An opportunity to promote permaculture and the Transition movement in NYC

From: Dan
Sent on: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 9:07 PM

Members of this meetup list may have wondered how to make more New Yorkers aware of permaculture.  Here's one possibility:  expanding the NYC sustainability discussion to include more issues and more participants than it usually does, and creating opportunities for folks with permaculture backgrounds to get in the middle of that discussion.

Have you ever noticed that there are tons of NYC civic groups that aren't involved with sustainability initiatives at all, or just a bit?   

Environmental groups often find themselves preaching to the same small choirs, even though their causes would benefit many New Yorkers.  You fracking activists know this well.  There are countless groups defined by geography – neighborhood business groups, faith organizations – that usually don’t focus on environmental concerns.  Can the City’s environmental and progressive groups find common ground with these neighborhood networks, and discover new audiences and allies?

We’re setting up video screenings to expand the sustainability discussion. And not just any video screenings.  

These videos illustrate how energy, economy and environment are linked – and that while individual and government actions are needed, they’re not enough - community action is needed.  Since progress is needed in many aspects of sustainability, there are opportunities for complementary groups to work together.   

Yes, New York City is making progress in lowering carbon emissions and becoming greener.  But sustainability is more than just responding to climate change and preparing for extreme weather events - neither of which we’re doing as quickly as the science requires.  As supplies of natural resources and fossil fuels deplete, rising costs will cause permanent economic changes.  Urban planners and community activists are increasingly striving not just for sustainability, but resilience, so we can adapt as things change.  And how can we create new jobs unless we take these factors into account?   Raising awareness about the interdependence of energy, environment and economy will encourage smart choices.   By conserving energy, turning to mass transit and renewable power while relocalizing production of goods and services, we can assure better quality of life in NYC neighborhoods while making our City much more sustainable. 

These video screenings are informed by the Transition community organizing method.   It starts by educating residents about the full scope of sustainability issues – and proposing that proactive responses can lead to a better quality of life for all concerned.  If it feels familiar, that's because before Rob Hopkins founded the Transition movement, he was a longtime permaculture teacher and builder of cob houses.  Videos that concisely explain key concepts are set up in collaboration with neighborhood groups or organizations that have a rich network of pre-existing personal relationships.  After each short video, audience members can share their reactions, with a longer facilitated open discussion at the end of the screenings. 

In later steps, participants envision their community successfully adapted by 2030, brainstorm what steps they need to take, and pick a few to start with (  Hundreds of communities around the world have begun Transition initiatives.  Many other communities have been influenced by the methods, such as Brooklyn’s Sustainable Flatbush ( Here in NYC, the foundations for Transition are already set.  We just need to connect the groups that are implementing sustainability initiatives with the big-picture awareness and community organizing tools that Transition offers. 

See how this works at the next screening on Wednesday, October 19, 7 – 9 PM.  

Join us at the Seafarer’s and International House, 123 East 15th Street in Manhattan, just east of Union Square.  There is no charge to attend but a $5 donation is requested to cover costs. 

Don’t take our word for it.  Watch the videos at your computer, at your convenience.

“300 Years of FOSSIL FUELS in 300 Seconds,” Animated video with Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute, 5 min.     

ABC Catalyst Peak Oil Report[masked], 12 minutes

Who killed economic growth?Animated video with Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute ,
6 minutes

TED talk with Rob Hopkins, Transition: grassroots organizing for resilience; 19 minutes

We have a full schedule of October events.  Please stop by.

- Screening of The End of Suburbia, with director Greg Greene at BMW Guggenheim Lab, Houston Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan, October 5 , 6 – 8 PM
- Debate between James Kunstler & James Russell, the same location, October 6, 6 – 8 PM
- Screening of Chris Martenson’s The Crash Course, Community Church of NY, October 13 , 7 – 9 PM
- Screening of Transition video shorts, Seafarer’s House, October 19, 7 – 9

Details here about October events.

Download flyers for the events here.

So here's an opportunity for members of the NYC permaculture community.   You already know about Transition.  You may be looking for the next step in turning your ideals and learning into practice - one that might even lead you to doing garden design or urban permaculture projects in your neighborhood - but aren't sure where to start. 

Why not come to one of the October screenings? Then consider setting up a customized Transition video screening with a group you already know - and invite your neighbors?   
Please contact me to discuss options at[masked] x 27 or
[address removed].  

Who's in?

Dan Miner
Volunteer organizer, Beyond Oil NYC

Beyond Oil NYC ; NYC Business Smart ; Neighborhood Energy Network; Metro NYC Environmental Meetup ; Sustainable Flatbush.

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