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Transition Towns Centre County

Next Public Meeting:

Transition Towns State College Film Event

Peak Oil: "Escape from Suburbia"

Discussion following film

August 19th, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

State College Friends Meeting Social Room

611 E. Prospect, State College, PA 16801

Transition Towns State College Transition Town Bald Eagle Valley
From oil dependency to local resilience
Facebook: Transition Towns Centre County PA
August 11, 2010 Feedback: [email protected]

 Our August 19th public meeting, by popular request, will feature a film and discussion focusing on the key issue of dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels. Please join us.
 August 21-22 — TT Training at Heathcote, Freeland, MD
 A new social network structure has been initiated by Transition US and local groups have been set up for Transition Towns State College and Bald Eagle Valley.
 In July The School of Living had its quarterly meeting at Julian Woods; a major component was a presentation about Transition Towns, and an additional meeting was held to explore ideas for a partnership between SoL and Transition Towns.
 The question we face is how to wisely approach a sustainable future. It is clear that those solutions are not going to come from Washington D.C. or from the PA statehouse. Here in Centre County, we are blessed with land and people with the knowledge and skills to build a community that will meet our needs and serve as a model to others.
Next Public Meeting:
Transition Towns State College Film Event
Peak Oil: "Escape from Suburbia"
Discussion following film
August 19th, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
State College Friends Meeting Social Room
611 E. Prospect, State College, PA 16801
What is the energy plan for the US?
Suburbia is one of the products of cheap oil. It has produced urban sprawl and vast networks of intercity freeways. Suburbia is now an ingrained way of life but it is not sustainable. What are the alternatives?
As I continue research into energy alternatives, I am astonished by the potential of wind, water and solar power. Yet the US has no energy plan beyond con-tinuing to burn fossil fuels. By „plan‟ I mean more than political rhetoric and hazy goal statements. I mean a business plan with concrete objectives, organizational structure, staffing requirements, cost and market analysis and an investment strategy.
It‟s now over 30 years since the energy crisis of the 1970s. There were a lot of good ideas about alterna-tive energy back then but relatively little came of them. Today we face not only real declining energy reserves and rising prices but the specter of dramatic climate change. We are also burdened by a stubborn recession with the prospect of a double dip.
The good news about recession is that the demand for and cost of petroleum is down, but it is still four times what it was a decade or so ago. The bad news is that reduced revenues are eating into investment portfolios for alternative energy. In fact, investments and subsidies for alternative energy are less than one-tenth that for the fossil fuels industry.
There is still a lot of oil in the ground but it is not the low hanging fruit. The BP disaster is about trying to
get to difficult oil reserves now that the easy stuff is nearly gone.
Oil industry disasters point out the hazards of exploiting these remaining resources. Recently there was a major pipeline spill in Michigan. The pipeline owner, Enbridge, Inc., a “green” business, transports oil from Canada to US markets. Canada is ramping up oil sand production for the US market. These pipelines are like an emergency room IV, running from the Alberta oil sands to the American industrial heartland. The Enbridge pipeline break released possibly 100,000 barrels of crude into a creek that feeds into the Kalamazoo River, and hence into Lake Michigan. Over the last ten years, Enbridge has been charged with 610 spills that released an esti-mated 200,000 barrels of hydrocarbons, which puts it in the Exxon Valdez class of environmental impact.
Meanwhile back home in Marcellus Shales country: These deep gas wells are another product of rising energy cost. In Pennsylvania 3,700 drilling permits have been issued, 1,700+ wells drilled and 1,400 violations recorded, most with environmental impact.
In July the US Congress tabled its Energy-Climate legislation, essentially pulling the plug on the Copen-hagen Conference “casualty.” About the same time the UK decided to dismantle its Sustainable Develop-ment Commission. Which leads to:
Act Locally
On a positive note, in July The School of Living held its quarterly meeting at Julian Woods. All of the TT Bald Eagle Valley founders are members of the SoL. A Transition Towns presentation was made and a meeting held to discuss the potential of a partnership between these two organizations.
The School of Living was founded in the 1930s by Ralph Borsodi, an early and influential pioneer of sustainability. Borsodi wrote books and lectured about a number of topics that included: The ills of modern society; the need to achieve self-sufficient lives; education for a human-scaled way of life. He also founded a land trust model, the SoL, that makes it much easier for families to start homesteads.
The prospect for partnership is the merger of a wealth of tradition accumulated in three-quarters of a century by the SoL and the vital and youthful power of Transition Towns. There are now 74 official Tran-sition Towns (in less than two years) in the US and 316 worldwide.
The purpose of the Transition Response is to promote a strong grassroots, community initiative and effective partnerships to prepare for rising costs and growing scarcity of fossil fuels and vigorous climate change mitigation. And this leads to:
CDT “Sustainable Centre County.”
TT State College co-founder and community activist Katherine Watt is the coordinator of a new page in the Centre Daily Times that premiered July 29 and will appear as a regular feature the last week of each month. In the opening article, Katherine shared her concerns about the power of corporations in our com-munity and the need to insure that local businesses responsibly serve the needs of our community. To that I would add that our weak economy mandates rebuilding strong local economies. Katherine men-tioned the near closure of Webster‟s last month. Webster‟s is not just a business; it is a local institu-tion, which has a place in many of our hearts. A half block away, our public library is also passing the hat struggling to maintain its vital services to our com-munity. They lost state funding and have turned to the community for help. The state budget depends on Federal stipends. What happens when the stimulus money runs out?
Melady Kehm picked up on a TT theme of local food security highlighting home gardens. We still have time to plant and harvest a fall garden. You can see these articles and more at
Garden Starters Demonstration Garden
(Segue, of course) The Garden Starters raised beds at Millbrook Marsh are doing well and we have already begun to plan a great program for next year. Meanwhile, we still have a list of workshops to offer this year. Unfortunately our August 14 workshop presenter had to cancel due to some unforeseen, but hopefully wonderful, new developments in his life. We still have the August 28th “Make Your Own Rain Barrel” workshop planned. This will be at the Patton Township Alpha Fire Station behind ClearWater Conservancy, 10 am to Noon. Cost is $35.00. You can find information about this event at
and it will be coming up on the Garden Starters Facebook page. RSVP Sarah 237-0400
Upcoming TT training at Heathcote:
Training for Transition (T4T) is on at Heathcote August 21-22 and they have room for more participants. This should be a great experience in a beautiful place at a reasonable cost. Heathcote is an easy drive from State College. Visit their web site at
Transition Social Network

Dr. Radut | date