In Transition 1.0: From oil dependence to to local resilience - English Subtitles

Uploaded by alex45617 on 13.03.2012

This film was created using footage contributed by Transition Initiatives from around the world.
I remember when I was about eight years old,
back in 2006,
I was just a girl...
I remember when I was about eleven years old,
back in 2006,
I was just a boy...
I used to wonder what kind of a world we'd be living in
in 60 years' time.
The grown-ups were talking more and more about the oil running out.
They made it sound really scary.
And at school, we learned about this thing called global warming.
But back then, I didn't know really what they were on about.
IN TRANSITION From oil dependence to local resilience
IN TRANSITION 1 From oil dependence to local resilience
I just heard the word 'Transition'
and immediately a lightbulb went off in my head.
The power of the Transition movement
is already in its name.
The great thing about the Transition movement is
it's so positive.
It's doing positive things.
It's a grassroots thing,
it's something that you and I can get involved with.
It's very much focused on your own place and ground and where you are.
This is where you need to take care of and build relationships
and sort the world out from.
It's about not waiting for anybody else to fix things for us,
it's about getting on with things ourselves.
And it is actually addressing the issues that are going to increasingly come to dominate our world,
namely energy and resource depletion
and global warming.
Understanding Peak Oil
Oil is a limited resource
Oil takes hundreds of millions of years to form
Peak Oil is when oil extraction rates max out and begin to decline
It's not that we're about to run out of oil and gas,
but every oil well, every gas well
reaches a maximum rate of production
then begins to decline.
Whole countries max out and decline.
So what is oil used for?
Of the 85 million barrels of oil the world uses every day
44% is made into gasoline
35% into other fuels
and the rest?
Farming - machinery, fertilizers, pesticides
Plastics, Styrofoam
Chemicals in cosmetics
Clothing - Spandex, Nylon, Polyester
and thousands of other products
Now fossil fuels have been an enormous economic boon,
but they have created all sorts of problems,
including climate change,
dependence on foreign sources,
oil wars,
pollution of water from fertilizer run-off and petrochemicals,
acid rain killing forests,
on and on and on.
If we can do this one thing,
if we can reduce our consumption of fossil fuels
and phase them out,
we can solve all of those problems at the same time.
So when will Peak Oil happen?
There is still a lot of debate on the exact date
but one thing is certain
"No matter what else happens, this is the century in which we must learn to live without fossil fuels." - David Goodstein, Out of Gas
So what does the future hold after Peak Oil?
One scenario
Prices go up
SOLD OUT | Shortages of all kinds
Economic depressions
Resource wars
Global warming
oil is conserved, demand shrinks
Clean, renewable alternatives are put in place
Sustainable, local agriculture
Fewer cars on the road
and a sustainable and healthy future
Climate change is caused because
we are releasing carbon dioxide into the air.
The sun comes in and warms the earth's surface.
Radiation from the earth's surface, heat radiation, has to get out
in order to balance what comes in
but it's blocked on the way out
by what we call greenhouse gases.
Water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane are the most important.
Carbon dioxide is one of the major greenhouse gases.
Two hundred years ago, you see,
we began to burn coal, oil and gas.
That increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide absorbs this radiation.
It's like a blanket over the earth's surface,
keeping it warm.
If you increase the thickness of the blanket,
it gets warmer.
We don't know it,
but the weather is becoming
more and more unpredictable,
just because we're releasing carbon dioxide
into the air.
350 'parts per million' is the safe upper limit for CO2 according to leading scientists...
We are already above 385...
Peak oil and climate change aren't separate issues,
they're the same issue.
They're built around our addiction to fossil fuels.
If we can kick the habit and get off fossil fuels,
we can solve both the problems.
Evidence is that if we begin to descend
the amount of carbon that we release,
within 100 months,
we can avert catastrophe.
People were very slow to change at first.
No one wanted to think,
no more cars, planes or apples from the other side of the world.
