The Transition Handbook

The Transition Handbook

From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience

Book - 2008
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We live in an oil-dependent world, and have got to this level of dependency in a very short space of time, using vast reserves of oil in the process without planning for when the supply is not so plentiful. Most people don't want to think about what happens when the oil runs out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable and profound changes ahead can have a positive effect. They can lead to the rebirth of local communities, which will generate their own fuel, food and housing. They can encourage the development of local currencies, to keep money in the local area. They can unleash a local 'skilling-up', so that people have more control over their lives.
The Transition Handbook is the manual which will guide communities to begin this 'energy descent' journey. The argument that 'small is inevitable' is upbeat and positive, as well as utterly convincing.

The Transition Companion by Rob Hopkins was published in 2012, and The Power of Just Doing Stuff in 2014.

Publisher: White River Junction, Vt. : Chelsea Green Pub., 2008
ISBN: 9781900322188
Characteristics: 240 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Feb 10, 2012

This book has 3 sections. The first describes the double, interconnected threats of Peak Oil and Climate Change and the effects they will have on our economy and society. The second addresses the psychological effects of these facts on people, discusses the psychology of change and describes how we can overcome our addiction to fossil fuels. The third section describes the Transition Initiative approach to creating resilient communities able to withstand this double threat.

The book is always positive – it doesn’t dwell on what is wrong with our behaviour but envisions a bright and enticing future in resilient communities that can withstand the economic and social shocks that will inevitably come our way. The Transition Initiative system described began in the UK around 2005 and is rapidly spreading to communities around the world – including several in Canada. It is a community-initiated, inclusive, positive approach based on the key concepts of resilience, localization and envisioning a brighter future. It goes beyond the traditional concept of ecological sustainability to a new way of thinking about our communities, our economies and our interaction with nature.

The book is written in an accessible, easy-to-read, conversational style. I would have preferred the language to have been a little tighter but this does not at all detract from the message of the book. The one flaw in the content, in my opinion, is that it did not address the third threat of coming water shortages, largely the result of climate change.

The concepts of Peak Oil and Climate Change can be overwhelming and depressing, leaving us with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and despair. This book urges us to rid ourselves of these feelings and envision a bright and enticing future, beyond fossil fuels, with vibrant and resilient communities based primarily on local economies and where life is, once again, on a human scale. And it tells us in step-by-step detail how to work together as a community to pursue such a future. It should be essential reading for anyone interested in creating this future for themselves and for subsequent generations. It is our best, and perhaps only, hope.

Jul 20, 2011

Examples from the UK of towns which have already started to transition to the realities of a post-oil world. Ideas for generating interest and commitment to the process and discussion of what has worked and what has not.


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