The Transition we're talking about here is the transition from a world of cheap energy and stable climate to one where energy shortages and climate change are having a major impact on the way we live.
The Transition movement brings people together to find solutions to these problems. There are Transition Groups all over the world, and the Transition Network exists to encourage, connect, support and train communities to develop projects to rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions.
So, the first issue we're addressing is Peak Oil. The term Peak Oil refers to the fact that sooner or later, the amount of oil we can extract from the ground will reach a peak; from that point onwards, production will tail off as the remaining oil becomes more difficult and expensive to get at. For us, the consumers of oil-based products - don't forget, that's all kinds of plastic goods as well as fuel - life will, at a minimum, get much more expensive. Ultimately, oil-based products and services will become scarce or impossible to get; we need to start making alternative arrangements before it's too late.
There's no longer any doubt about it: climate change, or global warming, is happening - and it's happening faster than we expected. In the years to come, not only will the world get warmer, but life will change in many other ways because of that warming. Sea levels will rise, for instance, and our weather will get worse due to the increasing warmth of the atmosphere and land. Northern Europe may get much more severe winter weather as the warming of the sea affects the flow of the Gulf Stream that keeps us warmer than our counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic.
It may already be too late to do anything about the changes in our climate, but we can take action to mitigate its effects - for instance, through measures to improve the energy efficiency of our homes, make more efficient use of water and changing the ways we grow and consume food.
The Transition movement
The Transition movement brings people together to find solutions to these problems. To quote the Transition Network website:
A Transition Initiative is a community working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:
"For all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?"
An interview with Rob Hopkins
Permaculture teacher Rob Hopkins was the original founder of the Transition Movement. In this video, he explains the origins of the Transition concept and gives us a tour of Totnes in Devon, the first Transition Town. For more up to date information, read Rob Hopkins Blog.