This draft has NOT been reviewed by members of the nascent Transition Carrboro steering committee.
It is posted here for the group's editing convenience.

Transition Carrboro: An Energy Descent Plan InitiativeEdit

Draft Document Version 0.5 22-Mar-2009
Prepared for the Transition Carrboro Steering Committee and prospective associates by INT Skills Group.
Last saved on: 3/27/2009 6:59 PM

1. OverviewEdit

1.1. Executive SummaryEdit

Peak oil and global climate changes, together with the current economic climate, have created the ideal conditions for developing and implementing an Energy Descent Action Plan. Local food production and processing, electrified [non-carbon] transport, renewable biomass, short-range energy distribution flows, and use of local currencies will provide the best means for our current economies to survive and thrive in the times ahead.

1.2. PurposeEdit

Transition Carrboro is a grassroots initiative for creating a locally resilient community that addresses the paired challenges of peak oil and climate change. There are many ways to go about making change, but this one is to be celebratory. It addresses people’s psychological needs, is enjoyable and exciting. It draws on existing strengths and knowledge and identifies opportunities to fill gaps in our capability to live in a post-oil community setting. Hopefully this grows and gains its own momentum. Eventually there will be groups focusing on discrete areas like food and transportation.

1.3. ScopeEdit

This initiative is focused on the geographical bounds of the City of Carrboro and the non-incorporated rural areas that supply the bulk of Carrboro’s food, energy, and water supplies. We anticipate that there will be a good deal of give and take with the other cities of the Triangle in the early stages of our research, networking and planning efforts. However, the visible manifestations of our projects will be located in Carrboro and will primarily address the service needs of the Carrboro area.

2. Energy Descent Action SectorsEdit

Based on the number of groups and individuals who are already working toward a low-energy future, we have highlighted 12 sectors of community life and activity that we think are ripe for energy descent planning and demonstration projects.

  • Food
  • Water
  • Local Energy
  • Housing
  • Health & Emergency Services
  • Local Economy and Livelihoods
  • Local Governance
  • Transportation
  • Consciousness Raising
  • Education
  • Youth and Public spaces
  • Waste Management

Also, Light Industry_________ Heavy Industry__________ Human Services

At this time, we have no plans to address the Four H’s: Housing, Health and Emergency Services, Heavy Industry, or Human Services. We hope that our initiative will inspire, inform and energize other sectors of the community to assess these areas for adaptation to sustainability principles and how their needs might be served by a comprehensive energy descent plan. We welcome input from members and representatives of these sectors

3. Goals Edit

Number One goal: creation of an energy descent action plan. To show the general public how all the existing initiatives lead to our existence as a transition town.

Seek means of measurement to determine where our deficits in sustainability might be and find ways to fill the gaps in our capacity.

The best thing we could provide would be the definition and goal for other groups, a common platform to recognize what we’re transitioning away from and why we’re doing it.

Our strategy should be: how do we create events and bring together those groups in a way that they’re willing to come together and have a representative on a common group.

3.1. Objectives of Transition CarrboroEdit

  • To reduce community consumption of and dependence on coal, oil, natural gas
  • To promote a smooth transition to locally-generated multiply-redundant energy sources with a non-centralized distribution infrastructure for energy consumption.
  • To identify gaps in the local and regional capability for sustainable community-reliance
  • To lay the ground work for sustainable trade and transportation routes
  • To foster community resilience by multiple means including education and skills training in production and processing of food, housing, clothing, energy, and other basic industries.
  • To act as a coordinating group: flow people, resources, and money to new infrastructure.

3.2. The 12 Steps of the Transition Carrboro ProcessEdit

  1. Raising awareness is one of the first things we do
  2. Working with other local environmental and social justice groups.
  3. Hold an unleashing, the official unveiling of the group.
  4. Use open space methods of setting agendas
  5. Form subgroups that take over the momentum as the steering committee dissolves.
  6. Aim for early, visible, practical manifestations of what we’re doing—hopefully photogenic things.
  7. Re-skilling workshops, for things we might need in an energy-scaled-down economy, such as hands-on crafts and communication.
  8. Work with local government.
  9. Honor our elders and their memories.
  10. Let the process go where it wants to go.
  11. Steering group (temporary)
  12. Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP)

3.3. Twelve projectsEdit

!!! NOTE: These projects are placeholder items, not actual projects being planned !!!Edit

Twelve projects are being considered by the Transition Carrboro Steering Committee: one project for each of the twelve sectors in the EDAP.

