Thursday, February 17, 2011

TRANSITION - The West Coast Scene



Finally, a shaky roadmap toward sustainability, in troubling times. I'm Alex.

This week we go for the Transition movement - West Coast style.

What started with Rob Hopkins in the village of Totnes,England, is evolving in North America. We hear from early adopters in Colorado, Los Angeles, and Vancouver.

Our guests are Michael Brownlee from Boulder, Joanne Poyourow from Village L.A., and Vandy Savage from Vancouver.

We top that off from with two speakers I recorded at a Village Vancouver meet-up, Ann Pacey and Ross Moster.

It's crammed full of ideas for your own action plan.

The Village Vancouver meeting gives you some ideas of how you can run your own group.

First of all, there were notices in local event listings, on the Net, and through word-of-mouth, about the meeting. About 35 people came, to a free meeting room in a local community centre. Budget for the event: zero.

There was a long table to receive the pot-luck food that arrived with the participants (and there was almost more than could be eaten). This was important because the meeting was held around 6:30 pm, after a working day, and before many people got a chance to have dinner. The food was vegetarian, home-made, some of it locally grown.

Everone gathered around one large table to start. There was a round of introductions - and I was amazed at the gathered talents of people there. We could have run a small city with just the folks who showed up. And produced a lot of food.

Then Ross and Anne did an introduction to Transition for any newcomers. They showed a film clip of Rob Hopkins, and another of urban farming in Cuba, where the Soviets suddenly cut off oil. The Cubans had to grow their own due to the American embargo, with very low oil. It was amazing - from the video "Power of Community." An example to us all.

We also got brief reports from local organizing groups. One person reported a local money system that was working well. Even a few area merchants were accepting "Dunbar Dollars".

Most groups seemed organized around areas of a few blocks, or at least walking distance. About a half dozen participants were gay or lesbian, and there was talk of organizing along those lines as well.

Then everyone broke up into local areas, to communicate and strategize. The real work of the evening. I left quite hopeful that we might at least survive with dignity.

Everyone involved admits Transition isn't the perfect answer. It may fail. But it beats giving up - and you can get involved directly, without counting on rotten politicians.

If oil becomes expensive like gold, or stops. If the climate shifts. If the economy falls apart. These neighborhoods are working now, to keep going. Community building. Transition Towns. You get a peak into the West Coast scene, this week on Radio Ecoshock.

Next week we'll continue with another look into "Deep Transition" with Dr. Carolyn Baker. Expect other surprise guests.

Alex Smith
Radio Ecoshock

TRANSITION LINK-FEST

The Wikipedia Transition entry, to get an introduction, and more links.

LINKS TO GUESTS IN THIS RADIO ECOSHOCK SHOW:

MICHAEL BROWNLEE

His page.

Key article: "The Evolution of Transition in the U.S."
by Michael Brownlee, Transition Colorado, Nov 26, 2010


CRITICISM OF "DEEP TRANSITION" BY ROB HOPKINS


U.S. NATIONAL ORGANIZATION: - with links to transition groups around the country.


BLOG BY ROB HOPKINS, founder of the movement. Updated 5 days a week


COLORADO GROUP

Colorado networking site

LOS ANGELES

Also this running Transition L.A. blog.


Our guest Joanne Poyourow's blog.


The Cluk Trek - a tour of local L.A. chicken coops....


VANCOUVER CANADA - Village Vancouver



OTHER SOURCES:

A regular Transition online newspaper.


This Transition Network site, based in the UK, which has this alphabetical listing of 713 Transition Towns around the world.


Transition Info in other languages.

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