Burning a candle for the peak-ocalypse

Birthday Cake

It's our birthday, so send us some love. But most of all, send us some money!

On this, the first birthday of Transition Voice Magazine, we’re burning a celebratory candle atop a chocolate covered peak-ocalypse cake. Boy does it feel good.

One year ago today

We launched Transition Voice one year ago with the lofty (or crazy) aim of adding a new perspective to the peak oil conversation.

We wanted a perspective that was a little less about industry in-speak (homie don’t care about millions of barrels per day). We also wanted to be a little less about how we’ll all seamlessly arrive at our Transition-minded urban or rural homesteads pitchfork-ready for a low-energy future (urban hipsters are more apt to have an iPad than a Permaculture garden and, so far, only a few are trading in the former for the latter).

We definitely didn’t want to be just another GREEN HAPPY web-magazine touting miracle solutions and a solar car in every driveway sometime in the technotopian future. And we weren’t keen to be driven by the doomer vision of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, either.

Yet somehow we wanted to be a combination of all of these, and then some. Mostly we wanted to give the apocalypse a punch line.

Birth of a mutt

Thus was born Transition Voice, with a typically post-modern lineage of competing notions, somehow related in a family tree of mutty origins. A regular pastiche as they say. But the good kind, of course.

In this year we’ve investigated industry claims that shale gas is a huge resource of energy for the future, compiled year-end lists of top books and stories about peak oil, learned how to make yogurt, taste craft beer and drive an ox team. We provided aid and comfort to those helping to foment revolution and we stuck it to the plutocrats every chance we could get. And to stupid, corrupt politicians, too.

We’ve interviewed the biggies —the peak oil rock stars —attended the 2010 ASPO-US conference and live-tweeted it for you, underwent a grueling weekend of Transition Training, wrote reviews on a bunch of documentaries and a slew of books on these most depressing (and sometimes encouraging) of topics, and looked into our hearts to ask, What does it all mean?

During this time we forged partnerships with Transition US, ASPO-US, and the Post Carbon Institute in pursuit of a petition on peak oil for President Obama. And even though he didn’t listen, we’ve continued to work with these same worthy organizations to help get the word out to policymakers and a larger public about resource depletion, climate change and economic crisis.

We also courted over fifty writers in 15 different countries to add their takes on our shared global predicament. We have special thanks to writers Guy McPherson and Vicki Lipski, two columnists who have been with us since the beginning, producing a column every month this past year. Thanks also to Sharon Ede, our Asia-Pacific Editor, for actively sourcing stories for us from the other side of the globe.

What does it all mean?

With all this effort (and fun) we ascended into the top 1% of sites on the web worldwide and have increased our Facebook fan base from a lowly 1 to over 1,610 today! And we enjoy welcoming more and more visitors each week. Apparently, it’s not just our parents who are reading this stuff. (But thank heavens they are, so they can tell their friends.)

Clearly we worked our butts off, shivering in the dark and the cold, hungering, yearning to break free…yearning to be heard. Oh no, wait, that was our kids, whom we ignored so that we could bring these and other important stories to you. (Just kidding, we put them to work in the community garden).

So, here it is a year later. And you know what? We love it more than ever. We have high hopes that this is one of many annual celebrations and that you’ll stay with us for the ride. In fact, a huge thank you to you, our loyal readers. We appreciate you so much!

Now that we’re toddling into our second year, what can you expect from us?

Next stop: Comic-Con and the Detroit Auto Show

Well, we’re not going to stop being smart alecks, that’s for sure. If we weren’t at least half-laughing at this peak-ocalypse predicament we’re in we’d likely be jumping into the now despoiled Gulf of Mexico to end it all. Snarkiness? Check.

What else? We hope to engage more of you in the conversation by pointing out again that you can comment on any article and make submissions of essays, reporting, art, analysis, parody, graphics or whatever. We welcome your particiption here.

It can feel pretty lonely sometimes caring about peak oil and climate change. So a big part of our mission is to help create community among like-minded energy-aware people, online and off.

And you can continue to rely on our range of topical offerings from energy to economy to ecology. And we’ll increase our coverage of the Transition Movement even more.

In the coming year we’d like to increase our offerings on topics of Transition group successes in local communities, as well as more on food, farming, urban homesteading and reskilling. Writers who find this your passion area should totally contact us with your ideas.

We also hope to attend more conferences and trainings on the issues. As much as we try to do by webinar and web sleuthing, it sometimes make a huge diffference meeting folks face-to-face.

Really, you’re too kind

And that brings us to our birthday presents. We could sure use some birthday presents (hint hint!). As always you can:

  • Share us with your friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter, with a special love note just from you.
  • Hit our Amazon.com book links in articles to buy books. We get an itty-bitty commission, but in a start-up venture like Transition Voice, every penny really does count.
  • Send a generous donation now or use the Buy Us Some Love widget in the sidebar of any page to drop in a tip right away.
  • Send us stuff you make, especially food. We’re starving here and we love getting mail!
Meanwhile, if you need a new website, want to convert one you’ve got already to WordPress so you can edit it yourself or want to attract more visitors to your online pad, why not contact the folks who run the technology for Transition Voice, the Curren Media Group?

Annual Giving Campaign

During the entire month of October we’ll be running an Annual Giving Campaign. Our aim is to raise $10,000 for the year ahead to help fund conferences, website upgrades, PR, and content that we occasionally have to pay for. So when our possibly annoying Annual Giving Campaign kicks into high gear (including rolling out opportunities to buy schwag on Café Press), you’ll know why —we’re just trying to survive. Help us! Help us, pleeee-aaaa-sss–eeee!

With that out of the way, let us just say THANK YOU again for reading us, supporting us and agreeing with us that peak oil sucks except that it might deliver a whole lot better world with less pollution, less stuff and more time, people and meaningful projects.

Here’s to the next year of this love affair with doom!

–Lindsay Curren, Editor-In-Chief, Transition Voice

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  1. says

    Happy birthday!

    Are we going to be going on a diet after all that chocolate cake? Maybe you should have darkened the coloration to give it a more black gold sort of look.

    • says

      Yes, I should have found a cake with a gusher on top. But no, no planned diet. Just the forced diet, the collapse diet. Must eat all the chocolate cake I can, now, to prepare.


  2. Darryl says

    My wife just made some yummy jellies and jam. We would like to send you some, but we need your shipping address.

    Thanks, and Happy Birthday

  3. says

    Thank you so much for this site. It’s a great balance to the all the doom and gloomers out there.

    You might be onto something with Comic-Con. Seems like a post-oil world would provide an excellent story for a graphic novel.

  4. Fiona Ward says

    Happy Birthday from Totnes in the UK – what an amazing year you have had!
    I really like your style… we can learn from you about communicating this stuff…

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