I talk to there is a general sense that we have lost control. There is also a general sense of excitement that we might be able to do something to support the economic well being of those that live here, particularly among those in their 20's and 30's. They seem to be a generation that recognizes that our systems have left us behind.

I have a friend who's answer is to buy more guns to protect his freeze dried food, might work for a little while......

A community of folks prepared for the future will fair better than us as individuals. How do we do it? There is POWER in community. What is the right model to use to get us there?

I put this out to the PP community, we have been working on our own plans of survival, how do we increase our own viability by expanding our vision and include our neighbors?

People FEEL it in their gut, something is wrong and they are open to doing something.

What is the next right thing? How can we take advantage of the general malaise that exists in our population to build our network and increase our chances?

If feels as if the time is right.

Rob

 

 

robshepler's picture
robshepler
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Joined: Apr 16 2010
Posts: 112
drbost, yep!

"The Transition Handbook" just came in and I am starting to read it. I even have a facebook friend that helped to start the transition initiative in Albuquerque, she has offered her help.

I am looking for the right model for our community, the right wingers out number the left wingers here and I am not sure that this model will appeal to them. The right model will involve ALL of us.

Should there be a PP model?

Thoughts?

robshepler's picture
robshepler
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Joined: Apr 16 2010
Posts: 112
David Allan you are right....

No connection other than interest in what has worked anywhere.

I have read a ton of data on peak oil beginning with the Hirsch Report, spend enough time in those papers and you are ready to jump off a cliff. Who can blame someone for a positive approach to what can be a very sobering subject?

As I recall Hirsch recommended a 20 year head start and a moon shot type of an approach. It was written in 2005 and our government has not begun to get to work on it..........probably never will.

I am not sure that the Transition movement is a fit for our community, but I know for a fact that there is a desire for change and a desire to improve our lives driven by those that live here.

What do you think might work?

Should there be a PP model?

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
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Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 572
comments on Transition Town concept

I read Hopkins' manual a few years ago.  His movement started in a small British town.  To find an equivalent community entity in the USA is the problem.  Most small towns in the US are gutted of any sense of community. Those who aren't are centered around an agricultural model that depends on big farms and government subsidies.  An equivalent US entity might be an HOA in a community that was very 'green' oriented.  A similar community might be started around a CSA.  Also possibly an urban community association that has organized to provided a unified voice to the larger city government..  Americans tend to still take the Lone Ranger approach to solving our problems.  A typical farm in the US has the farm house on the property.  In many European countries, the farmers live in the village and go out to their farms. I guess this is a holdover from medieval times, but it lends itself to much more of a small functional community structure like that in Hopkins' experience. 

David Allan's picture
David Allan
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Joined: Nov 15 2009
Posts: 109
becomming the change

Hi Rob,

I think the answer is to connect with like minded people - wherever you find them. I did meet a few through transition towns ( though as mentioned I found the TT movement as a whole did not embody the level of urgency that I feel.)

I've also met people through the Tree Crops association and through seed saving connections and locally. Everyone has a different perspective but it is sometimes surprising who you meet that shares similar deep concerns.

As Chris said in his recent article on volatility 'So it’s up to you, the one reading this, to lead the way by becoming the change you wish to see.'

Personally, I'm growing into the role of being a local centre of resilience rather than trying to change peoples attitudes.

Good luck to you

David

Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
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Joined: Jun 29 2012
Posts: 578
Ireland

My wife and I are planning a trip from Texas (where we live) to Ireland, and hope to tour some Organic Farms. We want to experience their centuries old sustainable models, as we try to transition on our homestead, and in our community.  Any recommendations of specific farms would be greatly appreciated.

robshepler's picture
robshepler
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Posts: 112
Oliveoilguy

Don't know where you are in Texas, we are next door in New Mexico. If you are out our way (Cloudcroft-Ruidoso area) please come see our place. This old ranch has been here for over a hundred years, we are mixing the old with the new. PM me if you are interested.

Waterdog14's picture
Waterdog14
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Posts: 133
Joining an organization vs. finding your tribe

Robshelper - I struggle with the same issue in trying to find a model for community that will enlighten and connect us in preparedness, resiliency, local food security, personal responsibility for our health, and true prosperity.  I even started a local Community Capital Group a few years back, but have now tabled that one until the current monetary system craters and we truly need a new accounting system.  I looked into the Transition Towns movement and found it lacking in "nuts & bolts" practicality. 

The "resilience community" here seems to be developing around local food.  Our local nonprofit (Mountain Roots Food Project) started a multi-farmer CSA and our fledgling farm is providing produce and eggs each week.  Mountain Roots and our local farmer's market both hold workshops in food preservation/drying, growing food, pickling, fermentation, mushroom hunting, etc.  The farmers market calls their workshops the "Sustainable Lifestyle Series" and are open to almost any topic we would like to present.  So there's an opportunity to weave the Prosper! skills into a workshop and connect with more people that way.  We had our inaugural Local Harvest Dinner this month, and the patio at the Arts Center was filled with energetic, salt-of-the-earth, local foodies.

I hosted a session on processing poultry earlier this month and about 8 people came to learn how to kill, scald, pluck, eviscerate, and package our pasture-raised poultry.  In our case, our community doesn't seem to need another organization to join (e.g., Transition Towns) but we do need to connect around issues that resonate with people. 

That said, I'm still looking into creating a deeply connected tribe, along the lines of Bill Kauth and Zoe Alowan (www.timefortribe.com).  It looks almost too intense, yet I think it might be the next step.      

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