What could Life After Oil possibly be like for our local area?
That's the question nearly 50 people in Los Angeles studied this past weekend at a one-day mini-conference hosted by Transition Los Angeles.
The event brought together people from all over the vast Los Angeles and Southern California areas. The event gained attention from established area environmental organizations including the Surfrider Foundation and LA EcoVillage. Many of the participants were newcomers to the ideas of the Transition movement.
"Wind up, up, up the road to the tippity top of the hill," read the directions, "and when it flattens out at the top, my house is a hop, skip and a jump away in the young alder woods."
Thursday, August 19, 2010. Natural builder Lydia Doleman of Flying Hammer Productions gave us plenty of stories about the urban neighborhood community that's evolving from two adjoining homes she purchased with friends. And she gave us a tour of the cob studio and recently-completed straw bale home.
This past weekend, one of the Transition groups in our greater Los Angeles area offered a Cluck Trek: a tour of local chicken coops.
Chickens are the happening thing in the city -- as evidenced by the fact that the event was highlighted by the Los Angeles Times (none of our Transition events have ever made it past the editors of this giant paper before). There aren't too many people who have chickens here, but there is LOTS of interest.
Tuesday August 17, 2010. Dignity Village is the most colorful intentional community we've visited, not just for the murals and vibrant colors painted on the buildings. But also for its story. It is a community of about sixty homeless people.
Portland Fruit Tree Project (PFTP) is a grassroots gleaning organization with a social conscience. Not only do volunteers share in the harvest, but half of the harvest goes to food banks and other agencies serving low-income people.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010. When Daniel Lerch said we just had to get a tour of Free Geek, I wasn't sure this was Peak Moment show material. After the tour, I was sure.
Local currencies are, in effect, "mindful money." - Rob Hopkins, from the Foreward
I was very excited to get a copy of Peter North’s new book, Local Money. Here in Los Angeles our local Transition group just piloted a LETSystem, so the financial and currency discussions were fresh in my mind. I wish I had Peter North’s book back in January when we were trying to figure all these things out!
Local Money: How To Make it Happen in Your Community takes a panoramic view of noteworthy local money from around the world (including some historical systems) and provides a vignette of each one. There are also vignettes of LETS and time banking, even though these aren’t technically money.
Along the way, Local Money teaches about the lack of resilience in our national currency, regardless of whether that be pound, dollar, or peso. The book gives a basic introduction to “what is money” – helpful since most of us really don’t understand this. North briefly touches on alternative financial institutions, and –oh yes-- he does mention how to set up a local currency.