Innagural presentation for Transition Milwaukee. The transition movement is an international grassroots framework for creating local resilience and self-reliance in the face of peak oil and climate change.
Hello! Welcome – as long as everyone is here, we can begin the wild rumpus. AVTIVITY – we have sticky notes. Please take 2 and pass them along. Before we begin, this introduction to the transition initiative will be embarking on a vision quest – and you’re all participants. We’re doing the first Collective Visioning exercise for Transition Milwaukee . Throughout this discussion the definition of that term will become clearer to you. And at the end you’ll be able to review the responses up on the wall. If you’re interested in seeing the complete list, please sign up and give your email address and we will be sure to send it to you in the next week. There are boxes of sticky notes, and pens. Please take two sticky notes and one pen. One sticky note will be used now, and the other at the end of the presentation. Please take one now and fill in the blank. “What I want is…..”, and get up and post them on the wall over here. Thank you everyone for your individual contribution – for it is significant part of the whole. 2 minutes – run song/animation.
Interfacing between local government and environmental campaigns. Practacle bridge between fear based media and immovable, government policy. Resource building vs economic growth. Create a demand and all else will follow.
Rob Hopkins, permaculture designer/teacher [CLICK] Kinsale, Ireland – town of less than 3000, EDAP adopted by local council [CLICK] Rob Hopkins moved to Totnes Market town of about 8000 in southern England Started showing films & giving talks Oct 2005 Officially ‘unleashed’ as TTT Sept 2006 1 st official Transition Town Lots of media coverage, incl nationally [CLICK] Even before the official unleashing, people in other communities were already starting to implement it This is the current view of all official and unofficial transition initiatives world-wide
Handbook published in 2008 (Sept in U.S.) How might our response to peak oil and climate change look more like a party than a protest march? So what is it all about? What is it about this model that has appealed to so many people in such a short time? Transition is a framework that bridges the gap between fear-based eco campaigns and immovable bureaucratic government red tape. It is a model for building a resource-based economy vs. a monetary behemoth. Emphasis on positive collective visioning – and fun – for all those George Washingtons out there who dreamed of creating lasting positive change and re-writing history. Engaging and inclusive – from the infants to the elderly LOCAL – designing solutions to the unique needs of the individual communities Create a demand and all else will follow. 1 st green culture, then sustainability…now transition based on permaculture principles. Anyone understand, or heard of permaculture? 12 steps of…addiction (oil dependence), permaculture principles… modified for transition 12 steps. Before we go into the framework, we will assume that no one in the room is familiar with the issues of peak oil and climate change, and give an overview.
Evidence shows beyond a doubt that the global average temp has increased .8degrees celcius since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Due to carbon dioxide emissions. Our sea levels are rising Polar caps are melting Wildlife is loosing its habitat And human are being affected by and increase in hurricanes, title wave and other natural earthly responses to the temperature increase. We may lose our habitat too.
Although the issues surrounding peak oil are debated, evidence shows that oil discovery and production have plateaued. 50 years ago, the world was consuming 4 billion barrels of oil per year and the average discovery was around 30 billion. Today we consume 30 billion barrels of oil per year, and the average discovery is approaching 4 billion barrels per year. The key point is that it is not when we use the last drop that matters. The defining moment is the peak – when we realize that from this point onward there will always be less magic potion And that magic potion defines our western lifestyles and livihoods – transportation (jobs), food and materials And that increasing scarcity means it will become an increasingly expensive commodity. Ironically, everyone is focusing on the peak. But no one, until this point, has begun asking questions about what the decent will look like. Let’s explore how oil affects our lives…
How many have heard the term ‘oil addition?’ In the Transition model, the term ‘dependence’ is used in it’s place, signifying that our lifestyles evolve around oil’s use, it’s availability – which means it’s price and how much expendable cash we all have – our livelihoods. It’s exports determines the value of the dollar – and how much we work to support it’s production. The economic climate is starting to resemble our biosphere – scorched, worn, and thin. Is it any coincidence that the common link between the two is oil? Addiction is a key model used in the Transition philosophy. Hazardous, harmful, and dependent. [CLICK] Petroleum fuels cars and warms houses, and it is used to make plastics that are then made into bicycles, toys and containers. Petroleum is even used in bubblegum and medicine. What would our world be like without petroleum? Transportation needs require 66% of all available petroleum to fuel cars, buses, trucks, and jets. That means 34% of oil is used for items such as these. More than these few items listed…petrol is also used to build our renewable energy gadgets such as solar panels and wind turbines. The things we assume are going to save us and allow us to continue on with our consumer lifestyles. Why are we using it all on driving?
