Sunday, 29 March 2009

Transition towns and peak oil to Enve students

The Environmental Engineering student Association G.L.O.B.E. arranged an event for students to hear more about PEAK OIL and TRANSITION TOWNS. The speaker we had an opportunity to hear was Jupiter Cormier, the founder of Transition Network branch in Finland.

What was all this about then? Well, to quote the transition towns’ webpage:

“It all starts off when a small collection of motivated individuals within a community come together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges, and opportunities, of Peak Oil and Climate Change?”

Jupiter, a graduate with a masters degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS, University of London explains to us: “we will never run out of oil, but the time of cheap and plentiful oil is over”. “Oil is everywhere, usually we do not even understand in how many things in our lives it plays such a big role” he continues.

According to Jupiter there is a need for huge socio-economic restructuring. Today’s global economic system is not working for the majority of people in world, including most people in developed countries as can be seen in the current collapse of the global financial markets. This combined with climate change and soon to rise energy prices creates a necessity to decentralize and localize. Jupiter also said that we can talk about nuclear and hydrogen as resources and alternatives to oil, but in reality, we can measure and estimate that they are not even close in meeting the current demands of energy and cannot help us to carry on the lifestyle we are living at the moment in western countries.

“We have to realize that we are consuming more than the Earth has to offer and at the moment 2/3 of natural resources are depleted already” Jupiter explains. The triple challenge of climate change, peak oil and an economic recession, according to him, offers the possibility for change. It is therefore a challenge that can be turned into an opportunity. As we might have learned from research results, the happiness in many western countries has not increased since the 1980’s which means that more consumerism and economic growth does not necessarily bring more happiness. Jupiter’s solution to create sustainability, resilience and happiness is to use the transition town model with the idea of local production, permaculture and sustainable living to transcend our oil dependent society into a more sane and fulfilling way of living.

Jupiter will continue to open up minds in Finland and to speak about peak oil and the transition that is needed now. He offers practical steps to people and has started his transition town in his hometown Hämeenkyrö already. Jupiter offered the students also a possibility to join and the interested audience seemed to grab the opportunity and joined first of all to the mailing list in Finland.

To learn more about transition towns visit at the website: or contact Jupiter: Jupiter.cormier AT

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