So what does the Future hold?
Business as Usual scenario:
There is no doubt that we are entering an age of great change. The loss of our primary source of energy over the next few years and decades will ensure that. The question is 'How do we react?' to this new and unprecedented situation.
If we do nothing, the 'business as usual' scenario, we will simply be swept away by the tide of upheaval that will sweep across the whole planet, ourselves included.
But there are ways to help ourselves not only to survive and cope, but which may even allow us to prosper and enjoy our new way of life - and one such solution is Transition
The Transition Model
The Transition Model is loose set of principles and practices that have been built up over time through experimentation and observation of communities as they attempt to improve local resilience and reduce carbon emissions.
The Transition concept is one of the big ideas of our time. Peak oil and climate change can so often leave us feeling depressed and dis-empowered. But the Transition approach is inspirational, harnessing hope instead of guilt, and optimism instead of fear. The Transition Handbook (http://transitionculture.org/shop/the-transition-handbook/) may well come to be seen as one of the seminal books which emerged at the end of the Oil Age and which offered a helping hand in the transition to a more local, more human and ultimately more nourishing future.
The book has three sections, the Head, the Heart and the Hands.
The Head explores the issues of peak oil and climate change, and how when looked at together, we need to be focusing on the rebuilding of resilience as well as cutting carbon emissions. It argues that the focus of our lives will become increasingly local and small scale as we come to terms with the real implications of the energy crisis we are heading into.
The Heart looks at where we find the personal tools for responding to what can feel like overwhelming challenges. It argues that key to our success will be our ability to generate positive visions of future, to harness the power of engaged optimism, and overcome powerlessness.
The Hands offers a detailed exploration of the Transition model, setting out its principles, its origins, the 12 Steps of Transition, how they were applied in the first year of Transition Town Totnes, as well as offering a taste of how the model has been applied in a range of other settings.
A Transition Initiative is a community working together to deal with Peak Oil and Climate Change and address this big question:
"for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?"
The resulting individual and community actions, possibly coordinated into a set of projects across all these areas of life leads to a collectively designed energy descent action plan (EDAP)
Transition also bears in mind two crucial points:
a) that we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability on the way up the energy upslope, and that there's no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope
b) if we collectively plan and act early enough there's every likelihood that we can create a way of living that's significantly more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill that we find ourselves on today.
Any and all ideas that help us with this task are a welcome. This is what this website and the individual Parish Forums are all about. Use them as you wish to contact each other, to hold the first meeting, to plan and execute transition actions.
Energy Descent Action Plan
As part of all of our effort we shall hopefully develop a strategic plan to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and to become increasingly self-reliant in energy, food, health, education, housing and transport. Because NC is an isolated rural district of Cornwall, it will experience the impact of fossil fuel shortages sooner than the rest of the country. Yet this is an opportunity for North Cornwall to revitalise and regenerate its community, strengthen the local economy, reduce environmental impact and take steps towards creating a healthy, secure and sustainable future for all.
The strategic plan for a low energy, low carbon future (Energy Descent Action Plan - EDAP) is a Community Resilience Plan and is not a blue-sky plan for how to live in a sustainable world, but an evolving plan for the transitional period of decreasing energy. It is a plan for dealing with Peak Oil in the immediate term. The EDAP should examine the key sectors (e.g. energy, economy, food etc.) and explore adaptive, timetabled responses for creating an oil-free future. It will seek answers to the question, how would we feed, house and power ourselves in a low energy future?
Hopefully, the EDAP will also provide direction to local government, decision makers, community leaders, forward planners and individuals with an interest in building a vibrant and sustainable North Cornwall.
Come and join us, it is in all of our interest!