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Transition Newsletters

This is an archive of Transition News emails.

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Transition News December 2011

Hello and welcome to the December issue of TransitionNC newsletter covering both local and national events, news, stories and more.

Both the latest report from the Governor of the Bank of England and the latest report from the Office for Budget Responsibility mention rising energy prices as one of two reasons for the lack of economic growth (the other being the Euro zone, which itself is crashing due to debts too high to pay off in the absence of an economic growth).

That's a start. All we need now is for both bodies to recognise that rising energy prices are a permanent feature of our resource depleting world and thus also economic decline with all its implied catastrophic effects on the world financial system, government income and thus our services.

In a world of economic decline we cannot hang on to the lifestyle inherited from the decades of pretend prosperity we have just gone through. Instead we need to downsize all our services, our lifestyles and our energy consumption to about 30-40% of current levels, when it becomes feasible to power the whole society on renewable energy.

But of course that can only happen if we drastically speed up installation of renewable energy infrastructure in the form of wind and PV farms, plus appropriate energy storage facilities such as compressed air, pumped storage, chemical storage, heat store, etc.

Combined with a massive house insulation program, food resilience program and basic manufacturing and services to satisfy our minimum needs.

But will they do something like that? Unlikely!

So it is down to us as individuals, and if we are lucky, part of our immediate communities, to safeguard basic food supplies, some minimal energy, and basic local services as the best available Energy Descent Plan we can muster to safeguard the future of our own local community.

Here are a few events and ideas that may help, and news stories that may inform:

Forthcoming events:

3-13Jan2012: Transition in Practice : this two week course is taught by pioneers and leaders of the Transition movement including Rob Hopkins, Naresh Giangrande and Sophy Banks -

14Jan2012: Low Carbon Communities Conference will look at new ways forward for community action in a time of significant economic and social change -
21Jan2012: Willow Growing and Diversification: in depth look at willow diversification, the costings involved, varieties available and their various uses and markets -
18Mar2011: House & Farm resilience: half-day course: another Open Day to show our visitors why and how we live and farm with near zero use of fossil fuels and how they, too, may be able to benefit from lower energy bills from sustainable Farmer of the Year finalist -
9Apr2012: How to build and finish a Strawbale roundhouse: environmental sustainability and decorative finishing techniques including earth plastering design and sculptural elements -

All these and others listed in

Major news stories and opinions published in the past month include:
Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not: Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution. -
TEQs: Fighting for a better future: It is painful to see our collective future being deemed too expensive or politically difficult to preserve. If your economics deems catastrophic climate destabilisation the cheapest option, then surely something is wrong with your economics-
Chris Huhne unveils 'green deal' to insulate homes: 14m homes could be fitted with insulation and other energy-saving measures -
UK green energy projects fall by wayside in dash for gas: While renewables struggle, gas has seen a flurry of interest from the big six suppliers -
State of the Art recycling plant... alternative to incinerator : This technology can separate anything that can be recycled such as paper, card, soft plastics, metal, wood, plastic bottles, aluminium and all other hard plastics - so why build an Incinerator in Cornwall?
utilities & aristocrats raking it in with EU agricultural policy: We're all paying for Europe's gift to our aristocrats and utility companies -
Organic farmers sue GMO farmers over contamination: organic farm surrounded by chemical-laden conventional farms can seek damages for lost crops, as well as lost profits, caused by the illegal trespassing of pesticides and herbicides on its property -
Brace yourselves for the next oil price shock in 2012: next year looks like an accident waiting to happen. If economic growth in emerging economies remains on track, and that is a big If, the next oil price shock will occur in 2012. (

TransitionNews Weekend Magazine : 313 articles by 51 contributors. Read it here:

So you think you have a pension? - you'd better think again
The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century : a fantastic book, 500 page encyclopaedia of current thinking
and others in

The library of Learning Resources:
How money has been privatised and what to do about it : Money has been privatised by stealth. The greatest privatisation in history has gone unnoticed. It's time to take from the banks the power to produce money -
Peak Oil: You don't have to take my word for it : If you write about, speak about, or talk with your family, friends and co-workers about peak oil, you've almost certainly been asked: "Well, who else is saying what you're saying?" here is the answer -
Hubbert's Third Prophecy: cultural crisis: the economy must always grow in order to pay back the interest. When the economy can't grow anymore...collapse -
The Energy Trap: One stumbling block in particular has me worried. I call it The Energy Trap -
A National Scheme of Building Insulation: the case for a national scheme for the insulation of buildings to very high standards which would be funded by Quantitative Easing 3.
The path of Peak Oil collapse by German military : Psychological barriers account for the suppression of irrefutable facts and lead to an almost instinctive rejection of in-depth discussion of this difficult issue... The occurrence of Peak Oil is, however, unavoidable. - Bundeswehr report on Peak Oil
Preparing for Economic Collapse, a personal guide : from someone who's done it already in response to an economic collapse in his own country. Short and practical eye opener! A must read for everyone. -
plus Personal Energy Descent Plan item of some very useful pointers that you may not have thought of yet.

Elsewhere on the website you will find articles such as these
Farming responses to peak oil in policy and practice Dissertation: To what extent and with what effects is peak oil a driver of farming and energy policies in the UK, and what responses have emerged in farming practice and why? -
SWARM Hub : Events and advice for farmers -
What to do now, before the collapse It would be prudent for all UK citizens to make their own personal contingency plans -
The architects of the Euro hung by their own petard -
Tim Lang says the world is headed for catastrophe : our food system is essentially ''broken'' and failing to act will be catastrophic -

Rockwool insulation at £1 per roll for DIY now

Why do Transition? a new approach by Rob Hopkins : Transition movement is at last dealing with reality -
SuperHomes are Open to Visitors : ordinary houses that have been transformed into low-carbon dwelling places -
the Fantasy of Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet -
Model for Cornish Energy Independence -
Cornish Devolution : the whys and what for's of Cornish devolution and Cornish Assembly with law making powers - an essential step to safeguard our few advantages for the benefit of Cornwall residents: food and renewable energy

The Local Food Directory : now with 98 entries and the Renewable Energy Directory has 46 entries. There is bound to be someone you haven't heard of yet.

By the way, if you register and log in to the website (which your PC can do for you automatically after the first time) it will automatically show you which items are new, various extra options and some of the information in the side bars will make that much more sense.

We now also publish an on-line weekend magazine about Transition in the UK and related matters. It is released every Friday and usually contains 200-400 articles. Look at the Home page of and click on the icon at the bottom and if you like what you see, subscribe to be alerted to each issue. You can also follow TransitionNC on Twitter (we promise to tweet no more than twice a day to alert you to events and news), just click here:

Good luck and take care

Tel: 01840 230 548 email:

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