Imagine that, apples from the other side of the world!
But we all did our bit and things started to change.
It was amazing just being part of it.
It started when I was working in Kinsale in Ireland
at the Further Education College there,
and we started looking around
for places who were using permaculture principles and
sustainability thinking and systems thinking
to work out how cities and towns and communities
are going to get through peak oil successfully,
and we couldn't find any.
So we just improvised
and did a 20-year plan for the town of Kinsale,
based on the idea that where we got to at the end
could be better than where we start from now.
So then when I moved to Totnes the following year,
it felt really vital
to try and do something to deepen that idea
and see how far we could take it.
And that was what led to the setting up
of Transition Town Totnes.
Transition Town Totnes - England Official Unleashing September 2006
Welcome Rob, welcome to you all.
He said he was gobsmacked when he saw you all!
I'm not, because this is Totnes, isn't it?
You can make a difference
and I know we will.
The Transition model spread quickly around the world.
There are now 160 'official initiatives'
and 1000s of other places are 'mulling it over'...
It's called the Transition movement.
It's about transitioning out of your current lifestyle
to help the local economy
and protecting the environment along the way.
CBS4's Molly Hughes looks at this growing trend.
You may be making small steps into Transition
and not even know it.
It can begin with simple changes like
switching to energy-efficient light bulbs,
recycling more,
turning down the thermostat a few degrees,
eliminating plastic,
using re-usable grocery bags
and taking the bus when possible.
The Transition movement has a place for everyone.
So far in New Zealand,
just a handful of towns are taking the idea seriously.
We went to one, Raglan in the Waikato.
Here's Mihingarangi Forbes.
Welcome to Solscape - motel accommodation in Raglan.
What makes it different
is the way it's powered.
This section is off the grid
and we've installed solar hot water systems and stuff.
There's a stream on our back boundary.
We gravity feed it to just down there
and then we pump it up here
for our water supply.
Phil McCabe is changing his whole business
into one that doesn't rely entirely on oil.
We don't need to draw from anywhere else
to be where we are.
Life with dramatically lower energy consumption
is inevitable.
At a public meeting a year ago,
McCabe put forward the idea
that Raglan should minimise its oil dependency.
It fuelled genuine change.
So when will the price of oil get too high for you?
And when it does, how will you fill your car,
warm your house or put food on your table?
Here in Raglan, they're not waiting to find out.
They're coming up with their own ideas for renewable energies.
This is one of New Zealand's Transition Towns.
In 2008 the 100th 'official' Transition Initiative,
Transition Fujino in Japan,
achieved its Transition Town status,
and one in Berlin [Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg] soon followed.
Transition Norwich - England 'Great Unleashing' 1st October 2008
Eventually Transition Towns became Transition Villages, Transition Islands and even Cities...
This is the first unleashing of a city, a major city.
It was fantastic.
We had 400-odd people arrive in
the biggest hall we could find in Norwich,
and we had people working in small groups at that unleashing
on particular themes
that have now started out as theme groups.
We were very pleased, because it drew in
a very wide range of people.
It drew in people who were involved in existing groups
and it drew in new people,
so it did everything we wanted it to do, really.
The structure of this meeting was absolutely amazing,
because people were centred around,
they could immediately share their experiences,
share ideas and
become involved more proactively.
I think it's a wonderful way of conducting a meeting,
and it was very inspiring!
We were talking about how a lot of people our age
are really excited about learning to drive,
and how we don't really want to learn to drive right now
because we want to not become reliant on cars and things.
And it's really nice to interact with the wider community
and to talk to the elders
and to meet people who have lived in this part of the country
for so many years.
I've felt so frustrated and worried and disillusioned
with politicians and what's going on and the inaction
about what's happening in the world,
so it's really heartening for me to be here
and to see that actually people are prepared to do something.
I'm really pleased that I'm in Norwich now.
