Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience

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Overview

We live in an oil-dependent world, arriving at this level of dependency in a very short space of time by treating petroleum as if it were in infinite supply. Most of us avoid thinking about what happens when oil runs out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable and profound changes ahead can have a positive outcome. These changes can lead to the rebirth of local communities that will grow more of their own food, generate their own power, and build their own houses...

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Overview

We live in an oil-dependent world, arriving at this level of dependency in a very short space of time by treating petroleum as if it were in infinite supply. Most of us avoid thinking about what happens when oil runs out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable and profound changes ahead can have a positive outcome. These changes can lead to the rebirth of local communities that will grow more of their own food, generate their own power, and build their own houses using local materials. They can also encourage the development of local currencies to keep money in the local area.

There are now over 30 “transition towns” in the UK, Australia and New Zealand with more joining as the idea takes off. They provide valuable experience and lessons-learned for those of us on this side of the Atlantic. With little proactive thinking at the governmental 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Rob Hopkins is the Gentle Giant of the green movement, and his timely and hugely important book reveals a fresh and empowering approach that will help us transition into a materially leaner but inwardly richer human experience. Full of reliable, readable, far-reaching scholarship, and warmhearted practical advice on how to instigate transition culture wherever you are, this book will energize and regenerate your commitment to place, community and simple living. There is no better call to action than this book, and no better guide to the hands-on creation of a livable future." --Dr. Stephan Harding, coordinator of the MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College and author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia

Library Journal

This book happily describes the British grassroots "Transition Towns" movement, the group Robin Mills (see below) called "mistaken, appalling and dangerous." Meant to be a guide and motivator, the handbook discusses how several U.K. towns are preparing for the twin threats of climate change and peak oil. Hopkins, a teacher of permaculture and natural building and a cofounder of the Transition Network, urges a community response-local sustainability made fun-in which groups grapple with issues like food, transportation, energy, building materials, and waste and even develop their own local currency. Hopkins takes our "addiction" to oil literally, and so we will read of "post-petroleum stress disorder," and see applied addictions psychology helping to ease the townies' withdrawal symptoms. It's a handsome book, thoughtfully designed, which may make its message a little more palatable to oil addicts on this side of the Atlantic. [See the author speak about his book and ideas at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGHrWPtCvg0.-Ed.]


—Robert Eagan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781900322188
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/15/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Rob Hopkins is the cofounder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network. He has many years' experience in education, teaching permaculture, and natural building, and set up the first two year-full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland, as well as coordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission.

He is author of Woodlands for West Cork!, Energy Descent Pathways and most recently The Transition Handbook: From oil dependency to local resilience, which has been published in a number of other languages, and which was voted the fifth-most-popular book taken on holiday by MPs during the summer of 2008. He publishes www.transitionculture.org, recently voted the fourth best green blog in the UK. He is the winner of the 2008 Schumacher Award, an Ashoka Fellow, a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, served three years as a Trustee of the Soil Association, and was named by the Independent as one of the UK's top 100 environmentalists. He is the winner of the 2009 Observer Ethical Award for the Grassroots Campaigner category, and in December 2009 was voted the Energy Saving Trust/Guardian's Green Community Hero. He lectures and writes widely on peak oil and Transition, holds an MSc in Social Research, and recently completed a PhD at the University of Plymouth entitled "Localisation and resilience at the local level: the case of Transition Town Totnes." He lives in Devon and is a keen gardener.

Richard Heinberg is Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute. He is the author of several influential books on resource depletion including Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century Of Declines.

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Read an Excerpt


"If your town is not yet a Transition Town, here is guidance for making it one. We have little time, and much to accomplish."--Richard Heinberg, from the Foreword
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Table of Contents

Part 1: The head
Why peak oil and climate change mean that small is inevitable
Peak oil and climate change: the two great oversights of our times
The view from the mountain-top
Why rebuilding resilience is as important as cutting carbon emissions
Why small is inevitable
Summing up part one
Part 2: The heart: why having a positive vision is crucial
How peak oil and climate change affect us: 'post-petroleum stress disorder'
Understanding the psychology of change
Harnessing the power of a positive vision
A vision for 2030: looking back over the transition
Kinsale - A first attempt at community visioning
Summing up part two
Part 3: The hands
Exploring the transition model for inspiring local resilience-building
The transition concept
How to start a transition initiative
The first year of transition town Totnes
The viral spread of the transition concept

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Empowering Approach to Climate Change

    A number of books tell you what you can do in your personal life to prepare for and help solve climate crisis and peak oil. Other books suggest what national or global policy should be.Very few suggest how you can help organize friends and neighbors to create a community approach, via using community rooms, whether in a library, a church, or community center.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2008

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