The Transition Handbook: Community Resilience in the Face of Peak Oil
Any reader who has been paying attention will know that we are big fans of the Transition Town movement that is sweeping across the UK, and is beginning to make its mark abroad too. We were delighted to see that training courses are now being provided for those leading their communities through the transition process, and we look forward to seeing the concept spread further as founder Rob Hopkins (who we interviewed here) launches his long-awaited Transition Handbook this weekend. Above is a promotional video for the publication, and you can click below the fold for a brief excerpt from the introduction.
"Central to this book is the concept of resilience — familiar to ecologists, but less so to the rest of us. 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. This book, The Transition Handbook, argues that in our current (and long overdue) efforts to drastically cut carbon emissions, we must also give equal importance to the building, or more accurately to the rebuilding, of resilience. Indeed, I will argue that cutting emissions without resilience-building is ultimately futile. But what does resilience actually look like?
In 1990 I visited the Hunza Valley in northern Pakistan, which until the opening of the Karakorum Highway in 1978 had been almost completely cut off from the outside world. When I visited I knew nothing about permaculture, of the concept of resilience, or even a great deal about food, farming or the environment, but I knew when I arrived that was this was an extraordinary place.
I found a quote in a book which I read as I travelled up towards Hunza (I no longer remember the title) which read: "If on Earth there is a garden of bliss, it is this, it is this, it is this." They were words that replayed in my head many times over my two weeks in Hunza. Here was a society which lived within its limits and had evolved a dazzlingly sophisticated yet simple way of doing so. All the waste, including human waste, was carefully composted and returned to the land. The terraces which had been built into the mountainsides over centuries were irrigated through a network of channels that brought mineral-rich water from the glacier above down to the fields with astonishing precision."
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