" I haven't read any other threads on this forum, but if this is the quality of the debates here, something tells me I haven't missed a great deal.
-Nice, start with a blast at the forum itself.
* There are no links between Transition and the Steiner schools movement. There may be some people who are involved with Steiner schools who get involved with Transition and vice versa, but there is no Steiner thinking in the Transition approach. Zero. Nada. From the rather odd thread referred to at the start of this one where someone in Totnes said he lived in Totnes and there was also a Steiner school here, all of a sudden 2 + 2 = 7 and Transition is an Anthroposophical cult. We have a Conservative Club in Totnes too, and a Masonic Hall, 2 supermarkets and a swimming pool. Do we therefore share some idealogical ground with them too? Of course not...
"Shakti claims that my qualifications don't qualify me to voice an opinion on peak oil. It is true that I am not a petroleum geologist, but I have never claimed to be. I am also not a climate scientist either, but I know how to discern good climate scientists from charlatans, and likewise with peak oil, I do the research and I reference everything (have a look at The Transition Handbook). For the record, I have a BSc in Environmental Quality and Resource Management and an MSc in Social Research, and am finishing a PhD (not about Richard Heinberg, as someone commented) but on resilience, a Human Geography PhD. "
-Everyone has a right to voice an opinion on peak oil. Yet for someone striving for credibility on the topic, it is imperative to source good experts, rather than utter charlatans like Heinberg. C'mon, the guy is a "Velikovskyian". Right there, that knocks him out of the realm of ANY scientific credibility. It's like the Google Earth engineers consulting the Flat Earth Society for mapping advice. You should know that. If there are more credible scientists backing your thesis, you wouldn't need to touch Heinberg with a ten-foot pole.
" The assertion that Transition was brought to the US by a New Age channeller is just ridiculous."
-Well, then, who DID bring Transition to the US? Names, please.
" Shakti's insinuations, that Richard Heinberg has somehow a connection to the sexual abuse of children is utterly disgraceful, and should lead to the moderator of these posts removing the offending posts and excluding the person who posted them from this forum."
-In his own words, Heinberg admits to being part of an "intentional community" (Emissaries of Light) that has been accused of instituionalized abuse. He also worked for a college with a HORRIBLE reputation, New College of California, that was closed by the state. The founder of that college was John Leary, child molester. As Rob does not live in California, he may not fully grasp the poor reputation that New College has engendered over the years. I did not claim that Heinberg was a molester. Yet he has spent years involved with two separate institutions that have been accused of covering for or glossing over child molestation. That doesn't say much for his "filters".
"Leary went on to found New College of California in Sausalito in 1972. He later moved New College to San Francisco, where, during the next 34 years, the school evolved into Bay Area academia's left-wing social conscience. Officials from the Jesuit order and Gonzaga said that while responding earlier this year to requests for documents connected to a priest-abuse lawsuit not involving Leary, they found files detailing a 1969 agreement among the university, the order, and Spokane police under which Leary wouldn't face charges of molesting victims if he left town within 24 hours. The announcement of the 1969 cover-up by the Jesuits, the police, and the university spawned articles in the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the Seattle Times, the New York Times, and the International Herald Tribune.
But in San Francisco, and at New College, where Leary's legend has been used as a core recruiting and fundraising tool, and where, prior to the September announcement, officials were preparing to name a refurbished classroom the "Father John Leary Room," there's been silence.
...In talking with New College President Martin Hamilton, who was hired by Leary as an instructor in 1977, and who later invited Leary to preside over his wedding, I got the sense that news of Leary's secret criminal life had stunned him into inaction.
...The news of Leary's criminal past, Hamilton noted, revealed that New College of California exists thanks to an extraordinary irony. "If [Gonzaga] had done what they did now, then," and announced in 1969 Leary's history of allegations of sexual assaults on boys, "Jack wouldn't have started New College," Hamilton said.
....when it comes to owning up to the abusive sexual past of one of their leaders, the Republican Party and New College of California don't seem to be on the same, well, page.
And that's too bad, because a real analysis and accounting of Leary's role as a pedagogical Johnny Appleseed could be interesting as well as instructional. He spent the '70s and '80s launching, or attempting to launch, cutting-edge programs of study in San Francisco, Reno, New York, and Santa Barbara with great fanfare, before leaving each place suddenly for reasons never fully explained. Investigating it can only make New College a more intellectually honest, and fascinating, place.
..."Leary was a bad guy," the Spokane Spokesman Review quoted John Whitney, the Jesuit's provincial superior based in Portland, as saying, after the Jesuits and Gonzaga University issued separate public statements on Sept. 8 describing the 1969 cover-up. The Jesuit order has settled with two of Leary's victims for a total of about $400,000, according to the order. Gonzaga University sent statements to school alumni who were students while Leary was at the school, and braced for more victims to come forward, stating that,"today we desire not self-protection but the protection, especially, of those who are most vulnerable." After receiving the call, Hamilton didn't announce the news to the school at large. A few days later, he left on a two-week trip to Brazil.