[CLICK] These are a list of the renewable energy streams we are activley seeking and the amount of CO2 it pumps into our atmosphere. [CLICK] These are the same energy sources listing the Energy Return on Investment - note the poor return on liquid fuels. [CLICK] Now, let’s look at the ROI and CO2 density together. What do we see? Notice the small return and CO2 emissions from the liquid fuels. This is emphatically urging us to keep coal in the ground and power down. What this means is that these renewable sources of energy are not as efficient or cheap as oil. A world without oil can do 100% to 70% less work. Oil in the 1930s had a net return of 100:1 – incredible energy return. Unprecidented in history. Today it is 11:1. Hydro is 23:1 (the highest of all) – but unpredictable due to drought or rains. Yet another reason to keep a climate balance. Biodisle Initially, this sounds like a great idea. You grow crops, you press the iol from them, you run cars on it. In theory it is carbon eutral, and creates new livelihoods for farmers. The realist is different. The reality is there is simply not enough land to do it. The starkest question is whether we eat or drive. Hydrogen It’s a fantasy for people holding on to current living standards and those who like gadgets. It’s failings stake up rather quickly. It is not an energy source, but an energy carrier. To obtain pure hydrogen, we need to run electricity through water. It is not something we find laying around below Earth’s surface. To generate this energy, the land and space would require hundreds of nuclear power plants and a solar array or wind farm that would take up entire states.
View of priorities that take both peak oil and climate change into account. PLAN, POWER-DOWN AND POWER-UP As oil becomes more and more scarce, we would be wise to take a mature view of our consumption levels and start planning for powering down. A society without fossil fuels will look much different. The Transition Model attempts to ask these very difficult questions, and engages whole communities to do so, collectivly, productvly, quickly.
[DEFINITION OF ENERGY DESCENT] The continual decline in net energy supporting humanity, a decline that mirrors the ascent in net energy that has taken place since the Industrial Revolution. It also refers to a future scenario in which humanity has successfully adapted to declining net fossil fuel energy availability and has become more localized and self-reliant. It is a term favored by people looks towards energy peak as an opportunity for positive change rather than an inevitable disaster. Transition assumes energy descent will occur. No possibility of business as usual. Collapse is possible (esp if we wait), but creative descent is our best option and what we should work toward.
Bryan Davidson at www.dynamiccities.squarespace.com Illustrates the future post-peak possibilities. The horizontal axis shows the rate at which peak oil will occur The vertical axis reflects the degree of proactively or reactivity taken by our governments and businesses. [CLICK] slow depletion and reactive response would result in Burnout, a stubborn clinging to business as usual which results into climate chaos [CLICK] rapid depletion and a reactive response results in societal breakdown and collapse on historical scales such as the Mayans and Romans [CLICK] slow depletion and proactive response results in techno markets – however according the Hirsch report, this requires 10-20 years, and we have only 7 left before climate degradation [CLICK] a planned and urgent energy descent is the only realistic and desirable option. We certainly don’t want to be here (point to bottom scenarios) [CLICK] Here is a more illustrated example Our best chance of dealing with climate change and peak oil will emerge from our ability to engage people in seeing the transition to creative descent as an adventure, something in which they can invest their hope and their energy. The Transition approach is to design or descent down the energy curve, dramatically reducing our consumption and carbon footprint on the way down arriving at a responsible, sustainable level of planetary stewardship.
