Transition Whatcom





10-11 AM


Gardening in Small Urban Spaces              Celt Schira                                                           Room 113

Gardening in small urban spaces is about making the most of the garden that you have, where you are. Topics will include: siting your garden, what to grow, winter gardening, containers, using vertical space and resources.


Celt is a long time gardener, seed saver, gardening mentor, and cook. In her day job, she is a licensed professional electrical engineer.                           



Peak Oil, Peak Everything              John Rawlins                                                                         Room 115

The talk will cover the basics of fossil fuel supply peaking, with a focus on oil.  Peak oil, to be followed in time by peaking of natural gas, coal, and nuclear (uranium), will result in world peak everything during the first half of this century and probably during the next 10 years.  The sum of all available energy alternatives will be much smaller and far more expensive than how we operate now, and we will probably experience this most viscerally in our food supply.  We all need to begin re-localizing everything we do and learning to grow our own food—right now, if not several years ago.


John is a twice-retired nuclear physicist who worked on advanced nuclear power concepts at Westinghouse Hanford Co. in Tri-Cities, WA. for the bulk of his career. In retirement he is trying to learn as much as possible about sustainable (or even nearly sustainable) food production to pass on to the next generation.



The Community Energy Challenge: A Whatcom Green Jobs and Energy Efficiency Program       Alex Ramel                                                                                    Band Room

Starting in 2010, the Community Energy Challenge will substantially reduce Whatcom County’s consumption of electricity and natural gas by targeting comprehensive, deep efficiency focused programs at both commercial and residential facilities, by reducing the barriers to implementing energy efficiency including financing and an adequate, qualified workforce, and by raising awareness of opportunities to conserve energy through community based social marketing, establishing community goals and friendly competition. 


Alex is the Energy and Policy Manager with Sustainable Connections. He was the lead author of Bellingham’s greenhouse gas inventory and local climate action plan. He also assisted with the development of Whatcom County’s local climate action plan and helped to implement the Green Power Community Challenge.


Local Herbs for Health and Healing                            3rd Floor Commons             

Linda Quintana and Kim Bauer ND

This will be a panel discussion with Linda Quintana and Kim Bauer ND. Linda and Kim will each present information on local healing herbs and then take questions from the audience.


Linda owns Wonderland Herbs & Teas & Spices. She teaches classes and provides products to the local market. Kim is a midwife and naturopathic physician practicing from the London Health Center in Ferndale. She was on her way to a PHD in botany when she decided to become an ND and teaches local herbs at Bastyr University.



Living With Uncertainty                Cyndy Sheldon MSW              2nd Floor Commons

We will explore ways to help ourselves from an emotional and spiritual point of view and live with the uncertainty of the times.


Cyndy is a Gestalt and Family Therapist in private practice, coordinator for BIONS (The Institute Of Noetic Sciences (IONS) Community Group in Bellingham), and a member of the Heart and Soul Initiative of Transition Whatcom.             



Fourth Corner Exchange: Exploring Alternative Currency              Choir Room

Francis Ayley

Fourth Corner Exchange is a Sustainable Community Currency based in Bellingham, which has which over eight hundred participating members. Local, alternative and community currencies replace the money drained away, allowing the people to continue trading the essentials of life. Fourth Corner Exchange Life Dollars cannot be removed from the communities in which they circulate, because the members issue Life Dollars as and when they need them by trading their goods and services within their communities. This is democratic money, issued in sufficiency by the people to meet all their local trading needs.

Francis is the founder of Fourth Corner Exchange.              



Whatcom County Elders Talk about Our Relationship with Nature Staff Room

A panel of local elders will share their stories, with a focus on the importance in their lives of maintaining an enlivened relationship with the natural world.



Made by Hand: The Changing Nature of Work Brian Kerkvliet    Room 120

What kinds of skills will we need in a powered down future? The past has a lot to teach us. Discover some of the skills and tools that our grandparents took for granted, and find out where you can learn to use them yourself.                                         


Brian has been a resident of Whatcom County since 1981 and a glass artist for 30 years.  He co-founded Inspiration Farm 15 years ago, an 11 acre beyond organic” homestead, incorporating Permaculture and Biodynamics practices in relation to annual and perennial food systems, animal husbandry and land/water management. He is committed to applying appropriate and sustainable technology and methods.



12:30-1:30 PM             


Introduction to Permaculture   Paul Kearsley, Dyana Fiediga         Staff Room

and Seth June  

Permaculture is about designing holistic human systems.  This presentation will cover 7 simple steps to get you involved today.


All three speakers work as Ecological Landscapers for Homestead Habitats.



