The Transition Declaration of Independence

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The Transition Declaration of Independence

via http://transitionculture.org/2009/01/15/the-transition-declaration-of-in...

Transition Declaration of Independence
Adapted from the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America
Thomas Jefferson, 1776
Adaptation by Dr. Susan Krumdieck, 2008

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the economic bands which have connected them with
another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, Justice, the pursuit of
Happiness, a Healthy Natural Environment and Sustainability for
ourselves, the Third Generation and the Seventh Generation.

— That to secure these rights, Organisations are instituted among
Communities, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Members,

— That whenever any Form of Economy becomes destructive of these
ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to
institute a new Relationship, laying its foundation on such principles
and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most
likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will
dictate that Economic Relationships long established should not be
changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience
hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are
sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which
they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them and
their environment to ruin, it is their right, it is their duty, to
throw off such Economic Constraints, and to provide new Guards for
their future security and sustainability.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of this community; and such
is now the necessity which constrains us to alter our former Systems of
Business Growth for its own Sake and Environmental Exploitation. The
history of the present Theory of Economics is a history of repeated
disasters, injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the
establishment of an absolute Tyranny over communities and the
environment. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has plundered our seas, ravaged
our coasts, felled our forests, polluted our water and fouled our air.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited our talents, put
us into debt, degraded our culture and eroded our relationships with
the members of our community.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited mineral resources
which by right should belong to people in perpetuity in order to
obscenely enrich a few in the short term.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has paved our farms, sprawled
our towns, and destroyed the quality of live of our people and their
children and grandchildren.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has convinced us, for more than
a century, to ignore the voice of scientific knowledge and reason in
order to continue the acidification of our air and oceans through
Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxides and Carbon Dioxide emissions from
combustion of fossil fuels.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited the labour of
people and environments that have no protection from ill use, and has
persecuted people who worked for economic justice and equality.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has assaulted the morality of
our youth and treated them as a target market rather than with the
respect of future citizens and community members.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has corrupted the purpose of our
governance and civic institutions, it has usurped the purpose of our
curiosity and research efforts, and it has shifted the motivation for
the education of our young from development of their intellect and
character to exploitation of their labours for further growth of the
economy.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the Transition Committee of
Oamaru, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the
rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the
good People of this community, solemnly publish and declare, That this
Community is, and of Right ought to be Free, that we are Absolved from
all unsustainable and perverse requirements of the Growth Economy for
its own Sake, and that all connection between this Community and the
Growth Economy, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a
Free and Sustainable Community, we have full Power to reduce fuel and
electricity consumption, restore our environment, protect our culture,
nurture our agricultural assets, set aside our resources, refrain from
extracting minerals, stone or fossil fuels, conclude Peace, contract
Alliances, establish Local Commerce based on our own principles and
theories, and to do all other Acts and Things which Sustainable
Communities may of right do.

— And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on
the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other
our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

John Hancock

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

That was truly amazing....  sent it to hundreds of interested Australians.

As an aside, I happen to 'know' Susan Krumdiek, as much as you can know anyone via the web.  It was she who utterly convinced me fuel cells would never take over from BAU, nor would we ever have a hydrogen economy...

Just google her name with "fuel cell" and you'll see what I mean.

Mike 

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

15 Jan 2009

The Transition Declaration of Independence

Here
is something rather wonderful that emerged in late 2008 from New
Zealand, thanks for Dr. Susan Krundieck (about whom more below). It is
an update of the US Declaration of Independence, brought up to date for
a generation facing peak oil, climate change and economic contraction,
and is attributed to the Representatives of the Transition
Committee of Oamaru (a town in New Zealand).  I love the list of ‘the
Growth Economy has for its own sake…’ accusations statements… there is
a deep, forceful power to this, a clearly spoken and resonant
declaration of intent.  Prepare yourself for a goosebumps moment.
Transition Declaration of Independence
Adapted from the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America
Thomas Jefferson, 1776
Adaptation by Dr. Susan Krumdieck, 2008

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the economic bands which have connected them with
another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, Justice, the pursuit of
Happiness, a Healthy Natural Environment and Sustainability for
ourselves, the Third Generation and the Seventh Generation.

