New Internationalist

The Transition Handbook

May 2008

From oil dependency to local resilience.

Since its inception just two years ago, the Transition movement has grown with a surprising rapidity. There are now nearly 40 official Transition Initiatives around Britain and some 600 at more formative stages around the globe. Put simply, the idea is that the twin challenges of peak oil and climate change mean we will be living lives that are less energy intense and more local in the near future. Rather than impoverishing us, this change will actually lead to greater well-being and more fulfilled lives. But we must start to design the change for ourselves now rather than wait for the current system to collapse.

This beautifully designed Handbook brings together the insights and experience of Hopkins and his fellow pioneers. It’s a set of tools, perspectives and processes that can be drawn on and adapted as necessary. Together they represent new ways of thinking that have engaged people in action at a neighbourhood level rather than resorting to isolated individual changes, despair or denial. You’ll find information on how to start a transition initiative in your local area; the importance of a collective vision; permaculture principles; and what a low-energy future might look like in terms of medicine, the economy, transport, education and housing. It’s all remarkably accessible, constructive and positive. The Transition movement is the best news there’s been for a long time and this manual is a goldmine of inspiration to get you started.


This column was published in the May 2008 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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