The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins (Chelsea Green, 2008)
This is the book that launched the Transition Town movement, a grassroots environmental initiative to deal with peak oil and climate change. The argument is that now that oil has “peaked” (is only available in ever-decreasing quantities), people need to transition to lifestyles that are much less oil dependent. The fact that burning of fossil fuels such as oil contributes to climate change gives even more impetus to the movement. The solution, as envisioned by Hopkins, is to live locally – grow food locally, produce energy locally, work locally, and so on. Thus each Transition initiative is based in a community, the first one being Rob Hopkins’ hometown of Totnes, England. As an English environmentalist and specialist in locally sourced building materials, Hopkins has a more hands-on approach than the American academics who typically write environmental books. This is a handbook for people who want to start their own local transition initiatives, so it includes activities and ideas for motivating new groups, as well as examples of how the existing transition groups got started.