I thought the turn-out tonight was absolutely amazing.
There were nearly 400 people here, and that's huge.
I have to admit that was a lot more than I was expecting.
I'm dead impressed with the organisers
and it makes me optimistic that
something's really going to happen here.
'One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.'|Andre Gide
North Howe Transition Toun - Scotland Transition Tavern
We are part of a Transition group
called the North Howe Transition Toun,
and the North Howe Transition Toun
has started a community pub.
People need to be living in community.
You don't want you over here
and your best friend way over here.
You want you here and your best friend here,
... the beginning of a dream, really,
to turn our local village hall
into a zero carbon hall.
It was about eight months ago
that a few of us were in this hall
and the feeling was really different.
It was our first public event as a Transition group,
and it was really like,
'Oh, what are we doing?
We're stepping out into this public arena
and we don't know what the response is going to be.
We don't know what people's reactions are going to be.'
And I remember that sense of trepidation...
'We're going public!'
We'd only just had a few meetings in our living room
with some friends and neighbours,
just feeling our way,
and then it was this first public thing.
But we did it!
You can join a Transition group,
or if there's not one in your area,
you can just start one.
Food groups are often the first place Transition groups get started,
promoting local, seasonal food
& supporting local agriculture...
Transition Town Kinsale - Ireland | 50 Mile Meal Award
A 50-mile meal award was launched last year
as an initiative to promote local food production.
So it's around raising awareness of why it is important
to source food locally.
We have a local shrimp cocktail,
which is shrimp from the harbour here in Kinsale.
The Marie Rose was made with eggs from Upton,
the limes are from abroad, obviously.
Over here then we have a smoked eel salad,
with beetroot which is locally grown, and watercress.
It's ridiculous, you can buy garlic in Ireland
but the majority of it would come from China.
We should become more self-sufficient.
The carrots and chopped potatoes in the chowder
are grown actually in our proprietor's garden,
which is only two miles up the road.
He has an acre site where we grow
a lot of our veg for the White House restaurant.
And there was a smoked eel, beetroot and watercress salad in there.
Ah, sighs of remembrance!
This is all the work of Pearse O'Sullivan at Toddies.
In the US a typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach the dinner table.
Transition Town Totnes - England | Garden Share Scheme
The garden share project means that people who don't have land
and don't have any garden space,
are matched together with people who have garden space
that they don't use in Totnes.
And the idea is for it to be a long-term, growing community relationship and commitment,
really helping us get back more into the habit of sharing,
sharing our space and sharing our resources
and learning that we are utterly interdependent.
I've moved your leeks that were here, they're there now.
So few people have access to land.
That's a really obvious background thing.
I think also people are a bit more aware
of the food resilience issues.
It's common knowledge now
that we have between three and five days' worth
of food in the supermarkets.
Also, food prices have been going up,
so people are really interested in growing their own food.
They can really easily grow their own salads,
there's no packaging, there's no food miles.
I think people have started thinking more
about those kinds of issues, and eating in season and things.
And then there's been this massive
media uptake of the project,
and the BBC wanting to come and film it,
and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
'River Cottage: Autumn' | Channel 4 Television
For over a year now, Transition Town Totnes
has been busy matchmaking gardeners and land
and now have around 20 successful pairings.
And if this was extrapolated to a national level...
There are hundreds of thousands if not millions
of acres of land out there.
There's plenty to go around really.
Yes. It seems a very small beginning,
but it will grow,
and the impact of it and the importance of it
I don't think can be exaggerated.
It has been amazing to have so much media attention on it,
because the idea has spread far and wide.
I must have been contacted by
about 20 to 30 different projects around the country.
I've also been talking to various groups and land experts
about how we can get more and more people
all across the country doing exactly the same thing.
And now, inspired by the Totnes story,
we've come up with the idea of a national network,
When I first started it I thought,
'It'll be a success if there are three gardeners.'
