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Les squires

I'm new to the network, but I've been following the Transition movement for a year now. I am wondering what are people's thoughts on those of us who have little or no connection with where we live right now?

Is the notion of moving somewhere else to join in this movement a valid one? I understand the need to build out from the local stage is very important to the core of Transition. What separates this movement from other Green/Sustainable ideas is the notion of action over theorizing. Transition is meant to be totally participatory, and that's why it's such a good idea for building resilience.

But, how can a passionate person take part without roots to connect them to their locality? I ask this for my own purposes, but also for the many many young people I know who are suffering from a fundamental disconnect with their location.

My conviction is that we need to recognize that in a time upheaval and change there is something to be said for welcoming newcomers to an area. If I moved somewhere else to join in a thriving Transition town, wouldn't I be better serving my new home and my old one? I would serve my new home because without preconceived ideas and personal inertia, I would be primed for adapting to whatever needed to be done. And I would serve my old home by not getting in the way of those that DO feel a connection to the place.

What do people think? I am very interested to hear from you!

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi, Stephen! I am new to the movement, too. In fact, I think the movement is so new to the US in general that there are few true experts here yet. From what I can tell from my lurking on the internet, there are very few US cities actually moving toward Transition. (I could be wrong here, so anyone out there, please correct me.) So, unless you want to move to Boulder, CO (might have to think about that one myself) :-), or Idaho or maybe a place or two in California where things are just starting, there are not any "thriving" Transition towns. As the old addage says, "be the change you want to see." Personally, I have joined a steering committee to bring Transition to my city, Oklahoma City. There are just a handful of us currently educating ourselves on the Transition model and several people are actively trying to educate the community on peak oil in general - some tables at local events, etc. The national movement is so new that perhaps the best way to see progress in your area is to find a group of like-minded folks and start your own steering committee. Perhaps that is the connection you are missing. Perhaps some of the young people in your sphere of life might find it a challenging and rewarding process. Invite them to an information sharing evening at the local bookstore or even in your home. They will certainly see the fruits of their labors toward Transition more than people like me in their 50s now. To have a connection, you have to make one. People live such isolated lives these days that community connections just don't happen readily. What in particular interests you about Transition? Local food? Alternative energy? Re-skilling? What are you passionate about? Look for a local group that is already involved in some form of that and join them and bring the Transition point of view with you. You might find others that are interested, too. If you have been following Transition for a year, you probably have a lot to offer. Good Luck!
thanks for the ideas Sherry :-) I know I have some personal inertia to overcome! I can build from what you've suggested though. Thank you!
Hi Stephen!

But, how can a passionate person take part without roots to connect them to their locality? I ask this for my own purposes, but also for the many many young people I know who are suffering from a fundamental disconnect with their location.

Get out to somewhere quiet, sit under a tree, on a rock or next to a creek. Listen. Breathe. Feel the inherent connection with all life no matter where you is a matter of perspective not locale. It is especially hard for folks who have been exposed to the intense programming of the past 30 yrs. Individualism, disempowerment, lack of connection to earth, air, fire, water and ether...just be a good consumer, go buy more stuff and everything will be okay.

If you do not feel a connection to the place where you are ...why?
Why is this place any different than that place? Is your existence and perspective dependent on other people's acceptance or rejection? You are of value. You are connected to your place because I think you are still breathing, eating and drinking. You are one with the place where you are...why do you feel disconnected?

Do you want to sink your roots? Where? I may "want" to be somewhere else or think "somewhere else" would be more fun, more beautiful, etc., but my focus was to find the best place I could think of to facilitate survival and then start building and creating my reality. I may not ever see the collapse myself so it's not about me being freaked out ...but I want to leave a footprint, do something that might be of value to whomever comes behind me.

What do you want to do? What do you feel called to do?
What does it mean and feel like to you to experience a sense of place and deep connection?

