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Transition and Resilience: TEDGlobal 2009

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on August 7th, 2009

Source: PostCarbon Institute

Hopkins at TED

Post Carbon Fellow Rob Hopkins was one of the speakers at the recent TEDGlobal 2009 conference in Oxford, UK. Among the other speakers at the event was UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

From the TED blog report:

Hopkins says that our degree of oil dependency is our degree of vulnerability. We will not have oil forever. For every five barrels we consume, we only gather one. There are 98 oil producing nations but 65 have already passed their peak. “Is our brilliance and creativity going to evaporate?” he asks. The answer he gives is no, but he says that our options have to be realistic and mentions that climate change scientist have an increasingly terrified look in their eyes.

He asserts that our society seems to have the idea that technology will solve everything, pointing out that this idea is always popular at TED. But, Hopkins says, we can’t create new lands and energy systems at the click of a mouse. There are still people mining coal, as we speak. We live in a world of real constraints and demands. Energy and technology are not the same thing.

Hopkins outlines the qualities of the transition response: viral, open-source, self-organizing, solutions-focused, sensitive to place and scale, learns from its mistakes and is a joyful process. It’s not about winning the argument, he says, it’s about changing the climate. Transition depends on the idea of resilience, which he thinks is a more useful concept than sustainability.

Sustainability wants the supermarket to be more energy efficient, while resilience questions the vulnerability of depending on the supermarket.

Read the full TED Blog report.

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