And actually, looking at it now,
there are over 50 families involved.
A lot of it is about people wanting
those links with the land again,
and wanting to learn and be part of that fantastic tradition
that is propagating and seed-saving and
having their hands in the soil
and really learning what it is that makes us live,
that makes us thrive.
It's particularly people who are living in flats,
who don't have any access to green space.
It's absolutely lovely to be able to know
that there's a little patch of land
where you can just go and sit and be,
surrounded by your flowers and vegetables,
and watching the butterflies go by.
In the UK, half of all vegetables and 95% of all fruit comes from overseas...
Transition Waiheke - New Zealand OOOOBY Store
Welcome to the OOOOBY store.
This is our second day here, and we're having a working bee.
We're in Ostend on Waiheke Island
and we have commandeered a garden centre
that has been here for a long time.
OOOOBY is an idea that has come to us,
that we are able to bring a capital model and a social model together,
creating a social enterprise.
So this is the first OOOOBY store
and we hope this is the first of very many OOOOBY stores
opening up all around the country
and all around the world.
And the whole idea about the OOOOBY store
is that we create a social space where
people can come and learn about food growing.
We have workshops here.
We have demonstration garden beds coming.
You'll be able to get seedlings and soil treatments
and compost and everything like that.
So we're creating a one-stop food-grower shop
for everyone on the island to get into food growing.
And OOOOBY stands for 'out of our own back yard',
so it's a very cool little acronym
that says everything that we want to say.
142,000 acres of orchards have been cut down in England in the last 100 years.
Transition Town Llandeilo - Wales | 'Afallon Teilo' - The Apple Project
Hello! Welcome to the show!
We're planting apple trees, which has a long history in this area.
You'll struggle to find a local apple, that's for sure.
I know the local deli sells them sometimes.
Somebody brings in a basket of apples
and they go just like that, because people want them.
A hundred years ago there were over a hundred orchards
in the area around Llandeilo.
And now there's probably about seven,
so we've got a lot of catching up to do.
The gardens here have now become
a part of the curriculum and the outdoor learning environment,
teaching the children about sustainability, about their future,
and about the community and about the involvement of everybody.
It's about getting involved in my community,
it's about putting my fear into something more positive.
It's a way in. It's below the radar, it's not political,
it's a really practical project.
It's not a talking shop, it's about getting people to do it.
Transition has been really good because
it's taking that fear and the need to withdraw
and take care of your nearest and dearest,
and looking at your local community and thinking,
'Actually, without them we wouldn't survive anyway,
so let's get in there and do something with them.
And if we all pull together
then something really useful might happen
and there might be a future that's worth living for our children.'
Before the Transition, people were just trying to make ends meet.
Not change the world.
But we had to do something.
People came up with all kinds of ways to make small changes.
Everyone had a part to play, something to give, something to contribute.
We didn't know if it would make a difference, but it didn't stop us trying.
Transitioning the economy means finding creative ways to stop money pouring out of our communities...
Transition Town Lewes - England | Lewes Pound
We're not loaded, we're small businesses and struggling, yeah?
It's something to help us as well as everyone else, isn't it?
The ultimate test will be when someone gets mugged for Lewes pounds...
...and they don't just chuck them in the gutter!
I can't wait to try and pay for my parking tickets with the Lewes pound!
Three, two, one...
The Lewes pound is a local currency,
and the idea is thinking of a community as being like
a big leaky bucket,
and money pours into it from all different places -
from grants, from pensions, from wages or whatever.
It comes into our economy and then most of it
just pours out of the holes in the bucket.
Every time you shop in a supermarket,
80% of that money leaves.
So you have a national currency
which just pours through our communities.
Whereas if you have a local currency
- this is the Totnes pound, the currency I've been involved in -
it can't leave.
It bounces off the side of the bucket.
It's never seen as something that's going to completely replace sterling,
but it's seen as something that runs alongside it,
as a complementary thing.