I used to be transient and on the road a lot. Now my roots are sunck deep and I don't travel anymore except for when absolutely necessary. When folks travel through this area and stop by for a visit and/or internship they bring human stories and observations that one can't get on the evening news and/or internet. Such wanders keep the essence of our web tangible. But it is also a role that is probably a much harder one to fulfill these days given the difficulties inherent in travel.

I live in an area where the local people have Native blood and have been on this land for generations. I've been here for almost 30 yrs now but I am still an outsider...always will be. But, I'm still a part of the community and we all have a vital part to play!

There is a nice reminder that circulates around the web is called "Hopi Elders speak" and has good things to listen to whether it actually came from a Hopi Elder or not:

A Hopi Elder Speaks

"You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered . . .

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader."

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, "This could be a good time!"

"There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly.

"Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, Least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.

"The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

"We are the ones we've been waiting for."

-- attributed to an unnamed Hopi elder

Hopi Nation

Oraibi, Arizona

Just like Transition is about local initiatives for the most part...we also need to take it to the personal level. It is not necessarily about some group, being accepted, or interacting on a merely social level, etc. It is about reality and doing what you personally feel the need to do. There's lots to do wherever you are located and everything starts with each individual person.

What are your plans for when the **** really hits the fan? As you mentioned, this is not about theorizing it is about dealing with reality and getting! And, since interdependency is the foundation of resiliency it might be good to just take a walk in your neighborhood, say hi or wave to folks you've never met before and just be yourself. You might host a small neighborhood potluck to get to know folks, then see if anyone would like to get together to watch a few videos, etc.

I'm not experiencing tons of people knocking on my door wanting to get involved, folks are just too busy and don't want to try going about things differently yet...but it doesn't make the adventure any less fun. I'm meeting some great neighbors in the process. It would be nice and very beneficial if we were all to decide to take an official Transition approach in our area...but hey, that's not really what matters anyway.

Good luck and stay in touch! kj
hi! I'm a 61-year-old in Eugene, Oregon, that's Western Oregon; Lane County. I don't have a group in transition yet. I just joined this website, because I'm LOOKING FOR a group in my area. Everyone is so garden crazy, outdoors, environmentally -- eco-friendly and such, here, that I'm surprised there isn't a transition group in my area. (I see that there is one in the city of Portland, but that's very far away from me.) So, to tell the truth, if any of you know people or groups in western Oregon, I'd really like to know about them. Short of starting a group myself (which might be a little difficult)all just have to keep looking for one. We have the University of Oregon in our town here, in Eugene, so maybe someone will start a group through the University.the other thing that would help a transition group here, is that I haven't an old house on a nice piece of land, the land around me on all sides, that is perfect for growing a vegetable garden and even grapes. My folks planted plum and cherry trees here, a long time ago and I still get fruit, the trees just need fertilizing and pruning. In other words, I'm sitting on a little piece of land that would be a good start for a transition group to do gardening on, and help grow their own food. (I also need a roommate, a transition type of person, as I have two bedrooms in the little house.) I have been to community groups in the neighborhood, nobody has talked about the transition movement at all. However, they are very "community involvement oriented", and we all get mixed up in local politics and what happens in the neighborhood.

Yes, I'm not getting any people knocking on my door, wanting to get involved either. However, we're very different from California, especially Northern California, which never seemed to me to be very involved in neighbors or community. People are much friendlier here, even though they are very poor here. As for me, I have a well on my place, that still works, and I recently had the pump fix for it, it's electric. (We are only allowed to get drinking water from the city, but we can use well water for irrigation.) This is also a good place to catch rainwater, and save it. Plus, I wouldn't mind hanging out my laundry on a line, to dry, during the summer. Save energy. My dad did organic gardening, way back in the 60s. Composting, mulching. We stopped using any pesticides than. Yeah, I know about when the "shit hits the fan" in the near future, if we had a transition group here, even a tiny one, growing food on my place (we used to grow grapes for wine and we made wine here) and being able to get water from the well, we'd be much better set up than a lot of suburban people. (I suppose you could say, this is now the "suburbs", many years ago, it used to be rural.)

