The Transition Handbook
The Transition Handbook is a ground-breaking book that shows how we can move from feeling anxiety and fear in the face of “peak oil” to developing a positive vision and taking practical action to create a more self-reliant and sustainable existence.
We live in an fossil fuel-dependent world, and have got to this level of dependency in a very short space of time, using vast reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas in the process – without thinking ahead to plan for when the supply is not so plentiful. Most of us avoid thinking about what happens when these fuels run out (or become prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable profound changes ahead can have a positive outcome. These changes can lead to the rebirth of local communities that will grow more of their own food, generate their own power, and build their own houses using local materials. They can also encourage the development of local currencies, keeping money and jobs where we live.
The book has three sections, the Head, the Heart and the Hands. The Head explores the issues of peak oil (and other non-renewable fuel sources) and climate change, and how when looked at together, we need to be focusing on the rebuilding of resilience as well as cutting carbon emissions. It argues that the focus of our lives will become increasingly local and small scale as we come to terms with the real implications of the energy and climate crisis we in. The Heart looks at where we find the personal tools for responding to what can feel like overwhelming challenges. It argues that the key to our success will be our ability to generate positive visions of future, to harness the power of engaged optimism, and overcome powerlessness. The Hands offers a detailed exploration of the Transition model, setting out its principles, its origins, the 12 Steps of Transition, how they were applied in the first year of Transition Town Totnes (the first ‘Transition Town’), as well as offering a taste of how the model has been applied in a range of other settings. The book also contains lots of ‘Tools for Transition’, exercises and activities that can help to deepen this work in our communities.
There are now more than 1500 Transition Towns and and ‘forming initiatives’ around the world, with hundreds in the USA, including Wilmington in Transition, and near-by Transition Town Media (PA). There are now many National, and Regional Transition Hubs – working to facilitate sharing of ideas and practices amongst individual initiatives, too – local action, does not equate to ‘isolationism’ in the Transition Town model! Interest in the Transition model continues to grow, as people learn about it, and see it makes sense for their communities! With little pro-activity at the government level, communities are taking matters into their own hands and acting locally. Within the challenges posed by the realities of ‘post-peak oil’ and climate change is the potential for the greatest economic, social, and cultural renaissance we have ever seen. And it’s fun. In his forward to the book, Richard Heinberg describes the Transition approach as being “more like a party than a protest march.” If your community has not yet become a Transition Initiative, this upbeat guide offers you the tools to get started.
You can purchase the book for $24.95 in Wilmington at the Ninth Street Book Shop (local, non-chain bookstore owned and operated by Pacem in Terris members, Gemma and Jack Buckley). Don’t stay away from the discussion, if you have not yet had a chance to read the book; come to the discussion and get excited!
For more information, or to purchase the book, call 302-656-2721.