It's like mindful money.
If you go shopping with a local currency,
you make a conscious decision
that you're going to support local businesses.
Our initial print run was 10,000 Lewes pounds,
and they were sold out within three days of the launch.
The reason for that primarily was collectors.
This was the biggest currency launch in the UK
in over 100 years, and within a day,
Lewes pounds were trading on Ebay.
Within two days they were selling for £30 a pound.
It was ridiculous...
...because it's not officially money.
It hasn't got the Queen's head on it
and it is not legal tender.
In other words there's no obligation
for anyone to take it in.
What it is - but don't tell this to anyone -
it's a voucher.
The idea behind the Lewes pound is to strengthen the local economy
and raise awareness about the importance
of local trade and local supply,
to help support our local traders.
It keeps them in business when everyone's going to Tesco.
The second thing is to reduce our carbon footprints,
because local suppliers tend to be sourced more locally,
none of the flying around in jets all across the world.
We have this silly situation where
we end up buying beans from Kenya
when we're perfectly able to grow beans here.
There's an imbalance in trade
between the global markets and the local markets,
and we focus far too much on the global markets,
which we need for a lot of things.
We need them for healthcare, we need them for technology,
we need them for industrial manufacture, all of those things.
But we don't need them for a lot of other things.
And if we can just find the right balance between
what can be done locally and
what needs to be done globally,
then I think we've got the basis for
a local and global economy that can work together
for the benefit of the planet and its people.
Education groups focus on how to make education appropriate for these fast-changing times. Many Transition Initiatives work with their local schools...
Transition Newent - England | Bag-Making Workshop
This one, do you recognise what that might have been?
Yes, it was a little girl's dress
and all I did was change the top a bit
and put a handle on.
We've been to the charity shops
and we've brought with us a lot of items of clothing,
and we've also brought fabrics from curtains
and the kind of fabrics that people have lying around at home.
The aim is to show them the bags that we've made
and encourage them to think creatively
about what kind of bag they could make
out of any of these materials.
And it's a privilege to see
a child learning a skill from another adult, not its parent,
and I think that's all part of developing
a sense of community.
That's it. Try not to pull it too tight.
One of the things that really impresses me
as I look around this wonderful crowd of people
is how much communication there is going on.
...and sew that bit together.
Now I know that obviously making a few bags
is not going to significantly change the carbon footprint of Newent.
However, for me there's something about
re-finding some of the connections
that perhaps we used to have
in our more local communities.
So, all ages meeting together,
and here we have that.
And all ages communicating and responding to each other
in ways that often in our very busy lives
we don't have time to do.
The central part of Transition
is re-creating some of these connections.
I think that builds a kind of emotional resilience.
We know things are going to change,
in terms of the materials that we have available,
in terms of transport, in terms of oil availability.
These stresses and changes that are going to happen,
we need to be resourceful in meeting them.
And the great strength that we have
is our relationships and our communities,
and I think this bag workshop
shows how people can come together and be creative.
And also of course get a tremendous amount of pleasure out of it,
there's a lot of laughter as well.
'Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes time. Vision with action can change the world.'| Joel Barker
The Transition Network - England | Training for Transition
Transition for me has been the thing
that has made sense of my whole life.
And I've had that experience reflected by a lot of people,
that Transition uses every bit of them.
We often ask the groups who come on our training
what it is about Transition that really attracted them.
It's permaculture with knobs on!
One of the things that comes across very strongly
is how powerful this positive visioning for the future is
in drawing people in.
And for me that's one of the most powerful things
that any of us can do at this time -
close your eyes and imagine what would your community look like
if you had the future that you really want for your children?
What would that look like? What would it feel like?
What does it taste and smell like?
What are you eating? What do you wear?
What do the buildings look like?
What are people doing in their days?
How do they look when you look into their eyes?
Those sorts of questions are really powerful, I think,
for people to come out of the despair
and have a sense that there could be another future.
