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Transition Handbook

You can learn more about the Transition concept through the Transition Network website or by reading the original Rob Hopkins book.

There are several initiatives in the area including; Wivenhoe, Colchester, Lavenham, Stour Valley, Ipswich .....

The need for action arises from three inter-related concerns; Climate Change, Economic Hardship and Declining Supplies of Cheap Energy.

Climate Change

There are a great many sources of information explaining the science of man-made climate change. The effects of climate change concern us in the following ways;

  • predictions of more extreme weather, affecting agriculture & physical damage to property & business,
  • relatively rapid changes in environmental conditions with knock on effects on food production and natural cycles,
  • to avoid serious warming we will have to restrict the use of fossil fuel leading to an energy crisis (see below)

Economic Hardship

Our economic model is based upon growth and the consumption of resources. Population growth is forecast to stablise over the next few decades but this is largely dependant upon increased wealth and education in the developing countries. One way or another we will be competing with more and more people for valuable resources - everything from oil to fresh water.

Unless we become more self sufficient, particularly in food and energy, we might have to fight wars over these resources in order to protect our high standard of living.

Shrinking Supplies of Cheap Energy

Exploitation of any resource tends to follow a predictable pattern; first we extract the 'low hanging fruit'; surface coal and Texan oil, then over time these reserves are exhausted but we find ways to dig deeper or go to more remote parts of the planet. Two facts about fossil fuels are certain;

  • all the cheap, easily extracted reserves are close to exhaustion,
  • we are using up the reserves much faster than we can discover new ones

Put together this means fossil fuel will become increasingly expensive. We need to look at new ways to do everything that requires large amounts of energy, including;

  • how we heat our homes and places of work,
  • the distance we travel to work,
  • the ways we grow our food and transport it to market,
  • tends in holiday destinations,
  • our consumption of energy intensive products

Our Goals

We aim to increase the resilience of our community to the impact of these external effects through;

  • promoting the generation of energy locally
  • supporting the growing and marketing of local food
  • community cohesion
  • assisting sustainable local businesses
  • effective transport
  • making the most of resources - reduce, re-use, recycle