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Books, Films, Transition Guides and writings to enlighten and entertain on the themes of Transition.

Many books can also be borrowed from TTC through Footsteps Cafe (The Rendezvous Charity), 16 Portland St, to show to local community groups. 

Local currencies, time banking, LETS schemes and skill swaps...

....are important elements of transition and we need to think about which schemes to promote/start/adopt. Some of us went to a meeting with Fair Shares, a time banking charity which has lots of members in Gloucestershire, and their work is impressive because of their personal touch. They're just starting up in Cheltenham so if anyone wants to join and give it a go then please let the group know how it goes. The contact is Rayaz Limalia, so if you are interested please have a look at their website . If it becomes well established in Cheltenham and people have found it useful then it may be worth recommending it widely.

 Another group to try out is the award winning site 'The Freeconomy Community', established by Mark Boyle in Bristol. It's a way of putting people with skills or equipment in touch with people who need help with things, without any money or time credits changing hands. It focuses on local neighbourhoods so it's a chance to make local links.

Plastic Carrier Bags .... are so much part of life nowadays that it's hard to imagine life without them. But they haven't been around that long, and many older people will remember managing perfectly well without them! Many people feel that they are a bad thing, but here are some facts that will probably shock you.

13 billion are thrown away a year in the UK alone. Worldwide consumption is more than 500 billion – that's one million a minute! The average family accumulates 60 bags in only four trips to the supermarket and the average time of use is only12 minutes. Plastic bags take 1,000 years to decompose. Only 1 in 200 is recycled because it's not financially viable. They are made from non-renewable petroleum, thus wasting valuable resources and their production is hazardous and harmful to the environment

They make litter on land - and every square mile of the ocean has 46,000 pieces of plastic in it. This harms marine wildlife. 100,000 marine mammals die each year from ingesting plastic waste. Fishes and birds are also damaged and killed. Albatross chicks starve to death because their stomachs are filled with plastic.

Bags made from paper and compostable materials are little better; they still use large amounts of raw materials and energy.

The solution is simple - re-usable bags! Each re-usable bag can eliminate hundreds, if not thousands of plastic bags. Ban plastic bags in your own life and you will be making a tremendous difference to the world.

Awakening at the Point of No Return

Arran Stibbe, Senior lecturer in Humanities at the University of Gloucestershire and Transition Town Cheltenham core group member, has written an insightful article on coping with the sort of profound changes Peak Oil and Climate Change will bring about. The introduction is reproduced below and the full article can be downloaded here.

My early research (before human ecology and sustainability) focused on how cancer patients thought about their life before and after the moment that their doctor performed an act of social magic in declaring their illness terminal. Before, patients tended to employ metaphors of fighting, battling and conquering their illness; metaphors which gave them energy and determination helped them to bond with the people around them in common cause, and avoid thinking about death. After, however, the metaphor failed because the fight was lost, no preparations had been made for what came next, and sometimes bodies had been damaged by extreme interventions made in a last-ditch and unrealistic hope to win the battle. It is with some surprise that I find this early research increasingly relevant to my current area of interest: responses to the unprecedented global conditions of the 21st century.

Arran Stibbe,

Language and Ecology vol.3 no.2 2010
Permaculture Magazine PM63

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