Friday, October 28, 2011

News from the Transition Network...

Transition Network Newsletter Header image
Transition Network extra special announcement
27 October 2011
View this extra special announcement online

Dear all,
Today sees the launch of three exciting new developments and outputs from Transition Network, the results of many months of work, that finally emerge blinking into the daylight.
We are sure that they will greatly deepen your understanding of Transition, bring depth and richness to your work, re-inspire and energise you. They represent a radical shift in how Transition is understood and communicated.
They are, in no particular order,
  • The book: ‘The Transition Companion’
  • The online directory: The Transition Ingredients and Tools
  • The beautiful set of Ingredients and Tools Cards: to be used to better understand all this
Together, they represent a sea-change in how we understand what Transition is and how to do it. So, let’s have a look at those things one-by-one.

The book: The Transition Companion

This new book, which replaces ‘The Transition Handbook’, is the result of 18 months of a collaborative process involving people from Transition initiatives around the world.

It reframes Transition as a collection of ‘ingredients’ and ‘tools’ which each initiative assembles in its own way. It is rich with stories, artwork, case studies and photos contributed by Transition initiatives themselves.

It is rich with insight and the kind of wisdom that can only come from an open-source 5 year global experiment such as Transition. It represents a quantum leap forward in the Transition movement, a deepening, a maturing, and a very tangible vision of where all of this might go and how we might be most confident of actually getting there. It has 320 pages, and is in full colour, It’s probably got a picture of you in it somewhere…

How to order the book

You can order it from me (which would be great), from Green Books, from Beetroot Books, from Amazon (if you must), or even better, from your much-endangered local bookshop, or order it through your local library. If you are in the US you can order it from the US publisher Chelsea Green. There are no plans for an audio book. I’ll also be speaking about the book, answering questions, and picking some of my favourite records (Desert Island Discs-style) on the Transition Show on StroudFM, 2pm this Friday.

The online ingredients directory

screengrab of navigation blockAs well as being gathered together in the book, the ingredients have also been put online in an interactive, interlinked, technologically dazzling kind of jamboree.
Our Transition Network Vebmasters have excelled themselves with this, their finest creation to date.
You will notice the homepage now looks rather different, with the ingredients as a major theme. All the ingredients, and all the tools, are now online, each with space for comments and feedback.
There is also the “Transition Ingredientator”, otherwise known as “Add your own ingredient”, which will give you the opportunity to draft any that you feel we have neglected.
These will be moderated over the coming months.

You can either view the ingredients in the 5 stages as set out in the book:

… or see them in a directory format:

This is an invaluable resource, I hope you find it really useful and link to them often.

The beautiful set of ingredients cards

At the 2011 Transition Network conference we trialled a card game based on the Ingredients.
The idea was that they might help you to familiarise people with them, to better understand the ways in which your group is working, and also to identify ways in which it might be more effective.
They were very popular, and so the wonderful Marina Vons-Gupta has produced a set of beautiful cards which you can download for free, print out (instructions are provided) and use.
Some games are suggested, but they are made available on the basis that you are invited to create you own games and share them, so that in the future we can update them. They should hopefully prove to be a really useful resource.

Download the full set of ingredients cards

Let us know what you think.

Explaining Transition in a new way

We have also reworked the Why do Transition? page on this site, and what was the Transition Primer and other pieces has now been condensed into the link-tastic ‘What is a Transition initiative’ page.
The above projects have been inputted into by thousands of people, but I would particularly like to thank a few people who have put an amazing amount of work and creativity into them, namely Marina, Ed, Laura, Amber, Helen, Ben, Naresh, Sophy, Jim and everyone at Green Books.
It is five years since we kick started this whole Transition thing, which is now active in 34 countries around the world in thousands of communities.
These new iterations of what Transition is represent as deep a shift as the emergence of the whole idea was in the first place. They are a distillation of all the bravery, innovation, generosity, kindness, success, failure and genius that everyone involved in this has poured into it for the past 5 years.
As a result, they embody a richness and a maturity that is quite extraordinary, yet they remain intensely focused and practical, indeed far more practical than what went before. Today is a landmark, a key milestone, and I’ll leave the last word to Denise Levertov, the poet, who captures how I feel about this:
Brilliant, this day — a young virtuoso of a day.
Morning shadow cut by sharpest scissors, deft hands.
Rob Hopkins, October, 2011 (original article on Transition Culture)

Announcement Contact
Transition Network: all staff (very happy)

Transition Network: 43 Fore Street, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 5HN.
Tel: 05601 531882

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters - 27th Oct 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Environmentalists have always known that genetically modified (GM) foods would not feed the world. It was claimed by the manufacturers of GM seed that drought resistant, salt resistant and pest resistant crops would increase yields for starving populations in the developing world.

