Transition Whatcom

"WHY TRANSITION, WHATCOM?" Whatcom Watch series by Rick Dubrow and David MacLeod

Why Transition, Whatcom?

Written for Whatcom Watch by Rick Dubrow & David MacLeod

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction." — Albert Einstein

Part 1 (July 2009 Issue)

As readers of the Whatcom Watch well know, environmental scientists in the latter part of the last century warned humanity that barring profound change, we would likely soon find ourselves in some degree of hurt. Are we there yet? It seems that we are finding ourselves amidst the perfect storm of some very compelling problems: global warming, peak oil, global economic instability, overpopulation, declining biodiversity ... and the list goes on.

These problems are due largely to the fact that we live in the oil age. This has been a time when cheap and abundant energy sources have fueled not only this culture's growth and expansion and provided us with an endless array of consumer goods, but has also provided an endless array of detrimental effects. We are, as George Bush has famously admitted, addicted to oil.

We find ourselves in a spot where we have to concern ourselves not only with out of the tailpipe emissions, but also worry about our into the gas tank supply. Worthy of our attention is the need to recognize that, like it or not, a global economy addicted to oil will find petroleum more scarce, and therefore more expensive. How shall we then live?

Many questions arise. What to do? They’re working on it, right? And who, exactly, are they? Will government respond in time … maybe if we yell loud enough? Are there more petitions we can sign? Do we need to dig deeper and come up with more money to donate to our favorite environmental organizations? Are the solutions being touted in the media appropriate, and do they match the scale of the problem? And how do we keep our spirits up without turning away and trying to forget about these issues?


David MacLeod: My Story

In late 2004 and early 2005, a small movement began emerging in various parts of the world — community organizing as a response to peak oil and climate change. In the U.S. and Canada, much of it was formed around the Relocalization Network of the Post Carbon Institute. I got involved with that network here locally. Across the pond we were watching the work of Rob Hopkins and his students in Kinsale Ireland.

When Hopkins became aware of the peak oil problem in 2004, he was teaching the world's first two-year permaculture course in Kinsale. He immediately began looking for answers to the "What Shall We Do?" question. He found lots of books about the data surrounding the issue, and why it was definitely a problem of enormous scale.

What he didn't find was very much material on reasonable and effective response plans — with the exception of some initial thinking by the Post Carbon Institute and the books “Powerdown” by Richard Heinberg and “Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability” by David Holmgren, which Hopkins calls "the most important book of the last 15 years."

Hopkins and his students then set themselves to thinking about how to apply permaculture principles, as well as the information gleaned in the previously named books, to the peak oil problem.

They ended up with "Kinsale 2021: An Energy Descent Action Plan" — a 53-page report that looked at how the town of Kinsale could navigate the transition from being a high-energy consumption town to a low-energy consumption town. They first set out a clear vision of how a lower-energy future could be, and then identified a clear timetable for achieving it.

Hopkins had also begun a blog titled "Transition Culture" which became popular quite quickly (http://www.transitionculture.org), with insightful postings relating to resilience, relocalizing and planning for energy descent. Moving back to the UK, Hopkins further developed his ideas by establishing a local community organization, Transition Town Totnes.

Soon other Transition Towns began springing up, as well as the Transition Network to help organize them. There were a lot of parallels between the Relocalization Network here in North America, and the Transition Towns spreading in the UK, but the Transition Towns seemed to have something a little special — the transition model was "going viral!" When the Transition Handbook was published late last year, it all seemed to come together.

A clear path, with steps laid out ... yet constantly open to feedback and the situation at hand. Flexible, yet with a clear goal — an Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP). There's a place for thinkers and a place for doers. A place for the intellect (the head), an acknowledgement that effective transition means engaging all of our inner resources (the heart), and definitely a place for practical action (the hands).

This seemed to be such a well-thought out process, with many great ideas, and yet grounded in practical experience. I felt enthusiastic for the potential this approach provided, thinking it would help us take this community work around building resilience and self-reliance to the next level. The Post Carbon Institute also recognized the power of this model and organization. When Transition United States established itself, the institute closed its Relocalization Network, and threw its support and resources behind Transition U.S.

Local Peak Oil Task Force

Rick Dubrow, Tom Anderson, Kate Clark, and I (David MacLeod) began serving on the Energy Resource Scarcity/Peak Oil Task Force of Bellingham and Whatcom County at about the same time as Rob Hopkins' Transition Handbook was published. After reading copies of the handbook being passed around, those of us on the community education sub-committee of the task force quickly came to the conclusion that local Transition Initiatives offered a compelling format for community engagement around energy issues. We were hooked.

