Transition cultures
We leave the 'cowboy economy' of exploitation, destruction and consumption of ecosystems, and enter the age of 'spaceship economy' of preserving, reinforcing and enriching ecosystems. We say goodbye to the systems of cynical exploitation, and welcome responsible and ethically sound stewardship. We transform, from the fossil fuel and unlimited, consumerism paradigm to a paradigm of local resilience and sustainable livelihood within the carrying capacity of the ecosystems.
  1. Key transition steps:
    • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community led process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon emissions
    • connect with existing groups in the community and build bridges to local government
    • form groups to research all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, etc)
    • kick off projects aimed at building people's understanding of resilience and carbon issues
    • launch a community implemented "Energy Descent Action Plan" over a 15 to 20 year time scale
    Economic localization

  1. Transition Town Totnes plans for energy descent
    With respect to the energy, the plan addresses the question of whether Totnes can "power down" (reduce demand by 50%) and go renewable (cover the remaining 50% from renewable sources) by 2030.

    Transition in Action:
    Totnes energy

    Localism' or 'Localisation'? Defining our terms
    A Sympathetic Critique of Localisation by Peter North

    Business Alliance for Local Living Economics (BALLE)
    Promotes local ownership and socially responsible business in USA and Canada.
    "BALLE believes that local, independent businesses are among our most potent change agents, uniquely prepared to take on the challenges of the twenty-first century with an agility, sense of place, and relationship-based approach others lack.They are more than employers and profit-makers; they are neighbors, community builders and the starting point for social innovation, aligning commerce with the common good and bringing transparency, accountability, and a caring human face to the marketplace."
    Key values: locally based ownership, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, environmentally friendly houses, local culture, new forms of financing, local resilience, local livelihoods, democratisation of the economy, increasing transparency. Triple bottom line: economy, ecology and society, or "People, Planet, Profit". "Think local first!". "Local, green and sustainable."
    Fixing the future (video)

    The local wellbeing project
    A project testing out practical ways of increasing individual and community wellbeing in three very different areas of the UK.

    Over recent years research has begun to highlight the fact that while economic output has nearly doubled over the last three decades there has been no corresponding increase in wellbeing. Given the current economic climate, the need to gain a deeper understanding of what enhances emotional resilience and wellbeing has become all the more crucial, not only for individuals and communities experiencing challenging times, but also for local authorities with tighter budgets attempting to streamline resources to the areas that will have the most impact on local communities' wellbeing.

    Most of the factors that affect wellbeing manifest at a local level, in relationships within the family, with people in the neighbourhood, at schools and at work, and in people's feelings about their immediate environment. This means that the interventions that could increase wellbeing and resilience can be delivered at the same very local level and are under the direct or strategic control of local government and other local agencies".

    Local wellbeing project

    "Democratic governments have always been interested in actions that might increase the wellbeing of their citizens. But while in the past this was a broad and unfocused goal, today there is increasing evidence and understanding about what shapes wellbeing, from economics, psychology, philosophy and political science". Read more: The State of Happiness. Can public policy shape people's wellbeing and resilience?

  1. There is an emerging reaction to the Chicago school and the unfettered casino-or predator capitalism of the neo-liberalists, especially in Latin America.
    A united, determined and persistent people fighting for human rights, ethical business, healthy environment, dignity and democracy can probably prevail in the long run.

    People who have been subjected to the Chicago boys, the IMF and the 'Washington consensus' with 'market fundamentalism' as a main ingredient,
    Washington consensus /
    Washington consensus - detail begin to understand what happened to them, and are less easily manipulated by big corporate interests.

    The people of Latin America have probably been the most oppressed for the longest time, and are therefore the first to shake off their dependency on IMF and the American multinational corporations.
    They might of course be vulnerable to manipulations from other interests.

    Anyway, the 'Bolivian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) is a direct reaction against the free reign market and predator capitalism of the Chicago school.

    In ALBA, 'each country provides what it is best placed to produce, in return for what it most needs, independent of global market prices" (Sader, E.: Latin American dossier. Free trade in reciprocity, Le Monde diplomatique, february 2006).
    The ALBA initiative has apparently annoyed the Chicago school. See:

    Brazil, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and Argentina have more or less withdrawn from IMF and the World Bank and are among the countries that in this way to some extent have managed to secure a relatively calm economical area, even in the latest financial crisis.

    The Jesuit Reducciones resurrected
    The old Jesuit model of the 'Reducciones' has also been resurrected in many people's minds.
    - The Jesuits 'put into practice the precepts of the Gospel, isolated the Guaraní from the bad influences of the Europeans and developed the creativity of the Indios.

    The Jesuits, in the 17th and 18th Centuries, achieved this bold experiment in religious colonisation.
    The Reducciones encompassed the vast zone of today's Argentina, Paraguay, southern Brazil and Uruguay.
    They were one of the most singular creations of the Catholic missionary activity'.

    In China there have been tens of thousands of big protests the last years against the casino-capitalism.
    There is an increasing reaction against 'tax optimisation', offshore trust funds and tax havens
    Chinese beats USA in renewable energy investments

    China low carbon platform

    The people of Iceland are very sceptical towards the IMF and the 'Icesave deal' where they have to pay for the debts incurred by their local version of Chicago boys speculators. In addition they risk having to abide by the neo-liberalist rules of economics.
    Iceland votes no

    OECD anti corruption
    The OECD anti-corruption committee has become more active, trying to implement some minimum rules and ethics to the market forces. "Exxon and Chevron are not willing to discuss, they couldn't care less" about this.
    (Eva Joly: Des heros ordinaires. Un livre d'espoir, Les arenes, 2009)

    Individual initiatives and transformation:
    Roz Savage: why I am rowing across the Pacific

    When the Third World leaders accusingly point their fingers to the people of the West for being the root of their problems, they are right only to some extent.
    In fact, all peoples in the world are oppressed by a psychopathic system they never voted for nor asked for.
    This system can only be stopped when the peoples of the world decide that justice, solidarity with future generations and democracy are more important values than blind consumerism.

    Sustainable Livelihoods: