How the Transition Movement Differs from Conventional Environmentalism

Posted on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 at 3:46 pm by admin

The Transition Movement takes a different approach to creating a sustainable world than the methods of conventional environmentalism. It focuses on the positive progress we could make if we take collective action, instead of the destruction that would occur if we don’t. I would argue the Transition Movement is a more evolved form of environmentalism.

In his book, The Transition Handbook: From oil dependency to local resilience, author Rob Hopkins details what he sees to be the major differences:

Conventional Environmentalism The Transition Approach
Individual behaviour Group behaviour
Single issue Holistic
Tools: lobbying, campaigning and protesting Tools: public participation, eco-psychology, arts, culture and creative education
Sustainable development Resilience/relocalisation
Fear, guilt and shock as drivers for action Hope, optimism and proactivity as drivers for action
Changing National and International policy by lobbying Changing National and International policy by making them electable
The man in the street as the problem The man in the street as the solution
Blanket campaigning Targeted interventions
Single level engagement Engagement on a variety of levels
Prescriptive – advocates answers and responses Acts as a catalyst – no fixed answers
Carbon footprinting Carbon footprinting plus resilience indicators
Belief that economic growth is still possible, albeit greener growth Designing for economic renaissance, albeit a local one

If you want to begin shifting your town to a sustainable future, consider starting a local Transition initiative.

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