7 May 2007
Transition Towns – Local Responses to Peak Oil and Climate Change. An Interview: Part 1.
A month or so ago,
Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle of the Ecological Options Network visited Totnes to do an interview with me about Transition Towns. We also wandered around Totnes in the rain (anyone remember rain?) and filmed bits in different places for a film they were making. Anyway, my memory of the interview we did was that it was quite brief, but they just sent me the transcript of it and it goes on and on! Here it is, it covers a lot of ground, and gives quite a nice overview of the Transition Towns idea and much else besides. Many thanks to Mary Beth and James for allowing me to reproduce it here.
**An Interview with Rob Hopkins – Totnes, Devon, UK – February 28, 2007.**
A young British activist tells how a movement he started is helping galvanize local citizens to use positive visioning and other innovative social processes to create energy descent plans for towns and cities across the UK to meet the challenges of climate disruption and dwindling oil and gas supplies. Above he points to the local clock tower that has become his group’s logo.
Rob Hopkins is the founder of Transition Town Totnes, the first transition town project in the UK, which has spawned a growing movement. He publishes www.transitionculture.org , a blog exploring how communities can prepare for climate change and peak oil. A teacher of Permaculture and practical sustainability for over 10 years, Hopkins has built with strawbales and cob, and is currently researching a PhD at Plymouth University on local transition issues and sustainability education. He has a particular passion for walnut trees.
**Interviewed by Mary Beth Brangan & James Heddle**
**Co-Directors of EON – The Ecological Options Network**
**Birth of an Idea Who’s Time Has Come**
EON: Let’s begin with the backstory. How did you come to originate the Transition Town concept?
RH: Well, for the last 10 years I was living in Ireland, in the Southwest of Ireland and was very involved there in teaching permaculture and ecovillage development and natural building, a sort of very hands-on, solutions-based educational approach and involved in one of the first ecovillage developments. We got planning permission in Ireland to build the first new cob buildings built there for over 100 years. I also set up the first two-year full-time permaculture course in the world at a college in Kinsale, Ireland. In September 2004, the first day of term, somebody gave me a copy of a film named “ The End of Suburbia.