— That to secure these rights, Organisations are instituted among
Communities, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Members,

— That whenever any Form of Economy becomes destructive of these
ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to
institute a new Relationship, laying its foundation on such principles
and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most
likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will
dictate that Economic Relationships long established should not be
changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience
hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are
sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which
they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them and
their environment to ruin, it is their right, it is their duty, to
throw off such Economic Constraints, and to provide new Guards for
their future security and sustainability.

— Such has been the patient sufferance of this community; and such
is now the necessity which constrains us to alter our former Systems of
Business Growth for its own Sake and Environmental Exploitation. The
history of the present Theory of Economics is a history of repeated
disasters, injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the
establishment of an absolute Tyranny over communities and the
environment. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has plundered our seas, ravaged
our coasts, felled our forests, polluted our water and fouled our air.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited our talents, put
us into debt, degraded our culture and eroded our relationships with
the members of our community.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited mineral resources
which by right should belong to people in perpetuity in order to
obscenely enrich a few in the short term.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has paved our farms, sprawled
our towns, and destroyed the quality of live of our people and their
children and grandchildren.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has convinced us, for more than
a century, to ignore the voice of scientific knowledge and reason in
order to continue the acidification of our air and oceans through
Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxides and Carbon Dioxide emissions from
combustion of fossil fuels.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has exploited the labour of
people and environments that have no protection from ill use, and has
persecuted people who worked for economic justice and equality.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has assaulted the morality of
our youth and treated them as a target market rather than with the
respect of future citizens and community members.

The Growth Economy for its own Sake has corrupted the purpose of our
governance and civic institutions, it has usurped the purpose of our
curiosity and research efforts, and it has shifted the motivation for
the education of our young from development of their intellect and
character to exploitation of their labours for further growth of the
economy.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the Transition Committee
of Oamaru, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for
the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of
the good People of this community, solemnly publish and declare, That
this Community is, and of Right ought to be Free, that we are Absolved
from all unsustainable and perverse requirements of the Growth Economy
for its own Sake, and that all connection between this Community and
the Growth Economy, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a
Free and Sustainable Community, we have full Power to reduce fuel and
electricity consumption, restore our environment, protect our culture,
nurture our agricultural assets, set aside our resources, refrain from
extracting minerals, stone or fossil fuels, conclude Peace, contract
Alliances, establish Local Commerce based on our own principles and
theories, and to do all other Acts and Things which Sustainable
Communities may of right do.

— And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on
the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other
our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

*******************************************

Some background information on the Transition Declaration of
Independence (kindly provided by email by Ted Howard of Transition
Nelson (many thanks to Ted and James Howard for all the information on
this story).

For a bit of background on Dr Susan Krumdieck (Associate Professor,
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury) click here. Susan was the co-speaker with David Holmgren of the weekend workshop
I attended in April 2007.  She and David were speakers at the ASPO-NZ
Symposium we ran in Nelson 2 weeks later. Susan is on the advisory
board of ASPO-NZ.

After the event in Oamaru, Michael O’Brian a master bookbinder
artisan gave me his last handmade and bound copy of “Victorian Oamaru”
which really is a vision/action plan for spreading the work of the
Oamaru Natural Heritage Soc. and anchoring it as an important part of
the future of the town. Though dressed up as a tourist attraction (all
these eccentric people who dress in Victorian garb and work in artisan
crafts), in reality they have known for some time the present
unravelling would be coming, and had been planning for it.  The last 2
pages are a list of the 200 artisan skills that were required to make a
Victorian town functional, and I presented this list in a workshop on
Transition Towns at the Ecoshow, as examples of the skills we were
likely to need in a post-carbon world.

I brought this back to Nelson and gave it to someone to scan, but in
never got done and was returned to me. I scanned it, but forgot to
return it to Michael, until I remembered it as I was about to travel
from Nelson to Riverton in the far south to assist teaching a
Permaculture Design Course. I dropped into Oamaru on the way there and
had lunch with Micheal. He had recently gone through big changes in his
life and felt he was “losing his vision.”

