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THE Transition Phase Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

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

THE Transition Phase Thread Pt. 2 (merged)

Unread postby shortonsense » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 00:03:29

Ibon wrote:It is time. I move into this new year with full energy building this transition and less and less interest to debating whether the shits going down or not.


Here here....the Boy Scouts have been right in their motto since 1910, 100 years later it still rings true no matter what the underlying concern....good for you Ibon.....my full energy this year continues to be teaching the children....after all, its too late for us old farts, old dogs, new tricks, etc etc, but the children....they have always been and always will be the future.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby thuja » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 00:12:26

shortonsense wrote:
Revi wrote:Transition is now officially about dealing with Climate Change, Peak Oil and Economic Instability. Surely you must believe in one of those, SOS.

If it's dogma, then I am signing up for the religion, because it's the only one that makes sense to me.


Well, I must admit that I have a natural adversion to things which look religious in nature, versus based on scientific fact. For example, on your list, I'm not sure what qualifies as "believe in". Economic instability? I got laid off twice in my life so sure, maybe I'll go for that one? I certainly "believe in" peak oil, its happened before, might again, seems intuitive in a finite system, my problem is with all the amusing scenario's attached to an otherwise not particularly notable event. And climate change is historical fact and an absolute given, the climate is always changing and will always be changing, the entire scheme which appears to have sprung up to make humans afraid of a perfectly natural and common event is more than a little irritating to me of course.

As to how any of this relates to the premise behind a transition town is something else....it almost sounds as if these boogie man events are being used in such a way to drive newbies into the waiting arms of a sect.....certainly I didn't see anything on that reference I provided referring to the virtue of waste and how it applies to human kinds ability to use more plentiful and more diffuse sources of energy to maintain any kind of lifestyle we might wish.



Mmmm...why have you been insulating your house? Or thinking about energy efficiency at all? I think you are generally right though. Anyone who works together to do those things could easily be called part of a cult. Whenever I walk down the aisles of Home Depot and see a dude in the caulk and insulation aisle I think...dude is in a cult. What a freak...
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 01:40:45

shortonsense wrote:
Ibon wrote:It is time. I move into this new year with full energy building this transition and less and less interest to debating whether the shits going down or not.


Here here....the Boy Scouts have been right in their motto since 1910, 100 years later it still rings true no matter what the underlying concern....good for you Ibon.....my full energy this year continues to be teaching the children....after all, its too late for us old farts, old dogs, new tricks, etc etc, but the children....they have always been and always will be the future.


I can't think of a more worthy pursuit than mentoring to the young.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby mos6507 » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 10:44:11

shortonsense wrote:Sounds like religion, the way you describe it.


So is BAU, by default. I see it more as a practical philosophy.

shortonsense wrote:The whole page is pretty shoddy when it comes to the scientific basis for any of this stuff


It doesn't have to be all about convincing people about doom. Transition is not really meant to appeal to vehement deniers. It's meant to pull in people who were already worried about these issues but for one reason or another haven't quite put 2 and 2 together or felt they were alone in their town. Either these people "click" with the initial outreach or they don't.

shortonsense wrote:Are you suggesting these people are actually advocating somehow turning off the sun, or is this just more confusion on their part, intermixing energy downslopes with oil peaks ( without saying which ones ) and such?


If you are optimistic about the future, and you don't think anything about society needs to change that won't automatically change for the better on its own, then don't get involved. Or if TT bothers you so much, start your own TT-bashing group. It's a free country. Just don't expect it to go away just because you think it's irrelevant.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby shortonsense » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 10:55:07

thuja wrote:Mmmm...why have you been insulating your house? Or thinking about energy efficiency at all?


Economics. A penny saved is a penny earned. This truism has been around longer than you and I have been alive....have you never heard of it?


thuja wrote:
I think you are generally right though. Anyone who works together to do those things could easily be called part of a cult. Whenever I walk down the aisles of Home Depot and see a dude in the caulk and insulation aisle I think...dude is in a cult. What a freak...


