Archive | January, 2012

Projects in the New Year

15 Jan

(by n.reading)

Welcome to 2012 with Transition Madison Area!

Our first meeting of the calendar year will be tonight, 6:30 at Arboretum Cohousing. I’m more than a little embarrassed how poorly I’ve kept up my promise to devote energy to outreach and recruitment, but December-January has been a time of personal chaos for me. I’m working this afternoon fueled mostly by shame and embarassment (productive emotions, if you can direct them outwardly…)

The thoughts I’ve had regarding the function of this blog for Transition are that it ought to be a stage or a podium – the place for Transition to speak to the rest of the community – people who aren’t aware of the group, or the principles of Transition, or who don’t have the time to be deeply involved – while the google group (join the google group here) is a place for Transition members to talk and plan amongst themselves.

To that end, the oncoming weeks will feature resource posts by local experts (however much I have to prod them to recognize themselves as experts) on topics of their expertise, and interviews with local Transitioners about their experiences with the struggles of Transition: climate change, peak oil, and economic downturn.

I have been meditating on the role of digital resources in Transition – harddrives and computer components are built with toxic metals, metals mined in environmentally degrading ways, built in factories in peripheral countries with poor labor standards, and on top of that digital information is difficult to store, and dependent on electricity and climate-controlled indoor spaces.

The most satisfying answer I have come to is that alongside long-term archival efforts, we have to use what we have while we have it. As unsustainable as our present way of life is, in central Wisconsin, it is a environment of relative plenty, and the most responsible thing to do is to use the resources we have to do as much good as possible while we have them.

To that end, I have some paradoxical links. Please enjoy using your hugely powerful digital computing machinery to research a more appropriate and ecological technology level! I am hoping these resources will inspire some new Transition Madison Area projects. The UN International Traditional Knowledge Network database Appropedia, a Wiki (open-source encyclopedia) of appropriate technology. In their words, “collaborative solutions in sustainability, appropriate technology, and poverty reduction.” No Tech Magazine. Spotlights human-scale technological solutions from the ancient to modern world. Recent articles included Low Tech Magazine. Related to the above, but encompasses a slightly higher level of technology: recent articles covered medieval use of fossil fuels, cars powered by uncompressed gas, solar powered factories, and the Chinese wheelbarrow. Demotech. A group based in The Netherlands, researching sustainable re-designs of existing building ‘tropes’. A focus on reusing and reclaiming “garbage”. a high volume news source, “…the leading media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream.” Primitive Ways. Articles on stone-age and other ancient tech, encompassing food gathering and storage, tool making, building, and fiber and leather processing. (in case you think this database is entirely useless, here is a thing you didn’t know how much you needed until now: Inuit thimble ) A Compendium of Useful Information. An absolute sprawl of good knowlege; sites like this make me wish I had training in archive management. Please delve into this one in your spare time, and organize some good bits for us here on the Transition blog!



Kraut and Kimchi making workshop Jan 29

5 Jan

Get ready for the bounty of gardening season by learning about
fermenting vegetables.  Join us for this upcoming workshop at Token
Creek Eco-Inn.

Kraut and Kimchi: The Basics of Fermentation

Learn the art of preserving vegetables through fermentation at home.
Lacto-fermented vegetables are an energy efficient way to preserve
vegetables, as well as a wonderful health giving source of minerals,
enzymes and probiotics.  In this hands on class,  we will be making
sauerkraut with everyone taking home a jar to finish the process at
home.   Jeanne will also go over the process of making kimchi from a
variety of different vegetables and bring her own ready-made kimchi
and sauerkraut for you to sample.  Learn how to avoid common mistakes
and take home recipes to try at home.

Jeanne Lydon lives in rural Sun Prairie with her husband and two young
children.  She has been developing many traditional homesteading
skills, including fermenting vegetables, for over 11 years.

Cost:  $30

January 29th 1:00-3:00

The Great Recession, Energy Depletion, and Political Turmoil

1 Jan

The Great Recession, Energy Depletion, and Political Turmoil

By Nicole Foss, futurist, international lecturer, and co-author of


Free and open to the public


Date/Time: Tuesday, January 3rd, 7:00 PM


Location: The Goodman Center

149 Waubesa Street

Madison, WI 53704



Sponsors: WORT, Madison Peak Oil Group, UW Madison Energy Hub, Transition Madison Area, RENEW Wisconsin


Pre-event Publicity:  Nicole Foss will be interviewed live on WORT during an hour-long program starting at noon on Monday, January 2nd.  Richard Heinberg, James Howard Kunstler, and Dmitry Orlov – leading luminaries in the Peak Oil/Post-Carbon world – will be calling in as guests.


Matt Rothschild of Progressive Radio will also be interviewing Nicole on Wednesday Jan 4th.  It will be available here:


For more information about this event please contact Hans Noeldner     608-444-6190





During the past year, tremendous political and economic turmoil has rocked the United States and the world.  Wisconsin – the center of the storm last February – has witnessed an unprecedented resurgence of citizen interest and engagement.  In this midst of this upheaval we find ourselves challenged to re-imagine politics, economics, and government itself.


Meanwhile the aftershocks of the Financial Meltdown of 2008 continue to shake the world.  With the Great Recession showing no signs of abatement, and the Euro on the verge of collapse, events are unfolding very much as futurist Nicole Foss predicted several years ago.  With 1000 postings and counting at the website , Nicole and her writing partners have provided readers with many insights into the interplay between Peak Oil, finance, and monetary policy.  Not only did Nicole warn that a Financial Meltdown was imminent well before it occurred (a prediction which eluded leading economists such as Nobel-prize-winning Paul Krugman and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke), she foresaw the NATURE of the violent oscillations in energy and commodity prices that would ensue.


Having lectured widely in North America and Europe during the past few years (including Madison appearances in September and October 2010), Nicole Foss is returning here for another presentation – one which is generating widespread interest and excitement.


How do these forces and trends intersect?  What might be our vision for the future – one which combines a sober recognition of Earth’s biophysical limits…with a human-centric economic system…financial and government reforms…and an engaged, informed electorate?  It is our hope that events like this will inspire Wisconsin citizens to engage in vigorous, civil, and open-minded debate.