In early December, Kate Clark and I attended a two-day Transition Training in Portland, and in late December Rick Dubrow and Cindi Landreth attended six days of training (to become trainers themselves) in San Francisco. In early January of this year we came together to begin developing our local initiating group, which we affectionately refer to as "The TWIG."

"The TWIG" is the Transition Whatcom Initiating Group. Note that this is called an initiating group, not a “steering committee.” The task of this group is not to come up with all of the ideas and all of the solutions, but rather to "drive the project forward during the initial phases." This is Step 1 of the 12 Steps of Transition. Instead of providing all of the answers, transition seeks to engage the entire community in the process, and to “unleash the collective genius of those around us to creatively and proactively design our energy descent.”

Our initiating group consists of Tom Anderson, Kate Clark, Rick Dubrow, Sandy Hoelterhoff, Cindi Landreth, David MacLeod and David Marshak. We are a small collection of motivated individuals living here in Whatcom County who came together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges and opportunities of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis?

In February, Transition Whatcom was recognized as the 17th community in the U.S. to receive the honor and support of being designated as an official Transition Initiative. We are excited about all of the possibilities that lay ahead using this model!

The Transition Response

The transition movement recognizes that many responses to peak oil — coal to liquids, tar sands and non-conventional oils for example — do not necessarily help us address global warming. Why? Because ramping up production of many of these alternatives will require the generation of enormous gasses that will aggravate global warming.

Simultaneously, it’s readily apparent to those studying our energy needs that the sum total of everything that’s green will come nowhere near meeting the energy requirements to sustain the standard of living we’ve grown accustomed to. Ted Trainer has summed up the problem nicely with just the title of his book, “Renewable Energy Cannot Sustain a Consumer Society.” Renewable energy certainly has an important role to play, but we simply must address issues of energy consumption.

Which impels us to ask an important question about what has, for many years, been an unquestionable dogma: Can economic growth continue forever, or will it be unfeasible in a lower energy world?

Therefore, the transition movement encourages responses, which simultaneously address the three compelling constraints of our time. It's not about trying to keep everything going as it is, but instead learning to live within realistic energy constraints. Simply put, the transition movement in general, and Transition Whatcom in particular, seeks to participate in redesigning for a far lower energy world.

Here … locally. With similar Transition Initiatives, as they’re called, growing up elsewhere; everywhere. As it is stated on the http://transtitiontowns.org Web site, "Climate Change makes this carbon reduction transition essential. Peak oil makes it inevitable. And Transition Initiatives make it feasible, viable and attractive (as best we can tell so far)."
Transition does not take on the typical environmental organization’s attitude of “fighting against this or that.” But it does have an attitude! A positive attitude that says this:
• Energy scarcity is approaching.
• Roughly speaking, this energy descent curve can be graphed.
• Doesn’t it make sense to proactively power down our energy needs, following a similar descent curve that tracks the available supply?
• And given enough time (if there is enough time!), can’t we have some fun with this?
• Could it be that a post-petroleum lifestyle might even prove more fulfilling; more restorative for family life, for life itself, for self actualization?

Re-Skilling Ourselves

In order to power down, though, we realize that we’re the most unskilled group of humans in history in terms of addressing our basic needs. Can you make your own clothes; grow and store your own food; build and maintain a shelter? How, then, can you be resilient enough to survive the coming shocks of energy scarcity?

So transition is all about re-skilling ourselves for basic human needs. Gardening. Food storage. Renewable energy. Natural building (a giant step beyond green building). Basket making. Pottery. Animal husbandry.

A step back in time? Some imagine that we’ll be able to avoid this step, calling it a step backwards. We cannot go back, and we do not want to go back. It is wise, however, to learn from the past what we can adapt for the future. As Hopkins writes, "we can adapt our culture to a more local context with creativity, and the results will be beyond our current imaginings."

Transition Whatcom hopes to help you and yours achieve resilience to survive, in fact thrive, amidst these potential and probable shocks.

