Transition Culture

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

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4 Oct 2008

Transition on Chicago Public Radio

With The Transition Handbook now available in the US, and the first US Transition Training having been recently held by Michael Brownlee in Boulder, and with Transition Initiatives starting to pop up all across the country, I was recently interviewed by Jerome McDonnell for Chicago Public Radio’s Worldview programme.   You can hear the interview here, as well as the interview that followed it with Bill Wilson of Mid Western Permaculture, who just got back from Michael’s training, and is clearly very excited about the whole thing.  Other than Jerome thinking that Totnes is in Ireland, it all seemed to go fine…

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5 Oct 8:22pm

It is great that Transition Towns and Communities
are starting to emerge in the USA. America is lucky to have a President that seems to understand the Transition concept quite well and maybe supportive to your Transition Town work:

WASHINGTON, DC, March 5, 2008 (ENS) – “This conference will seem unbelievably outdated within a decade,” President George W. Bush today told participants at WIREC 2008, the third global ministerial-level conference on renewable energy, taking place at the Washington Convention Center. “People will marvel about how far technology has helped change our habits and change the world. And I hope you take great pride in being a part of this constructive change,” he said.

“Let me start first by telling you that America has got to change its habits,” said Bush. “We’ve got to get off oil. And the reason why is, first, oil is – dependency on oil presents a real challenge to our economy.”

“The dependency upon oil also puts us at the mercy of terrorists. If there’s tight supply and demand, all it requires is one terrorist disruption of oil and that price goes even higher,” he said. “That dependency presents a challenge to our national security.”

“And finally, our dependence on fossil fuels like oil presents a challenge to our environment. When we burn fossil fuels we release greenhouse gases. The concentration of greenhouse gases has increased substantially,” said Bush. “We recognize all three of these challenges, and we’re doing something about it.”

Good luck to Transition Towns in the USA!

Thanks, Paul

6 Oct 9:41pm

Hi this is Paul here again with addition comments to the above comment.

To say that America is lucky to have a President that seems to understand the Transition concept is of course said with a lot of irony because the President’s record on supporting renewable energy or on cutting carbon emissions has not really been very good. However I thought the above ‘We’ve got to get off oil’ (nice, simple and straightforward with no big words) statement by the President Bush might be useful to be included in Transition Initiative presentations in the USA. The President at least now acknowledges the problem of oil dependency with regards to the economy, national security (national vulnerability) and the environment (climate change).
Where I live in Japan, I have yet to hear any political or business leader make such a clear statement on oil as, ‘We’ve got to get off oil’ although former Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Koizumi did once talk about the need for a ‘post oil strategy’ in Japan. Awareness of the issues surrounding oil dependence is stills seems pretty low compared with the USA so we have a lot of work to do with our Transition & awareness raising efforts in Japan.
Here is another person in America’s mainstream society who thinks that the USA should ‘get off oil’:
‘For National Security, Get Off Oil
Former CIA director R. James Woolsey says America’s oil dependence is a grave threat.
At R. James Woolsey’s farm in southern Maryland, solar panels on the roof of his house send electricity back to the utility grid when his family is not using much power. And he drives a Toyota Prius hybrid with a conversion kit that enables him to recharge the car’s battery pack using an extension cord and household current.
Woolsey isn’t the average citizen who has gone green. As the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1993 to 1995, Woolsey warns that the U.S. faces a grave national security threat from its dependence on energy derived from oil. “I think we need to go right for oil’s jugular vein,” he says.’
To see the full article and ‘get off oil’ interview with Mr. Woolsey in Scientific America please see this link:
Hope this might be useful for your Transition presentations in the USA.
Thanks, Paul