Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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I no longer blog on this site. You can now find me, my general blogs, and the work I am doing researching my forthcoming book on imagination, on my new blog.

24 Nov 2005

Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan

Kinsale**The Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan** is now available on this site as a pdf. file. This plan was produced at Kinsale FEC by myself and the college’s second year students, and was, as far as we know, the first attempt by a community to design an intentionally designed way down from the oil peak. You can read more about how it was carried out in the article called **”Designing Energy Descent Pathways”** in the Articles section on this site. We printed 500 copies, and they are already very scarce.

We heard the other day that the Action Plan has been awarded Cork Environmental Forum’s prestigious **Roll of Honour Award** for 2005. It is wonderful for the Plan and for the town of Kinsale to be recognised in this way. Although it was only the first attempt at such a plan and it has its weak bits, I think, as far as I can tell from those who have written to me or spoken to me about it, it is more what it tries to do that touches people. Whether the final model we end up using with communities up and down the land ends up looking like this or not scarcely matters, what is important is that we had a go.

In his review of it in Permaculture Magazine, Patrick Whitefield wrote,

>“Rob Hopkins and the students of Kinsale are to be congratulated. Not only on being the first to act when most of us are still just becoming aware of the problem, but also for the quality of their work. I recommend their plan to people everywhere who would like to see some positive action happen in their own commuity. The challenge of implementing a plan of this kind is huge, but the cost of not doing so would be much greater

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.


Ole Morten
5 Dec 10:18pm

Downloading from Norway. Norway’s oil production is declining, but noone tells us to change our ways of life. Yet.

Jon Traudt
6 Dec 10:48am

Thank you for your continuing efforts to help us prepare for the future.

6 Dec 5:58pm

thank you for your work.

7 Dec 2:28am

Continue your good work!

Philip Booth
24 Jan 9:26am

Inspiring work. I’ve just started to be involved in Parish Plans here in Gloucestershire and this is a great model with great ideas that really takes sustainability seriously. Many thanks for leading the way. I lookforward to hearing more about your successes.

Faran Siddiqui
31 Jan 7:39pm

Good work, but you mention nothing about defence. How will you protect your investment and hard work from the 7 million people around you that are starving and no longer have access to cheap energy. They will be poor, hungry and desperate. Will you share your food and energy with all of them? And how will you stop the few who want it all for themselves?

A group of 1000 people with guns will easily be able to come in and take everything that you worked so hard to build – what will you do then?

Depressing, I know – I’m sorry, but you do need to think about it.

Please let me know if you come up with a good answer.

24 Apr 4:03am

Hi Faran, the answer surely lies in the fact that we are all in this together. If you dont have food security, then neither do I, for the reasons you outlined. So the faster we get to work, and ensure we are helping each other, the better.

Cheryl Nechamen
5 May 7:07pm

This is an inspiring plan- so different from the gloom and doom prevalent in the peak oil community. I borrowed liberally (while trying to give you credit) from the plan to develop a similar plan for the Capital District of upstate New York.

Terri Tuers
8 May 8:15pm

From Albany, NY

Ann Mercer
26 Jul 11:54am

I am printing out yet another copy as I am passing them out and around here in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s very inspiring.

17 Aug 11:21pm

great to read the plan – we will be inplementing it in our town

Stephen Heyer
31 Aug 8:25am

It doesn’t take anything like a 1000 people with guns: In many situations 50 would be quite adequate and the rewards for pulling it off are so vast that plenty are going to try – hard.

After all, two of the dirty little secrets of history are:
1. “Coercion works; those who apply substantial force to their fellows get compliance and from that compliance draw the multiple advantages of money, goods, deference [and] access to pleasures denied to less powerful people” (Charles Tilly).
2. The powerful have far more descendants then others, though most are unacknowledged (recent genetic studies that allow us to see who is really descended from who).

The two taken together nicely explain why seemingly good people (men) behave so very badly at the first hint of a chance of gaining power and exploit it so ruthlessly to gain sexual access to women when they do – it is hard wired into their genes.

In other words, if peak oil/water/food/population really does turn out as badly as some predict and society does collapse, anyone who wants their children to be other than slaves had better be very serious about defense. A few guns just will not cut it: Organization and training more along the lines of, say, Hezbollah is what would be required.

Conclusion: Pray that it all somehow turns out all right and the whole peak oil / global warming thing was just a beat up.

Peak Oil Primer

Source: What is Peak Oil? Peak Oil is the simplest label for the problem of energy resource depletion, or more specifically, the peak in global oil production. Oil is a finite, non-renewable resource, one that h…

7 Sep 7:24am

An inspiring piece of work with a lot of great ideas. Well worth the read.

An orderly descent from the extragavance of the oil years is worth striving for at all levels. Rob Hopkins and his students have made a valuable contribution to that vision.

Thank you to all involved.

[…] document received a huge amount of interest from around the world (and can be downloaded as a PDF here), and has since given rise to the Transition Towns movement – a rapidly spreading, community-lead […]

Coralie Barker
18 Apr 9:03am

New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington.
Awesome work.
Thankyou for sharing it.

28 Oct 12:14pm

This is probably the most important idea of our time, and one that needs to be taken up by all communities in the so called ‘developed’ world. Whether oil peaks or not! Which it will, but we should do it anyway, for so many reasons. It is very inspiring work and seeds are being planted here in Bristol, so thanks for being the catalyst Rob, and for sharing your work so readily.

To those who raise the issue about defence plans and aggression – we have that issue now don’t we? What’s the difference, really, in the future? I don’t think Transition Towns initiatives or any kind of civilisation can exist successfully in a world of lawless Mad Max-style vagabonds raping and pillaging everywhere, can it? But it’s about stimulating a nation/worldwide plan, from the local level, to avoid precisely that scenario isn’t it?

To mitigate any perceived inequality in some imagined future between towns that have regrown their resilience and those that have not, the answer is surely to act now to ensure that all communities get going on this path, don’t you think?

[…] the world have begun their own preparations for peak oil, and are documenting the process. The Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan out of rural Ireland is the world’s first local action plan for peak oil, dealing with broad […]

melissa fackler
14 Jun 8:41pm

Please email me any contact numbers or sites that I may be able to facilitate my 11 storey 120 unit condo which is oil heated to something more green.
Are there any grant monies available for buildings built in the 1950’s for conversion as many in the condo association are on fixed incomes.
melissa fackler

[…] Hopkins’ blog Transition Town Totnes Wikipedia om transition towns Kinsale Energy Descent Action Plan YouTube : The end of suburbia Flere Rob Hopkins videoer på […]

andrew macgillivray
12 Feb 4:15pm

I’ve been studying the problem for a while and I’m glad to see a sensible plan for the inevitable change thats coming. There are others – like the Gussing model but this one engages the whole community in a way that re-establishes the connection between real people in real places.