2 weeks before I visited, the Oamaru folks had gone through their
second workshop, setting up the Transition Oamaru steering group and again working with Susan Krumdieck. The result was a study run by her post-grad students, and her modified version of the American Declaration Of Independence.

When I walked into Michael O’Brian’s book bindery, I gave him back
his “Victorian Oamaru” and he thanked me for literaly returning his
“vision” then showed me the copy of the Oamaru Declaration he had just
had printed up on parchment paper, then nailed to the Oamaru stone wall
and signed it. A young German tourist couple, visiting the book
bindery, sensed that something interesting and significant was
happening, and asked for an explanation. Michael explained what was
going on, the significance of his returned “vision” and the nailing up
of the Declaration. It was a seriously goosebumpy moment!

As I left for the training and Ecoshow in Taupo this month, I
brought the copy of the Declaration that Michael gave to me, in the
chance I could share it with NZTT folks, especially with James. When I
did this, he was deeply inspired, and took it away and made a copy. He
read it out at a dinner he attended on the Friday evening of the
Ecoshow. Andrew Rundle-Keswick from TT Kapiti was there, got deeply
inspired and came back to the marae where we were staying, found me,
wanting to read it through again. He asked if it was available
electronicaly, and we looked on both Susan’s and the ONHS site, and
couldn’t find it. So he transcribed it onto his computer.

The next day Susan gave her ‘Transitioneering’ PPP at the Ecoshow
and at that time, we found out that she was the author of the Oamaru
Declaration, but no copy was up on the website. Andrew being the
computer techie for her presentation, was able to explain he now had a
copy, on his computer, and immediately put it up on the screen. We
asked Susan to read it out to us….a powerful moment!

It deeply reflected her Lord Of The Rings story within her
presentation, of the little people (hobbits) stepping up to the
impossible task, in the same way the TT movement is doing so today. We
are now all part of a truely epic story, unfolding around and through
us!

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dps
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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

FANTASTIC!

Thank you ... Don

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Mike.

a proper outlined and factual 'Declaration', set out for others to be guided by. Not mired in the mud by the heavy weight of so much that has come before it but, the fresh and new beginings of none-exagerated boundaries decreeing what is so wrong with where the planet lives in the majority today and, the sustainable future of what is the 'only' answer if there is ever going to be a tomorrow for a human'society'.

I break rank and become troubled in my concience with what I find every day whilst studying for possibilities. Possibilities denied in the main by controlling corporatocracy and the fear that engenders in when faced with change; and change is upon us whether we embrace or deny it. What is westernised man really going to be capitalising upon when the lights go out around his home-town not so long from now? What is this westernised man going to make of all he believes he holds dear to him when he would trade all his wealth for a meal not so long from now? I believe it will take a great deal indeed for this world that believes it feels itself unjustly treated when not admitting or taking account for acts of such greed and cruelty; a great deal of time and sorrow before it realises that its ideals are nothing but an illusion; a dillusion built on a theory of towering wealth; of heads of state and ink and paper; as tall as a man and all but fit for firewood.

What more proof do we need...

Paul 

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

[Removed by Moderator Jason for insulting language directed toward religions]

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Potus,

after all that build up, if you were on the stage, you'd be eating seats...Wink

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

POTUS,

Whilst we obviously share similar opinions of religions, had you closely read the very start of the Declaration, you would have seen: 

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the economic bands which have connected them with
another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle
them

Now I don't know about you, but I read this as a new definition of 'God', and it's one I agree with.

I personally have never believed in a white bearded omnipotent old man sleeping in the clouds playing with his creations here on Earth...  

However, I do see the Earth and the Sun and the rest of the Universe as THE creators of all life, albeit not conscious ones....

I could go on, but discussing religion is always fraught with danger..... Wink  so I will desist.

Let it be said , however, that this document does a very good job of including lots of people, even religious ones, and we will need them as much as anybody else to rework the New World Order we so much need today.

Mike 

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence
Quote:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the economic bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them

Now I don't know about you, but I read this as a new definition of 'God', and it's one I agree with.