Does he have a website? Does it advocate scary sounding boogie men of the modern world ( or bygone era, if you take the position that this is all a rehash of Malthus in various guises ), designed to drive you into his arms, aquivering and fearful of the his vision of the future, to the point where you will gladly comply with his claims of what must be done for these boogie men to be kept in the closet at night?

Instilling fear of an imaginary future is usually a key component of forcing compliance, just like religions. Repent, or burn. Whoever created that Transition town website looks right up to date on such techniques.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby shortonsense » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 10:59:39

Ibon wrote:
shortonsense wrote:
Ibon wrote:It is time. I move into this new year with full energy building this transition and less and less interest to debating whether the shits going down or not.


Here here....the Boy Scouts have been right in their motto since 1910, 100 years later it still rings true no matter what the underlying concern....good for you Ibon.....my full energy this year continues to be teaching the children....after all, its too late for us old farts, old dogs, new tricks, etc etc, but the children....they have always been and always will be the future.


I can't think of a more worthy pursuit than mentoring to the young.


I agree.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby mos6507 » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 11:08:39

shortonsense wrote:Instilling fear of an imaginary future is usually a key component of forcing compliance, just like religions. Repent, or burn. Whoever created that Transition town website looks right up to date on such techniques.


Yeah, I'm sure everyone victory gardening and learning to knit sweaters are going to suffer for drinking the doomer kool-aid. I mean, nothing should divert us from our techno-utopian manifest destiny:

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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Revi » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 11:10:41

If it is a cult, we don't have many disciples yet.

I don't think you have to worry about Transition taking over. Even in Totnes there are only about 5% of the people really doing it.

It is an organized way to descend the energy mountain.

Like working together to make it through hard times.

I really can't see how it's a bad thing.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby shortonsense » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 11:13:07

mos6507 wrote:
shortonsense wrote:The whole page is pretty shoddy when it comes to the scientific basis for any of this stuff


It doesn't have to be all about convincing people about doom.


True, if the goal is simply to use boogie men to scare people into agreeing with you. Religions have been doing it for millennia, nothing wrong with its use by Transition Towners I suppose. Doesn't seem to fit in with their stated, near altruistic purpose though. Next thing you know they'll expect you to divest yourself of all worldly possessions into their care, you'll be shaving your head, chanting in airports, wearing robes and giving up all your daughters in marriage to the head guy, and drinking spiked Koolaid on command.

Using the tools of religion to sell a particular low power lifestyle.....like I said....I don't like the trappings...


mos6507 wrote: Transition is not really meant to appeal to vehement deniers. It's meant to pull in people who were already worried about these issues but for one reason or another haven't quite put 2 and 2 together or felt they were alone in their town. Either these people "click" with the initial outreach or they don't.


Sheeple with preconceived notions in other words?

Someone with unease over economic times, or even a victim of them, seeing for the first time perhaps the obviousness of uncertainty in their life, and along comes a group with scary sounding words like peak oil and climate change, and then they set the hook....but we, WE know salvation!! Religions are never about thinking for one's self, and all about trying to drive a wedge into those little fears of uncertainty which most people ignore up to the day they die.



mos6507 wrote:If you are optimistic about the future, and you don't think anything about society needs to change that won't automatically change for the better on its own, then don't get involved. Or if TT bothers you so much, start your own TT-bashing group. It's a free country. Just don't expect it to go away just because you think it's irrelevant.


I don't expect it to go away or even care....until they show up at my doorstep like the Mormons, or my daughter has to be deprogrammed someday. Certainly I hold them no ill will, I don't discriminate against prepping of any type by anyone.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Revi » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 11:23:38

C'mon SOS. Join our cult. You may have to wear this kind of clothes and shave your beard like this, but you will be a better person because of it:

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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby mos6507 » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 11:25:55

shortonsense wrote:Using the tools of religion to sell a particular low power lifestyle.....like I said....I don't like the trappings...


How would you like it to be done? You don't buy the rationale for change regardless of the presentation anyway.

shortonsense wrote:WE know salvation!! Religions are never about thinking for one's self, and all about trying to drive a wedge into those little fears of uncertainty which most people ignore up to the day they die.


