Transition Stroud

This is a shared history blog. Together we can write the history of our process of transition as it happens.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Paradigm shift

I'm launching my book this afternoon at Ruskin College in Oxford. The commissioning editor has written a few words for the launch and it reminds me of how much the world has moved on in the 18 months or so since I started writing. He recollects the supreme self-confidence of global capitalism in 2006/7, its claims to be not only the greatest economic system in the history of mankind but the only possible way of organising economic affairs: as unchanging as the laws of physics.

How paltry those claims seem now. Green economists were always aware that the economy was failing in two fundamental respects: it generated huge inequalities which led to deaths and suffering in the poorer countries and the poorer parts of our own country; and its expansionst logic threatened the health of the planet. Now it is failing in its own terms as well.

Unlike the vultures who circulated around Woolworths and other familiar friends on the High Street who are now defunct, few will bemoan the special offer deals that should die with the death of capitalism. As this excellent cartoon by Imogen Shaw shows, we have far more to gain than to lose from the new paradigm we will build together.

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Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Happy New Year

Hello Folks,
Welcome back and HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope you all enjoyed the festive season and have managed to enjoy the beautiful sprinkling of snow that is glittering in the sunlight as I write.
No doubt we will see some interesting changes in the New Year as we get back in the swing.

Here is a brief update on the groups:

§ the TRANSPORT GROUP’s two main projects for 2009 will be
- events for Green Travel month in June and
- piloting ‘Personal Travel Plans’ a programme that changes travel behaviour through personalising travel information.
If anyone new wants to come to the Transport meetings, they should email Carol on:

§ The LIFESTYLES AND LIVELIHOODS GROUP are working on a local economy and have planned a talk by Christian Gelleri (manager of the Chiemgau Currency, one of Germany's most successful local currencies) on Friday 9th January 2009 7.30pm, Talk, £5. Also a workshop on Saturday 10th 10.00 - 4.00pm, Workshop, £25. Bring lunch to share. Both are to be held at the Centre for Science and Art, Lansdown, Stroud. I hope as many of you as possible will come to this talk and workshop so that we can find out more about this exciting example from Bavaria and learn how a local currency could work in Stroud. For more information or booking contact Neil Buick: or 767467.

§ The GARDEN AND WILDLIFE GROUP is going to be busy this year.

SEED NEWS - Green Seeds is a family firm and 100% organic - it is based in Malmesbury - Transition Stroud have a 10% discount, quote code 10046. They are holding a potato day in Malmesbury - Saturday 31st Janurary 10.00 -4.00. Would anyone like to go and share a lift? Contact Helen Pitel - 01453 762 957 or

SALAD DAYS - get fit and active in the New Year! There is the opportunity to join a volunteer group in the market garden at Stroud Slad Farm CSA growing salads - Fridays 9.30 to 12.30 p.m. Contact Helen for more details

APPEAL FOR TOOLS - if you have any unwanted gardening or DIY tools please would you consider donating them to Stroud Slad Farm CSA, who are in need of new equipment. Contact Helen

TRANSITION STROUD GARDENING GROUP - we need a team who can organise a couple of gardening events this year - could you help? Also any particular ideas for what we should do? Contact Helen

GROW YOUR WAY OUT OF THE CREDIT CRUNCH - there are just a couple of places left on the 'Grow Your Own Vegetables' course which Helen is running this spring - more details on

§ The BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT GROUP is planning to meet at the end of January (date to be arranged) to review where they are and set goals and targets for 2009. Their last meeting included a review with Nigel Riglar, (Strategic Director, Stroud District Council) and Barry Wyatt, (Strategic Head Development Services, SDC) on activities and progress with the Local Strategic Partnership Sustainability Think Tank, that Fi MacMillan, Dave Judd and Dave Cockcroft have contributed to. This led onto a wider discussion with NR and BY on SDC’s approach to the credit crunch!

§ The CONNECTIONS GROUP will be meeting next on Friday 9th Jan 2009 at 2.00pm at Felicity's house, 31 Springhill (01453-766352). Following the restructuring of TS they will be discussing and deciding what they want to use the group for and how the group can contribute to TS

§ The YOUTH GROUP - ECOMANIA are planning some interesting activities for the New Year. Harry has met with the Stuart Roweth from Bright Green Kids ( and is discussing the possibility of being filmed and put on the website. Also he will be organising an event for young people (and adults) in May and helping his school (Thomas Keble) to go green as well as introducing them to a Buy or Barter Lunch to talk about the economy. Harry has several young people interested in joining Ecomania.

§ The ENERGY GROUP will continue to meet on 3rd Weds of the month - so 21st Jan is next one. 7.30pm to 9.30pm venue to be decided. To receive news of meetings and join in discussions please join the energy email group by emailing

§ The TEXTILES GROUP will meet Wednesday 14th Jan, 7.30 at 247 Westward Road, Ebley . They will be making hats and bags out of old/recycled items for the Trashion Show (for Zero Waste Week in Bisley 24 Jan- 2 Feb 2009. On the last Sat of that week 31 Jan there will be a Trashion Show in Thomas Keble School)

§ The IT GROUP are available if anyone wants any support or is interested in organising any activities. Please contact Ben at

Zero Waste Week
26 January - 1 February 2009
Gloucestershire's Zero Waste Challenge aims to help Gloucestershire reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill sites by challenging households to produce not a single item of waste during the week of 26 January - 1 February.This means only using things that you can reuse, recycle or compost - leaving you nothing to throw away.You can enter as an individual, family, household or a community and there are lots of great prizes to be won. To sign up visit the site

Don’t forget the next TRANSITION DRINKS will be Tuesday 13th Jan at 7.30 at the Prince Albert, Rodborough.

Hope to see you at one of the meetings.
I leave you with a new word for the new year - OHNOSECOND - That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake (e.g. you've hit 'reply all')
Every good wish for 2009.
Happy Transitioning,