.., med to during three weeks of telephoning alumni and former teachers who knew Leary at New College during the 1970s and giving them the bad news. Most people Leary knew seemed to have deep, fond impressions of the man, and were utterly confounded by the idea he was a child molester.
"Another gem turned up in Corboy's googling was the piece from the person claiming to have tried, repeatedly to have had a dialogue with people from the Transition Network. Again, here the kind of critical thinking one would hope for from a site such as this is sadly lacking. The writer in question is Ian R Crane, a new age conspiracy theorist, who argues, among other things, that peak oil is a scam, climate change is a scam, that the 2012 Olympics will be used to stage a fake extraterrestrial invasion so the New World Order (he's big on the NWO) can take the world over. He is a classic David Icke style conspiracy theorist. 9/11 was an inside job, as was 7/7 etc etc. "
-I agree with you, Rob, about Crane. I meant to point out that to Corboy, but forgot to. Crane is a crank and an idiot, from what I've seen. HOWEVER, you have no problem citing Heinberg, who is ALSO a conspiracy theorist, and actually spoke at a "911 Truth" conference.
"2:10 -2:40 Oil, Iraq, and the War on Terror. The events of 9-11 were facilitated by persons highly placed within the US government. What was their motive? This can best be discerned by looking backward from the present: what have the governing elites actually done since 9-11, based on the mandate of public opinion that the events created? Answer: nations have been invaded and numerous permanent military bases constructed—in two regions crucial for global oil supply. All of this is occurring as official petroleum reserves are coming under question, and signs are appearing that world oil production may reach its historic peak within the next one to five years. Examining the most recent compelling evidence that we are entering the beginning stages of a global energy famine and resource war—of which 9-11 was merely the opening salvo.Richard Heinberg Author of War, Oil and the Fate of Industrial Societies, New Society publishers 2003."
-So it is OK for Heinberg to be a 911 Conspiracy Theorist, but not Crane?
" Corboy asks, referring to peak oil 'Inevitablity and imminence'--again, says who, and whose interests are being served"
. Well in the Transition approach, we would argue that for communities to prepare for peak oil, not the abrupt running out of oil, but the end of the age of cheap oil, is inherently practical, and yes, it is inevitable and imminence. Not sure what you are trying to imply there... whose interests do you think are being served? I'm puzzled."
-As strange at it may seem to you, possibly the oil industry... and covert racist groups. And business in general. I also think that coal may be at play here as well, as Thyssen/Petroconsultants were the first to push Peak Oil into the public debate, and Thyssen owns massive coal to liquid facilities.
I am suspicious of the fact that with many "Peak Oil" folks, there is not a press for more conservation, or a switch to alternative fuels, but an emphasis on "culling the herd". "There is no time to switch to alternative energy" is something I hear often. Yet that is not the consensus of world scientists or ecologists. This is NOT a conservationist, or alternative fuels argument. It is a "there are too many people" argument. The presence of racialists like Virginia Abernathy, Pimental, (both endorsed by Heinberg) within the Peak Oil movement is undeniable. Are you aware of the fascist rants, like by John Stanton of Social Contract Press, in Colin Campbell's ASPO newsletter? In fact, it was the BNP, a group I'm sure you are well aware of, who were the first party in England to jump on the "Peak Oil" bandwagon.
If I were a corporate exec, it would scare the hell out of me to see a global environmental movement that was willing to target their profits in exchange for a better world for the masses. One strategy I might try would be to diffuse and dilute such resistance by creating a "locally based movement" that would be easy to divide, coopt, and steer astray. While I applaud some of the local efforts you are making, Rob, (assuming that you are on the level at least personally), in no way are those efforts going to be sufficient to deal with the issues of climate change. It will take international treaties, international laws, and the enforcement of such. It will take confrontation on a mass scale with the world's corporations and governments. Those are not paths that Transition is advising. Also, while some towns may heed your call, get themselves energy independent in prep for the "Great Doomsday of the Peak", what happens to the towns that don't? What is Transition Towns plan for them? The whole thing smacks of 80s survivalism and white suburban fear than it does of any kind of progressive, 21st Century world ecological movement.
I also note that you make no attempt to debunk Heinberg's connections to Russian fascists, his Nazi occult beliefs in "Shambala", "Hyperborea", and other elements of the Hindu/Aryan myths. Care to comment, Rob?
"Transition does, as well, create a space for also looking at the psychology of change, and for acknowledging that this is not just a process of building outer community resilience, but also of building inner resilience, supporting people to be more able to withstand shock. "
This is interesting. It is clear that YOU DO have aims beyond just "local ecology" but shaping entire patterns of people's thought. In other words, "thought reform", a topic all too familiar to the people on this board. If those posting here seem a little "oversensitive" to you, why not peruse some of the other topics here on the forum so you can try to grasp why some of the language around Transition is a little alarming to us.