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THE Transition Phase Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Transition towns

Unread postby mos6507 » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 02:00:43

[quote="shortonsense"
I have advocated we start our own, electronic style one.
[/quote]

Um, yeah. That's about as useful as fantasy baseball.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby mos6507 » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 02:19:51

shortonsense wrote:Resource depletion is a serious issue... my resource depletion concerns.



You don't have any concerns. They will think of something. They have it covered. Nukes and EVs are on their way. No need to worry about peak oil or anything else.

shortonsense wrote:You see, it appears to be dogma that such an idea has value. Until you quantify the actual savings by such activity, as I have advocated through a scoring system, it is impossible to realize any value from the good intentions of those who defend the idea, but certainly aren't about to contribute a single BTU of effort into such an exercise.



Transition Towns is not just about counting BTUs, shorty. It's about trying to get people to think of each other as part of the same team so that when resource depletion makes the world more local, the people around you will be transitioning into providing the necessities of local life for themselves and others rather than just zombifying because they are hopelessly locked into some idiocracy Brawndo/Big-Box-Store mentality.
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Re: Transition Towns in Space!

Unread postby Sixstrings » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 03:03:11

One final word on Transition Towns in Space.. it turns out that other than our own terra firma, the most "earth like" place in the solar system is actually in the cloud tops of Venus:

Geoffrey A. Landis has summarized the perceived difficulties in colonizing Venus as being merely from the assumption that a colony would need to be based on the surface of a planet:

"However, viewed in a different way, the problem with Venus is merely that the ground level is too far below the one atmosphere level. At cloud-top level, Venus is the paradise planet."

He has proposed aerostat habitats followed by floating cities, based on the concept that breathable air (21:79 Oxygen-Nitrogen mixture) is a lifting gas in the dense Venusian atmosphere, with over 60% of the lifting power that helium has on Earth.[2] In effect, a balloon full of human-breathable air would sustain itself and extra weight (such as a colony) in midair. At an altitude of 50 km above Venusian surface, the environment is the most Earth-like in the solar system - a pressure of approximately 1 bar and temperatures in the 0°C-50°C range.

Because there is not a significant pressure difference between the inside and the outside of the breathable-air balloon, any rips or tears would cause gases to diffuse at normal atmospheric mixing rates, giving time to repair any such damages. In addition, humans would not require pressurized suits when outside, merely air to breathe and a protection from the acidic rain. Alternatively two-part domes could contain a lifting gas like hydrogen or helium (extractable from the atmosphere) to allow a higher mass density.[3]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization_of_Venus


At the right altitude, the temperature would be perfect. You wouldn't need a pressurized suit, since at this level air pressure is the same as on Earth. All you'd need is an oxygen mask, and you could sit outside on the porch (you'd still want a roof over your head, there's acid rain in the clouds). And nowhere else is the gravity as good as Venus (.94G on Venus.. Mars is .33G, so living on Mars would decalcify your bones and shrivel your muscles over time).

Assuming the world wasn't really Ending All Around Us and all that, if we wanted to we could set a twenty year goal for a skylab station in the Venusian clouds.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Revi » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 08:20:38

Back to Transition. We are starting one up here in Central Maine, which is not like starting one in Putney, Vermont. There aren't as many like minded people around here. I think this could be a strength, because if we can get it going here we'll have something that will work whatever happens.

The movement has to reach a lot of people if it's going to catch on. Not just the elite.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby socrates1fan » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 11:29:53

mos6507 wrote:
Ludi wrote: I don't live in a town and don't especially feel like moving to one. :)


It's only called Transition Towns. It doesn't literally mean town. Some transition efforts like up in Vermont are in very sparsely populated areas. Others are trying to tackle the big city. Obviously both extremes in population density have their challenges, but there is a concerted effort being made to address them.


In such a peak-oil scenario, it would be both dangerous and impractical as one can not gain all their needs to live well alone and part of such a scenario would be reconstruction. Do many people here simply think that if such an event occurred they would simply live in the woods for the rest of their lives? That is an abandonment of humanity, it is natural to fight to survive and hide for periods of time, but afterwards, it is important to reconstruct the world.
Towns would be the place of rebirth.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 11:35:26

socrates1fan wrote:
mos6507 wrote:
Ludi wrote: I don't live in a town and don't especially feel like moving to one. :)


It's only called Transition Towns. It doesn't literally mean town. Some transition efforts like up in Vermont are in very sparsely populated areas. Others are trying to tackle the big city. Obviously both extremes in population density have their challenges, but there is a concerted effort being made to address them.


In such a peak-oil scenario, it would be both dangerous and impractical as one can not gain all their needs to live well alone and part of such a scenario would be reconstruction. Do many people here simply think that if such an event occurred they would simply live in the woods for the rest of their lives? That is an abandonment of humanity, it is natural to fight to survive and hide for periods of time, but afterwards, it is important to reconstruct the world.
Towns would be the place of rebirth.


I, for one, think that "such and event" is currently on-going. We are in the first stages of declining per capita energy availablity. There will be some ups and downs but from now forward the general trend will be downward.

I think a lot of what motivates people towards "transition towns" is the acute awareness that "one can not gain all their needs to live well alone......"

Not sure where you see the disagreement...or with whom.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Ludi » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 11:35:51

socrates1fan wrote: Do many people here simply think that if such an event occurred they would simply live in the woods for the rest of their lives?



I live in the woods now and don't plan to move. So yes, I do plan to live in the woods for the rest of my life. :) I do have neighbors, though, and expect we will pool our resources for mutual support.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Ludi » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 11:52:52

Also, I have no interest in "reconstructing" our current way of life ("the world"). I think we should try somethings elses.

At least that's my long-term goal. :)
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby mos6507 » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 12:01:38

If you strip transition towns to the core what you find is really nothing more than a framework for collaboration, using the open spaces model. You know, flat heirarchies, nonviolent communication. That sort of thing. So aside from the doomer emphasis, that's what makes it different from, let's say, a typical "we're from group X and we know what's good for you" activist movement. So even if you don't want to be a formal transition town, it might be a good idea to look into some of the concepts being used and how this may be innovative.

The fact of the matter is that people have almost entirely lost their interpersonal skills. They've lost their ability to listen to each other, and to find compromise. We all have an infinite number of "channels" that cater to our exact ideologies and we don't feel the need to listen to rebuttals. The internet fosters the idea of blowing people away without consequences. What this has done is made us pathologically incapable of working with anyone else unless they are our ideological clone. Even the slightest disagreement is an irreconcilable difference as each side will never budge. There is no true debating to be had. And it's only BAU that makes this social isolationism possible. When teamwork becomes necessary, we're all going to have to relearn the value of tolerance, and listening, and having a more open mind.

What I see starting here and with Nate's essay on TOD is this growing recognition that staying in your ideological ghetto, even a doomer one, is merely a BAU-style response. So as much as we think of ourselves as enlightened, better than the other guy, we are continuing to play out our social programming of rugged individualism and "it's my way or the highway", of seeing social capital as being as disposable as a plastic pumpkin.

Being able to get beyond this is a far bigger hurdle than learning to garden or setting up an off-grid PV array.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby davep » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 12:11:00

mos6507 wrote:The fact of the matter is that people have almost entirely lost their interpersonal skills. They've lost their ability to listen to each other, and to find compromise. We all have an infinite number of "channels" that cater to our exact ideologies and we don't feel the need to listen to rebuttals. The internet fosters the idea of blowing people away without consequences. What this has done is made us pathologically incapable of working with anyone else unless they are our ideological clone. Even the slightest disagreement is an irreconcilable difference as each side will never budge.


What utter rubbish!













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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 12:54:34

mos6507 wrote:If you strip transition towns to the core what you find is really nothing more than a framework for collaboration, using the open spaces model. You know, flat heirarchies, nonviolent communication. That sort of thing. So aside from the doomer emphasis, that's what makes it different from, let's say, a typical "we're from group X and we know what's good for you" activist movement. So even if you don't want to be a formal transition town, it might be a good idea to look into some of the concepts being used and how this may be innovative.
"consensus" is the collaborative buzzword preferred in cohousing. It frustrated me. Instead of "non-violent communications" and a "tyranny of the majority" you had a tyranny of the passive-aggressive types--people who were more comfortable making small-talk then decisions. Meetings lasted forever.