I read it as the ramblings of a holy rolling tree hugger.

 Best regards,

 POTUS 

 

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Potus,

trichoptilosis - 'The Splitting Of Hair', seems to be gaining rapid effect in certain sections of the crash course forum. Considering that you already live and work inside the designs of a 'Mission Statement' and are now challenging this one, why not put your money where your mouth is and write your own? You could publish it here, in the open; bared to the bone and, we, your fellow enthusiasts could give you our take on that...

Paul

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Potus,

trichoptilosis - 'The Splitting Of Hair', seems to be gaining rapid effect in certain sections of the crash course forum. Considering that you already live and work inside the designs of a 'Mission Statement' and are now challenging this one, why not put your money where your mouth is and write your own? You could publish it here, in the open; bared to the bone and, we, your fellow enthusiasts could give you our take on that...

Paul

Potus,

I second that thought.

Cat

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Hi Cat,

I found and watched Susan Krumdieck who wrote 'The Transition Declaration Of Independence' on this You Tube link and wished to share :-

Transitioneering - Part 1 - Engineering for Energy Descent - Dr. Susan Krumdieck BS, MS, PhD

Kind Regards,

Paul

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Hmmm, cloaking The Communist Manifesto in the Declaration Of Independence, how revolutionary!

Greg

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Greg,

This reminds me of a quote by a well known Irish playwright, "A lion in a room full of Daniels". or maybe a Walmart employee who's been trained to become the trainer for the next trainee's. Is it so easy to convolute everything into a simple box catogory such as socialism and communism with a knowing wink and a slight aside? McCarthy would have been proud that he left such a legacy where the population 'Self Policed' themselves to remain with the castrated system thats being held up as Chris Martenson quoted in a previous post, "...like termite tunnels in a load-bearing beam". It seems there is a club here that lacks the scope in their reason for being here if it can't match the reality of the Crash Course concept with what the future is going to become...

Paul

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Paul

Environmental Communism is not where I want to go nor is what the Crash Course is about.You can still have freedom with dwindling resources.

BTW- why don't you just say clearly what you mean instead of resorting to metaphores or analagies which are annoying. It's easy to make things complicated but difficult to keep it simple.

Greg

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Greg,

you lost me... What 'freedom' is lacking from this Declaration that wasn't there in 1776; you know, the one you're living, breathing and appart of today? 'Environmental Communism' - you make it sound like a wild animal with teeth. Have you actually read and understood all of this Declaration or chosen parts of it to fit your arguement. Chris Martenson is living in a community of no more than 400 people so that when the SHTF, he'll be party to supporting each and every member self-sufficiently. Does that sound like an 'Ism' or a good idea for surviving with less and a currency spiralled into hyperinflation in the not too distant future. Does that make him a Red-Banner-Waving-Commi'? Would that in effect mean that his 'Beliefs' are no-longer valid to you, or am I using too many annoying metaphores and analogies.

This is a mission statement and vital if communities are going to grow and prosper. Without an ideal to build upon, I don't believe many would either begin or indeed survive. I offer you the same task that Potus was given but, I gather you'll remain defeated and distracted.

The style that I wrote Post 5 on this thread is pro's (that isn't someone you pay $40 to by the way), its how the original declaration was written. Obviously too subtle. Maybe you've realised I'm English and you can nod and wink and say, Aahaah!

Paul

 

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence
POTUS wrote:
Quote:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the economic bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them

Now I don't know about you, but I read this as a new definition of 'God', and it's one I agree with.

I read it as the ramblings of a holy rolling tree hugger.

Best regards,

POTUS 

 

POTUS,

I'm not sure about others on this site but I'm getting a little tired of your arrogant, "holier than thou" attitude on this site. Even your user name bespeaks arrogance. You don't seem to be interested in calm, rational discourse. Rather you seem to enjoy hopping about this site skewering everyone in sight regardless of their opinions. The fact that the moderator felt compelled to remove one of your posts does not speak well of your approach.