Community Activity Sector_____ Brief Project Description _______ Begins
Food:                             Carrboro GreenSpace Community Harvest   21Sep09
Water:                            Rain Barrel Installation "SWET Team"    21Jun09
Local Energy:                     TBA ___________________________________ 
Housing:                          TBA ___________________________________ 
Health & Emergency Services:      Biodiesel Fire Truck Ride               04Jul09
Local Economy and Livelihoods:    TBA ___________________________________ 
Local Governance:                 TBA ___________________________________ 
Transportation:                   Bamboo Bike Trailer Build               22Apr10
Consciousness Raising:            Movie showings                          21May09
Education:                        Thin film solar roofing installation    21Feb10
Youth and Public spaces:          Bike bumper cars                        04Jul10
Waste Management:                 Humanure Composting Toilet presentation 21Nov09

Project GuidelinesEdit

Projects are designed as:

  • A positive, collective vision for something rather than a negative struggle against something
  • Comprehensive in nature; identify aspects of our community that need more energy/activism
  • A unification of many people/groups towards an end goal
  • Mobilization… harnessing and focusing energy.
  • Remembering to address people’s psychological needs as they awake to the reality of the environmental crisis & peak oil

Projects will be carried out by affinity groups who have knowledge, expertise and connections in the sector of effort. Organizations and individuals with affinities to a section will form explicit coalitions.

The first step, within Carrboro, will be to assess Carrboro's current vulnerabilities to diminishing energy supplies and requirements for curtailing CO2 emissions as a whole. Then the coalitions will identify sustainable low-energy alternative systems for their section.

For each dimension of community life (section) in Carrboro, a realistic timeline will be drawn up for the transition (including a step-by-step action plan). Also, a set of informational resources will be assembled (participating organizations and individuals, and more generic informational resources such as: books, articles, web sites, and so on).

3.3.1. The Role of Action Teams and Action ProjectsEdit

  • Film screenings
  • Event with speakers, followed with three days of workshops and open space.
  • Maybe do an event centered on social justice to bring in more people.
  • Building relationships by going to events, like community meetings in Northside community.
  • Seek grant monies and local investment to grow green jobs for youth and elders
  • Grow urban food
  • Support farms with crop mobs and CSA investment
  • Community kitchens
  • Household conservation drives

… … …

  • Rhubarb rhubarbtinuously.

4. Existing Groups in the Carrboro and Triangle AreasEdit

4.1. Food Edit

4.1.1. Food: Large Land ParcelsEdit

  • Land In Common (community farm trusts)
  • Carrboro GreenSpace
  • Abundance Foundation, Pittsboro

4.1.2. Food: Preparation and DistributionEdit

  • Weaver St Markets
  • FLO Foods
  • Triangle Food Commons
  • Slow Food Movement (Andrea Reusing)
  • Many Local restaurants
  • Farmer’s Markets (Carrboro, Chapel Hill, The Village, Durham)

4.1.3. Food: Centers and AssociationsEdit

  • CIRA Center for Integrated Research & Activism
  • CEFS Center for Envir. Farming Systems
  • Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

4.1.4. Food: Farm WorkersEdit

  • Crop Mobs
  • WOOF Workers on Organic Farms

4.1.5. Food: Livestock /Beneficial BugsEdit

  • Heifer International
  • Jack Tapp (Beekeeper)

4.1.6. Food: Urban Agriculture / Community GardensEdit

  • Bountiful Backyards
  • Housing Communities
  • Many Community Gardens
    • Northside
    • CCCC (MLK)
    • OCPIC (MLK)
    • UNC
    • Pickard’s Mt. Earth Institute

4.2. WaterEdit

  • Water conservation systems
  • Rain barrels, rain catchment
  • Households
  • Schools, gov’t buildings
  • Office buildings, Malls
  • Composting toilets
  • Greywater systems

4.3. EnergyEdit

  • Abundance Foundation Pittsboro Center
  • Carbon-free home (Hcons – Durham)
  • Common Ground (Durham, green building store)
  • Duke Smart Home Program
  • Ed Witaen Hillsborough Solar
  • Energy Audits
  • Local biofuel co-ops
  • NC Powerdown
  • New Chapel Hill Solar Company
  • Piedmont Biofuels
  • Solar Tech
  • Southern Energy Management
  • UNC Institute for the Environment
  • Xero Flor (Durham, green roofs)

4.4. Consciousness RaisingEdit

  • Awakening the Dreamer Symposium
  • Carrboro Green Space
  • Center for Rezone Studies
  • Green Yoga
  • Pachamamma Alliance
  • Pickard’s Mountain Eco Institute
  • Spence’s Farm
  • The Abundance Foundation
  • The Work That Reconnects
  • Whole Brain Learning E

4.5. Economy Local Economy and Livelihoods Edit

  • B.A.L.L.E (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies)
  • Carrboro Local Living Economy Task Force
  • EBT use at farmer’s markets
  • Quite Illegible
  • Self-Help Credit Union
  • The Abundance Foundation
  • The Change (branding? breeding?)
  • The Plenty local currency

