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A call to transition to a post-oil world

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Over a period of five-10 years, the process can lead to community self-reliance in a way that meets the unique geographical terrain of the area and demographics of the population. Discovering the unfolding nature of the process, people may find a new sense of trust with their neighbours, see their communities develop a more robust and thriving flavour -- and actually live more fulfilling, happy lives as a result.

In the later phases, some Transition Initiatives see the development of large scale local food production, community owned renewable energy companies, local complementary currencies and trading systems, time banks, social enterprises of all types, community gardens, community owned assets and infrastructure, tool sharing, neighbourhood councils, building material exchanges, reusable waste and zero waste strategies, skills  training, local breweries and bakeries, among many other unique and powerful projects. One can see Transition as the ‘glue’ that coordinates all the systems together – and the main job of the movement is to facilitate people, ideas, projects, stakeholders and systems – rather than be the hierarchy that tells everyone what to do.

The point is to create a ‘resilient’ community, so that if there were to be any sort of global economic collapse or natural disruption – community residents will still be able to power and heat their homes, feed their families and also trade locally.

It is about getting prepared as an entire community, and letting go of any romanticized ‘survivalist’ mentalities.

The evolution of Transition

Fighting battles, such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, are what psychologist Joanna Macy would describe as ‘holding actions.’ They are about ‘stopping’ and resisting. Transition is about moving forward, co-creating, trusting the process and all together solving our own problems in the face of adversity. So this is a chance to channel any frustrations or anger into a constructive, positive arena.

The Transition movement began in England in 2005 by founder Rob Hopkins. It quickly went ‘viral’ and in 2008 Hopkins published the first procedural manual called “The Transition Handbook.” In that book, he laid out ‘12 steps’ for communities to reduce or end fossil fuel dependency. As time went on, and more communities came on board, the movement began to identify many similar patterns that were reflected in the process of other communities. Thus, the Transition movement itself went through its own process of discovery, learning and adaptation.

As a result, the movement evolved its approach and structure and just as recently as October of 2011, Hopkins published the second procedural manual called The Transition Companion.This manual re-focused the movement to reflect the scale and patterns that communities will encounter during the starting phase to later phases, among many new tools and principles to use.

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