The Transition Primer

The Transition Primer (http://transitionnetwork.org/Primer/TransitionInitiativesPrimer.pdf), a great overview resource for the Transition model, describes a Transition Initiative as “…a loose set of real world principles and practices that have been built up over time though experimentation and observation of communities as they drive forward to build local resilience and reduce carbon emissions …”
“Underpinning the Transition model is a recognition of the following:
1. Climate change and peak oil require urgent action.
2. Life with less energy is inevitable and it is better to plan for it than be taken by surprise.
3. Industrial society has lost the resilience to be able to cope with energy shocks.
4. We have to act together and we have to act now.
5. Regarding the world economy and the consumptive patterns within it, as long as the laws of physics apply, infinite growth within a finite system (such as planet earth) simply isn't possible.
6. We demonstrated phenomenal levels of ingenuity and intelligence as we raced up the energy curve over the last 150 years, and there's no reason why we can't use those qualities, and more, as we negotiate our way down from the peak of the energy mountain.
7. If we plan and act early enough, and use our creativity and cooperation to unleash the genius within our local communities, then we can build a future that could be far more fulfilling and enriching, more connected and more gentle on the earth than the lifestyles we have today.”

Get Involved With Transition Whatcom

The first thing you can do is visit our social networking oriented Web site at http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com. Please consider joining the site, after which you'll get a welcoming email, and receive regular updates on what we're up to, events you can attend and projects you can join. You'll also have the opportunity to interact with our wonderful online community.

If signing up with online groups is not your cup of tea, please email David MacLeod at miles58@yahoo.com and tell us of your interest. Once you're in contact with us, we can explore how you might contribute to this community project. You'll have opportunities to attend “Training for Transition” workshops, create or join a Transition Initiative in your neighborhood, or get involved in a working group exploring a particular issue.
These are just a sampling of the many ways for you to contribute to Transition Whatcom! Remember that Transition Initiatives are all about unleashing the collective genius of our community, and that includes you!

Suggested Reading

On the Web:
• Transition Whatcom: http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com
• Transition United States: http://transitionus.org
• Transition Network (UK): http://transitionnetwork.org
• Rob Hopkins’ Blog: http://transitionculture.org
• John Rawlins' excellent articles on peak oil in Whatcom Watch. First the "Fossil Fuels at Peak Series" that began in 2006, and then the Rabbit on the Roof series beginning in 2008: http://www.whatcomwatch.org.
• For regular updates on the peak oil issue, as well as other resilience and sustainability issues, visit http://www.energybulletin.net regularly.

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Why Transition, Whatcom? Part 2
by Rick Dubrow and David MacLeod
http://www.whatcomwatch.org/php/WW_open.php?id=1109

Rick Dubrow graduated from MIT with a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics. He owns A-1 Builders and Adaptations in Bellingham. His passions include mountaineering, wilderness travel, writing and nature photography.

David MacLeod, a lifelong resident of Whatcom County, is a cofounder of Transition Whatcom and a member of the Transition Whatcom Initiating Group. He also edits the weekly Sustainable Bellingham Community Newsletter, serves on the Bellingham and Whatcom County Energy Resource Scarcity/Peak Oil Task Force, and helps produce workshops for Cascadia Training & Mediation.



Do We Really Need Another Nonprofit?

Why did we bring this model to Whatcom County? Do we really need it when we already have the likes of Sustainable Connections, RE Sources, Sustainable Bellingham, Conservation NW, the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, Whatcom Watch (!). Oh no, Uncle Bill, another non-profit? What’s that about?

Cindi Landreth, one of the founders of Transition Whatcom and a member of its Initiating Group, describes us using the analogy of a crazy quilt … the synergistic stitching together of all of these kindred groups into a blanket, a quilt, that provides resilience to this great community of ours. Our goal is not to be an umbrella group encompassing other pre-existing organizations, but instead to participate with the diverse organizations in Whatcom County in stitching them together much like a diverse ecosystem of kindred organisms humming as one.

And, specifically, we exist to create an Energy Descent Plan or EDP, referring to one of the main projects that a Transition initiative sets out to achieve: the creation of a 20 year ‘Plan B’ for their community, looking at how it might transition away from its current oil dependency, and towards a low carbon, resilient way of working.

This word ‘resilience’ keeps popping up, so let’s define it: “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change, so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks” (Rob Hopkins, 2008). In Transition, the concept is applied to settlements and their need to be able to withstand shock.

It’s time to leave generalities behind and get into the meat of what a Transition Initiative is all about: its principles and its stepping stones towards resilience. Then some thoughts about your potential involvement with the movement and some further reading and references so as to learn more.