What are my plans for when they the shit hit the fan? Raise the food here,, get my water here, and arm myself to the teeth. Don't think that's not going to happen, people are going to need guns to protect themselves.what you think going to happen, when all those people are starving to death,, no food, no money? What you think they're going to do, sit there and take it? If you have food and water, they're going to kill you to get yours. We have a lot of criminal property stuff happening here now, already, because we have a tiny police force, and practically no city jail.

I haven't heard any comments yet about people learning to use a fire arms to protect themselves in bad times. I have a 38 special myself, and I'm going to take lessons to get very familiar with it. It's not that I want to use it, but I've lived in bad big cities, and bad areas,and gotten bad trouble, and I promise you guys, you are going to have to protect yourself in the future, and protect your family, at some point. When there are really desperate times, lots of people get very desperate, and they go after anyone who has food and water, or money or anything they really need.for example, you should see the people in big cities, in the ghettos; there's a lot a crime among them, in the best of times. What are they going to do, if they run out of food and water, and things they need to survive? I suspect they're going to migrate out of the city, and go outward to get whatever they need. That means, they're going to migrate out to the suburbs and the rural areas. If things do really get that bad, some of them probably wouldn't mind hitting you over the head, to get what you have, because they're desperate.or, because they're just criminals, and that's how they get stuff.

You have to think about all this stuff, in a sociological manner, because things got kind of out of control with hurricane Katrina. There was a lot of crime, rape, and everything else. We already have a lot of that, now; I hate to think about how bad it's going to get, if most civilization breaks down. I have a friend in Michigan, who lives near a big dangerous ghetto, she's very disabled, and she knows that that whole area around Chicago, including the city, is already very dangerous for women. What are your plans for when the shit really hits the fan? PROTECT YOURSELF. is anybody here talking about stuff like that? We're supposed to be practical, right? We're supposed to be realistic, right?has anybody been talking about any of this yet? Or, are most of you in very very safe areas?or, can you not to imagine that the people around you could ever get dangerous, criminal, or desperate enough to clobber each other to stay alive? Okay, I know transition is supposed to be "optimistic and fun", but you still have to think about the bad possibilities too, and guard yourself against them if they occur. "Take care of the bottom-line, too".
Hello Folks!

It's a lovely day here in Southeast Ohio but the temperatures are nearly record breakers for this time of year: 88 F yesterday, promising to be another hot one today. I'm doing a bit of a rain dance while keeping my fingers crossed that we get some rain for the cistern, the wonderful woodland herbs, mushrooms, trees, the pond critters and garden plants.

How can a passionate person without roots in an area take part to connect them to their locality?

What are the normal temps in a particular area? What are the normal rainfall amounts? What are the early warning signals that it is time to store more water, etc.?

Hi Dorothy!

It certainly sounds like you have some great roots into the rich soil there and that they will help you survive while assisting others as well. Your search to find housemates is a great opportunity for someone; I hope just the right folks come to your door and that your sanctuary may give birth to a neighborhood transition initiative.

Have you checked out the following web pages for transition folks in your area yet?

Transition Oregon
Group: Eugene-Springfield & Vicinity

PROTECT YOURSELF. is anybody here talking about stuff like that? We're supposed to be practical, right? We're supposed to be realistic, right?has anybody been talking about any of this yet?

Yes, there have been some lively conversations on the topic and given my preparedness and response background we are taking a very realistic approach in our area. Thanks for bringing the topic up again on this site.

I just ran an all transition search off the main Transition US page for guns, protection, preparedness (it's a handy search tool given how much info is on this site now). It turned up a few threads, including a blog I started to link back to our Transition Ohio page: FYI: preparedness, worse case scenario planning, security...guns?

I'm glad to hear you have a tool to protect yourself. I think this topic also links back to having roots in a local area. I believe it is very helpful to assess your location with a risk/threat management approach while also taking into account worse case scenarios. And, it is more than just about having guns. It's a matter of awareness...about your area, about those around you and about planning, prevention/mitigation, planning and response.