If we don't do that visioning and imagining the world we want,
and then take steps towards it,
we're going to get a world that somebody else wants.
At a personal level, for most people,
as they wake up or come into a realisation
that the world's not going to carry on as it is today,
initially it's often a very isolated place to be.
It's so hard... I'm the crazy person in the room!
And it's stressful and often painful.
One of the really important things is to keep connecting
with people who see that the change is coming
because it helps support that in you.
So that's one of the things that I think Transition really provides -
a place for people who see that things are changing
to connect with others who want to do something about it
and whose choice on waking up is action,
is to find ways of taking action.
Because just to take action
itself brings about a transformation,
and it shifts that belief that I think is very pervasive in our world,
that 'There's nothing that I can do as an individual.'
But actually, if we don't do it as individuals,
and even better as individuals who come together as groups,
nothing's going to happen.
'Creating the world we want is a much more subtle but more powerful mode of operation than destroying the one we don't.' - Marianne Williamson
Transition Town Totnes together with the year 7 students of Kevics Community College Totnes proudly present...
...presenting the news as they see it from 2030...
The Totnes Evening News 2030.| News faster than you can watch it...
Hello and welcome to TNS news - Totnes News Station.
I'm your lead anchor Colin Parker. Tonight's top stories...
Coldest weather since records began
way back in 1802.
We go over to our weather reporter Donald Carter
for more information.
We definitely wanted the ideas to be coming from them,
and to be a genuine expression of what they'd learned, what they'd discovered.
As soon as you introduce the idea of the future,
a lot of what comes up in the collective consciousness
is images of hoverboards and aliens,
so it took a little bit of guidance.
Recently there's been rumours that a group
of fat middle-aged men have been found
inside the castle.
They've been using small children,
many as young as eight,
who with plastic forks have been digging for oil
that has been found underneath the castle.
There has been a very bad amount of oil
in this country for the past 20 or so years.
People tell stories about their schools,
about celebrity culture,
all sorts of wonderful wild ideas.
I see, but what about your clothes?
Surely they must be made by machines?
We pressed them ourselves with material made by blind nuns in Austria.
To envision something positive,
we show the possibility of how it could be different
and then find ways of moving towards it.
That feels absolutely essential to what Transition Tales was about,
about the power of storytelling, really.
Stories shape the way that we act.
There are probably three dominant cultural stories
about the future and where we're headed.
One is the sort of 'business-as-usual' -
everything tomorrow will basically look like today
but maybe slightly different, maybe bigger and faster and shinier.
And the second is apocalypse,
'We're all doomed, we're all going to hell!'
There are many manifestations of that
throughout the media of course.
And the third is this idea that technology
will solve all our problems
and maybe ultimately we'll end up with Star Trek
or something like exploring the universe.
And so what we're trying to do is build a fourth vision,
a Transition vision,
which is about a more localised, resilient future
in which we avoid the worst of peak oil and climate change,
the worst consequences of those,
and move into a future where we have lots of people
living lower energy lives
but much much more satisfying lives,
much more fulfilling lives.
'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.'| Albert Einstein
Transition Newent - England - Oil Memorial
Well, the reason for making the oil memorial
was to try and get people to understand in the school
just how much was dependent on oil.
The children were going by and I'd say,
'What's plastic made of?'
And they'd say, 'Plastic!'
And I'd say, 'Yes, no, but what is plastic?'
Very few people seem to realise
how much oil is involved.
Fertilizers, weedkillers, medicines...
Endless, endless lists of things that we take for granted
are actually oil-dependent.
This gets a bit tricky after a while, it's getting quite tight.
If the world didn't have oil,
it would be less polluted but we wouldn't be able to go on holidays.
We should be using less oil
so we can save a bit more than we are at the moment.
It's just fun getting people involved in making something,
with a message,
just to celebrate the incredible achievements
that oil has brought for us,
then to turn it into a memorial to say goodbye to it!