I finally cut my ties last week when I sold my old home. :)

mos6507 wrote:The fact of the matter is that people have almost entirely lost their interpersonal skills. They've lost their ability to listen to each other, and to find compromise. We all have an infinite number of "channels" that cater to our exact ideologies and we don't feel the need to listen to rebuttals. The internet fosters the idea of blowing people away without consequences. What this has done is made us pathologically incapable of working with anyone else unless they are our ideological clone. Even the slightest disagreement is an irreconcilable difference as each side will never budge. There is no true debating to be had. And it's only BAU that makes this social isolationism possible. When teamwork becomes necessary, we're all going to have to relearn the value of tolerance, and listening, and having a more open mind.
I agree with Davep that you have dramatically overstated the current lack of interpersonal skills. People are wonderful at hashing out plans and discussing performance. it is the subject matter and philosophy, rather than the tools, that must be changed.

But yes BAU fosters isolation. After all, you are much more useful to the capitalist owners when you do not form buying cooperatives, unions, etc. To share goods and property is a revolutionary act and will be crushed with all the might of the world's strongest military/industrial complex.

mos6507 wrote:What I see starting here and with Nate's essay on TOD is this growing recognition that staying in your ideological ghetto, even a doomer one, is merely a BAU-style response. So as much as we think of ourselves as enlightened, better than the other guy, we are continuing to play out our social programming of rugged individualism and "it's my way or the highway", of seeing social capital as being as disposable as a plastic pumpkin.
We will learn to share when the luxury of private property is not longer available. How many of us use our dishwasher for more than a 1 hour every day? Or the lawnmower a few hours every week? Much of what we own sits idle most of the time. That is why our appliances are built poorly, thrown away readily, and replaced often. Because we hardly use them. In a true collective collaborative community you might be able to share high-quality tools instead of conspicuously-consumed, guaranteed-obsolete toys from Asian sweatshops.

mos6507 wrote:Being able to get beyond this is a far bigger hurdle than learning to garden or setting up an off-grid PV array.
Getting out of the Suburban Consumer Ghettos (SCG) the Masters built for us will also be a difficult, if not impossible job.

A lot harder than holding hands, hugging and singing Kumbaya
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 13:53:20

My wife uses the dish washer about 30 minutes each day. Then she lets me go read or do something else!

Interestingly I was having a similar conversation with a transit guy at lunch. Why is it we charge for bus rides in downtown center cities? Are not our bus and transit systems owned by the government and part of our collective holdings? And as such would it not be better to get the maximum use out of our collective holdings?

So if we want to encourage free enterprise and communications between groups and to take away excuses from laggards why not make public transit FREE!

Yet few, if any cities do so. Apparently there are a few with free core areas, but not on a city wide scale.

What a great way to make cities more user friendly and efficient.

But we don't. The question is WHY?

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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Revi » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 13:54:24

Our area includes a town of around 5 or 6 thousand, some farmland and some forestland. I see the whole area as a unit. North of us is a large forest that is connected to us also.

The town center is a place for marketing, while the forest and farms are productive areas that feed into the "shire town" that we live in.

I think that people will fill the niches that they are given. People in the rural areas will be harvesting the forest or working on the farms once gas gets too expensive to commute into town every day.

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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby mos6507 » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 14:29:35

pstarr wrote:I finally cut my ties last week when I sold my old home. :)


That's a decision all of us have to make. Fight vs. flight. I waffle back and forth with that all the time, but ultimately I realize that if everyone goes the flight route, then it's every man for himself, basically. Not a pleasant prospect.

You can't live with other people, but at the same time you can't live without them. So it's probably better to develop social strategies to work with others in a world of 6.7+ billion people than to head for the bunker and cross your fingers that the die-off will occur somewhere conveniently out of sight.

pstarr wrote:it is the subject matter and philosophy, rather than the tools, that must be changed.


And how do you suggest we do that? You live in the Redwood Curtain, do you not, home of fellow radical Derrick Jensen? Is the best way forward to go onto the college lecture circuit and call for blowing up dams and cell phone towers?

When I look at the landscape of activism, I see nothing but a series of failures. The rogues gallery of doomer heroes have basically all failed. Richard Heinberg has failed. Kunstler has failed. Lester Brown has failed, and he doesn't know it. He just keeps revising his Plan B upwards (currently at 4.0). It's not that none of these figures have failed to generate a following. They all have followings. But they can not break out of their niches. There is no critical mass.