4.6. Waste Management and ReuseEdit

  • Composting @
    • Chapel Hill Restaurant Group
    • Lantern Recycling Centers
    • Orange Co. [landfills?]
  • Spence’s Farm seeking clearance to install composting toilets
  • PTA Thrift Shops
  • Really, really free markets
  • Recyclery
  • Society for St. Andrews
  • Gleaning for food banks
  • Carrboro Public Works
  • Leaf collection & humus distribution
  • Independent newspapers free for gardeners
  • Greywater systems

4.7. TransportationEdit

  • Greenways Transit (Durham)
  • TEVA Triangle Electric Vehicle Assoc.
  • Chapel Hill Transit, DATA, TTA, CAT
  • Recyclery
  • Durham Bike Co-Op
  • Zip-Car UNC Greenbridge
  • Blue Bikes

4.8. HousingEdit

  • ABS Alternative Building Systems
  • Orange Co. Land Trust, affordable Housing
  • Tim Watson
  • Southern Energy Mgmt
  • Energy Earth
  • Greenbridge
  • Harvey Harmon
  • Green Roofs
  • Arbor Realty
  • Pacifica
  • Arcadia
  • Greg’s building someone a cob cottage

4.9. Health & Emergency ServicesEdit

  • Triangle Residency Options for Substance Abusers (TROSA)
  • Mediation Center
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Carrboro Fire Dept
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Black/Brown/Green Alliance
  • Pachamamma Alliance
  • Alternative Health centers

4.10. Local GovernanceEdit

  • Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb.

4.11. EducationEdit

  • Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb.

4.12. Youth and Public spacesEdit

  • Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb.

5. Summary View of Project MilestonesEdit

Each project should proceed in 5 stages including the pilot which is a three-stage small-scale simulacrum of the full-scope operation. Each stage has a sequence of 3 milestones and 2 objectives, totaling 15 steps to completion and 10 completions or visible results.

Table 4: Summary of Project Milestones

Stage	Seq #	Milestone Name	Objective: Brief Description
Pilot    1      ______________	______________________________________________________
         2      ______________	______________________________________________________
         3      ______________	______________________________________________________
Team Building
         4      Commitment                Attend X of N meetings
         5      Role Fulfillment          Complete task assignments in a timely manner
         6      ______________	______________________________________________________   
Research and Development
         7      ______________	______________________________________________________
         8      ______________	______________________________________________________
         9      ______________	______________________________________________________
Project Planning
         10     ______________	______________________________________________________ 
         11     ______________	______________________________________________________
         12     ______________	______________________________________________________
         13     ______________	______________________________________________________
         14     ______________	______________________________________________________
         15     Enjoyment Meter	Have a great time in the process and the actual event

6. Technology: Development and TransferEdit

Technology needs for this project come in three flavors: hardware, fuels and training. Hardware in this instance refers to the material objects used to generate and convert mechanical power for use. The word ‘fuels’ refers to all the sources of energy that are available.

6.1. Technology: Project ActivitiesEdit

  • Replace XTEEN incandescent bulbs with CFLs and LED lights
  • Public harvest of food grown on public lands.
  • Show 12 movies to audiences of 15 people or more

7. Project SitingEdit

7.1. Prospective LocationsEdit

The pilot project should select three venues: one for a one-time open air activity, one for foul weather fall-back and one for an on-going resource referral center.

7.1.1. Pilot Site RequirementsEdit

Large enough to seat xteen people.

End MatterEdit

Figure 1: Recycle Symbol

Figure 2: Recycle Symbol 2

Appendix A: Resources

Appendix B: Reference Works and Web Sites

Appendix C: Long Term Dreaming

  • A sense of hope & possibility
  • Affordable local organic foods
  • Bicycle-powered appliances
  • Bike repair shops every 5 miles
  • CNN coverage of Transition Carrboro
  • Community gathering more than TV watching
  • Compost mandatory
  • Electric bikes
  • Expanded cybrary
  • Expanded farmers market
  • Fire truck, buses, emergency vehicles on biodiesel
  • Food not lawns & edible landscaping
  • Functional artisan skills are mainstream
  • Gardens @ all schools
  • Human-scale transport infrastructure – bike lanes!
  • Kids know how to grow food
  • Kids outdoors
  • Kids riding bikes
  • Landfill cleanup & mining
  • Large-scale bartering
  • Legal humanure
  • Legal in-town poultry
  • Less commuting/more telecommuting
  • Lifeskills taught
  • Local bank
  • Local time/labor bank
  • Medicinal herbs grown/used
  • Mill power @ town center
  • Organic food cooking classes
  • Organic school lunches
  • P.E. in schools
  • Regional theater
  • Regular film showings
  • Rooftop gardens
  • Shared storage/processing for farmers
  • Solar thermal water common
  • Sustainable inter-continental travel
  • Thriving alternative clinics affordable
  • Tool-lending library
  • Town farm
  • Transition Handbook a bestseller
  • Urban aquaculture

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