Our Core Vision and Principles

Transition Whatcom’s vision is resilient and more self-reliant communities throughout Whatcom County with a local food supply, sustainable energy sources, a healthy local economy, and a growing sense of vitality and community well-being.

The 7 Principles of Transition


These Principles are a slightly abridged version of the 7 Principles found at the Transition U.S. website, http://www.transitionus.org/initiatives/7-principles.

1. Positive visioning. Transition Initiatives are based on a dedication to the creation of tangible, clearly expressed and practical visions of the community in question beyond its present day dependence on fossil fuel. Our primary focus is not campaigning against things, but rather on creating positive, empowering possibilities and opportunities.

2. Help people access good information and trust them to make good decisions. Transition initiatives dedicate themselves, through all aspects of their work, to raising awareness of peak oil and climate change and related issues such as critiquing economic growth. In doing so they recognize the responsibility to present this information in ways that are playful, articulate, accessible and engaging, and which enable people to feel enthused and empowered rather than powerless.

3. Inclusion and openness. Successful Transition Initiatives need an unprecedented coming together of the broad diversity of society. They dedicate themselves to ensuring that their decision making processes and their working groups embody principles of openness and inclusion. It makes explicit the principle that there is no room for ‘them and us’ thinking in the challenge of energy descent planning.

4. Enable sharing and networking. Transition Initiatives dedicate themselves to sharing their successes, failures, insights and connections at the various scales across the Transition network, so as to more widely build up a collective body of experience.

5. Build resilience. This stresses the fundamental importance of building resilience, i.e., the capacity of our businesses, communities and settlements to withstand shock. Transition initiatives commit to building resilience across a wide range of areas (food, economics, energy etc) and also on a range of scales (from the local to the national) as seems appropriate and to setting them within an overall context of the need to do everything we can to ensure environmental resilience.

6. Inner and outer transition. The challenges we face are not just caused by a mistake in our technologies but are a direct result of our world view and belief system. The impact of the information about the state of our planet can generate fear and grief that may underlie the state of denial many people are caught in. Psychological models can help us understand what is really happening and avoid unconscious processes sabotaging change.

7. Subsidiarity: self organization and decision making at the appropriate level. This final principle embodies the idea that the intention of the Transition model is not to centralize or control decision making, but rather to work with everyone so that it is practiced at the most appropriate, practical and empowering level, and in such a way that it models the ability of natural systems to self-organize.

12 Key Steps on the Transition Journey

The Transition Network has provided these 12 steps as a suggested (not rigid) pathway to guide our Transition journey. Slightly edited for length and for the application to Transition Whatcom.

1. Set up a steering group and design its evolution from the outset. This stage puts a core team in place to drive the project forward during the initial phases. The idea is that a steering group is formed with the aim of getting through steps 2 – 5, with the understanding that once a minimum of four subgroups (see #5) are formed, the steering group disbands and reforms with a person from each of those groups. This requires a degree of humility, but is very important in order to put the success of the project above the individuals involved. In our case, we’re calling our initial steering group the TWIG: The Transition Whatcom Initiating Group.

2. Awareness raising. This step is about identifying key allies, building crucial networks and preparing the community in general for the launch of our Transition initiative.

For an effective Energy Descent Action Plan to evolve, its participants have to understand the potential effects of both peak oil and climate change – the former demanding a drive to increase community resilience, the later a reduction in carbon footprint.

We’ll have events such as movie screenings, talks by experts in their field of climate change, peak oil and community solutions, articles in local papers (like this one), interviews on local radio, presentations to existing groups, and more. All part of the toolkit to get people aware of the issues and ready to start thinking of responses.

3. Lay the foundations. This step is about networking with existing groups and activists, making clear to them that the Transition Town initiative is designed to incorporate their previous efforts and future inputs by looking at the future in a new way. Acknowledging and honoring the work already done in this community is important — we recognize the vital roles existing groups have played and will continue to play.

4. Organize a great unleashing. This step creates a memorable milestone to mark the project’s “coming of age,” moves it right into the community at large, builds a momentum to propel our initiative forward for the next period of its work and celebrates our community’s desire to take action.

In terms of timing, we estimate that six months after our first “awareness raising” event (which occurred June 18) will be about right. Regarding contents, it’ll need to bring people up to speed on peak oil and climate change, but in a spirit of “we can do something about this” rather than doom and gloom.

5. Form subgroups. Part of the process of developing an Energy Descent Action Plan is tapping into the collective genius of the community. Crucial for this is to set up a number of smaller groups to focus on specific aspects of the process. Each of these groups will develop their own ways of working and their own activities, but will all fall under the umbrella of the project as a whole.

