by Rob Hopkins and Richard Heinberg
Chelsea Green (August 10, 2008)
We live in an oil-dependent world, arriving at this level of dependency in a very short space of time by treating petroleum as if it were in infinite supply. Most of us avoid thinking about what happens when oil runs out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbookshows how the inevitable and profound changes ahead can have a positive outcome. These changes can lead to the rebirth of local communities that will grow more of their own food, generate their own power, and build their own houses using local materials. They can also encourage the development of local currencies to keep money in the local area.
There are now over 30 “transition towns” in the UK, Australia and New Zealand with more joining as the idea takes off. They provide valuable experience and lessons-learned for those of us on this side of the Atlantic. With little proactive thinking at the governmental level, communities are taking matters into their own hands and acting locally. If your town is not a transition town, this upbeat guide offers you the tools for starting the process.
“This is much more than just a book. It is a manual for a movement. And not just any movement, but one which in avoiding the civilisational collapse threatened by the twin crises of peak oil and climate change could prove to be the most important social force humanity has ever seen.”–Mark Lynas, author of Six Degrees
“If ever there was a book that empowered the reader, this is it. I’m struggling here to escape metaphors about having a tankful of petrol in my belly, but that’s just what it feels like. Rob tells us that fossil fuels multiply the physical force of each human being by 70 times. Well, this book can do the same, but in a social way rather than a brute mechanical way, and to a positive end rather than a destructive one. It’s not only a powerful read, but an easy one too. It flows along like a well-written novel, full of illustrations, well designed and produced. Anyone who has met Rob or heard him speak in public will recognize in its words the humor, power and humility of this remarkable person. The book is of course a product of the cheap oil era. But if we can create things of this quality, when the post-peak times come we have little to fear.”–Patrick Whitefield, Permaculture magazine
“The newly published Transition Handbook is so important that I am tempted just to confine this review to five simple words: ‘You must read this book!’”–Richard Barnett, Ethical Pulse