Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Transition Free Press Issue 2

The second edition of the Transition Free Press is out now! What's more I'm honoured to have been asked to write the main article that appeared on the front page. The gist is that shale gas fracking in the US has led to a glut of cheap coal on world markets, which is being burned up by China and others. Next time anyone tells you shale gas is 'green' tell them that!

In the course of researching the article I got to speak to some very interesting people (not all of whom are mentioned in the final article). One of them was Carl Shoupe, a third generation coal miner from Kentucky and outspoken critic of mountaintop removal and other acts of grand vandalism. You can see him talking in the video below.

Anyway, you can read the latest edition online by clicking here


  1. Good looking (and informationally resourceful) publication, Jason.

    Are you one of the publishers?

    1. Hi Martin - no, I'm just a humble contributor. The project was crowd-sourced and the editor is Charlotte du Can. Like all good newspapers it is done on a shoestring - that's why I'm encouraging people to subscribe to it so that it can continue.

      Obviously, it's very UK-centric, but there's no reason why similar newspapers couldn't be done in other countries.

  2. Heard about how China's government said they'd stop increasing coal use soon, this is probably why.

    Good job on the article.

    1. Thanks. Yep, coal production seems to be dropping. In the US they are laying off a lot of coal miners. Still, there's plenty of coal in other places. The BBC were pimping some new business programme the other day about young African tycoons who were dynamiting mountains and flying around in corporate jets. I expect the Chinese are interested in that.

    2. RT had an article on that.

      Improve the Countries so you can extract more from them.

  3. Here's what the editor, Charlotte, has to say about the latest issue:

    Welcome to issue two

    Energy underpins everything we do in our industrialised societies. The high demand for gas, oil, coal or bio-fuels, as our front page story shows, is now costing the earth on which we depend for life. How we face this dilemma and reduce our need for power is the work of the Transition movement and thousands of community activists around the world.

    Most of us are invisible. But, like mycorrhizzal fungi in the living soil, we are connecting and communicating across the globe, working to bring about a future where people can live fairly within ecological limits. In our summer edition we publish stories you might not ordinarily see – actions communities undertake to bring back life into neighbourhoods, to activate soils that have been deadened and contaminated, to create new networks that can hold us together in challenging times. An infrastructure you can feel but not always see.

    The proposed Keystone XL pipeline threatens to bring toxic crude oil through the heartland of America. Ancient trees fall to make a by-pass in a peaceful valley in Sussex. In response people rise up and take on mighty corporations and rapacious stakeholders. Sometimes that might is challenged. We won! wrote TFP columnist, Shaun Chamberlin, as the Ecological Land Co-operative finally secured planning permission for a smallholding in Devon. For a Goliath culture whose top-down business-as-usual worldview requires everyone’s assent, this may appear a small victory. But each time we voice our dissent, each time we reclaim our fields, we realise we are not alone in our task.

    Why to do we tell these stories? Because they are sparks that light a great fire inside us. Because another culture is being forged under our feet. In an abandoned warehouse in Doncaster people gather on a freezing night by a furnace to listen to a new narrative being told, along the River Dart a group of children and elders go on a story walk in search of the future. A sunflower garden appears in a neighbourhood in Portalegre. An artist plants 100 fruit trees in a university in Loughborough. In the cities everywhere, leaves appear through the cracks and are gathered by foragers. A dominant worldview does not mean we do not have agency.

    What we are not told is that there is an emergent world inside us. You can find it everywhere where there is warmth and generosity and a co-operative spirit: in community cafes, park libraries, pop-up shops, trade schools, abundance projects, repair cafes, people’s kitchens. It comes in all the colours of the rainbow, it sounds like the nightingale singing in the dark in May. For all people who sing in the dark, who stand by the land, the bird and the tree, who hold the fire until the dawn comes, this paper is for you.

    Charlotte Du Cann, Editor

  4. Hepp,

    Congrats. I couldn't read the article, as big retail outlet pays me, well, I made about $50 for that 10:45-6 shift that Saturday we sold $82,000 in garden alone. Biked eight miles there and back too. Anyway, glad to hear too about the orange blossoms release. Eager to hear about progress on the home island, lands end.


I'll try to reply to comments as time permits.