Transition Albany was started by a group of Albany residents as part of a worldwide grassroots movement dedicated to getting local communities together to create a resilient future. The Transition movement recognizes that money is not the bottom line, that an economy based on endless growth is unnatural and bound to fail, and that the consumer culture that many of us have enjoyed at others’ expense for the last 50 years - completely dependent on the supply of cheap oil and the result of relentless media and corporate advertising – is unsustainable.
The Transition movement believes that the collective genius of the community can envision, design and promote a localized way of life that uses a lot less oil, coal and gas, produces zero waste, relies on renewable, local resources and fosters a lot more creativity, community building, and fun. Many of us are excited that the concept of an interconnected web of life is becoming more widely accepted.
Peak oil is the point at which maximum global oil production is reached. Once the peak is reached, oil will become increasingly expensive because of the extraordinary technologies needed to extract it and we will either begin to go into a bumpy energy decline, or see increasing climate chaos due to the added carbon in the atmosphere.
In the event of decreased production rates, the impact on developed, oil-dependent societies will be huge. All the key elements of industrial societies – transportation, manufacturing, food production, home heating, construction – are totally reliant on oil.
All the alternative energy sources combined come nowhere near the power of oil, and can replace only a fraction of it.
Climate change, an unprecedented global threat to wildlife and humanity, is being caused by global warming, the result of increased levels of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane) in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution.
Climate change is already causing record heatwaves, droughts, floods, famines, weather events on steroids, altered seasons and growing and migration patterns, and the melting of Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets leading to sea level rises that threaten coastal cities and low-lying islands.
(We recognize that strong feelings can be aroused by thinking about the state of the world, from fear to anger, from sadness to helplessness, from numbness to denial. We have had and plan to re-institute evenings to provide a safe space where people can come together to explore and move beyond the paralysis that such feelings can engender, and get to work in a positive frame of mind.)
How Transition Albany Is Organized
We have no hierarchy and anyone can get involved. We are just a bunch of active people who want to get things going. We have an initiating group that has been coordinating activities, organising events and basically sorting out the behind-the-scenes boring stuff.
There is an opportunity here for anyone with motivation to use our support for any project that furthers the interests of community interdependence and local resilience (we have a large email network, for instance). Renewable community-sourced energy, more bikes on the roads, more local food production, exploring natural building, efforts that increase community cohesion, supporting youth in becoming aware stewards of the environment – we are ready to support all of these and more. Please contact us by Thursday of any given week to be included in our weekly or bi-weekly email calendar)
At present we have an active food group that is creating an Edible Landscape project (with the City of Albany’s blessing) at Memorial Park, matching keen gardeners with unused private land, and organizing gardening parties for residents who need to get more done on their property than they could easily do alone. There is also a thriving DIY health group that organizes educational events where people learn how to keep themselves and their families healthy, and recover from illness, without depending on pharmaceuticals. We have monthly screenings and a monthly potluck, as well as at least one book group and an ongoing Resilience Circle. Do you have a relevant skill you would be willing to share with other people? We have people working on a skill sharing network. And there is so much more …
What else? Well …
- We are an independent, non-political community group.
- We are working with other local community groups.
- Our funding comes from donations from individuals.
- We are not a pressure group – we are leaving lobbying and political campaigning to other groups. Instead we are concentrating on local, practical solutions that people can get involved with right now.
- And – this is an important one – we need your help! Please get involved and share your creative skills and ideas.
- Transition Albany is part of the Transition Towns Network which already includes 278 (and counting) communities across the globe. It’s good to know you’re not alone!
To Contact Us
Join the Yahoo Group: Transition Albany
For More Information
Visit Transition US.
You can also read a great article in Orion Magazine and an article about Transition Albany in Yes Magazine Online.
Notes from the Founder of the Transition Movement
(Read more on his blog)
“Inherent within the challenges of peak oil and climate change is an extraordinary opportunity to reinvent, rethink and rebuild the world around us.” Rob Hopkins, The Transition Handbook
“It takes a lot of cheap energy to maintain the levels of social inequality we see today, the levels of obesity, the record levels of indebtedness, the high levels of car use and alienating landscapes. Only a culture awash with cheap oil could become deskilled on the monumental scale we have.” Rob Hopkins
A CHEERFUL DISCLAIMER
“Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale; we don’t know if it will work. If we wait for the governments it will be too little late. If we act as individuals, it’ll be too little. But if we act as communities, it might be just enough, just in time.
“The Transition movement is the result of real work undertaken in the real world with community engagement at its heart. There’s not an ivory tower in sight, no professors in musty oak-paneled studies churning out erudite papers, no slavish adherence to a model carved in stone.
“This work, just like the Transition model, is brought to you by people who are actively engaged in Transition in a community – people who are learning by doing and learning all the time, people who understand that we can’t sit back and wait for someone else to do the work.
… people like you, perhaps.”