An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent
Transition Culture has moved
After eight years of frenzied blogging at this site, Transition Culture has moved to its new home. Do come and join us, but feel free to also browse this now-archived site and use the shop. Thanks for all your support, comments and input so far, and see you soon.
In November 2006, I sat at the back of the Barn Cinema, Dartington, and watched ‘An Inconvenient Truth‘. It had such an impact on me that by the time it ended, I had decided that I couldn’t just leave the cinema without marking the event by making some kind of change in my life. I decided that evening not to fly again, and I haven’t flown since. I have played an active part in supporting the growth of an international movement in 40 countries since then, participating in countless workshops, and discussing Transition internationally through Skype and pre-recorded talks, most of which I begin with how much carbon I have saved by not travelling in person. However, I recently watched the film ‘Chasing Ice’, and it had, if anything, a more visceral impact than ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. My resolution at the end of watching it, re-enforced by the recent passing, for the first time, of 400 ppm of C02 in the atmosphere, was that it was time to get back on a plane, and I want to use this post to tell you why.
Sunday May 5th was International Permaculture Day. All sorts of things happened all over the world in a synchronised riot of permaculture goodness. Part of the day was a series of video presentations and interviews with permaculture activists around the world. You can see the whole menu here, I would really recommend taking some time to sit and go through some of them. Rich pickings indeed. Anyway, here is mine, filmed in my greenhouse early in the morning, talking on the event’s theme, ‘Grow Local’. I hope you enjoy it.
I have already posted a couple of articles that had to be left out of The Power of Just Doing Stuff, and there are more to follow. Another thing left out of the book, due to not fitting with the design feel Green Books wanted the book to have, were four line drawings I did to go with some of the stories. They are the result of several enjoyable evenings at the kitchen table with a pen, a paintbrush, and a bottle of ink. Rather than just pop them in a folder under the bed, I thought I would share them with you (click on them and you can see them in more detail). The first one, above, is of the Dunbar Bakery, set up by Sustaining Dunbar, a Transition initiative, following a community share offer.
The other day I read an excellent piece by Calvin Jones, Professor of Economics at Cardiff Business School (see right) called Technology Cannot Tackle Climate Change. Having argued that, due to a range of issues, economic growth is no longer possible, he writes:
“Faced with these issues it is easy to withdraw into either a belief in an economic growth fairy, or into passive, nihilistic depression. But this is not necessary. Many societies historically have functioned perfectly well without ever-increasing levels of growth and complexity”.
He also wrote “the cognitive dissonance we feel, as GDP figures rise, and we feel ever more tired, stressed and scared, is real, and must be challenged”, rapidly becoming one of my favourite quotes. Given the challenges of condensing complex arguments into short articles, I thought it would be good to have a chat with Calvin. So what follows is either the audio file to listen to while you’re hoovering the stairs, or a transcript of our talk.
Here’s a fantastic video from DW (“Germany’s International Broadcaster”) about Transition in South Africa. It is a clip from a longer programme called ‘Global 3000: The Globalisation Program’, and it looks at the work of Transition Town Greyton in South Africa. It is a fascinating response to the question of “what does Transition look like beyond Europe and the US?” It may well become one of my favourite videos about Transition: