Transition arose to respond to the scholars’ warning

Before the COP26 venue was packed away hundreds of scholars signed an open letter urging communities to lead their own ‘emergency response’ after ‘failure’ of Cop26 to slash dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.

The letter says “We believe that the corporate capture and failure of COP26 clearly show that people in communities and organizations must now lead our own emergency response.”

It seems like yesterday when I first heard of the Transition movement and decided to help start it up in Sweden. It was 2005. Transitioners were saying “Governments will not defossilize, corporations will not, local councils will not. That leaves us ordinary folks, together with our nieghbours and people in our community. We have to do it.”

In Sweden the movement took off, at one point we had 5 000 members with 100 local groups around the country. Transitioners were trying a broad range of things. Some went digging up lawns outside libraries to plant potatoes. Other started eco-village projects. Some researched into alternative approaches to economics. Others explored their own angst through inner transition. All over Sweden things were happening. Movements were connecting, too. Transitioners found kindred spirits in movements like nature protection, Permaculture, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, even catching the eye of academics as maybe offering a source of new knowledge about social transformation.

For various reasons activity slowed down. However, somewhere out there is still a phenomenal amount of experience and knowledge about how to organize the local community to focus action on addressing climate change and all its bad effects on society, de-fossilisation, mapping possibilities and concerns, sharing and organizing. All kinds of useful know-how. I am sure the same is true in many countries around the world.

That is why the Transition movement is in a unique position to respond to the call from the Scholars. Transition has always been about convening those individuals and organizations that feel called. It has always been about the climate, about equity.

Here are some ways to respond to the call:

Seek out Transitioners, get them onboard. Or if you yourself were involved or indeed still are, consider the ideas below.

  • Set up a community-led group to co-ordinate all aspects of dealing with climate change. If you make the geographic area coincide with the administrative area you will have a natural interface into the local authorities.
  • Start groups doing investigations into aspects of how to increase resilience of food provision, housing energy, inclusion etc. All the basics.
  • Look into practicalities of producing more food locally. One transition town set up a garden exchange where people who had gardens they couldn’t tend met people without gardens who wanted to grow food.
  • Now is the time for local action. It is now pretty clear to the average person – one who might not have understood what the Transition movement were talking about – that government and corporations are really not going to change anything. And the average person now gets it that they are going to have to deal with the consequences of inaction. (Just like with COVID.)

The list below is of the local action organizations I know of. Let’s find a way to bring them together! Add your own in the comments.

  • Local Futures
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Greenpeace
  • Local Civil defense
  • Permaculture
  • Eco village movement
  • One Village movement
  • Nature preservation groups
  • Community banking
  • Community Supported Agriculture
  • Post Carbon
  • Resilience International
  • Initiatives of Change (Lands, Lives and Peace)
  • Extinction Rebellion
  • Fridays for the Future
  • Save the Forest
  • Doughnut Action Lab
  • Pivot Projects
  • Reconomy
  • Mutual Aid Network

The sustainable future-a riveting read?

Whilst we are longing for the sustainable future we are flooded with visions fashioned from concrete and steel, albeit covered with green. In these visions people seem to be doing nothing and going nowhere. Can we conjure forth a vision so attractive, cool and magnetic it just pulls us into that future?

Continue reading “The sustainable future-a riveting read?”

Please support Water, Air and Food Awards today

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving to support nonprofits who are changing our world for the better.

If you believe in a regenerative future where everyone has access to nutritious food, clean water and pure air, please consider giving a donation to the Water, Air and Food Award.

WAFA’s global awards platform has, for over ten years, been celebrating truly sustainable innovations of silent heroes everywhere. Bringing to the worlds’s attention and acknowledging people, often with very little means, who develop solutions to hunger and air pollution that are proven in practice.

It’s Time to Pivot


Because we can’t depend on Government. They have shown us this. Global government and business leaders gathered recently in Glasgow,Scotland for the UN’s COP26 climate conference. While they made new commitments to help address climate change, it’s clear that we can’t depend on government and business leaders to save the planet; we have to pitch in and do our part. We need a bottom-up climate-action movement.


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Show us the evidence we are in a safe zone

Thought for #COP26. The graph shows CO2 hovering around 275 ppm throughout the time weather patterns allowed agriculture. And 180 – 280ppm all the time humans have been on Earth. What evidence is there we are in a safe zone and can continue?

If there is no evidence that we are safe, surely a mitigation and restabilization plan is needed?

146 clubs use neighbour power to force businesses to be planet friendly

Pivot Projects is a global project set up to bring actionable insights to COP26. Working with some colleagues from Pivot Projects we asked ourselves what the smallest unit could be of individuals working from the bottom up to bring societal functioning inside the doughnut framework.

Continue reading “146 clubs use neighbour power to force businesses to be planet friendly”

Concerns inventory: land and water management

  1. Cloud seeding from forest. Clear felling affects rainfall and cooling
  2. Poor soil water evaporation due to soil water content loss affects climate
  3. Air pollution
  4. Poor soil infiltration.
  5. Extracted water  exceeds replenishment
  6. Equity in Drinking water   
  7. Polluted Drinking water. 
  8. P and N are not recycled to agriculture, but emitted to surface water or stored on land as waste.
  9. Waste water plants do not recycle P and N.  
  10. P N emitted from waste-water treatment plant.  
  11. Impaired water with pollutants emitted to surface water
  12. P,N in runoff from agriculture
  13. P,N in runoff from forestry and other non-agricultural management practices
  14. CO2 emissions from water provision  
  15. Challenge to find sufficient water for agriculture, industry and households. 
  16. Water export via agriculture 

Regional authorities role in the circular economy

A circular economy is vastly different from a linear economy. When it comes to the resources that drive the economy, a linear economy is extractive whereas the circular economy is regenerative of its material sources. The current linear way we run our economy is using resources up at an ever-expanding rate. Before resource shortages overturn the economy we need to transition to the circular use of materials. But how do we get to the circular model? This article takes a high-level systems analysis approach to explore possible pathways, and hones in on the role of local authorities.

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Regional policy implications of the circular economy

As circular economy thinking takes hold among policy makers, civil servants and scientists, policy is tending towards circular as a strategy to reach environmental objectives.  Hopes are that  production systems will continue to deliver and indeed grow economically, but with far less material and fossil energy intensity. The Swedish Government formed its own Circular Economy Delegation last year and recently announced its national strategy for the Circular Economy  and 100 measures to transition to circularity.

Policy needs to align, but this raises questions. The economy is a complex adaptive system, and any intervention may cause the opposite of the intended effects. This article explores my own very personal reflections based on earlier work together with my recent work with the local university.  

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Not targets but U-turns: reflections on the IPCC report

Released today, the report, which summarises scientists’ understanding of what is happening with climate change, warns that Earth will unavoidably hit the critical threshold of 1.5°C warming due to climate change within the next 20 years. This is a combination of natural processes and human emissions. This is regardless of how radically global governments cut greenhouse gas emissions. This article urgently proposes a new framing approach: a pivot.

Continue reading “Not targets but U-turns: reflections on the IPCC report”