How do we engage, inspire and gain momentum? The following are the key underpinnings of the Transition Movement, which we will explore further. [CLICK] Adaptability increases the closer to home we get our essentials [CLICK] Take into account every individual’s filter and place in this transition from oil dependence [CLICK] It’s a party and everyone’s invited! Need cross-section of skills in our communities, and those people need to each other the essential skills necessary for survival. The skills we’ve forgotten in a world with cheap transportation and consumerism. [CLICK] We need to tell everyone – every individual contribution creates another opportunity [CLICK] Illustrating what communities want, and creating forums to allow everyone’s voice and ideas to be heard and implemented will draw the illuminated blue-prints of our future. Contractors wouldn’t start digging without the architectes work first. Why not build a beautiful, hopeful future?
Hopkins says – “ I believe that a lower-energy, more localized future, in which we move from being consumers to being producer/consumers, where food, energy and other essentials are locally produced, local economies are strengthened and we have learned to live more within our means is a step towards something extraordinary not a step away from something inherently irreplaceable.”
Energy descent has a distinct inevitability. Small+Local=Self-relience which is Resilience Hopkins “ “We’re learning that resilient communities, self-relient for the greatest possible number of their needs-will be infintely better prepared that those who are dependent on globalized systems for food, energy, transportation, health, and housing.”
Beyond reducing our consumption and carbon footprint, what are some of the other indicators of community resilience? [CLICK] Percentage of food consumed locally that was produced within a given radius [CLICK] Ratio of car parking space to productive land use [CLICK] Percentage of locally owned businesses [CLICK] Proportion of the community employed locally [CLICK] Percentage of local goods manufactured within a given radius [CLICK] Percentage of local building materials used in new housing developments Indicators not listed here… Amount of traffic on local roads Percentage of local trade carried out in local currency Number of 16-year-olds able to grow 10 different varieties of vegetables to a given degree of basic competency Degree of engagement in practical Transition/relocalization work by local community
Hopkins “It takes a lot of cheap energy to maintain the levels of social inequity we see today, the levels of obesity, the record levels of indebtedness, the high levels of car use and alienating urban landscapes. Only a culture awash with cheap oil could become de-skilled on the monumental scale we have.” Like minded groups are empowering, but we need the business people and the artists, carpenters, welders and writers involved at the same time. For we need to teach each other, and learn those essential skills we have lost as a result of cheap oil. Offer widely available training which can also be duplicated into visible manifestations or projects in the community. Training offers: Brining people together, relaxing and learning new skills They build networks They build a fundamental sense of ‘can-do’ They can create a link between the young and the old – passing on skills and using young physical ability They can create practical events that actually put something into place…such as a garden or cob bench
CLICK Visioning has the added benefit of counteracting despondency. Climate change and peak oil can be terrifying, bewildering or seen as inevitably catastrophic. The argument is that hope is one of the key emotions we need to nurture and sustain in order to navigate the troubled waters ahead, and environmental capaigns until now have struggled to generate this sense of power to envision an abundant future: one which is energy-lean, time-rich, less stressful, healthier and happier. Stagnating in an optimism/pessimsim trap, where facts are dispelled according to experts, are points on a map without the roads – probability. Where marking the paths for the roads adds possibility to the equation – propelling the driver toward the end-goal. CLICK Harnessing this power includes an Alternative story field exercise. Stories about future scenerios, and what our city can look like.
The future with less oil could be preferable to the present There is no reason why a lower-energy, more resilient future needs to have a lower quality of life than the present. Indeed, a future with a revitalized local economy would have many advantages over the present. A happier and less stressed population, an improved environment and economic stability
Permaculture was originally convieved in the 1970s during the time of the first oil crisis, as being a permanent agriculture…moving away from annual cropping to multi-layered systems making use of productive and useful trees and perennial plants. It is the transition from single-agricultural crops, weighting down our food supply with unnatural calories, corn and soybeans, to designing our individual ecosheres…marginalizing and using our spaces to the most productivity and sense based on our climate and our needs.
How, then, do we apply permaculture to our own essential needs?
