Toward ecological transition
The Transition Network is a global unifying movement born in Great Britain in September 2006 in the small town of Totnes, following on from permaculture teacher Rob Hopkins’s experience in Ireland a year earlier. There are now over 700 Transition initiatives in fifteen countries, including the USA, South Africa and France.
Biodiversity—the diversity of living beings, including plant and animal species, ecosystems and genetic variation—provides the foundations of our life on earth. And yet, more and more ecosystems are being damaged, or even destroyed. Entire species are dropping in numbers or becoming extinct. The main factors behind this loss of biodiversity, aside from demographic growth, spring from the huge impact our economic system has on it: damage to habitats, pollution of every sort, increasing overexploitation of resources and climate change. Desert areas are on the increase and in the depths of the ocean entire swathes of coral reefs are dying. This situation affects us all, in terms of healthcare costs, security and numerous aspects relating to well-being and quality of life. However, they particularly affect the poorest households, in locations such as rural and coastal areas, who are often dependent on ecosystems for their survival.
Industrial ecology is an inter-disciplinary and systemic approach that seeks to assimilate the functioning of industrial ecosystems with that of natural ecosystems using concepts such as industrial symbiosis or industrial metabolism. In other words, there is an interrelation between industries (all human activities, regardless of whether they are linked to farming, transport, production, etc.) and the social and natural environment. Industrial ecology advocates closed cycles of matter and energy and efficient internal processes in order to minimize the use of resources and lessen the production of waste and polluting products.
In the face of the combined threats of peak oil and increasingly perceptible climate changes, citizens are opting for different forms of energy: local, shared, ecological, collective and cooperative. The goal is three-pronged: raise awareness about energy consumption in general and adopt reduced-consumption solutions; put a stop to energy dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, and initiate an energy transition that places consumption as close as possible to the resource.