Ideally, subgroups are needed for all aspects of life that are required by our community to sustain itself and thrive. Examples of these are: food, waste, energy, education, youth, economics, transport, water, and local government. Each of these subgroups is looking at their area and trying to determine the best ways of building community resilience and reducing the carbon footprint. Their solutions will form the backbone of the Energy Descent Action Plan.

6. Use Open Space. Open Space Technology has been found to be a highly effective approach to running meetings for Transition Town initiatives. In theory it ought not to work. A large group of people comes together to explore a particular topic or issue, with no agenda, no timetable, no obvious coordinator and no minute takers.

However, what tends to happen is that by the end of each meeting, everyone has said what they needed to, extensive notes have been taken and typed up, lots of networking has taken place, and a huge number of ideas have been identified and visions set out.

7. Develop visible practical manifestations of the project. Our project needs, from an early stage, to begin to create practical, high visibility manifestations in the community. These will significantly enhance people’s perceptions of the project and also their willingness to participate. One of our early projects has been “The Franklin Park Gardening Group” in the York neighborhood. Chris Wolf started this group as a way to better get to know her neighbors, share gardening tips and tools, and to slowly introduce the Transition model to these neighbors.

8. Facilitate the great reskilling. If we are to respond to peak oil and climate change by moving to a lower energy future and re-localizing our communities, then we’ll need many of the skills that our grandparents took for granted. One of the most useful things a Transition Initiative can do is to reverse the “great deskilling” of the last 40 years by offering training in a range of some of these skills. We’re looking at reviving the defunct Northwest Freedom University for this purpose, perhaps as Transition University. We also support and hope to partner with the Center for Local Self-Reliance and other organizations involved in reviving lost skills and lost arts.

We hope that our great reskilling program will give people a powerful realization of their own ability to solve problems, to achieve practical results and to work cooperatively alongside other people. They’ll also appreciate that learning can truly be fun.

9. Build a bridge to local government. This step emphasizes the necessity of cultivating a positive and productive relationship with our local governmental authorities. Whether it is planning issues or providing connections, we hope to have them on board. When we create an Energy Descent Action Plan, we’ll want input and support from government planners and office holders.

10. Honor the elders. For those of us born in the 1960s when the cheap oil party was in full swing, it is very hard to picture a life with less oil. In order to rebuild that picture of a lower energy society, we have to engage with those who directly remember the transition to the age of Cheap Oil, especially the period between 1930 and 1960.

There is much to be learned from how things were done, what the invisible connections between the different elements of society were and how daily life was supported.

11. Let it go where it wants to go. This step tells us our role is not to come up with all the answers, but to act as a catalyst for the community to design their own transition.

The steering group needs to keep its focus on the key design criteria – building community resilience and reducing the carbon footprint – and watch as the collective genius of the community enables a feasible, practicable and highly inventive solution to emerge.

12. Create an Energy Descent Action Pan. Each subgroup will have been focusing on practical actions to increase community resilience and reduce the carbon footprint. Combined, these actions form the Energy Descent Action Plan. That’s where the collective genius of the community has designed its own future to take account of the potential threats from peak oil and climate change. We will coordinate this countywide, citizen-led Energy Descent Action Plan by creating a collective 20 year vision of Whatcom County. From there we will devise the paths on which we may achieve our objectives.

Rick’s Story

Rick Dubrow here … another TWIG (Transition Whatcom Initiating Group). Out on a limb, once again! Always seeking frameworks that make more sense than the mainstream paradigm that continues its treacherous destruction of life.

Transition has captured my attention because it stresses what’s worth working towards. I’ve spent my formative years working against this and that. Yes, there’s plenty of this and that to choose from, but this and that continues its relentless downward spiral. I don’t like to feel as though I’m being sucked down a toilet bowl, spinning ‘round and ‘round, this way and that … downwards.

Transition, instead, works for something instead of against this and that. The energy here is more positive, more fun. Working on a powered-down, post-petroleum lifestyle and community is very much aligned with my greatest passion … wilderness travel. So re-skilling and resilience building fits me like a glove. In the wilderness you leave a trailhead with a limited amount of stuff on your back and then your primitive skills, intermediate technology and resilience define how comfortable you will be. Transition, in so many ways, brings my civilized living in closer alignment to my wilderness living, as it should be.