[CLICK] [CLICK] Raise awareness – about the challenges and opportunities [CLICK] Lay the foundations – build collaborative relationships with local leaders, organizations, nonprofits and agencies [CLICK] Organize a Great Unleashing – a “coming of age” for the initiative, a public event that is powerful, passionate, informative and insprirational [CLICK] Form working groups – focus assessment and planning on key areas such as food, local livelihoods, energy and local resources, money and bartering [CLICK] Use open space technology – to harvest creative ideas from the community [CLICK] Develop visible practacle projects – purposful manefestations and support community resilience in which people contribute such as local food directory, victory gardens and local currency [CLICK] Facilitate the Great Reskilling – retrain our citizens in the fundamental skills which recent generations past have taken for granted [CLICK] Built bridges to local government – cultivating posititive and productive relationships and asking for support, not drive. [CLICK] Let it go where it wants to – focus on the questions and unleash the collectie genius of the community. Remember that any sense of control is illusionary [CLICK] create and Energy Descent Action Plan – starting with currecnt planning documents and generating a community vision, then backcasting to design clear pathways toward descent
This is just one example of a heavily committed Transition Town in Totnes, England.
Transition is a catalyst – it doesn’t come with all the answers. It puts the power in the hands of the people. It’s a simple set of tools, processes, principles and guidelines – and meant for experimentation. Here’s where are at with Transition Milwaukee. Do you want to start your neighborhood group? Do you want to spear-head a visible project? Do you want to reskill yourself? Do you want to purchase a Transition Handbook?
transition story. 2005 2006 3000 people 8000 people “ Inherent within the challenges of peak oil and climate change is an extraordinary opportunity to reinvent, rethink and rebuild the world around us.” Rob Hopkins Rob Hopkins
transition handbook. <ul><li>Peak Oil </li></ul><ul><li>Climate Change </li></ul><ul><li>Relocalization </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Permaculture </li></ul><ul><li>12 Steps </li></ul><ul><li>Collective Wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Reskilling </li></ul>2008 “ Look at the world around you. It may seem like an immovable implacable place. It is not. With the slightest push – in just the right place – it can be tipped.” Malcolm Gladwell Malcolm Gladwell The Tipping Point
climate change. “ We have at most 10 years – not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse gas emissions.” Director Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA James Hansen James Hansen
peak oil. “ It is quite likely that the time interval before the global peak occurs will be briefer than the period required for societies to adapt themselves painlessly to a different energy regime.” Richard Heinberg Richard Heinberg
oil dependence. “ It’s always going to be difficult to come up with sustainable ways to support our unsustainable lifestyle .” University of California on biofuels. New Scientist Charles Wyman Charles Wyman
r.o.i. vs. emissions. “ To save the planet, we do not need miraculous technical breakthroughs, or vast amounts of capital. Essentially we need a radical change in our thinking and behavior.” Ted Trainer ?
prioritization. “ Economic development, powered by cheap oil, has chewed up farmlands, devastated forests, made deadzones out of oceans, dried up aquifers, and has spewed vast quantities of toxins into our atmosphere, into our precious water supplies, fouling our biosphere – not to mention our own bodies.” Great Unleashing Sandpoint, ID Michael Brownlee Michael Brownlee
energy descent. “ The Long Emergency is the end of childhood for us. And as humanity passes through this threshold to adulthood will be determined by us, and by other who are gathering in meetings like this all over the country and all over the planet.” Michael Brownlee Michael Brownlee The challenge of global climate change makes a shift away from fossil fuels necessary for planetary survival. Peak energy production means that the transition is inevitable. Our only choice is whether to proactively undertake the transition now—or react to events later.