'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.' Margaret Mead
Transition Town Tooting - England Trashcatchers' Carnival
We're starting a process today which is very exciting,
because in a year's time we're working up to having a big trashcatchers' carnival in Tooting.
Using recycling as a metaphor
to enable people to start to imagine
their relationship with their community
and with the planet.
We're going to use the material that they bring with them
and transform it into something beautiful.
Trashcatcher Tooting, Trashcatcher Tooting everyone,
Trashcatcher Tooting, You just gotta trashcatch in Tooting!
What you're seeing here, seeing now,
people who have never really thought about the environment,
people who've not really looked at their own faith and all the faiths in Tooting.
If you look at the scriptures and the teachings of the various prophets,
they all talk about loving the earth, about respecting the earth,
respecting the environment.
And the walk was all about that.
I suspect that Transition Town Tooting, TTT,
will be different from a Transition Town in Bristol
or even in east London or even in west London
or even in parts of Wandsworth.
That uniqueness will give it its strength,
because you can't impose upon Tooting a Transition Town model
from another part of the country.
That's why it takes time, and that's why you've got to have patience.
It's brought awareness, because most of the children did not know about Transition Town Tooting.
Today I think it's been wonderful
that they were all round to witness this.
I think it's great!
Every event I've been to with Transition Town, every meeting I've been to,
it's always positive.
If you're going to inspire young people, you've got to be positive.
If you're going to inspire first-generation immigrants,
people for whom English isn't their first language, you've got to be optimistic.
If you're going to gel and integrate people who've lived cheek by jowl
for maybe many many years but not necessarily mixed properly,
you've got to be optimistic.
Transition Town Tooting is very optimistic.
Transport groups set up car share schemes and explore ways to make transport radically more sustainable...
Transition Penwith - England | Eco Car
I've been involved with Transition Penwith, down here in west Cornwall,
for the last two or three years.
We operate a fleet of electric cars and vans,
which we've been using in different projects.
Cornwall's a big tourist destination
so we hope to get people to arrive by more sustainable means,
namely the train, and then use an electric vehicle while they're here
for part of their transport for their daily excursions.
Electric cars are very efficient because
most of the energy you put into them gets translated into movement.
In a normal car, a petrol car or diesel car,
you lose a lot of the energy as sound and heat.
A modern diesel engine may get to 50% efficiency,
so you're losing half the energy that's contained in the fuel.
Electric cars can be about 90% efficient.
The effective CO2 emissions of the car,
based on dirty energy, so that's from coal, from gas-fired power stations,
this is still only half the emissions of a comparable car.
But having said that, there's no point using these cars unless
you're going to use green energy, renewable energy.
So while these cars are very efficient, very clean, it's not just a case of saying,
'Let's replace all the cars out there with electric cars and we've solved the problem.'
It's a case of saying,
'OK, let's try to avoid driving solo,
let's try and car-share, and also think a bit more about
what kind of journeys we're making,
and try and consolidate all those errands and frivolous trips into one journey.
What I think is powerful about the Transition movement is
it's starting to bring together people who have got the right ideas,
who have got the vision to do the right thing, if you like.
But it is quite a young movement
and so, frustratingly, there is a certain lag
in making some of these ideas a reality.
But what I think is really powerful
is that the powers-that-be
- the councils, the government -
are starting to appreciate that the Transition movement
and more importantly the people within it,
because that's what is the most powerful thing,
are starting to make a lot of sense.
So what maybe only 18 months ago was a very Transition idea,
is starting to be very much more mainstream.
Transition groups also work productively with their local governments, & now local authorities are actually becoming Transition Local Authorities...
North Norfolk - England | Local Area Partnership Meeting
I'm hoping that Rob will inspire the representatives
who have come today to hear him speak,
to take up the mantle of the Transition Towns
as a project which all our market towns can adopt
in unison with each other.
