Transition City LA: Why Los Angeles Must Kick the Oil Habit

Image credit: B-Side Blog
LA After Oil: If Not Transition Then What?
Ever since I wrote about Transition City LA, I've been intrigued to hear how residents of one of the world's most notoriously car-dependent cities will apply this community-led approach to freeing ourselves from fossil fuels. True, LA may boast bike co-ops and a huge new city-wide solar initiative, but it is also a sprawling web of roads and highways. Luckily the good folks of Transition City LA are not easily daunted, and I've just come across an excellent piece over at Legacy LA about how the Transition 'model' may be applied to LA, and why the work must begin now:

If not Transition, then what? What alternative do we have? What other, more workable "model"? The issue here is: this isn't a theoretical "model." The Transition movement and its underlying big sister Permaculture (a design system based on a set of truisms derived by observing the natural world), is a sometimes-stern, sometimes-playful, highly flexible and creative reminder of the way things work on this planet. People need food and we've got to grow it someplace, and in the near future when we've run out of fossil fuels to haul food and goods from very long distances we have no other choice than to grow food and make goods where the people are. (No, I don't know how you'd apply it in the snows of Minnesota, but I don't live there!)

The author, Joanne Poyourow, also tackles the idea that change must be either top-down or bottom-up, arguing that action is needed at all levels for a successful transition, and argues that even cities like LA have vast untapped resources for growing food throughout the city.

Ultimately Joanne's argument is a sound one — it's no use bemoaning the issues that have landed LA where it is today, unless we also look at solutions. And that means taking a long hard look at the challenges facing us (according to Joanne LA may use as much as 18% of its electricity to pump water!), but also taking time to recognize the vast resources at our fingertips — be they human creativity and skill, climate, technology or natural resources. Ultimately all these things will be needed in LA, New York, Beijing, Helsinki or Springfield if we are to make it through the transition, not to mention all the small towns in between.

For more information about Transition City LA, check out Transition Culture's report about Transition Training in Los Angeles.

Further Reading on Transition Towns
Transition Towns Reach the US
The Times Newspaper on Transition Towns and 'Apocalypse Now'
Transition Towns and Cities Emerge in the US
Transition Towns New Zealand Gains Strength
Transition Towns Reach Japan
Transition Towns Reach New Zealand
Transition Town Plants Up Nut Trees for Food Security
Interview with Rob Hopkins, founder of the movement
Transition City Bristol
The Transition Handbook
Transition Towns Reach Australia
The Virtual Orchard Project

Tags: Agriculture | Alternative Energy | Los Angeles | Oil | Peak Oil | Transportation | United States

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