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Given that we're entering a prolonged period of economic contraction, what comes next?  In the big picture, what are some of the possible routes forward?  In the last post I critiqued some of the economic thinkers mentioned by the UK's Rob Hopkins.  In this post, I highlight several -- including a U.S. source -- which Hopkins hasn't mentioned on his blog.

Fundamental change – indeed, radical system change – is as common as grass in world history.

– Gar Alperovitz, America beyond Capitalism

Part I of this document took a hard look at the realities ahead. Part II critiques what several economic theorists see as possible routes forward for the "big picture" economy.  In today's post, we’ll look at some of the sources Rob Hopkins listed.

Economic contraction will hit us first.

Of the triple crisis issues, the timeline for economic contraction is the shortest; it will hit before we feel the worst of peak oil (which will hit most of us before climate change). Our economic predicament is also the most volatile, the most sensitive to shocks. Particularly here in the U.S., it will be felt the most tangibly. Peak oil and climate change will probably be first felt economically by most of us.

Just like peak oil and global warming, economic contraction is a "game changer."  As the economy we now know crumbles, the far-reaching repercussions will sculpt every aspect of our future.  In my opinion, any long-term plan -- Transition EDAPs included -- must anticipate that it will unfold amidst a world of economic contraction.  We have to plan for it, and put alternative financial tools in place to weather it, or it will undermine all of our other efforts.

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I am feeling shaken. Personally. An earthquake halfway around the planet in Japan may be touching us directly. The butterfly effect, up front and personal. This planet is one organism.

My heart goes out to the people of Japan.  The terrible destruction of home and entire towns, the unspeakable terror of nuclear catastrophe, but above all the horriffic loss of family members, extended family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, neighborhoods, and entire communities.

We are all Japan. 

Guest blog post by David Johnson - originally posted 15 Feb 2011 at Transition Voice

Guest blog post by Katy Locke, originally posted on the Keene Transition Movement's Community Website and Blog, January 28, 2010.

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Over 40 folks from Sonoma Valley, the Bay Area and beyond attended the two-day, one-evening workshop,Training for Transition: Building Resilient Communities for a Post-Carbon World. Among the participants were Mayor Laurie Gallian, and Councilman Ken Brown. 

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