energy descent scenerios. BURN-OUT Climate Chaos Business As Usual COLLAPSE Mad Max Easter Island 90s Cuba/Russia TECHNO MARKETS Sustainable Development LEAN ECONOMY Powerdown Slow Depletion Reactive Response Proactive Response Rapid Depletion “ The real issue of our age is how we make a graceful and ethical descent.” Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability David Holmgren David Holmgren
creative energy descent. “ All things are possible once enough people realize that everything is at stake.” Norman Cousins Norman Cousins Positive Community Visioning Inclusion/Reskilling Awareness Raising Relocalization & Resilience Psychological Insights
relocalization. Local production of food, energy and goods. Local development of currency, government and culture. Reducing consumption while improving social and environment conditions. “ The most radical thing you can do is stay home.” Gary Snyder Gary Snyder
inevitablity. SMALL + LOCAL = SELF-RELIANT RESILIENT “ The future with less oil [and less energy] could be preferable to the present, if we are able to engage with enough imagination and creativity sufficient in abundance of the peak…” Rob Hopkins Rob Hopkins imported ‘green’ building materials ethical investments carbon offsetting international organic food ornamental tree plantings centralized recycling Practices that DO NOT increase Resilience local reused building materials local currencies locally produced energy local organic food productive tree plantings local composting Practices that DO increase Resilience
resilience indicators. PARKING VS. LAND BUSINESSES & PRODUCTS mke FOOD LOCALLY EMPLOYED LOCALLY MANUFACTURED ESSENTIALS LOCALLY USED MATERIALS
psycology of change. ● Physical ● Bewilderment & unreality ● Irrational grasping at unfeasible solutions ● Fear ● Nihilism or Survivalism ● Denial ● Exhuberant optimism ● “ I told you so” Physical: nausea & clammy hands Bewilderment & unreality Irrational grasping at unfeasible solutions Fear Nihilism/Survivalism Denial Exuberant Optimism “ I told you so”
inclusion & reskilling. “ Only a culture awash with cheap oil could become de-skilled on the monumental scale we have.” Rob Hopkins Rob Hopkins
positive vision. “ Today as we are besieged by planetary problems, the wish is that we will deal with them in a pessimistic and unproductive style …A positive vision of the future ‘challenges the culture to dare, to be open to change and to accept a spirit of creativity that could alter it’s very structure.” Graham Bell Graham Bell
transition assumptions. By unleashing the collective genius of the community we can design ways of living that are more enriching, satisfying and connected. Many skills for self-sufficiency have been forgotten and must be relearned. We need to act collectively and we need to act now. “ In the face of almost certain uncertainty, our job is to rise to the occasion, to evolve…we will probably become some new kind of human a the end of it all-it is that big and that important.” John L. Petersen John L. Petersen Life with less energy is inevitable, and it is better to plan for it than be taken by surprise.
permaculture principles. Observe & Interact Catch & Store Energy Obtain a Yield Apply Self-regulation & Accept Feedback Use and Value Renewable Resources & Services Produce No Waste Design from Patterns to Details Integrate Rather Than Segregate Use Small and Slow Solutions Use and Value Diversity Use Edges and Value the Marginal Creatively Use and Respond to Change
perma-essentials. “ Permaculature is the conscious design and maintenance of agricuturaly productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of nautral ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people…” Graham Bell Graham Bell
the 12 steps of transition. <ul><li>Set up a steering group and design its demise from the onset </li></ul><ul><li>Raise awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Lay the foundations </li></ul><ul><li>Organize a Great Unleashing </li></ul><ul><li>Form groups </li></ul><ul><li>Use open space </li></ul><ul><li>Develop visible, practical manifestations </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate the “Great Reskilling” </li></ul><ul><li>Build a bridge to local government </li></ul><ul><li>Let it go where it wants to </li></ul><ul><li>Create an Energy Descent Action Plan </li></ul>(Not chronological) “ [Transition] is not a process that comes along with all the answers. It is a process which is about getting people to thinking about the right questions.” Rob Hopkins Rob Hopkins
practical manefestations. TOTNES : NUT TREE CAPITAL OF BRITIN LOCAL FOOD DIRECTORY LOCAL CURRENCY SEED SWAPING VICTORY GARDENS COBB PLAYGROUND STRUCTURES IN MADISON CREATIVE REPURPOSING
cheerful disclaimer. If we wait for the governments, it'll be too little, too late. If we act as individuals, it'll be too little. But if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time. We truly don't know if this will work. Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale. What we are convinced of is this: “ Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.” The Earth Charter 2001
transition milwaukee “ Would you want it any other way? Would you want someone to come I with the answer and work it all our for you? It’s such an adventure working all these things out!” Rob Hopkins Rob Hopkins Steering Groups Projects: VICTORY GARDEN MEMORIAL DAY BLITZ! We need you. Workgroups: Food, Energy, Transportation, Education, Economy, Arts/Culture, Awareness Raising, Chickens, etc… Neighborhoods: Transition Shorewood, Transition Riverwest