Transition movement blends climate change response and local economic development
The Transition movement is a unique organizing method that catalyzes community level responses to climate change. Co-founded by Rob Hopkins in England in 2005, there are now over 1,400 Transition initiatives in 44 countries. They all support a transition to clean renewable energy, which is often blocked at national and international levels by politics, the domination of big over small businesses, and the myth that endless economic growth is possible on a finite planet. As Hopkins explained to a small NYC audience in fall 2013, Transition is increasingly focused on local economic development. (Pictured on left: Dan Miner, Rob Hopkins, and John Bell) A series of reports on the financial benefits from localizing food production, energy conservation and renewable energy capacity, and case studies of entrepreneurial ventures in these sectors, outline building blocks of a new green economy. (This article was republished at Resilience.org)
Resilience and Transition Festival in the Rockaways
The Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH) is working to adapt the method, developed in the United Kingdom just ten years ago, to large urban centers in the US. in 2015, I volunteered with them to set up a community health, resilience and Transition festival in the Rockaways in June 2015, working closely with Pamela Boyce Smith, MATH Convener and Lead Trainer (Pictured at left.) With this community, still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, we built a community garden with local permaculture designers, and brought together a unique assembly of exhibitors - local activists and aligned sustainability and resilience initiatives.
MATH is expanding its Transition Neighborhood Field Guide into a book that can guide the grassroots-led community planning process central to Transition, while also summarizing options for community action. Chapters from over 20 experts will convey Transition's big picture analysis and offer specific action steps. During the months before the festival, I set up a number of organizing meetings. More about Transition in NYC.
Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub Presentation
A MATH retrospective on the organizing and events that took place in the Rockaways leading up to the festival, including contact information for all our exhibitors.
Rockaway Work in Progress, Retrospective: June 2014-June 2015
Dan's presentation on Transition and NYC responses to climate change and resource depletion, Left Forum, June 2014
YouTube link, at 39 minutes.
Rooftop farming, hipsters and urban agriculture, April 2012.
Occupy Sustainability: the 1% is blocking transition to a renewable energy economy. Published at Resilience.org, Jan. 2012
Report and photo gallery from a workshop on building a greenhouse in Bed Stuy, with Will Allen of Growing Power, Aug. 2011.
Localizing food security in Africa with sustainable agriculture, conference presentation & report, June 2011.
Report on post-crisis community mental health services, 2010
People impacted by weather disasters or economic crisis will need counseling and support services. Joanna Macy and the Transition movement consider emotional resilience programs to be just as important as physical infrastructure resilience. In this report I interview over twenty therapists for pragmatic tips on what such group programs might look like. Two years later, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the topic of support services for residents impacted by natural disasters reentered public attention.