Eat Local EVERY Week: How the sustainable local food     Room 120

economy is leading innovation in Whatcom County Laura Leigh Ridenour

Join an interactive presentation and discussion on how individuals, businesses and the whole community can take far-reaching actions to expand the capacity of our local food system. Learn about the key role that food and agriculture-based businesses play in the local economic multiplier, and how local food weaves resiliency and closer connections between community members. Together, we can build local food resiliency by engaging in the Eat Local Campaign to support local farmers and food entrepreneurs who keep our economy vibrant!  


Laura Leigh is the Food & Farming Program Manager at Sustainable Connections. She currently sits on the Bellingham Community Co-op’s Farm Grant and Revolving Loan Fund Committee and is a member of the Whatcom County Public Health Advisory Board.             



Why Transition, Whatcom? Powering Down As We Follow the Energy Descent Curve        Choir Room

   David MacLeod


The triple threats of peak oil, climate change and economic instability are growing in intensity at a shocking rate. Fossil fuels have led to a two-century long addictive fascination with oil-based technology and machines, which in the future can no longer be sustained. We will need to drastically reduce our consumption of fossil fuel energy and products derived from it.The Transition Initiatives approach helps us prepare for this 'energy descent' future, which could result in a life that is more fulfilling and more socially connected than the one we have today.

David initiated and served on the city and county appointed Energy Resource Scarcity/Peak Oil Task Force (ERSPO), serves on the Vision Team for Sustainable Bellingham, is editor of the weekly Sustainable Bellingham Community Newsletter, manages the Transition Whatcom Community Network website, and is a Transition Whatcom Initiating Group (TWIG) member. David is a recipient of the 2009 RE Sources Environmental Hero award.


The Upside of the Downturn: Healthcare After Peak Oil              Band Room

Dr. Frank James

A discussion of what health and disease care will look like over the next 20 years. What is likely to improve and what will get much harder. 


Frank has served our community for over 20 years, as the county Health Officer, the Medical Director of Interfaith Clinic, as a health leader for both the Lummi and Nooksack People, and as a researcher on cancer prevention at the St Joseph Hospital. Dr James also teaches at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine. He has worked extensively abroad, mainly in China, East Timor and India, in places where health and disease care will look a lot like where we are headed, with few traditional disease care resources.             


Accelerating the Transition: A Youth Perspective                2nd Floor Commons

Stephen Trinkaus, Dillon Thomson, Cameron Murphey, Max Wilbert, Thia Riddle, Kendall Hardy, Makena Henriksen

This session focuses on the growing perception, especially among young people, that this radical approach—accelerating the transition—is not only warranted, but necessary.  We will also explore avenues for realizing effective legal resistance in Whatcom County.             


The presenters are participants in Fertile Ground, a local non-profit that believes that the global destruction created by industrial civilization presents the case for organizing local

resistance movements in order to accelerate the transition to a post-oil world.



Changing Transportation Plans for Bellingham/Whatcom County   Room 113

Jim McCabe

A discussion of transportation in Bellingham/Whatcom County and how it might change in the future, including: energy usage in Whatcom County, including the transportation component;

transportation objectives in the Bellingham Comprehensive Plan and for county; and transportation alternatives to gasoline/diesel fuelled vehicles.

Jim is a member of the Bellingham/Whatcom County Energy Resource Scarcity/Peak Oil Task Force, a member of the Bellingham Transportation Commission, a member of the Bellingham Park & Recreation Advisory Board, and a guest lecturer in WWU’s College of Business and economics.  He had 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry.


Voluntary Simplicity                                          Chris Wolf                                          3rd Floor Commons

We live in a more extravagant and wasteful culture than humanity has ever known.  In this session we will explore the practice of Voluntary Simplicity, including the reasons why folks choose to live simply, and we will share our favorite tips for increasing internal "richness" while decreasing external wealth.                            


Chris is a native Bellinghamster, avid gardener and Permaculturist, and a member of the Transition Whatcom Initiating Group.



Conversation with Keynoter Vicki Robin                                          Room 115


You’ll have an opportunity to converse with Vicki after her keynote in a small group setting.




2:50-3:45 PM


Feeding Whatcom County after Peak Oil: A Panel Discussion      Band Room Gigi Berardi-Allaway, Fred Berman, Brian Kerkvliet, Walter Haugen, David MacLeod


A panel discussion re the sources of our food supply after Peak Oil.


