What is Transition?

WHAT IS TRANSITION?

The Transition concept is a proactive, positive visioning, forward thinking approach to the realities of our future.  Peak oil and climate change, combined, demand that we rethink virtually every aspect of our modern world, and that we begin to mobilize this Transition immediately.

In the near future, forecasts are for great change:

  • changes in the sedate, predictable weather patterns which humanity has counted on for centuries;
  • vast changes in our energy supply, particularly oil and gas where we are now delving into the second, harder-to-get-to half of our planetary supplies;
  • significant contraction of economic markets which have been built up upon the presumption of a cheap, abundant, ever-expanding supply of fossil fuels;
  • inevitable shifts in our transportation habits which call into question the feasibility of globalization;
  • resultant changes in food supplies, water supplies, civil stability, and more.

The Transition movement declares that a future with less oil could possibly be better than what we have now – IF we consciously design it to be that way.

Through the Transition movement, we Transition society from our current high-power, high-consumption lifestyle toward our inevitable lower-powered future.
The Transition model includes relocalization of our lifestyle habits, rebuilding our local economic base, reconnecting our local communities, and retraining people in the skills of a power-down life (a lifestyle that uses less oil, less gas, less electricity, less energy overall).

The goal is to increase societal RESILIENCE, our ability to adapt and to weather the great changes ahead.

The “Transition Town” concept was developed in the UK and captured in blog and book form by Rob Hopkins. There are now over 100 official Transition Initiative sites worldwide — local areas in the UK, Australia, Japan, and beyond — which are preparing for change by organizing themselves and building local resilience.

 What is Resilience?

Resilience is our ability to adapt to change.

per Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook:

Resilience refers to the ability of a system, from individual people to whole economies. to hold together and maintain their ability to function in the face of change and shocks from the outside. (p.12)

In the context of communities and settlements, it refers to their ability to not collapse at first sight of oil or food shortages, and to their ability to respond with adaptability to disturbance. (p.54)

The benefits for a community with enhanced resilience will be that:

  • If one part is destroyed, the shock will not ripple through the whole system
  • There is a wide diversity of character and solutions developed creatively in response to local circumstances
  • It can meet its needs despite the substantial absence of travel and transport
  • The other big infrastructures and bureaucracies of the intermediate economy are replaced by fit-for-purpose local alternatives at drastically reduced cost.

(p.55, quoting David Fleming)

… being more prepared for a leaner future, more self-reliant, and prioritising the local over the imported.  (p.55)