Inspired by permaculture ideas and instigated by the reality of peak oil and global warming, two Brits established the Transition Network in 2005 to help individuals "transition” away from fossil fuel-dependent systems.
Now more than 35 countries have Transition Towns, with tens of thousands of participants. Initiatives range from starting community gardens to stockpiling food, as different regions have different concerns. In Brazil, biodiversity is of great interest, while the U.K. is attuned to fuel consumption.
In the United States, Transition Towns began around four years ago. Currently, they number 130 locations, spanning both coasts. Carolyne Stayton, executive director of Transition US, says transitioners aren’t separatists: “It’s not about getting your gun and building your high fence – the wealth and strength is in your community.”