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The Transition Timeline: for a local, resilient future. By Shaun Chamberlin. Green Books. 2009.
“The Transition Timeline provides an invaluable set of innovative approaches, new narratives and creative thinking tools that will prove vital in enabling us to shape a new kind of society and a new kind of economy; stable in the long term, locally resilient, but still active in a global context, rich in quality jobs, a strong sense of purpose and reliant on indigenous, in-exhaustible energy. It should be read by everyone, immediately!”
Paul Allen, Director, Centre for Alternative Technology.
The Transition Timeline lightens the fear of our uncertain future, providing a map of what we are facing and the different pathways available to us. It describes four possible scenarios for the UK and world over the next twenty years, ranging from Denial, in which we reap the consequences of failing to acknowledge and respond to our environmental challenges, to the Transition Vision, in which we shift our cultural assumptions to fit our circumstances and move into a more fulfilling, lower-energy world. The practical, realistic details of this Transition Vision are examined in depth, covering key areas such as food, energy, demographics, transport and healthcare, and they provide a sense of context for communities working towards a thriving future.
The book also provides a detailed and accessible update on climate change and peak oil and the interactions between them, including their impacts in the UK, present and future. Use it. Choose your path, and then make that future real with your actions, individually and with your community. As Rob Hopkins outlines in his foreword, there is a rapidly- spreading movement addressing these challenges, and it needs you.
The Author: Shaun Chamberlin was born and grew up in Kingston upon Thames. He graduated in Philosophy from the University of York in 2001 and then went on to work on a project for marginalized groups and trained to work as a teacher.
What the Reviews Say…
“Peak oil and climate change are two of the greatest challenges we face today; the Transition Town movement is firmly rooted in the idea that people taking action now in their communities can not only tackle these environmental threats but also, in the process of doing so, lead more fulfilling lives. It is about hope in an otherwise bleak seeming future. Above all, it’s about the power of an alternative vision for how society could be and not waiting for government or politicians to get it right.
The Transition Timeline is designed to bring that vision to life – with stories of what communities have already achieved, with updates on the latest scientific data, and with ‘maps’ that highlight key landmarks on the journey towards a zero carbon future. It’s a hugely valuable manual for anyone committed to turning dreams into reality. Don’t just read this book – use it to change your world.”
Caroline Lucas MEP, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, and co-author of Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto.
“Shaun Chamberlin ties down the uncertainties about climate, energy, food, water and population, the big scene-setters of our future, with no-nonsense authority. What we get with The Transition Timeline is a map of the landscape we have to find a way through. Map-making is a risky business: sooner or later someone is going to use your map and come across a treacherous swamp that isn’t marked. So you need to be alert to revisions and reports from travellers. But what matters is that someone has got the key characteristics of the landscape drawn out. This is what we have to make sense of – not in the distant future, but right now.
Don’t set out without The Transition Timeline. Take a biro. Scribble updates, comments, expressions of shock and horror, notes to cheer yourself up. By the time your copy has been rained on, stained with blackberry juice, consulted, annotated, used to press and preserve a leaf of our autumnal world, you will have a good idea of where you are, and inspiration about where you are going. It is almost as good as getting there.”
Dr. David Fleming, director of The Lean Economy Connection, and author of Energy and the Common Purpose
“There is obviously no single, magic bullet solution to climate change. But if I was forced to choose one – our best hope of averting the crisis – it would definitely be Transition Towns.”
Franny Armstrong, Director of The Age of Stupid film
“Transition has emerged as perhaps the only real model we have for addressing our current crisis – a new, if vital, format for reconsidering our future. The Transition Timeline strengthens a fragile form, something that might, without a trace of irony, be called one of the last, best hopes for all of us.”
Sharon Astyk, author of Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front and A Nation of Farmers: Defeating the Food Crisis on American Soil
“Will the future be as rosy as The Transition Timeline suggests it might be? Will the people of Britain and the rest of the world begin immediately to make better decisions, taking the welfare of future generations into account? The answer to both questions is probably no.
Will serious repercussions of decisions already taken (regarding fossil fuel consumption and the structuring of our economy to depend on perpetual growth for its viability) come to bite us hard before we even have a chance to implement some of the excellent recommendations contained in this book? The answer to that one is certainly yes–we are already seeing dire consequences of past economic and energy decisions.
Nevertheless, without a vision of what can be, there is no alternative to a future completely constrained by the past. The ideal future set forth herein is not a useless pipe-dream. There is not a single outcome described in this book that could not realistically be achieved IF we all do things beginning now that are entirely within our ability to do.
So here it is: the map and timeline of how to save our world and ourselves. Whether we WILL take up these suggestions as scheduled is a question for the cynics and dreamers to debate. For us realists, the only relevant questions are, Where do we start?, and, Will you join us? ”
Richard Heinberg, Senior fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, and author of eight books, including The Party’s Over and Peak Everything
“The next 100 months will be a very special time for humanity. On numerous fronts, the consequences of the past 150 years of industrialisation are all simultaneously coming home to roost. Even senior experts, scientists, NGOs and political leaders fail to appreciate that the most recent evidence reveals a situation more urgent than had been expected, even by those who have been following it closely for decades. The Transition Timeline provides an invaluable set of innovative approaches, new narratives and creative thinking tools that will prove vital in enabling us to shape a new kind of society and a new kind of economy; stable in the long term, locally resilient, but still active in a global context, rich in quality jobs, a strong sense of purpose and reliant on indigenous, in-exhaustible energy. It should be read by everyone, immediately!”
Paul Allen, director of the Centre for Alternative Technology, and project director of Zero Carbon Britain