Transition Culture: radio shows about transition towns and more

The advent of Peak oil and solutions to it are perhaps one of the most critical issues we are facing today. A recent movement has exploded in Britain, transition towns. It began in Kinsale in Ireland with Rob Hopkins who set up the Permaculture college there. They set up the Kinsale Energy descent plan, looking at how their town could make the transition to less oil dependancy over a 20 year time frame. From there Rob went back to Witness in the UK and from there the model has exploded. You can find out whats going on on their WIKI (with translations) and they have set up a fantastic website Transition Culture.

Here is an excellent short video made by —- as part of the Lewes Transition town movement. It was shown in the local cinema of Lewes before all the films. It starts by asking the townspeople what are the causes of climate change and finishes with a rap about how oil is now used for the production of nearly everything we use

Rob Hopkins elaborates on the origins, the growth of and the future of the transition towns movement

How we use oil

· 130kg packaging made from oil-derived plastics is consumed by British households each year. Two-thirds of it is used in food production

· 57miles is the average distance a tonne of freight now travels by road. In 1953 it was 21 miles

· 95% of our food products require the use of oil, and the supply of food accounts for 21% of Britain’s energy use

· 3.5 litres of oil is needed to produce half a kilogram of steak

But there is hope…

To get a feeling for the way this movement is growing, have a look at a typical event organised in Britain, this time Lampeter in West Wales, Pioneering Welsh town begins the transition to a life without oil

It might be fair to say that it is the most progressive eco movement in Britain today, As George Monbiot pointed out (paraphrasing):

This is the only situation where you get so many different sorts of people in the same room working together, Rich old army general types, young single women with their kids, normal working people, DIY punks. Never before would you get such a mix to be in the same room together, let alone working on a project together.

3 radio shows about Transitioning

Transitioning, from climate camp to eco villages to transition town… (30 minutes)

Transitioning from climate camp to eco villages to transition towns to eco cities

A half hour life radio discussion during climate camp UK 2008. People working with, in or living in eco communities of varying sizes half a loose free flowing conversation.

part 1 – outline some of the principles behind these eco communities
part 2 – now that we have an idea of where we are trying to get to, how do we get there…

Transition town Lewes – climate camp radio (11 minutes)

As part of the recent climate camp UK we made this radio interview with Edwin Cambell about her experiences with the very successful transition town project in her town, Lewes. The recording was made at the front line that existed beside the police, and sometimes riot squad, she outlined the origins and successs of how their project has taken off and what their dreams are.As part of their project a short film was made, which was shown in the local cinema before all films.

Transition Town KinsaleBOLD radio (28 minutes)

This audio recording was broadcast live on our BOLD internet radio and is a discussion with David Neavyn and Alan Clayton from Europes first Permaculture course in Kinsale about the idea of transition towns and eco initiaves in the southern Irish town of Kinsale, half hour talk, nice interview, big shout out to Cathie for assisting so much.

How Cuba did it, UK is doing it and how BCN might soon be doing it

One of the films nearly always used on how we can make the change is learning from the experiences of Cuba, when it experienced its own sort of peak oil crisis due to the fall of the Soviet Bloc in 1989:
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (full film-53 min)

And from Havana, which now supplies 60% of its own fruit and veg, to the UK city of Middlesborough. Last year saw an amazing food production experiment there that resulted with a communal meal for 6000 people outside the local art gallery. Keep up do date with these greenfingers on their DOTT07 blog (Designs of the time)

An excellent article in the Guardian entitled Urban jungle asked;

As food prices soar, could a project that saw fruit and vegetables grown in town-centre planters and parks be a blueprint for the future?

Andre Viljoen (  a designer of urban spaces ,and author of CPUL`S, who worked on the Middlesbrough project, ) believes that the multi-layered benefits of urban farming make it a timely idea. He said “We need to start thinking about food production being part of a city’s infrastructure – like roads.”

In Barcelona EIG (eco intelligent growth) put together a paper, Towards a healthier, happier, eco-effective Barcelona alongwith GEF discussion, which proposed much of these features being applied to this city. A key strategy for the cities transition is a greenway plan accompanied with a series of CPUL, food production zones, community gardens and more.

And from there?

We will be talking about Transition towns as well as other eco trends growing in the UK and Northern Europe at our gathering in la Teixadora tonight, more info on current post: Whats all this Climate Camp stuff then?

The APSO international  Conference 2008 on Peak Oil is happening in Barcelona next week and a Peak Oil open day is being organised for Wednesday 22nd of October during which we will visit some local inner city community gardens and hopefully show some or all of the Cuba film

Tiempos de Transición

“Estamos asistiendo a un fenómeno que está tomando una dimensión cada vez más amplia en respuesta a los retos del Pico del Petróleo y del Cambio Climático: los “hijos gemelos” de los hidrocarburos. Se trata de las iniciativas positivas y constructivas que muchas personas, alrededor del mundo, están empezando a tomar para transformar aquello que la gran mayoría ve aun como un problema en una solución, bajo el nombre de Transition Towns (Pueblos en Transición).

4 page PDF article in spanish for magazine ECO Habitar (number 19) from Antonio Scotti about the growth of the transition town movement, download it from WISER Earth

Heres a cluster map from 17n’08 of who and where in the world is checking out the TT ideas,



13 Responses to Transition Culture: radio shows about transition towns and more

  1. fuspey says:

    3 things aobut TT

    1 – the TT network (transition town) has Spanish translated part of its wiki for the spanish communities, not sure yet how much, if any, there are

    2- “Something Wonderful Just Happened in Somerset” : Somerset County Council voted unanimously to endorse a motion that they become the UK’s first ‘Transition Local Authority’

    3 – Upcoming Transition Cities Conference: Nottingham, England, November 27th -28th 2008


    1 – the TT network (transition town) in Spanish:


    2 Something Wonderful Just Happened in Somerset

    Last week, Somerset County Council voted unanimously to endorse a motion that they become the UK’s first ‘Transition Local Authority’. What is means is that SCC could start taking an integrated approach to its planning processes, putting peak oil and climate change at the heart of its forward planning. It may well also unlock funds for the many Transition initiatives emerging across Somerset. The proposal put before the Council ran as follows….


