a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Transitioning Towns for a Sustainable Future

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Perhaps Inspiration is like the ocean – once you catch a wave, it’s a big ride!

This past weekend, I attended the local kick-off meeting for Transition Towns. This began innocently enough through an email from a friendly acquaintance who lives and works on a sustainable farm project near Carrboro. Her name is Margaret, she is one of those sensitive but powerful women who wants to do the work and have her party, too – she exudes a sincere enthusiasm when it comes to changing and shaping our local future and it’s contagious. And from the size of the group who showed up (on a beautiful Spring Sunday), I’m not the only one who feels that way. In fact, I feel like I’ve been waiting for this – an opportunity to stop simply musing and hoping (and writing about) a better future and get my hands in something positive and tangible. Thanks Margaret!!!

Transition Culture was founded by Rob Hopkins in the UK. With an impressive environmental resume in permaculture, resource management and local initiatives, he has created a wave of change that is catching on all over the world. Transistion Towns looks at how we can face climate change and peak oil through the same creativity, ingenuity and adaptability it took to get us here. The emphasis lies on a collective plan to act early with awareness raising, connections with groups and local governmetnt to increase resilience so that communities can individually sustain and thrive with positive energy rather than fear.

Don’t assume this is just another ORG that will get lost in the shuffle. Transition Towns is user-friendly and focused. Rob Hopkins has written an accompanying guide, The Transition Handbook – From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience. It is a precise, detailed how-to manual with three sections, entitiled Head, Heart, and Hands and outlines 12 steps of action.

From the website: There are now over 40 Transition Towns in the UK, with more joining as the idea takes off. With little proactivity at government level, communities are taking matters into their own hands and acting locally. If your town is not a Transition Town, this upbeat guide offers you the tools for starting the process. It is a process which is, as Richard Heinberg writes in his Foreword, “more like a party than a protest march”.

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2 Responses to “Transitioning Towns for a Sustainable Future”

  1. Matt Says:

    I’m very glad that a this is starting here. How do we get in touch with the group?

  2. tao Says:

    Hi Matt! Thanks for visiting and for your enthusiasm about transitioning our culture. A listserve is being put together, but in the meantime, you can contact Margaret here:
    She’s the one in photo above – who put out the info. and energy to get this started!


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