I read the Transition Handbook only a few weeks ago, so I was curious to see how this one differed. Apparently it was written with existing Transition initiatives in mind, particularly those working on `energy descent action plans' (EDAP).
The EDAP is the detailed masterplan for transitioning a community beyond peak oil and is the ultimate goal of any Transition project. It's a big task, and the hardest part is knowing what to include, and in what order?
The Transition Timeline answers these questions from the perspective of 2027, through a series of chapters on transport, energy, food and so on, each written from the future and showing how we got there. It incorporates local actions, cultural change, and international agreements on climate change and peak oil. Chamberlin also offers three alternative non-transition scenarios, ie the ones the government are pursuing at the moment, also viewed from 2027. Those timelines aren't so pretty.
The Transition Timeline answers a number of different and quite specific questions. While that makes it a useful source of inspiration to the Transition movement, it may seem a little unfocused to the uninitiated - along with the main timelines there are chapters that bring climate change and peak oil right up to date, ideas for group exercises, an introduction to systems thinking, and a section on climate change and peak oil in the UK context.
Most importantly though, this is part of the Transition movement's use of `back-casting' - deciding your destination, and then working backwards to see what you need to do to get there. The case for a local, resilient future is presented simply, and the consequences of choosing otherwise are obvious and undesirable:
"Our choice is between the different 2027s we have just considered", is Chamberlin's challenge. "We do, collectively, get to chose which of them come to pass."