Hunger has reached epic proportions, a recent report claims, as poor farmers are faced with increasing costs for pesticides and herbicides. Insects that were a small problem when growing cotton in China have now increased by 12 times since GM seed was adopted. Super weeds have been a consequence for soya farmers in Brazil, requiring twice as much herbicide than before.

GM technology is literally owned by three of the world’s largest corporations which control the price of seed, allowing them to increase prices at will e.g. Monsanto controls 95% of the seed market in India and prices have risen dramatically. Many Indian farmers have committed suicide in the last 15 years due to falling into debt because of the cost of seed.

Far from adding to food security in developing countries, the opposite has happened because most GM crops are now being grown for biofuels which have taken land away from food production.

There is more than enough food for everyone in the world today – it is simply wrongly distributed. Here in the affluent west we demand to eat and waste far too much food instead of eating seasonal foods, locally produced, and encouraging the rest of the world to do the same.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DWI Nov 22nd meeting - Climate Change & Biodiversity

What is the link between our community’s resilience to Climate change and protecting the biodiversity of our area?  

 If Deal and Walmer are to develop as a Green Tourism destination, should we not be taking action NOW to look after the sites that attract birds and birdwatchers;  butterflies, bees  and nature lovers? By increasing protection of our SSSI and AONB, can’t we enhance our quality of life locally, and encourage more people to enjoy local rather than far-flung (air-born) delights? What is our responsibility to future generations;   to other species? 

Come and Enjoy a DEAL WITH IT evening discussion led by Mel Wrigley of White Cliffs Countryside Partnership and a representative of Hawkeshill  Freedown Volunteers at   Dealability, 43 Victoria Road, Deal CT14 7AY  on Tuesday 22 November at 7.30pm     

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Vale Says No & stops fracking in Wales

As some of your may know Coastal Oil & Gas who are looking to introduce the exploitation of unconventional gas in East Kent by the controversial hydraulic fracking method are also doing a similar thing in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales.

The local community campaign 'The Vale says NO' has run a great campaign and this week were rewarded with the local authority throwing out Coastal's application

from the Vale says No website:

Common sense prevailed! The Vale planning committee unanimously rejected the planning application that we have been campaigning against for 7 months!

We have won the battle, but we haven’t won the war. There is still a lot to do, but this is a fantastic result.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this campaign so far. It’s taken a lot of hard work, but it has certainly paid off for now.

Here are a few reports on last night:

We hope this sets an example to other campaign groups and planning committees. You can stop it at this early stage!

Not content with chasing this out of the Vale, now we know how risky this industry is, we can’t stop here. We are going to concentrate on raising awareness throughout Wales and the rest of the UK ultimately calling for a moratorium from the Welsh and UK Government. If you haven’t already, please sign our HM Government e-petition

Well done from Kent to our inspirational colleagues in Wales.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Victoria's Green Matters 20th Oct 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Days are growing shorter and, although we have been having some wonderful sunshine to soften the onset of autumn and winter, night-time seems to arrive far too early. To make this situation worse, we will be putting our clocks back by one hour at the end of October. The dubious benefit of this is to give lighter mornings for a few short weeks.

Before clocks were invented, daylight was the only thing that measured time; people worked when it was light and rested when it was dark.

It has been proved that leaving the clocks alone at the end of October would not only make it more pleasant to have longer days but it would also make it safer for those travelling home from school and work in the evening. Our campaign last year culminated in a vote in Parliament that was defeated once again by the Scots. The Scots are keen on devolution; why don’t they change their clocks and leave us to opt for lighter evenings?

There are many benefits. The road safety ones are obvious but there is also less energy used to light the home when evenings are lighter and outdoor leisure activities are possible, leading to greater health and wellbeing. Aligning ourselves with Continental Europe makes economic sense while tourism, which is one of our main money earners, could take advantage of the daylight hours when visiting our country.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

COP 2011 - Durban

Countdown to Durban – Stand up for Climate Justice!

