Transition Culture

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

Transition Culture has moved

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.

31 Mar 2008

The Transition Handbook Reviewed in ‘The Guardian’

thbkWe 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…. 

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


Nadia Hillman
1 Apr 9:19am

My copy or TH came in the post today! It looks like a brilliant Encyclopedia of all your talks, courses, events and projects. Well done for reaching the broadsheets. They seem to be all over this kind of thing at the mo. My local food project GROFUN is appearing in The Independent and The Telegraph this month!
As for Passport to Pimlico, having lived in Pimlico for three years whilst at University, i really should have seen it. I know it’s an Ealing Comedy but I dont know how it relates to Transition!

Lucy Skywalker
1 Apr 9:44am

This phrase “Whether his ideas will work in an increasingly urbanised world” suggests the reviewer has missed the point of Peak Oil completely, that like Cuba where instead of – what was it – 2% farmers, we’re going to need to go in the opposite direction, 70% involved in farming /gardening /permaculture.

james piers taylor
1 Apr 11:40am

“Passport to Pimlico” what a classic! If only they hadn’t rejoined Great Britain at the end, they could have begun a Federal revolution.

But what about Frestonia?

Jane Buttigieg
1 Apr 3:46pm

I too, was gobsmacked by the phrase “whether his ideas will work in an increasingly urbanised world”. Unbelievable! I think the reviewer skim read the book in a wine bar.

Marie Perret
1 Apr 7:18pm

Saw the file Peak oil Crisis recently and then read about you in Positive News magazine.Very interested in your work. It is a great initiative and certainly very important for the future.