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Transition Newsletters

This is an archive of Transition News emails.

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Transition News October 2011

Hello and welcome to the October issue of TransitionNC newsletter covering both local and some national events, news, stories and more.

If you haven't heard yet, we have been selected as a sustainable Farmer of the Year finalist. Here is a 20 minute radio interview with us about Cottage Farm, our fossil fuel free house, lifestyle and farming, what we do, why we do it and how as part of the BBC Food and Farming Awards: and here is the BBC1 Countryfile programme with a 3 minutes little clip about Cottage Farm 40 minutes in: .

I hope that our success will help publicise the fact that individual and community solutions are possible and can afford a measure of sustainability and resilience.

In the meantime the Euro is heading for its inevitable collapse, probably taking down with it the European banking system, with probable global consequences. Having so foolishly rescued the banks from their own stupidity and each country having allowed its national debt to mount up in vain attempts to satisfy the demands of its electorates, many countries now teeter on the edge of collapse of their own currency.

In the past, economic growth combined with high inflation would have come to their rescue, but times they are a-changing. Growth is toast for all practical purposes and in consequence so is the economy of many states and so is the world financial system because the financial system is dependant growth for its survival and growth is dependant on cheap energy. However, energy prices are now, in a recession (!) too high to allow for recovery and even if a little bit of growth did materialize, oil price and consequently all energy prices, would jump up with demand and quickly bring any such growth to a halt.

In any case, oil depletion means that even in the absence of growth energy prices will start going up again, crashing our standards of living.

There is no getting away from it. What this planet will have, like it or not, is an extended depression which will eventual bring energy consumption to 40% or less of current levels, at which point it becomes feasible to power the whole economy with renewable energy. The only question is: Will this be a planned energy descent or will it be free for all, dog eat dog, ugly uncontrolled collapse in which the rich will manage and the poor will die. Currently there is no sign of planned energy descent.

So it is down to us as individuals, and if we are lucky, part of our immediate communities, to safeguard basic food supplies, some minimal energy, and basic local services as the best available Energy Descent Plan we can muster.

Here are a few events and ideas that may help, and news stories that may inform:

Forthcoming events:

30Oct2011: House & Farm resilience: half-day course : How to reduce your energy bills to near zero, why and how we live and farm with near zero use of fossil fuels and how you, too, may be able to benefit from lower energy bills. Last Open Day this year:

3Nov2011: Cornwall's Future of Food and Farming : Anyone who is involved in Cornwall’s food and farming sectors should come along. Event held at the Royal Cornwall Showground

15Nov2011: Peak Oil Futures: UK Scenarios up to 2030: Dr Simon Roberts (ARUP, Associate Director of Foresight & Innovation Group) Committee Room 10, House of Commons:

19-20Nov2011: MK Conference : Mebyon Kernow’s 2011 Conference, which will take place at Bodmin’s Shire House Suite on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November. All members are welcome. Non-members can join at the Conference:

23Nov2011: BBC Food and Farming Awards 2011 : Described by Jamie Oliver as the "Oscars of the food world" the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2011 celebrates the best of Britain's food and drinks producers, cooks, markets and food shops. Free tickets:

All these and others listed in

Major news stories and opinions published in the past month include:
Oil controls our economic future : “The historical record surely dictates that we take seriously the possibility that the world could soon reach a point from which a continuous decline in the annual flow rate of production could not be avoided.”

German military think tank on the oil crisis- startling! : They keep selling us this elixir of perpetual growth when deep down they know that our living standards are going to get worse no matter what they or anybody else try.

Sita Cornwall incinerator move overturned by High Court : Cornwall Waste Forum have won a legal challenge to block the building of an incinerator in Cornwall.

The economy needs people and businesses of the future : It is time for transformational change – and that means aiming higher and acting over significantly extended time frames.

Council costs ‘a fallacy’ says anti-incinerator group : Freedom of Information requests reveal huge discrepancy between claimed and actual costs ...

Arctic ice retreats to new minimum : German physicists say that this year the ice of the Arctic has retreated further than ever previously recorded.

Michael Moore: I was the most hated man in America: In his 2003 Oscar acceptance speech, Michael Moore denounced President Bush and the invasion of Iraq. Overnight he became the most hated man in America.

Brace yourselves for the next oil price shock in 2012: next year looks like an accident waiting to happen. If economic growth in emerging economies remains on track, and that is a big If, the next oil price shock will occur in 2012. (

TransitionNews Weekend Magazine : 242 articles by 59 contributors. Read it here:
So you think you have a pension? - you'd better think again
The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century : a fantastic book, 500 page encyclopaedia of current thinking
and others in

The library of Learning Resources: section on Global Financial crisis further expanded by extracts from sources all over the world.

A National Scheme of Building Insulation: the case for a national scheme for the insulation of buildings, especially housing, to very high standards which would be funded by the government printing the money and that money being reclaimed over a long period through a charge on the property - instead of Quantitative Easing 3.
The supply of money in an energy-scarce world : The crux of our present economic problems is that the relationship between energy and money has broken down. (
Help make corporate tax dodgers pay their fair share: Caroline Lucas' Tax and Financial Transparency Bill is made up of two simple measures which could help to raise billions of pounds to offset the cuts - but it needs your support:
Eradicating Ecocide : Destruction, damage or loss of ecosystems is happening on a mass scale everyday. This is ecocide. This is the campaign to make ecocide a crime. Please add your support to this campaign:
The interconnected time bomb : the banking crisis, population growth, the pension time bomb, peak oil, radical poverty and climate change are all interconnected.
Review of Lean Logic: How To Survive The Future : a community of essays about inventive, cooperative self-reliance in the face of great uncertainty. (
The path of Peak Oil collapse by German military : Psychological barriers account for the suppression of irrefutable facts and lead to an almost instinctive rejection of in-depth discussion of this difficult issue... The occurrence of Peak Oil is, however, unavoidable. - Bundeswehr report on Peak Oil
Preparing for Economic Collapse, a personal guide : from someone who's done it already in response to an economic collapse in his own country. Short and practical eye opener! A must read for everyone.
plus Personal Energy Descent Plan item of some very useful pointers that you may not have thought of yet.

Elsewhere on the website you will find articles such as these

How to make a rocket stove water heater
Energy Descent for Beginners
Cassandra and the limits to growth
the Fantasy of Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet
Transition and Activism
“New Thinking in the Transition Movement”
Justice system - double standards
Cornish Devolution : the whys and what for's of Cornish devolution and Cornish Assembly with law making powers - an essential step to safeguard our few advantages for the benefit of Cornwall residents: food and renewable energy
Transition cities: Mission impossible? : "Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. "

The Local Food Directory : Elmar Vegetables have joined the list, now with 98 entries and the Renewable Energy Directory has 46 entries. There is bound to be someone you haven't heard of yet.

By the way, if you register and log in to the website (which your PC can do for you automatically after the first time) you will find it much more useful. It will automatically show you which items are new, various extra options and some of the information in the side bars will make that much more sense.

We now also publish an on-line weekend magazine about Transition in the UK and related matters. It is released every Friday and usually contains 200-400 articles. Look at the Home page of and click on the icon at the bottom and if you like what you see, subscribe to be alerted to each issue. You can also follow TransitionNC on Twitter (we promise to tweet no more than twice a day to alert you to events and news), just click here:

Good luck and take care

Tel: 01840 230 548 email:

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