So far I’ve not stayed in a home with a clothes dryer. It’s really remarkable how different the standards are between Europe and the United States. It’s just commonplace to use drying racks and outdoor lines, sometimes on balconies if one lives in the city. Conservation just seems a norm, not a badge to wear for saving the world. How did our U.S. culture go so awry? I do understand that I’m being hosted by folks who are either involved with Transition or are Quakers. But I see drying racks and clothes lines everywhere, so I bet the statistics are with me on this one.

Rob in TotnesOn Monday, July 18, Transition US hosted a Maestro Conference call featuring a fascinating conversation between Transition Movement founder Rob Hopkins and the author of the recently published book, The End of

“The hills are alive with the sound of music, tra la la la...” is what I was singing to myself on the day we were walking through the countryside, laughing and talking and sharing about ourselves. I either felt like Julie Andrews or Heidi. (I know, I know, Julie was in Austria and Heidi was in Switzerland, but it still felt like that.) But I get ahead of myself....

Ruah in France
The French Alps

"The supreme task is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force."
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

I’m sitting on a plane from the UK to California, taking lots of long slow breaths, feeling tired but inspired from a 12-day trip that feels like I plugged my finger into the sun. Of course mindful breathing also helps when surrounded by a sea of disposable plastic items that comes in addition to the big emissions when we travel by air.

You might remember my telling you about Kibbutz Lotan’s “Green Apprenticeship Program” in the Arava Desert in Israel. If not, I’ll remind you that it provides an incredible opportunity for young people to learn about permaculture and sustainable living. While visiting Lotan, people told me that the young people go off into the world to do good things. You might ask why I’m reminding you of this blog entry. Well, while sitting in the beauty of the island of Ibiza, Spain at Casita Verde, a young man, Shaul Shaham, was sharing about his experience in the very same program!

Today I caved and did something I've only done a few times over the last four years: I turned on my air conditioner. It's not particularly stifling according to the thermometer, but after 24 hours with a heat index in the mid-to-upper nineties, it was steamy inside my house. The six of us (including one 90-pound, long-haired dog) were starting to wilt. 

Here in Los Angeles, we currently have between seven and twelve local Transition groups (depending upon at what stage of development you wish to begin counting them).  And we're eager for more.  The nature of our greater L.A. area is that eventually we will need to have in place a vast network of local groups, each neighborhood working on this process.

I'm frequently being asked for tips on how to get a new local group started.  As I sat down this week to write it out yet again, it seemed like the kind of info that might be of interest to other groups (both Transition and not-yet-Transition groups).  So, I decided to post it here.  If you're contemplating beginning a Transition group in your local neighborhood ...

'Community' is a term widely used in conversation and writing on Transition. What does community mean to you? Here's a guest post shared by Jim Belcher, a member of Transition Orlando, Florida, exploring a vision of community.

Essential to the effective Transitioning from fossil fuel dependence to local resilience is our own Transition from isolated, self-centered individualists to compassionate creators of genuine community. Here's one vision for genuine community: 

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