I am not prey or predator. I am not as focused on protecting myself as I am in being prepared to protect others, especially young ones, and to defend any stores we may have here if necessary. My goal is to be able to develop systems of reciprocity, interdependency and to share so that we may be able to help meet everyone's needs but if a crew comes through just wanting to rape and pillage it will not be acceptable.

And, we're not just talking about some potential time in the future. Theivery and poaching is already a reality here. As Dorothy mentioned other areas already have high crime rates and some folks have developed survival coping mechanisms that don't include being kind to others.

If folks reading this are wondering how to connect to an area when they don't already have roots good thing to do is to find out what is going on in their area with regards to crime. Talk to the local folks, assess the situation and consider what might be needed. It's also a good way to meet neighbors and potentially develop a network of interdependency. Crimewatch efforts move in that direction but are too focused on the problems and not on the root cause or the building of overall resiliency. Such groups may be good allies however.

My primary approach is prevention. I've taken crisis prevention courses, personal protection courses, practice various things, etc. Anything that can be grabbed can be a potential tool for protection, walking sticks, canes, key chains, etc. My place is designed with security in mind, native greenbrier, cliffs, etc. The gate into the long driveway is always locked, I have a dog and I help spread the rumor that I'm the crazy old lady on the hill with the shot gun. I shoot targets fairly regularly just to let folks know that I'm still kickin' back here. My neighbors do the same thing.

And, we must not forget that guns, bows, etc., with knowledge and related supplies are good to have for hunting food. I stocked up on supplies awhile back and now I hear they, bullets/guns, are hard to get and have outrageously gone up in price. It is time to get what you need...

Mitigation and preparedness:

One of the things I would like to do as our Transition Initiative merges into a unified effort is to assess our area, identify all the out-of-area landowners, send them notes asking them to try to store or have supplies ready if they're planning to head this way. How many people can we realistically care for in our area. What is the carrying capacity, what is our sheltering capacity, etc. What do we need? What do we need in terms of security teams? What type of process will be utilized when our current legal systems break down or just aren't applicable out in our hills?

I have tried to build bridges with our county planners and emergency response partners but they just aren't yet interested in taking a comprehensive all hazard worse case scenario approach...even though they are receiving our tax payor dollars to do it. It's a paradigm shift and we all know how such entrenched systems respond to change...they need our help. We need to become informed, get prepared, get involved in our respective communities and hold them accountable.

I saw a great film on West Virginia public tv last night about the mountain folks around the time of the depression. It certainly seems like we need to be preparing for such a time again but this time around we have the opportunity to learn from the past and improve our processes.

One of the things that I really appreciated was the historical review of rural health care during those times. They recounted the American and West Virginia Medical Association actions to eliminate midwifery, osteopathic and chiropractic practioners, herbalists, etc. I have been talking about the strategically planned campaign to paint midwives and others as quacks and the legislative moves that were taken to secure the AMAs position and guarantee their monopoly on health care. The film laid it out very well.

The AMA outlawed the healers but then the local hill folk couldn't afford and/or get into the towns/cities for health care. Fortunately, midwives have survived but the onslaught on this honorable calling isn't over yet. As we approach May 5, International Day of the Midwife, I hope we will reflect on how important our local healers, especially our midwives, are to rural communities and our transition efforts.

Many states are now pushing for the Mandatory Licensure of midwives, The Big Push. It might be a highly funded PR campaign with smooth words that sound good...but look deeper. There are some serious unintended consequences with such legislative action and it doesn't seem like the folks pushing for it are aware of the history either.

I realize that it may appear I've gone way off thread here but it really is about being connected to a locality, learning about history, assessing needs, etc.

We need our midwives! It is an honored profession that is being undermined again. The hospitals will be contaminated, folks won't be able to get to hospitals, etc. What do these folks who brainwash us into thinking birth is so dangerous that we need obstetrical care think we're going to do then...go out and drop our babies like a cow in a field? Even cows need assistance from experienced birth workers from time to time.

