As a gardener, Winter Solstice holds much more meaning for me than the conventional new year marker of January 1.  Even here in Southern California's year-round growing season, we observe the slowing of plant growth into semi-dormancy as the Solstice approaches.  We witness the acceleration into new growth once the Solstice is past.  Animals know it too -- my chickens are resuming laying.  The Winter Solstice is the crossover point, the planet's annual marker of change.

Some years I join friends at a Winter Solstice fire at a local community garden.  As part of the evening we write down one thing we are releasing from the old year, and something we wish to bring alive in the new year.  Then we slip the paper with our intention into the fire pit together with some white sage leaves or perhaps some rosemary.  This beautiful ceremony always gets me thinking, at a rather early point in the season by conventional calendar terms, about my personal goals for the new year -- "Resolutions" if you will.

For this month’s Transition Book Club meeting, we used Paul Gilding’s The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World as a springboard for a wide-ranging conversation. [For a synopsis of the book, skip to the bottom; continue reading for more on our discussion.]

A multitude of seasonal reflections on compost, recipes, and cooking -- how these might change for a powerdown world.

In her visit to Los Angeles, Vandana Shiva reminded us how Gandhi had the symbolic actions -- sitting in protests -- but with that he also had the cotton -- the tangible actions.  Dr Shiva said that along with the protests, people need to grow food, to build connections within their communities, to make changes in their lives.

There was a certain poignancy leaving Sweden. Some of my cousins I may never see again since my plan at the moment is not to fly again once I am home. As well, this is true of my cousins in Israel and Scotland. You see, air travel is very damaging to the environment. According to Wikipedia:

This weekend, in support of the folks at Occupy Wall Street and similar in other major financial centers (including Occupy LA here in Los Angeles), I put the full content of "Economic Resilience" online for free readership. This how-to document for building local community resilience has been freshly updated with new links and additional ideas.

Some other thoughts, specifically addressed to the #Occupy protesters and the themes that are recurring in signs and posters:

Proposed purpose statement:  "Transition Network supports community-led responses to climate change, inequality and shrinking supplies of cheap energy, building resilience and happiness.”

Who proposed this and why


By Louis Alemayehu, Transition Minnesota, Transition US Trainer

Now that I’m tuning into the Transition movement, I see interesting signs of it everywhere I look —even on reality TV!

This Saturday, several of the Transition groups in the greater Los Angeles area will be hosting local sites for's latest international rally.  "Moving Planet" will focus attention on the need to move beyond fossil fuels.  Here's how we're doing it in my own local neighborhod, plus some resources offered to fellow organizers.

Here in my local neighborhood, we wanted to merge what we are doing locally with the Moving Planet theme.  We're focusing on solutions:  we're holding a bicycle ride between several of the community gardens which have been sprouting up in our neighborhood.  The ride ends up being approximately a 7 mile loop.  Since many of the gardens are in schools, including an elementary school, we mapped a route on bicycle-friendly streets, with only gentle hills so that full families might participate.

My name is Joanne and I am a knitter. (Yep, it's that serious)  For quite some time I have made excuses, telling myself that "knitting was one of those reskilling things" and it was a powerdown craft. But I got to thinking about it seriously this week.

Here, in the middle of urban Los Angeles, knitting is a pretty elitist hobby. It might be a "reskilling type of thing" good for necessary clothing-making somewhere out on a farm where there are plenty of goats and sheep. Or if I took to raising angora rabbits. Because when the serious hiccups in the economy come, when the darker transportation issues of peak oil set in, the boutique yarn stores I patronize today likely won't be around anymore.

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