Fred was an organic farmer for 27 years, a Whatcom Co. restaurateur for the past 26 years, and is currently the Small Farm Program Coordinator for the Washington State Department of Agriculture, and a passionate supporter of local food systems. Walter operates F.A. Farm west of Ferndale. He has been building a sustainable model of agriculture for 6 years and uses input/output analysis to measure sustainability. Gigi is a teacher at Huxley College, Western Washington University, where she directs the Resilient Farms Project.  Gigi recently completed service as the Food and Agriculture sub-committee lead for the city and county appointed Energy Resource Scarcity/Peak Oil Task Force (ERSPO). Brian has been a resident of Whatcom County since 1981 and a glass artist for 30 years.  He co-founded Inspiration Farm 15 years ago, an 11 acre beyond organic” homestead, incorporating Permaculture and Biodynamics practices in relation to annual and perennial food systems, animal husbandry and land/water management. He is committed to applying appropriate and sustainable technology and methods.



Navigating the Great Turning      Kathryn Fentress                            Choir Room

This session will offer psychological and spiritual practices to help with the emotional challenges of the transition to a post-oil world. We will also discuss a model of how to change our consciousness and our behavior as we shift from being consumers to global citizens.  


Kathryn is a transpersonal psychologist in private practice in Bellingham. She is dedicated to assisting individuals and groups in the transformation of consciousness and the development of our full human potential. She is also a facilitator for the Awakening the Dreamer Symposiums through the Pachamama Alliance.



Car-less in Bellingham (and beyond)? Ann Gunderson,                 Staff Room

Robert Ashworth, Anders Carlson-Wee, and Channing Showalter

A discussion of how the panelists live in Bellingham without the costs of a car!


Ann is a professional de-clutterer, certified Permaculturist, mother, and grandmother who sold her car last Fall.  She walks and busses around Bellingham. Robert is a long-time car-free bicyclist and promoter of alternative transportation and simple living.  He manages a website and blog called The Slow Lane at Anders and Channing are Fairhaven College students who both live without cars.  Last fall they took a cross-country adventure by bicycle, hitchhiking, and train, from which they have many great stories and photographs to share.             



Local Public Transportation in the Next Generation  Rick Nicholson  Room 115

Join Rick, the WTA Director of Service Development, in a discussion of public transportation solutions for Whatcom County in 2020 and beyond.



Tool Libraries and Co-op Shops: Ideas Worth Pursuing   3rd Floor Commons

Tom Anderson

 We will explore what has been done in other places with creating tool libraries and co-op shops and consider possibilities for creating these valuable resources in Whatcom County.


Tom is a mechanical engineer in private consulting practice locally. He was manager of Whatcom Public Utility District #1 for 16 years until he went into private practice in 2006. Prior to working at the PUD he did facilities and maintenance management for local companies. He loves to build things and support people building things. Tom is a member of the Transition Whatcom Initiating Group.                            


Land-use after Peak Oil              Rick Dubrow, Wain Harrison,              2nd Floor Commons Jackie Lynch, Carl Weimer, Preston Burris Energy descent on the downward-sloping side of peak oil will be characterized by a diminishing and erratic oil supply, as well as higher prices for travel and manufactured goods. How should we plan our cities, towns, farmland and transportation for such a future?  What’s in the way to manifest such a plan?  Can we get there?

Rick: Transition Whatcom Initiating Group, owner of A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studio; Wain: Supervisor, Building Services/Long Range Planner, supervises the County plans examiners, public service inspectors and long range planners; Jackie: City of Bellingham Planner; Carl: Whatcom County Council and Executive Director of the Pipeline Safety Trust; Preston: former City of Bellingham building official.


Young Adults Talk about the Future                            Brian Carpenter                            Room 113            A panel of local young adults will discuss how they envision the future and what they are doing in their own lives in response to these expectations. Brian, a WWU graduate and Transition Whatcom volunteer, will moderate.


Conversation with Keynoter Trathen Heckman                            Room 120             

You’ll have an opportunity to converse with Trathen after his keynote in a small group setting.


More Info About The Great Unleashing:

The Great Unleashing: An Overview
General Description of the event, and an "at a glance" outline of the sessions on Day 1.

The Pedal Powered Parade
Come be a part of the pre-event parade on Saturday morning!

The Keynote Speakers: Rob Hopkins, Trathen Heckman, Vicki Robin, and Frances Moore Lappe.
Read their bios, see their photos, and learn what they'll be talking about.

The Breakout Sessions: All the Details
Full details of who, what, when and where for the breakout sessions on Day 1.

Music and Food
Music and food are important. Dana Lyons, Jan Peters, Burke Mulvaney, Youth Jazz Band, and more!

The Exhibits
Read all about the exhibits and exhibitors.

An Overview of Day 2
This is the day when the real work of Transition Whatcom will begin. We encourage everyone who has a strong interest in Transition to prioritize attending Day 2 of The Great Unleashing. It could be among the most important time spent of your entire year.

We couldn't put this event on without our sponsors. Please express your thanks to these generous companies and folks!


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