Let’s start this month’s round-up in the UK, in Cheltenham. Transition Town Cheltenham have been making some gorgeous short films recently. In the last roundup we shared the one about Ken and his allotment. This month, firstly, Ivor, Remi and Leon talk us through the chickens in their garden, and their 8-person cargo bike:
… and secondly, a short film about In Stitches, who held their The Big Knit event at the Global Footsteps Cafe. A beautiful film about the power of knitting to build community:
The Centre for Alternative Technology has just published a new book called ‘The Home Energy Handbook: a guide to saving and generating energy in your home and community’. It is a great resource for Transition groups, and Transition features strongly through the book. It is available here. I spoke to Allan Shepherd, one of the book’s authors/editors, and asked him to tell us more about the book. Here is the audio, transcript below:
Can you tell us where the idea for the book came from?
It started from the Zero Carbon Britain 2030 project really, because that was aimed at policy makers and government. What we wanted to do was take the concept that was developed in ZCB, which was the ‘Power down’ and the ‘Power up’ concept.
Welcome to the monthly round-up of what people are up to doing Transition around the world. Let’s start this month in Spain. Spain recently held its first national Transition conference, which you can read more about here, and you can see Juan del Río’s reflections on it here. Here is a great film about the event which gives a great sense of the energy and dynamism that it tapped into:
Here is a list of the books I am working my way through at the moment or have recently finished, I hope they might point you to some recently published books you may find useful and interesting. So, in no particular order:
Michael Mann (2012) The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: dispatches from the front lines. Columbia University Press.
Michael Mann is the principal creator of the (in)famous ‘Hockey Stick’ graph which showed that the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the last 100 years is in excess of historic warming, and clearly linked to increased CO2 emissions. The graph achieved great prominence, as a result of which he became a target of the fossil fuel industry, in particular during the co-ordinated assault on climate science known as ‘Climate Gate’, where emails, including his, were hacked from the University of East Anglia.
What might we learn from the construction, between1438 and 1448 of the Hospital of St. John in Sherborne (see above) that might shape the way we think about construction in the 21st century? While the bulk of the building was built using local oolitic limestone, it was dressed with Lias stone from Ham Hill, some 12 miles from the building site. However, in those days, without the internal combustion engine, 12 miles was a long way to carry stone (you try it). The meticulous accounts kept of the project at the time show that the cost of transporting the stone by cart cost more than the stone itself. As Alec Clifton-Taylor says in his seminal ‘The Pattern of English Building’, “it was the great difficulty of transporting heavy materials which led all but the most affluent until the end of the eighteenth century to build with the materials that were most readily available near the site, even when not very durable”.