We're moving from a time
when our consumption of fossil fuels, be it oil or gas,
is the key factor in our economic success,
our sense of wellbeing, our personal prowess,
to a time when our dependency on fossil fuels
is our degree of vulnerability.
That's the key message, I think, for today.
The whole sense of a town being in transition
from what it is today
to what it could become tomorrow,
in terms of resilience,
is the thing that really captured my imagination
and made it exciting for me.
This idea of resilience is really important.
Resilience is the ability of a community or an individual
or a settlement or a nation
to withstand a shock from the outside.
How do we design into our towns and settlements and cities
the ability to adapt and change quickly
and to become much more responsive
to what's happening around them?
What we've developed so far is the Transition bit,
which is the grassroots model, the bottom-up model.
So it's fascinating to start exploring what it looks like
when a local authority starts to come the other way.
Then really you start to move to what actually local democracy
was always intended to be about,
where the community's driving things, making decisions,
having a vision, driving things forward,
and the local authority's role
is to facilitate and enable that.
Actually, there is the potential in this
to create something really quite extraordinary.
And there is potential within addressing these issues
for an economic, social and cultural renaissance
the likes of which we have never seen.
There's something about the Transition idea which is really sticky,
and it sticks itself onto all kinds of different things.
You see that all over the place.
People just get it and go, 'Oh I see, oh OK...'
This is a process which acts as a catalyst.
This isn't a process that comes along with all the answers in a little box
and opens up the box and just gets them all out.
This is a process that you start, and you catalyse,
and you have no idea where it's going to go
or what's going to come out of it.
What does a local authority look like
whose development plan for the next 20 years
is based on the end of the age of cheap oil,
on cutting carbon by 9% a year
like we actually are going to need to?
What does that look like? It's an enormous question.
But what's really exciting is today
I think we've sowed the seeds
of people starting to ask those questions.
A council can endorse something and then
it goes from being alternative and hippy and slightly subversive
to actually becoming mainstream.
I think that our role is to say that this isn't weird, this stuff,
this is something which makes sense.
And actually if you can change your quality of life
and reduce the amount of time you spend travelling and all those things,
I think there are so many other benefits
and this needs to be mainstream.
I think what we've decided is first of all some policies
to embed Transition Towns into everything that we do.
It's double underlining the idea of Transition Towns in every action.
North Norfolk should not be either flat, flooded or forgotten,
and I think today we've put it back on the map
and we're going to make sure that it isn't any of those three.
I think the work that local authorities are doing,
the work of the Transition Towns movement,
all that work is incredibly important.
It's incredibly important in itself,
because it makes people in local areas
change the way they live, change their area for the better.
But it is also important because it signs people up
and gets them involved in a bigger idea.
We all have to pull closer together and work with each other,
because I think there's a lot of isolation,
a lot of people are quite isolated and quite scared.
I think it's the war spirit - we'll all pull together
and we'll get through this together.
It's an extraordinary time to be alive.
It's the most exciting, terrifying time of great opportunity.
I feel that there are doors opening in the world
and that whatever we can imagine individually
and as groups, as communities,
whatever we dare to imagine is really possible now.
And now it's 2066.
I feel really proud to have been part of that.
We turned it around when most people thought we didn't have a chance.
Lots of small changes, all coming together, all over the world.
That changed everything.
IN TRANSITION| From oil dependence to local resilience
IN TRANSITION 1 | From oil dependence to local resilience
To find out if where you live is 'In Transition' visit:| If it isn't... here's how to get started:
- Organise a public screening of this film.
- Gather audience contact details and invite them to a meeting.
- Download and follow the Transition Primer.
- Learn from other initiatives.
(It should feel more like a party than a protest.)
Version 2 of 'In Transition' will be compiled in 2010 from the footage you send us.
To find out more visit
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Special thanks to the following for their contribution:
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Produced by Smith & Watson for|The Transition Network | (c) The Transition Network 2009