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.

7 Jun 2011

Bah… rumbled….

Here is the most wonderful potty nonsense from the US, a conspiracy theorist who in 47 seconds manages to link Transition to the Trilateral Commission, the CIA and the Council on Foreign Relations.  I tweeted this, and people enjoyed it so much I thought I’d post it here too!  Apparently the ‘agenda’ of Transition is “taking your land away from ya”.  Damn.  Rumbled.

I am not liking that picture of myself either I must say….

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


James Samuel
7 Jun 10:59am

Big chuckles. It reminds me of the peak oil debunking video I saw recently. You gotta love this one!

7 Jun 11:22am

Made my morning – thanks Rob.

7 Jun 12:07pm

LOL! I hadn’t heard about the Trilateral Commission conspiracy for decades!!! Reminded me of a lot of good laughs from the 70s.

7 Jun 12:25pm

Interesting piece from Grist that might put this in some kind of context, especially the wild misunderstanding about what ‘Agenda 21’ is…

Brad K.
7 Jun 1:53pm


I prefer changing the ‘pack and stack’ approach to actually changing the focus of employment — that is, to penalize employing people that don’t live near the workplace. Instead of gathering hundreds to a glorified office or shopping district — disperse them. Set a goal for 90% of employees to live within 1.5 miles or 2.4 km of employment, and 1 mile or 1.6 km of where they do most of their shopping (clothes, food, household supplies, entertainment).

As we loose access to cheap energy, and the cheap part becomes problematic with oil, and soon with coal and natural gas, mass transit will be soon be a part of the larger problem, of profligate expenditure of energy. To use a military analogy, WWII demonstrated how easily railroads can advance an effort — and how vulnerable mass transit is to each and every disruption, from civil strife, strikes, to intermittent energy outages.

That is, “hub” shopping districts, business districts, and living districts are a major part of the problem. There is no way to reduce profligate energy expenditures, and continue the ‘everything in one, central place’ model.

Maybe GM can make a case for building a plant with 40 assembly lines — but it could also have built 40 plants to distribute employee commute/living requirements on the community.

The local shopping mall, deliberately intended to draw customers from a 100 mile radius, is not a good way to minimize the need for people to expend energy on transportation, whether private or public transportation.

Letting school districts consolidate to mega-campuses to strengthen career prospects and prestige of teacher unions impose tremendous travel burdens on the community.


Yes, rail is a very good means of transporting people and goods long distances at conservative energy rates. It gets even more efficient when the artificial demands for transit — like massive commute impositions on the community — are reconsidered.

There may even be room for Leo Frankowski’s proposal, mule-drawn rail. The goal would be efficient use of energy and low operating cost. Within a five (5) mile to one hundred (100) mile radius, the tons a mule or pair — or groups of men — could move at an acceptable delivery time would meet a lot of needs. This would not include modern cars loaded with coal or oil to fuel the power plant two states over, but moving grain to market, furniture from town to town, seed corn for planting time, etc., reasonably cheap bulk transport could connect communities and meet local needs.

mark forskitt
7 Jun 3:50pm

If you find that a little off the wall as a conspiracy theory, try this.


Erik Curren
7 Jun 4:28pm

Rob — Thanks for posting this. On the one hand, I smiled at this silly video. On the other, I cringed, because I know these people, as silly as they are, mean business. In our area of the US, the Tea Party is very active. They’ve already held one meeting on how land use planning is part of the United Nations “Agenda 21” plot to take over the USA. They’ve even appeared at local govt hearings to try to repeal efforts to fight climate change.

It’s easy to laugh at a bunch of cranky old white people with southern accents speaking rubbish. But behind them is lots of money from the same big corporate polluters who fund climate science deniers.

Much as I hope I’m wrong, I fear this could be the next big push of the US right wing. And it could get Transition into the press in a big way. We should be prepared to present ourselves accurately and clearly.

[…] to Rob Hopkins for sending around a silly Tea Party video attacking the Transition movement as part of a United Nations plot to “take away your […]

Bob Irving
8 Jun 3:44pm

Particularly like the ‘sweeping the world” “instant success” bit! If only!

9 Jun 7:45am

I like the comment over at Energy Bulletin: “I think Rob Hopkins should at this stage be proffered an invite to join the Bilderbergers. I hear they throw great parties”.

9 Jun 9:28am

if only the Peak Community (such as it is) had the courage and integrity to call out and make fun of their own in-house (so to speak) conspiradroid moonbats.

specifically the nine-eleven-was-an-inside-job contingent comprised of folks like:

michael ruppert
richard heinberg
jan lundberg
carolyn baker
matthew savinar
alex smith

and many, too many others.

those who live in glass, moonbat-filled houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Asher Miller
9 Jun 11:07pm

@ James Samuel: We love that peak oil debunking video. To be clear, it’s complete satire. Brilliant.

10 Jun 12:44am

I hope you realize there are going to be many different types of eco villages. Modernity will be preserved if at all through Green Energy plus Permaculutre design sciences that will create the food forests, sustainable settings, and bio diversity that you will sustain you in the coming energy descent. If you deny the elements of entropy, you are sleeping.

How do we need to educate society, and tell them the patterns of their options and what they will yield? Green Energy plus Permaculture over efficiency will yield wealth. Power purchase agreements for eco villages can install power parks from their own investments funded with government to pass through UL inspection and get Manhattan projects, like Alge Bio diesel, Carbon sequestration technologies to produce transportation fuels. The incentives will create the expeditions to form a million villages. Payback a 20 million watt power park at $400 million with 4000 people is $35 million dollars a year in energy royalties. If I can come up with 10% down 10k. And finance the rest with government energy Power purchase agreements, then the incentives will be there for serious wealth to be made. After we pay back Government with our energy production loans.

Hoz Turner
12 Jun 2:24pm


I think it is very unfair and inaccurate of you to label these people as “conspiradroid moonbats”. Regarding 9/11, I think the evidence is overwhelming that the US govt worked hard to not only allow the attacks to happen – but that they were also closely tied with Al Qaeda before and after 9/11. Some evidence:-

Patricia Benson
13 Jun 2:40pm

Dr. Naomi Oreskes wrote the book, Merchants of Doubt. She explores the thinking behind the climate change naysayers and the connection to ‘stealing your land’. I attended a workshop of hers at Will Steger’s Summer Institute in 2010, and she developes the argument that ties the work of climate protection advocates to communist-type control through government intervention. She does not support them, mind you, but seeks to understand how they think. It is a good read and has helped me think about how I’m framing messages.

I’m actually surprised they picked on Transition. If anyone addresses climate change issues without emphasizing a government policy control approach, I think Transition does. This feature of the movement is precisely why I started promoting Transition in rural Minnesota. These folks care for the land, for the environment, but resist being told how to care for it by some government beaurocrat who has no personal experience with or connection to the place they are creating policy to control. Transition provides a coordinated means of expressing their concern in tangible actions.