It all starts off when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil, Climate Change, and increasingly, economic stagnation? They recognise several crucial points:
- to a certain degree, we all experience a life disconnected from our living environment, disconnected from our communities and disconnected from our landbase
- that our energy-profligate ways of living have depleted our resource base to critical levels
- 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
- that we have to act now, rather than wait for the government or “someone else”
- 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.
They begin by forming an initiating group and then adopt the Transition Model with the intention of engaging a significant proportion of the people in their community to kick off a Transition Initiative that is asking 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)?”
They then engage on a collaborative, comprehensive and creative process of:
- awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
- connecting with existing groups, including local government, in the community
- forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
- kicking off practical projects aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
- engage in a community-wide visioning process to identify the future we want for ourselves rather than waiting for someone else to create a future that we won’t like
- eventually launch a community defined, community implemented “Energy Descent Action Plan” over a 15 to 20 year timescale
This results in a co-ordinated initiative across all these areas of life that strives both to rebuild the resilience we’ve lost as a result of cheap oil and also to reduce the community’s carbon emissions drastically.