Mandatory Licensure of midwives is not going to make childbirth is only going to limit women/family choice, access and prevent some of our beloved midwives from doing what they are called to do. There is nothing wrong about having mechanisms for licensure...but it should be voluntary not mandatory!

My case is that we need to protect ourselves in this manner as well. Please become informed of historical trends and pay attention to what might be happening in your respective states with regards to sugar coated legislation that ignores history and avoids thinking about the realities of a post-oil civilization.

So, Dorothy...I agree with you but to me, risk/threat assessments, mitigation, preparedness, planning and all hazard worse case scenario planning is optimistic and fun. There is nothing like a response team that knows what the possibilities are, who is responsible for what and when, and how to work together as a team.

Let's take our heads out of the sand and get real...Take care of the bottom-line, feel better and have fun! It is incredibly empowering, builds interdependent teamwork, improves communication and is all and all the best thing we can do for our kids, future generations and civilization in general.

Many of our civil authorities have gotten used to the public not wanting to be involved, not wanting to do anything but consume, afraid that telling the public the truth will cause them to panic. Such a paradigm is based upon false assumptions and fallacies.

All the civil authority plans and drills aren't going to mean squat unless pursued in a system of transparency and with public involvement in the planning processes. Do you know who your Emergency Management Agency director is? Do you know your County Commissioners? Perhaps it's time to give them a call or go down for a visit to find out what they are doing to address all hazard worse case scenarios and how the public can get involved? They need to know we are addressing these things and expect them to do their best jobs to do the same...especially since they're getting paid by us to do it.

I didn't want to get on a soap box again but it appears you got me on a roll again.

Please just remember that Transition is a positive goal oriented approach with an emphasis on fun but that doesn't mean it should exclude addressing reality in terms of taking care of the bottom-line as well; after all we're talking about our kids, future generations and all life on this planet. first grand-daughter was born the other day. It is fun to do everything I can to lay a foundation for her...including the establishment of security systems here!

Good luck everyone! It is sure to be a very interesting ride...perhaps if we look at it as an extreme sport or adventure it will help us have a good time as we deal with life and death stuff. Why isn't there a Transition Reality tv show yet?

Its funny you should say you got into this website because yo're looking for a group in your area, because that's exactly why my husband and I joined this website too. My husband and our soul friend have given me as homework to find transition groups in Louisiana through the Internet. I have been searching for days and have found nothing. As a result, our two families are making long term plans to move from Louisiana to somewhere like Portland or New Mexico in six months to a year. THE FUTURE is coming and we have three children: our fifteen month old, and our friend's two girls aged 5 and 6. We DO NOT want to be unprepared without oil in our lamps when the day of reckoning comes.

What are my plans for when they the shit hit the fan? Raise the food here,, get my water here, and arm myself to the teeth. Don't think that's not going to happen, people are going to need guns to protect themselves.what you think going to happen, when all those people are starving to death,, no food, no money? What you think they're going to do, sit there and take it? If you have food and water, they're going to kill you to get yours.

Yeah, tell me about it!! Now you know why my husband and Bryce (our friend) are so freaked out about the plans for getting out of Louisiana. Not a nice place to be when THE FUTURE comes and you've got three small children to take care of. And you don't want to hear about the looks we got when we tried to start a peak oil awareness group amongst our friends here in Louisiana. We're ON OUR OWN here in Louisiana: its a really freaky, spooky sensation.

I haven't heard any comments yet about people learning to use a fire arms to protect themselves in bad times.

You should listen to my Bryce and my husband: they talk nothing but.

What are your plans for when the shit really hits the fan?