March in London, halfway through the international climate negotiations in Durban
This year the floods in Pakistan have returned displacing 5 million and killing hundreds. Last year's floods were the worst in living memory with 20 million affected and 2,000 killed. Last year also saw record breaking temperatures in Russia with wildfires and crop failures while this year we have seen the latest in a series of exceptional droughts in East Africa causing famine in Somalia.

The frequency and severity of weather related disasters is on the increase and scientists tell us this is due to human-induced climate change caused overwhelmingly by the high emissions and high consuming lifestyles of richer countries like our own. Its the poorest and most vulnerable around the world - many of them in Africa where this year's climate talks are being held - who have done the least to cause the problem but who are suffering the most. And all this is set to get worse. Yet climate change and the conversion to a low carbon economy are routinely dismissed as minor concerns.

Join us and stand up for climate justice on Saturday 3rd December midway through the Durban Climate Talks. Put the date in your diary now. Watch out for more details at

Saturday, October 15, 2011

World Food Day - Thanet 16th Oct

This year’s World Food Day takes place on Sunday, October 16, from 11am-4pm at Margate Winter Gardens.
The event will focus on Fairtrade cotton and will feature a fashion show, including styles from Kent-based The Cotton Store. There will also be drumming workshops, storytelling workshops, hands-on activities for children of all ages, cookery demonstrations, entertainment and the usual array of sales and exhibition stands.

Friday, October 14, 2011

East Kent FOE urge MPs to rethink Fracking

I am writing to ask you to sign and support EDM 2159.

The text is " That this house believes a moratorium should
be placed on onshore exploration, development and
production of coal bed methane, shale oil and shale gas by
withdrawing UK licences for hydraculic fracturing
(fracking), at least until the publication of a detailed
environmental impact assesment into the practice; notes
that hydraulic fracturing can cause the contamination of
local water sources such as aquifiers, which provide
about 30 per cent of the UKs water; further notes that
amongst a variety of adverse environmental impact,
the process of fracking can cause serious well blowouts
which put both workers and local communities at risk;
does not consider that the production of hard to reach
fossil fuels is compattibile with efforts to achieve the
statutory UK carbon budgets; and therefore. urges the
Government instead to give greater support to the
generation of energy from renewable sources."

Please support this EDM as further shale gas drilling
in The UK would put our environmental and future
water supplies at serious risk. The planning Application
for Shale Gas Drilling at Woodnesborough will be decided
by KCC in the near future it is crucial that you now add your
voices to those of us that have serious concerns about
the exploratory application.

Stuart Cox, Group Coordinator

Brighton Energy Coop

The Brighton Energy Coop shows what can be achieved locally here in Deal.

Check out their website and videos:

DWI Energy Group starts this month

Thermal Image of Deal Town Hall
Deal With It's Energy Group has its first meeting on Monday 31st October. Venue is still be confirmed.

The Group will be looking at various initiative's from how we can encourage more efficient use of power & heat in housing, power reduction measures and local options for power generation in Deal (from micro-generation on homes to community owned projects).

More details to follow....


Thursday, October 13, 2011

BBC Radio 'the Report' on Shale Gas

If you are looking for a primer on the issues around Shale Gas, a good place to start is the BBC Radio 'The Report' 13th Oct edition which was on Shale Gas... All this is coming to us in East Kent...

Worth a listen ... postcast should be available here soon

Victoria's Green Matters 13th Oct 2011

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Trees are vital to our planet. Recent figures show that trees absorb as much as a quarter of all the carbon dioxide (CO2) that we put into the atmosphere. Without this process taking place, the level of CO2 would rise more rapidly and because the gas traps heat from the sun, the planet would warm more quickly.

Scientists are worried that the very warming that the trees are helping to mitigate is causing them to become victims of the various effects of climate change. All plants rely on CO2 to produce their food but even mature forests have responded to the extra supplies by showing a growth spurt. But while the trees have responded to the extra CO2, they have become victims of insect infestations and raging forest fires caused by the warming climate.

A worse scenario would occur if many more trees were to die. Not only would they stop absorbing CO2 they would probably start to decay at such a rate as to release large amounts of the gas back into the atmosphere causing further warming and unlocking carbon stored in the Arctic.

Apart from looking after our forests and planting as many trees as possible, we need to limit the amount of fossil fuel that we burn. Investment in green technologies is vital, both economically and environmentally.