Table of Contents

Low Carbon Communities

Low Carbon Communities

Imaginative Approaches to Combating Climate Change Locally

Edited by Michael Peters, Shane Fudge and Tim Jackson

Community action is a vital strategy in the fight against climate change and has increasingly informed government policy, academic inquiry and grassroots action since the start of this century. This timely and engaging volume explores both the promise of community-based action in tackling climate change and some of its limitations.

Chapter 12: Intentional Community Carbon Reduction and Climate Change Action: From Ecovillages to Transition Towns

Joshua Lockyer

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental geography, environmental sociology, geography, human geography, politics and public policy, public policy


Joshua Lockyer Public awareness has risen to such an extent that climate change is not just a topic of conversation but a call to action to make major changes in consumer lifestyles. (Crate and Nutall, 2009, p. 11) Climate change makes this carbon reduction transition essential. Peak oil makes it inevitable. Transition initiatives make it feasible, viable and attractive. (Transition Towns, 2009) INTRODUCTION The Earth’s climate is changing with potentially grave consequences for human societies. Despite growing scientific consensus that the rate and nature of climate change are due at least in part to human activities, policy-driven attempts to alter these activity patterns and reduce our collective carbon footprint continue to fall far short of their goals. Climate scientists suggest that if we are to avert climate catastrophe, we must greatly reduce the rates at which we burn fossil fuels, cut down forests and disturb our soils. Yet, more than a decade after Kyoto, global carbon emissions continue to grow (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007). In the light of the fact that a wide variety of government-sponsored climate initiatives have failed to bring about appropriate action to slow the emission of greenhouse gases, it is useful to explore local, communitybased carbon reduction initiatives and consider ways that scholars and government officials can support and build on their efforts. Throughout the developed world where consumption patterns are a root cause of carbon dioxide emissions, groups of people are coming together in small-scale, intentional community groups to voluntarily and 197 198...

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