What now?

Transition PDX is alive, but currently has no steering group. For the time being we are functioning as a loosely organized, horizontal network. You are welcome and encouraged to participate.

As of March 2013, Liz Bryant, Jim Newcomer and Jeanne Longley have revived a social form of TPDX monthly gatherings (see calendar for details).

The Portland Transition community has multiple means of electronic connection:

  • This WordPress site (tpdx.org): I, Becky, am willing to post information about active neighborhood groups and Transition (or Transition-related) projects small or large to this blog. Eventually, I hope to convince other TPDX community members to blog here for the purpose of spurring online discussion or just sharing (with brief commentary) thought-provoking content discovered out there on the World Wide Web… Meanwhile, if you have have feedback on the website-so-far, or suggestions for additional content, please email becky.pdx@gmail.com.
  • Transition PDX web space at The Dirt: Although somewhat out of date at the moment, I believe it’s worth maintaining this space because of the synergistic quality of The Dirt, which boasts sixteen different groups with one shared calendar. Since The Dirt also has a blog capability, we should discuss whether it makes sense to have both that web space plus this WordPress site, and what the purpose could/should be for each if we keep both.
  • Transition PDX on Facebook: This page is posted to most often by Jeremy O’Leary.
  • Transition PDX on Twitter: @TransitionPDX. Now all we need is a TPDX Tweeter! (Currently, whatever we post on Facebook is automatically Tweeted.)
  • And, of course, our listservs.


Heating Up the Discussion

Picked up the New York Times this morning at my local coffee spot and found on the opinion page a great piece titled The Endless Summer by Mark Bittman, who is perhaps better known for being a food writer. In it, he references Bill McKibben’s cover story in this month’s Rolling Stone, which hits the streets tomorrow and is already available online. It has a rather long title: Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math: Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is. In his Transition PDX discussion list post, Reuben Deumling sums up McKibben’s article like this: “He’s come around to the leave it in the ground school of thought. Finally.” Without even reading McKibben’s story, I can already say I agree with Bittman, who notes, “The first page alone of the Rolling Stone article will scare the pants off you, but the chorus needs to grow bigger, louder and stronger.” Bittman bemoans the lack of American leadership in addressing the catastrophe and understands the futility of the political scene, without significant reform, and yet expresses hope that the American people can perhaps make enough noise to force some movement there. Certainly articles like these, in combination with high temperatures, fires, floods and drought, will heat up the discussion a bit.



July sunshine and Active Hope

Transition PDX has seemingly been underground or underwater recently, out of sight—but maybe not out of mind? “What’s happening with the Steering Committee?” people have been asking. “Why haven’t we heard much from Transition PDX lately?” If you’re on the Updates list, you may have read the May 29, 2012 message from David Johnson explaining the major setback experienced by the new Steering Committee when two members resigned suddenly in mid-May. In his message, David expected we would be up and running, convening general meetings again by the first week of July, and obviously that hasn’t happened. However, there is hope!

Coinciding with the arrival of a stretch of sunshine (finally!) a few things are beginning to sprout for Transition PDX:

  • We have a new website — still under development, but you can see the beginnings, and we would love to get your feedback.
  • We have a library! Thanks to Pete Jacobsen, who initiated and single-handedly organized it, we have begun to collect books, DVDs and other resources which can be checked out by anyone signed up on the Transition Updates List. Find details here.
  • We have an office! Thanks to the generous sponsorship of St. Francis Parish, Transition PDX will be housed, at least in the near future, in the Fremont Room, which happens to have one long wall of beautiful wooden bookshelves, just perfect for our library. The room is large enough to accommodate meetings of a dozen people or so. Stay tuned for more details….
  • This month, we are co-sponsoring a talk by eco-philosopher Joanna Macy on Friday, July 27 at the First Unitarian Church, on her new book coauthored with Chris Johnstone, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy . Find details for this event, plus a July 19th screening of Fixing the Future, here.
  • A new working group has been formed to learn and practice using different types of alternative currencies, and to learn about successful models that are being utilized here in Portland, as well as in other places. For more information, go to the Alternative Currencies Working Group page.