31 Mar 2008
The Transition Handbook Reviewed in ‘The Guardian’
We rely on oil for everything from transport to aspirins. By 2006 we were using 86 million barrels of oil a day: that’s an Olympic swimming pool of oil every 15 seconds. But one day soon supplies are going to run dry and, according to Rob Hopkins, we need to prepare for that crisis now. His “Transition movement” is about building communities that can stand on their own feet in a post-oil world. To do that you need to increase “resilience”, eco-speak for a system’s ability to cope with external shocks.
In practical terms, that means towns becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, skills and food. Globalisation has increased our reliance on imported goods. In the future we need “localisation”. Though Hopkins denies this means isolationism, his book is an intriguing hybrid of The Good Life and Passport to Pimlico. In 2006, Totnes became the first of Hopkins’s “Transition towns”. Now it even has its own currency. Whether his ideas will work in an increasingly urbanised world remains to be seen, but this DIY manual for change is an intelligent and practical attempt to encourage people to think globally while acting locally.
Great to see one of the broadsheets picking the book up for review. Me, I’m off to find out what ‘Passport to Pimlico’ was all about….