The only thing I see that has a chance is Transition Towns. And that's despite me being at a dead-end with TT in this town. I'm still guardedly optimistic because, frankly, I've got nothing better I can support! I've got to have faith that the transition message will only get more and more attractive to people as the frog finally starts boiling in the pot.

pstarr wrote:But yes BAU fosters isolation. After all, you are much more useful to the capitalist owners when you do not form buying cooperatives, unions, etc. To share goods and property is a revolutionary act and will be crushed with all the might of the world's strongest military/industrial complex.


Pstarr, I want you to read what you just wrote here. It's boilerplate fatalistic doomer ranting. It has no value, pstarr. None, zilch, nada. We've all heard the descriptions of the problem ad nauseum. Day after day, year after year. All that matters going forward is what to do? Do we just engage in collective ranting sessions about TPTB until the inevitable TSHTF? Perhaps. But that is rather pathetic, and frankly, just plain boring.

pstarr wrote:Getting out of the Suburban Consumer Ghettos (SCG) the Masters built for us will also be a difficult, if not impossible job.

A lot harder than holding hands, hugging and singing Kumbaya


If you've got some good ideas, then offer them up. Rob Hopkins wrote a book. Where's your book?
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 15:06:33

Mos, I've been leading for years. Have you followed, or are you just angry that the good stuff has not been hand fed to you on a silver plate? Do you really believe that pontificating on an internet discussion group means that much?

I helped build the organic food industry. I developed a walkable consensus-based cohousing community with a shared common house--wood shop, kitchen, kids and adult play room. I have a degree in Sustainable Systems, a MA from a PA state university on the intersection of solar economy and local food production. I have been doing this stuff for several decades and I am here to tell you it meant very little in the bigger scheme of things. I went one direction and the nation went the other. I am doing fine and will continue to up here in the Redwood Nation.

They will not be doing fine.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby mos6507 » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 15:25:12

pstarr wrote:I went one direction and the nation went the other.


I'm sorry your little Moses routine didn't singlehandedly lead everyone to the promised land, pstarr. There's no chance that, maybe, your approach was in any way flawed? No, no. That couldn't be. It has to be a reflection of the sinners being irredeemable. If you and your cult of anonymized personality couldn't save us, then gosh darn it, nobody else can!

You're kind of acting as the anti-shorty in this thread. Shorty doesn't see the need for transition towns because he doesn't see doom around the corner. You don't see the need for them because you think we're doomed (at least everywhere OTHER than your chosen sanctuary).

You've made it known on multiple occasions that the only reason you're here is for sh*ts and giggles while the world collapses around you. So while you're a doomer, unlike Shorty, you're really verging on being just as much of a troller as he is with your attitude.

Frankly, if you are burnt out and want to jump ship, please do so, but don't interfere with other people trying to take the wheel.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby mos6507 » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 16:29:15

And the theme of the importance of social connections continues to reverberate, this time over at Peak Shrink:

As the unfolding energy transition makes it necessary for neighbors to cooperate with one another to meet basic needs for food, shelter and health care, we will have to learn how to work together despite sometimes deep divisions in our cultural and religious value systems.


Now, you can just treat TSHTF as guaranteed to lead to Mad Max, zombies, and warlords, OR you can try to head it off at the pass. I can totally see why someone would have a pessimistic outlook. I also don't see why at this stage it's a bad thing to try to prevent these worst case scenarios, even if it's a lost cause.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Revi » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 16:39:43

I don't know what will happen, but I am determined to have a good time until it all goes down. We are meeting again in January for pancakes and transition at a nearby farm. We'll all eat some great local food and make up an initiating group. It is going to happen.

Join us if you want. To paraphrase Rumi:

"Our is no caravan of despair"
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 16:45:53

Revi wrote:I don't know what will happen, but I am determined to have a good time until it all goes down. We are meeting again in January for pancakes and transition at a nearby farm. We'll all eat some great local food and make up an initiating group. It is going to happen.

Join us if you want. To paraphrase Rumi:

"Our is no caravan of despair"


Good for you Revi. I'm off for a couple of weeks to buy our new boat. Hopefully we will be able to find a kind of transition town mentality within the boating community.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Revi » Mon 04 Jan 2010, 17:16:26

Good luck with the boat. I think it is the ideal thing to have post peak.

Dmitri Orlov likes the idea of boats.

I think there will be coastal communities that would be perfect for Transition.

There is one starting in Ellsworth, Maine. You can certainly get there by boat.

http://transitiontownellsworth.blogspot.com/

There's also a great barbecue place right at the town landing.
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