You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Yes, Transition starts from the premise that "things are broken". If you don't buy that argument, then there really is nothing left to discuss!!!

If you DO agree that things are broken, then Transition provides a grass-roots method in which the community can do things on its own without waiting for your precious "them" to think of something.

Unlike the two established green groups in my town, it is NOT about hierarchy. It is NOT about passing down a list of things that must be done on stone tablets. What is done is supposed to be the outgrowth of the open space brainstorming sessions. So in Vermont maybe the demographics would lead to neo-pagan chants around the stone circles, but in Alabama you'd have them save the local NASCAR races with local ethanol. The idea is that the people who get involved have a say on what gets done. Some of this stuff may be misguided. Some of it might not accomplish its stated goals. But it will be a more active and participatory way forward than laying all your hope and trust on "the system" and our elected leaders.

And that threatens you?
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Revi » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 11:33:38

Well we have decided to continue with our transition effort, whether it's a religion or not.

I think the problem is going to be keeping people involved. There is a lot of other stuff going on even around here.

This is the first group we've started here in our town. We had a peak oil group, and there's a Sustainability group, but they are in the nearby bigger town of Waterville.

It's time to do something here, since it will be harder and harder to get to Waterville from now on.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Ludi » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 12:22:10

Revi wrote:C'mon SOS. Join our cult. You may have to wear this kind of clothes and shave your beard like this, but you will be a better person because of it:




Ugh, no thanks. I'd rather dress like this:

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It's more appropriate for my climate.

And lack of beard. :)
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 12:41:15

shortonsense wrote:
Economics. A penny saved is a penny earned. This truism has been around longer than you and I have been alive....?


Frugality and wise use of resources will be one of the tenants of a new cultural paradigm. You have just stated one of it's commandments which will be embraced by successful transition towns.

This is a "religion" (we are just playing with this word) of practical responses to the consequences of economic decline which unlike past recessions is a symptom of the deeper ecological reality of overshoot.

I suggest that there is a meeting point where transition towns fold back into the mainstream as consequences will draw us all into the same net. Again, this is ultimately not an ideological movement even if the early pioneers are perhaps visionaries who are rejecting the status quo.

Whatever ideological polarity exists between BAU and transition advocates will lessen as we will all be honed by the same consequences to come up with the best strategies for re-organizing ourselves to preserve the best possible quality of life.

The old virtuous values of hard work, frugality, civic engagement, serving your community will be part of this new meme that will put a final lid on the coffin of the self indulgence of the individual we have witnessed of the past 50 years. Those that are drawn to transition towns from this old individualistic indulgence will fail. There is a great generational turning back toward civic cohesiveness and further destabilizing consequences will act as catalysts drawing us together at the same time as it will globally nationalize us back to a focus on our local regions.

This wont all be some utopic transition. Wars will probably be one of the most powerful catalysts drawing us together.

I have recently read a book some of you might find interesting on this topic of the cycle of generations and how this sheds light on how the current generations passing through crisis will lead to a more civic society; The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe. It never even touches on the topic of peak oil or ecological overshoot. But I found reading it while keeping the greater ecological picture in the back of your mind to be quite a powerful combination.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby thuja » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 13:34:31

shortonsense wrote:
thuja wrote:Mmmm...why have you been insulating your house? Or thinking about energy efficiency at all?


Economics. A penny saved is a penny earned. This truism has been around longer than you and I have been alive....have you never heard of it?


[


No personally I think its culty to prepare for increasingly expensive energy. Caulk and insulation would be on my top two list for signs of a cult member. Anyone foolish enough to think that oil will get anymore scarce or that carbon tariffs will raise the price of energy (and worse- to prepare for it) should be mocked and ridiculed in my book. Freeeeaks!!
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Ibon » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 13:54:07

Read this review of the theory of The Fourth Turning and then apply this to what the transition town movement is aspiring to. Keep in mind the current generation entering into adulthood, the Millennials.