I remember the excitement I felt when I first read about Transition in an email. I immediately emailed Cindi (my wife; another TWIG; VP at A-1 Builders and Adaptations; certified permaculturist; residential designer; cool human) with the link, asking her to check it out.

She had just done the same thing, emailing me with similar information and excitement!

Thus our path towards Transition began. It led us both to San Francisco in December of 2008, where we took the two-day Training for Transition (T4T); then the four-day Training the Trainers workshops. We became two of the first 19 Americans trained to train others to train their communities to initiate a Transition Initiative (TI).

Cindi has already facilitated her first T4T in Seattle and is well on her way to help many a community down this path. I, instead, decided to focus more of my time and attention locally … towards growing and fertilizing Transition Whatcom. For the time being, I decided to bail on helping other communities (beyond Whatcom County) through this effort towards birthing TI’s.

So where am I spending this time and attention? I guess I call it dancing. It’s the dance of growing an organization, that balancing act of attending to appropriate infrastructure prior to initiating this and that without the ability to manage it; to help it grow; to pay attention.

A key principle in the application of permaculture to a parcel of land is to do nothing but observe it for about a year; restrain oneself until one knows how water moves through it; where sunlight falls; where are the cold spots. Premature action sucks (although that’s not how the permaculture text books put it!).

We TWIGs are doing two things … creating infrastructure, while we observe the terrain (our community), while we disperse perhaps the greatest message of all from the Transition movement: facilitate others to initiate actions that are aligned with their values.

You see, TWIGs are catalysts; Transition is catalytic. We’re here to shake, rattle and roll the physical and chemical reactions necessary to bring online the work groups the community needs to instill resilience … local and healthy food, small and energy-neutral shelter, renewable energy, intelligent transportation that addresses emergency climate change and peak oil, blah-blah-blah. You know what’s needed.

Day by day, there’s more and more, of this and that. Right here - right there — out there — watch for us; watch for more and more of this and that.

Stay tuned to our website (http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com)) watch us grow; help us grow; be that growth. Be a bud upon the TWIG. Help us observe this great community and birth projects, awareness raising and learning that create a future aligned with the values you live by. Help us align our values with our actions.

“(A Transition Initiative) starts with just a few thoughtful and committed people. … Our aim is to get everyone on board with Transition, but I don’t think we will in time for the shocks that are coming. Even if the larger part of our community isn’t prepared, we have this small shabby group of people who at least have a methodology for organizing and getting together and collectively trying to figure out how to survive.” — Jennifer Gray (Transition U.S.)

Consider joining this group of shabby ones. We plan on having fun with this. We’re exhausted of fighting against the things out there that threaten the very basis of life. Instead we want to imagine into, and help build, the very something we’re for.

Rob Hopkins’ Transition Handbook concludes with these remarkably uplifting words:

“While Peak Oil and Climate Change are understandably profoundly challenging, also inherent within them is the potential for an economic, cultural, and social renaissance the likes of which we have never seen. We will see a flourishing of local businesses, local skills and solutions, and a flowering of ingenuity and creativity. It is a Transition in which we will inevitably grow, and in which our evolution is a precondition for progress. Emerging at the other end, we will not be the same as we were: we will have become more humble, more connected to the natural world, fitter, leaner, more skilled, and ultimately, wiser.” §

Suggested Reading
Books


• The Transition Handbook:* From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience by Rob Hopkins, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2008, 240 pages, paper, $24.95

• The Transition Timeline: For a Local, Resilient Future by Shaun Chamberlin, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2009, 192 pages, paper, $22.95

• Powerdown:* Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World by Richard Heinberg, New Society Publishers, 2004. 288 pages, paper, $16.95

• Peak Everything:* Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, New Society Publishers, 2007, 224 pages, hardcover, $24.95

• Permaculture:* Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren, Holmgren Design Services, 2002, 286 pages, paper, $30.00

• Future Scenarios:* How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change by David Holmgren, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2009, 136 pages, paper, $12.00

• Depletion and Abundance:* Life on the New Home Front by Sharon Astyk, New Society Publishers, 2008, 288 pages, paper, $18.95

• Plan C:* Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change by Pat Murphy. New Society Publishers, 2008, 304 pages, paper, $19.95

• Renewable Energy Cannot Sustain a Consumer Society by Ted Trainer, Springer, 2007, 200 pages, hardcover, $69.95

*Available at the Bellingham Public Library or the Whatcom County Library System.

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