The 12 Ingredients for Transition encourage us to "build a bridge to local government." I used to think that "building bridges" was lovely British poetic language, but recently I'm learning how that pretty phrase brings with it some fairly serious guidance.

Building a bridge across a river is quite different than trying to merge the two banks.  That pretty British poetry reminds us that Transition Initiatives need to be lead by the people, the citizens, the neighbors -- not by politicians, government, or any political party.

In the Transition Primer, (page 36-38 of Version 26 currently online) there is a nice piece on "the role of local government."  This piece gives some of what has worked/didn't work about Transition Initiatives and government.  It offers the idea that the role of local government should best be "supporting, not driving."

Here's an idea that combines the Transition movement's drive to rebuild our local foodsheds with its drive to build new economic structures

In our local neighborhood in Los Angeles, for the third year running, we are hosting a group purchase of bare root fruit trees.  It started on a whim.  I was ordering bare root fruit trees for my own yard, and thought perhaps a few others might wish to piggyback on my order.  I posted it on our local Transition email loops and suddenly my order had exploded to 21 trees!  We qualified for extra volume discounts at the supplier, and the box that arrived on my doorstep the following January was so big that it could easily have contained one of the Lakers basketball players! 

We repeated the fruit tree group purchase project a year later, and brought 28 additional fruit trees to our neighborhood (TWO Lakers-size boxes!).  It was such a successful model that we subsequently did a group purchase of rain water harvesting barrels.

100811_sticker_200.jpgThe bumper sticker shows a cargo bike and reads "One Less Truck." Given the cargo bikes we rode at Joel and Barb Grover's Splendid Cycles in Portland, it also could read "One Less Car." Or "One more pare


We taped garden coordinators Llyn Peabody and Chris Burns in the middle of their Alpine Sharing Garden. The premise underlying their unique community garden is the notion of sharing "because it feels good to share," Chris notes.


Friday August 6, 2010. We set out to tape an overview show of Aprovecho Center, and found such richness that we taped enough for three.

To the 1Sky board of directors:

In your open letter to all people and organizations working to combat global warming, you ask how to move forward with urgency and clarity of purpose.

1)  Understand the full scope of the problem.

Global warming is not a standalone issue.  At the same time as we are trying to decarbonize our entire society and cope with the erratic weather events of early climate change, we are simultaneously being hit with peak oil and economic contraction.

Eat/Pray/Love movie advertisements are now appearing all over my local part of Los Angeles.  I haven't read the book or seen the movie and I'm not planning to.  But the stark graphics of the advertising campaign pump the words EAT - PRAY - LOVE into my head on a regular basis.

According to online reviews, the Eat/Pray/Love book is a travel log, "a story about a girl who thought everything ... she wanted, would bring her happiness. It didn't. It didn't for her, and possibly not for many other women."  It sounds like it begins as a story of disenchantment with life in our current society. 

Skipping over Gilbert's subsequent decision to burn vast amounts of fossil fuels with corresponding greenhouse gas emissions (i.e. travel the world) in order to consume Italian cuisine, gain 23 pounds, and (if the online reviews are to be believed) superficially consume ashram spirituality and friends' donation money; my intent here isn't to review either book or movie.  Instead ...

I had a lot of fun riding several different bikes today.
I went nowhere.
But I did a lot of work!

Matthew Corson-Finnerty gave us a grand tour and demonstration of his human-powered machines. A bicycle-powered water pump. An electricity generator. A food blender. A grain mill. A straw-chopper (for earthen cob building material).

Mike Hatfield gave us an engaging education about rocket cook stoves at Aprovecho Research Center. Tucked away in Cottage Grove Oregon, this is an offshoot of the Aprovecho center, which has been working on numerous appropriate technologies, including rocket stoves, since the 1970s.

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