To quote from Chris M.'s Forum Guidelines and Rules:

OUR EXPECTATIONS

We expect people to maintain the same level of civility in posting that
they would use with their words at the dinner table at a wedding.
Before drinks are served.

In a community, social courtesies are observed, just as at a
physical gathering. One doesn't monopolize the conversation, pound the
table about a single point till others' eyes glaze over, or spew
patently offensive slurs. Tactfulness is a reasonable expectation
within a voluntary community. We expect and require courteous
interactions on the Forums.
[Emphasis and Underline are mine (Sam)]

Perhaps it would do you, and the rest of us some good, if you returned your sword to its scabbard and returned to reasonable discussion with other members of this forum.

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence
Vanityfox451 wrote:

Hi Cat,

I found and watched Susan Krumdieck who wrote 'The Transition Declaration Of Independence' on this You Tube link and wished to share :-

Transitioneering - Part 1 - Engineering for Energy Descent - Dr. Susan Krumdieck BS, MS, PhD

Kind Regards,

Paul

Thank you Paul... I have gotten though the first four parts.

Cat

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Hi Cat,

Thankyou for your positive reply!

Unbelieveably, on this wonderful and informative site, it is my 'first' positive reply. It feels as though some of the most important aspects of our futures are unravelling in real-time and, there are such incredible topics to discuss on this forum that can be shared from. Yet, in amongst the genuine people who want to make a difference, there are people who would much rather damage a line of thought enough to make the thread die off!! I'm quite new in writing on this forum and have tried my best on the first one (Blind Joe's) that you and I wrote on, to fix it, but it isn't going to happen. Which is a terrible shame because I believe in the future we will barter our time to projects without money and, hopefully build projects without being taxed out of existence. This may or may not happen but, the thread and the linked interview from it have inspired many of whom I've shared with on another site. It seems many still assume, even after watching through the Crash Course, that we'll all be O.K and there won't be any changes this drastic, even though the future is starring us in the face.

I think a fellow called Mike on one of the threads I've read put it very well where he said, " ...I have been inspired and have inspired others. But I stand alone in both my understanding and opinions more often than not... ". I think thats a tough thing to achieve with the changes arriving so quickly.

I do hope you enjoy the other parts to Susan Krumdieck's lecture.

Kind Regards,

Paul

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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

 Hi Paul,

I'm not being very constructive in my posts on this thread so which thread were you referring to in your post below?

 "Greg,

I think that the link you made is so good I'm reproducing it here!!
I've been working on an idea that 'Blind Joe' made in a thread on the
11th of January. I've since added to it and would appreciate your
opinion.

Kind Regards

Paul"

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Vanityfox451
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Re: The Transition Declaration of Independence

Hi Greg,

I believe it was this one :-

 http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/martian-lands-denver-wrong-side-tracks/11476

...but some of it ain't pretty.

Paul

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Signs of Change

I found my name connected with this site, so came to see the discussion.  I see you found the Transition Declaration of Independence.  So far, people who have thoughtfully read it, as I thoughtfully adapted it, have found something they were looking for. I had a lot on my mind that I was having a hard time explaining directly, and the legend of the birth of a new nation of radical, rag-tag people who claimed freedom for themselves was what worked.

I've used other pop-mythologies to work through our experiences, worries, hopes... The Lord of the Rings works well.  The only hope is to give up something very powerful...

I work just about full time on Transition Engineering. Adaptation is everything. Adapting using solid facts and realistic requirements is the only way to go.

I am an academic, but at heart an engineer, anthropologist, musician, sociologist, teacher, heretic.  I think the thing to do is get on with it. 

I hope you will visit my youtube channel that hosts the presentations from 40 everyday Kiwis who are getting on with it.  I designed a national conference that was 1000 times less energy intensive than a normal conference and that showcased emerging sustainability. 

http://www.youtube.com/user/signsofchangeconf

There is a 20 min documentary that gives an overview.

www.signsofchange.org.nz

Potus, I don't expect you and people like you will get what we are doing.  But the heretics who have changed things for the better don't usually worry too much about the people who would throw rocks at them. They do what needs doing.

 

 

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