    And Somerset (UK) County Council resolution endorsing Transition Town movement:

    From PDF doc: July 23 Summary of Decisions.pdf

    See more on somerset county council website:

    The Council RESOLVED to adopt the following resolution:

    That this Council

    1. acknowledges the work done by communities in Somerset on Transition Towns and that the independence of the Transition Movement is key to its grass roots appeal

    2. as demonstrated in its Climate Change Strategy, fully endorses the Transition Town Movement and subscribes to the principles and ethos of the organisation’s goals to reduce dependence on fuel oil and create more sustainable communities

    3. commits to providing support and assistance to all towns in Somerset that wish to join this initiative to help them achieve the goals they set for themselves as local communities, as demonstrated under the ‘Community Initiatives’ section of the Climate Change Strategy

    4. therefore, requests the Scrutiny and Executive Committees to consider through the council’s strategic planning process:

    – allocating funds to assist in achieving the outcomes of the Transition Towns Movement in Somerset.

    – requiring all directorates to engage with and provide support for Transition Initiatives in Somerset

    5. through the work outlined above, seeks to become the first Transition Authority in the UK

    6. agrees to undertake a review of its budgets and services to achieve a reduction in dependence on fuel oil and produce an energy descent action plan in line with the principles of the Transition Initiative


    Transition Cities Conference: a vital event for all urban Transitioners
    Transition Nottingham on November 27th -28th 2008

    in recent mail to eco activists in BCN:

    Not sure if its going to be streamed, will inquire, we could make a short powerpoint presentation and submit it, even a message of things we are hoping to do, or, by 1 month, things we are doing…

    A message of hope, how the idea is taking off, this gives huge lift to people, when news comes in from other countries and places…

    Also, recently rob Hopkins, rather than using carbon to physically get to a conference, prepared his speech and emailed it to them:

    I think they would be on for such a type of communication action, even if we cant all fully work together virtually, YET, we can take little steps to try to get there, its only a matter of time till it is the norm!!!

    – Stream out, we listen
    – Many Streams in, they listen to views / experiences from other cities
    – 2 way streams: dialogues are enabled. Mixing online and physical and archive, enables multi channel (and possibly languages) forums, and later anyone interested can access the different stories on archived library

    This is an example of becoming eco-literate… how we learn to communicate again with each other, without costing the earth

  2. fuspey says:

    BCN eco debate: Cómo Cuba sobrevivió al pico del petróleo (despuis la peli)
    audio file (click and listen)
    [audio src="" /]

    Audio info: length: 60mins, format: MP3, language: Spanish

    info @ audio

    info @ content:

  3. […] Town Totnes ¡ (VIDS) Rob Hopkins interview ¡ Transition Lewes ¡ Transition Cities Conference ¡ Audio interviews ¡ Transition […]

  4. […] Transition shares certain principles with environmentalism, but its vision is deeper — and more radical — than mere greenness or sustainability. “Sustainability,” Hopkins recently told me, “is about reducing the impacts of what comes out of the tailpipe of industrial society.” But that assumes our industrial society will keep running. By contrast, Hopkins said, Transition is about “building resiliency” — putting new systems in place to make a given community as self-sufficient as possible, bracing it to withstand the shocks that will come as oil grows astronomically expensive, climate change intensifies and, maybe sooner than we think, industrial society frays or collapses entirely. For a generation, the environmental movement has told us to change our lifestyles to avoid catastrophic consequences. Transition tells us those consequences are now irreversibly switching on; we need to revolutionize our lives if we want to survive. This link found from Transition US on Twitter loads more info and radio interviews and radio show from climate camp uk 2008 here […]

  5. fuspey says:

    Heres recent article from New York Times on how the Transition movement is having a big quick impact there… The End Is Near! (Yay!)

    post on P.IE

  6. fuspey says:

    Loads and Loads of really great short audios from the Transition Conference 2009 are found on Trayradio podcasts, thanks to Carl Munson.

    The RSS feed is found at Traydio podcasts for user Transition Podcast.

    Heres a few good ones:

    Conference officially open!

    Goude Work – it’s a standing ovation for the Transition Movie (1.0)

    Ed Miliband talks to Peter Lipman and Rob Hopkins of the Transitio… (UK minister for energy invited as a “Guest Listener…. you have to love the funniness of it all)

    Ensuring & Maximising Diversity in Transition with Tina Clarke

    Quick word from Rob Hopkins

  7. […] Town Totnes ¡ (VIDS) Rob Hopkins interview ¡ Transition Lewes ¡ Transition Cities Conference ¡ Audio interviews ¡ Transition […]

  8. […] are the 2 interconnected movements, both of which are growing rapidly, and virally around planet; transition movement and climate camp (ireland will hold its first such event this august) The reference to the […]

  9. […] as it changes as we do examples of these movements, all "green"; climate camps transition towns vids about these green movements a little bit about climate camp YouTube – Climate Camp 08 […]

  10. […] Cities Conference</a> ¡ <a href=””>Audio interviews</a> ¡ <a href=””>Transition […]

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  13. Good post. I absolutely love this site. Continue the good work!

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