The Transition Model
The Transition model offers an enticing vision of how our communities can positively respond to climate change, oil depletion, and economic imbalances. These crises cannot be solved separately, and they cannot be solved with technological miracles, but by lessening our dependence on fossil fuels and the industrial growth model.
The Energy Downscaling Action Plan (EDAP; also known as the Energy Descent Action Plan) is what uniquely distinguishes the Transition process from all other "greening" efforts. Once plans are written that address real responses to our earth's climate, energy, and resources, Transition groups continue to focus on implementation: building resilient skills, installing physical projects, building relationships, and accumulating the tools necessary to make the EDAP vision come alive.
For more information, see http://www.transitiontowns.org/
Resilience is defined as "the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks".
Rob Hopkins, a Permaculture teacher and the founder of the Transition concept, describes the importance of resilience in the face of peak energy:
Resilience thinking can inspire a degree of creative thinking that might actually take us closer to solutions that will succeed in the longer term. Resilient solutions to climate change might include community-owned energy companies that install renewable energy systems in such a way as to generate revenue to resource the wider relocalization process; the building of highly energy-efficient homes that use mainly local materials (clay, straw, hemp), thereby stimulating a range of potential local businesses and industries; the installation of a range of urban food production models; and the re-linking of farmers with their local markets. By seeing resilience as a key ingredient of the economic strategies that will enable communities to thrive beyond the current economic turmoil the world is seeing, huge creativity, reskilling and entrepreneurship are unleashed.
The term 'resilience' goes beyond sustainability. Hopkins writes:
Let's take a supermarket as an example. It may be possible to increase its sustainability and to reduce its carbon emissions by using less packaging, putting photovoltaics on the roof and installing more energy-efficient fridges. However, resilience thinking would argue that the closure of local food shops and networks that resulted from the opening of the supermarket, as well as the fact that the store itself only contains two days' worth of food at any moment -- the majority of which has been transported great distances to get there -- has massively reduced the resilience of community food security, as well as increasing its oil vulnerability.
Articles on Resilience
- Resilience Thinking, by Rob Hopkins
- Urban Resilience, by Maywa Montenegro
- Urban Resilience Planning for Dummies, by Warren Karlenzig
- Urban Resilience for Dummies, Part 2: Failing the Milk Test, by Warren Karlenzig
- Tim Kasser on Consumerism, Psychology, Transition and Resilience, Part 1
- Tim Kasser on Consumerism, Psychology, Transition and Resilience, Part 2
- The Deeper Meaning of Resilience, by Don Hall