A basic and short introduction to Transition Ferndale:

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The approach that has already worked in hundreds of Transition Towns can work here. The complete 240-page handbook is available from Powell’s Books for $24.95.

http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9781900322188-0

A new version of the complete Handbook, which the authors describe as a sequel, is being worked on and should be available later this year.

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A free summary of the Transition Handbook called the Transition Primer (50 pages) can be downloaded from

http://transitionnetwork.org/resources/transition-primer

The Transition Primer is strongly recommended as a beginning to understanding the Transition Towns movement.

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“What Can Communities Do?,” by Rob Hopkins, generally recognized as the chief organizer of Transition Towns, is available in full and for free, from:

http://www.postcarbon.org/report/133875-building-resilience-what-can-communities-do#

This one is a 1MB pdf document, and there is another accompanying video. The following is an excerpt from What Can Communities Do?:

The transition response to peak oil and climate change is based on the following assumptions:

  • Life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable, and it is better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise.
  • Our settlements and communities presently lack the resilience to enable them to weather the severe energy shocks that will accompany peak oil.
  • We have to act collectively, and we have to act now.
  • By unleashing the collective genius of those around us to creatively and proactively design our energy descent, we can build ways of living that are more connected and more enriching and that recognize the biological limits of our planet.

From its beginnings in Kinsale in Ireland, then Totnes in England, and now globally, Transition has emerged as a process that acts as a catalyst, creating enthusiasm in communities to begin exploring and implementing the practicalities of rebuilding local economies in all their aspects. It is a process that has several qualities. It is:

  • Viral: It spreads rapidly and pops up in the most unexpected places.
  • Open source: It is a model that people shape and take ownership of and is made available freely.
  • Self-organizing: It is not centrally controlled; rather, it is something people take ownership of and make their own.
  • Solutions focused: It is inherently positive, not campaigning against things but rather setting out a positive vision of a world that has embraced its limitations.
  • Iterative: It is continually learning from its successes and its failures and is continually redefining itself, trying to research what is working and what isn’t.
  • Clarifying: It offers a clear explanation of where humanity finds itself based on the best science available.
  • Sensitive to place and scale: it looks different wherever it goes.
  • Historic: it tries to create a sense of this moment as being a historic opportunity to do something extraordinary – and perhaps most important of all …
  • Joyful: if it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.

[end excerpt]

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A quick and sound introduction to the basics of peak oil can be found in an article called “The End of Cheap Oil,” published in Scientific American in 1998. (Six pages; free download) from:

http://oilcrisis.com/campbell/EndOfCheapOil.pdf

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“Personal Preparation” (for transition to low energy availability) by Chris Martenson, is available for free at:

http://www.postcarbon.org/report/115868-resilience-personal-preparation#

This is a 1.2 MB pdf download of the entire chapter, and there is also an accompanying video at the web site.

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The Limits to Growth: The 30 Year Global Update
by Donella Meadows and Jorgen Randers and Dennis Meadows
a 338-page trade paperback, free from a library or $22.50 from:
http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9781931498586-0

Comments adapted from text at Powells’Books web site:

In 1972 four young scientists at MIT wrote a book called The Limits to Growth that shocked the world and became an international best-seller. Using the World3 computer model, the authors looked into the future and sounded an alarm, for the first time showing the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet. Their book gained worldwide attention and became the cornerstone of a global debate on how to achieve a sustainable future.

Now Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update brings new data on overshoot and global ecological collapse … It provides a short course in the World3 computer model, types of growth, and the various kinds of overshoot likely to occur in the current century.

… The authors do an excellent job of summarizing their extensive research with clear writing and helpful charts illustrating trends in food consumption, population increases, grain production, etc.

[end adapted comments]

Or, if you want to see a shorter and much cheaper introduction to the subject:

A Comparison of the Limits to Growth With Thirty Years of Reality
a free 52-page study by Graham Turner, download from:
http://www.csiro.au/resources/SEEDPaper19.html