Well, here's OUR plan: we're looking for somewhere -ANYWHERE- in the United States where we can be a part of a transition group. I am a schoolteacher, my husband works for a call center and our friend is a truck driver; our friend grows an organic garden and I investigare about forest gardens and permaculture for him. And we are so out of here! It's going to take a while to organize the move out of Louisiana (we don't have anywhere to move to yet) and part of that move is finding a transition group SOMEWHERE so we don't have to feel forlorn with three little kids when the anarchy of the end of times strikes.
Hi, Steve,

So, what I read is that you feel no connection to where you are and want to move to somewhere where you will likely have less connection. ????? There seems to be something missing from this picture.

I can relate to what you say, but as Fritjof Capra taught me, all of the great crises of our times are merely facets of a single problem, a crisis of perception. All of the problems we face are interconnected and cannot, will not, be solved in isolation. Is it possible that your crisis of perception is that you think the movement is greener in another pasture?

Why not simplify it and move to Totnes, or if you want to stay in the states why not move to Austin TX, where the music is good an most of the early problems have been solved?

When I was a relative newcomer to my township I used it like a bedroom community. My wife and I worked roughly 20 or more miles away in Philadelphia. Our first thoughts over a decade ago were to get our home as much off the grid as possible to prepare for retirement.

In that process I began to discover info sources like RMI and learned as much as I could about energy efficiency. I joined a new, local Earth Charter initiative which decomposed after a few years. Then, after seeing End of Suburbia (where I live) I was moved to form a Post Carbon Inst. Relocalization chapter. That was a top down approach moving out of a grassroots (Earth Charter) orientation. In the process, I interacted with my community, was invited to form a township committee on energy, and on and on.

My wife and I grew our connections to our community. It was an unconscious intentional activity. Joining a local interfaith spiritual community helped.

The more I became involved the more I felt connection, and in fact, the more connection there was. What I offered was the fruits of becoming the change that I wanted to see in the world around me. My house is now a local example of low-cost energy efficiency. I'm involved in more projects than I should but trimming it back as I figure out where I fit best and can do my best work.

Remember that wherever you move to the one constant there will be you. That's the dirty secret of the geographic cure. Every group has its victories, it problems, and its shortcomings. I think if you went to Kinsale or Totnes it will likely be about the same for you. Whatever really stopped you from being effective where you're at will likely emerge in the new place.

All I really know is that you'll know best what to do, and probably already know now. You may well be the person you've been waiting for. All that's left is to stop theorizing and start acting. And fear not; whatever the question, LOVE is the answer.
thanks for the thoughtful reply :-)
We are going to try a transition movement here in Central Maine. We are going to focus around restorative justice and neighborhood watch issues. We need to see if we can hold this place.

The transition movement has to incorporate issues of security and safety if it is to address the real needs of rural areas.
Is it naive to wonder how important defense and security are going to be in the future?

I don't see the need for concern myself, but I've had a fairly sheltered life, and I don't claim to know everything.

I just wonder if it's inevitable that there will be violence when things start to get bad?

What do you guys think?
I believe violence is inevitable if things start to get bad because some things are bad now and there is violence. That said, I believe the majority of people capable of violence wish not to go there and will not if they know people AND know people know them and care about their well-being. The combination of isolation and deprivation, especially when the latter is considered unfair, erode self-restraint.

Connecting and caring as never before are our jobs now. Investing in local webs that will become more and more productive is insurance against desperate, short-sighted and ugly moves under greater pressure. As long as connections are increasing and addressing more needs, it's okay that the early ones were defensive.

The race is on!
Hi Stephen... there are some great responses to your questions...;0) for me it was to start a transitions group and see what happened... i just got my 2nd member... i post a lot of information and see who's watching and wants to participate... here is the link

I also started a organic, edible, community garden in my front yard and am working on learning and teaching organic permaculture in my neighborhood... here is the link

and finally i started a meetup group for Whinot? and will probably start another for Dunedin transitions... and permaculture is an integral part of transitions they feed information, resources and people to each other... and to other groups, both locally and globally. here's the link to the meetup site...

you don't have to start your own meetup... search for some like minded people who are already having meetups in your area... you may find there are more than you thought...

and you are welcome in Dunedin...;0)


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