Shortofsense, you are a school teacher. Do you agree with the author's assessment on the character of the Millennial generation as discussed in this review? Just curious.

http://www.safehaven.com/article-13780.htm

What's Next

When discussing what's likely to follow next, Neil Howe turns to his generational profiles and points out that the rising societal power today belongs to the generation he calls the Millennials, individuals born between 1982 and 2004. They are a "Hero" generation, just like the G.I. Generation that coped so well with the turmoil of the Great Depression and World War II -- the last Fourth Turning. Coddled as children, the G.I.s were ultimately called upon to help society through a dark and dangerous period and rose to the occasion. Again, quoting Howe on the Millennials...

"These are today's young people, who are just beginning to be well known to most Americans. They fill K-12 schools, colleges, graduate schools, and have recently begun entering the workplace. We associate them with dramatic improvements in youth behaviors, which are often underreported by the media. Since Millennials have come along, we've seen huge declines in violent crime, teen pregnancy, and the most damaging forms of drug abuse, as well as higher rates of community service and volunteering. This is a generation that reminds us in many respects of the young G.I.s nearly a century ago, back when they were the first boy scouts and girl scouts between 1910 and 1920.

Unlike the Baby Boomers, who are largely individualistic and anti-establishment, the Millennials are good team players. We hear a lot these days about working together for a common cause, volunteerism, and the need for stronger government institutions, largely because these are the new priorities of the Millennial Generation.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby Ludi » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 14:04:52

Ibon wrote:Unlike the Baby Boomers, who are largely individualistic and anti-establishment, the Millennials are good team players.]



Wouldn't want anyone going against the status quo. Uh uh.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby shortonsense » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 14:11:27

Revi wrote:C'mon SOS. Join our cult. You may have to wear this kind of clothes and shave your beard like this, but you will be a better person because of it:


I worked in Amish communities during summers in college, I quite respect their lifestyle, work ethic, and everything except what they do the roads in their communities. When I make cracks about "gee so and so wants to be Amish" it isn't a put down, I always figured its someone's way of aspiring to be morally superior and ecologically friendly versus the run of the mill American consumer.
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Re: Transition towns

Unread postby shortonsense » Fri 01 Jan 2010, 14:23:53

mos6507 wrote:
shortonsense wrote:Using the tools of religion to sell a particular low power lifestyle.....like I said....I don't like the trappings...


How would you like it to be done? You don't buy the rationale for change regardless of the presentation anyway.


Perhaps I don't buy into the hysterical trappings of the particular mechanisms of change batted around among Malthusian wanna be's in internet forums, but I certainly believe in climate change in general, and the ever changing nature of such things as mankinds use of fossil fuels even within my lifetime. They were cheap back when I was born. They got more expensive in the 70's and show no signs of returning to "the good old days". My response has been twofold, 1) use less in terms of absolute volume ( which means I stabilize my cost in this regard ) and 2) advance my academic training and experience in such a way as to make more money so that even stabilized fuel costs go down as a percentage of my income. #2 has been much more effective than #1 in terms of $$.

mos6507 wrote:
shortonsense wrote:WE know salvation!! Religions are never about thinking for one's self, and all about trying to drive a wedge into those little fears of uncertainty which most people ignore up to the day they die.


You don't know what the hell you're talking about.


I know very well what I'm talking about. Which is why I tend to irritate people sometimes.

mos6507 wrote:Yes, Transition starts from the premise that "things are broken". If you don't buy that argument, then there really is nothing left to discuss!!!

If you DO agree that things are broken, then Transition provides a grass-roots method in which the community can do things on its own without waiting for your precious "them" to think of something.


And you consider discounts on Prius's to be "thinking of something"?

mos6507 wrote:Some of this stuff may be misguided. Some of it might not accomplish its stated goals. But it will be a more active and participatory way forward than laying all your hope and trust on "the system" and our elected leaders.

And that threatens you?


Not in the least. I might join just to get the discount. Maybe my local group needs a peak oil expert to explain it to them, I certainly can do that pretty well.
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