Welcome to Transition!

We’re part of a world-wide grassroots movement to build local resilience and connections close to home. Since 2010, we’ve been mounting creative and thoughtful responses to the challenges of resource depletion, climate change, and economic instability. Help us unleash the power and creative genius of people and communities to create a vibrant future for generations to come. Scroll down for our recent activities blog.

2016 is the year of engagement!

It’s a critical year for our planet and for democracy, and we want to challenge everyone in our community to do something more to be involved, especially in the areas of climate change, democracy, social justice, and community building. Check these TPA blog posts for ideas on getting involved: How to get involved! and What you can do about climate change. And sign up for our spam-free mailing list for information about important activities and events.

And we want to hear from you! What are you doing this year to be involved? Send a message to transitionpaloalto@gmail.com.

Coming up:

  • Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – Sept 23, 7:30pm – “Dream On,” film and conversation Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto. Scroll down for details.
  • United Nations Association Film Festival – Sept 30, 7:30pm. “Inequality for All,” film and conversation. Los Altos Library, hosted by TPA. Scroll down for details.
  • Garden Shares 
    The Palo Alto Garden Share is now part of the Share Faire. Stay tuned for information about the next Share Faire.
    Fourth Sunday of each month, 11am-12, Full Circle Farm, Sunnyvale
  • Transition Cafes – Most Fridays, 6-8pm, Red Rock Cafe, Mountain View. Check your email each week (by Thursday) for the topic and details.

mailing list Meetup Group/Facebook group

Expanding our housing toolkit

Come to this special event, organized by Palo Alto Forward and co-sponsored by TPA.

Soaring property values, displacement, and homelessness require new solutions to providing sustainable housing for every member of society. Join us for a presentation and conversation on how communities can expand their housing toolkit.

Alternatives to traditional affordable housing approaches can include community land trusts, real estate investment cooperatives and permanent real estate cooperatives, as well as creative ways to finance these projects. These alternatives can also ensure long-term affordability and empower residents by ensuring residents have democratic control over their land and housing. Examples of how cities can support these models of sustainable housing development will be provided.

RSVP: https://expandingourhousingtoolkit.eventbrite.com

with Sara Stephens + Cameron Rhudy
of the Sustainable Economies Law Center
WED. SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 6-8P
1001 Emerson Street (enter on Addison)
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Co-sponsored by: Palo Alto Forward, League of Women Voters of Palo Alto, Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action (PICA), Transition Palo Alto

September Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – Dream On

In an epic road trip, political comedian John Fugelsang retraces the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville, whose study of our young country in 1831 came to define America as a place where anyone could climb the ladder of economic opportunity. Following in the Frenchman’s footsteps, Fugelsang speaks with fast-food workers and retirees, prisoners and entrepreneurs, undocumented immigrants and community organizers about their hopes, dreams, and daily struggles. Dream On explores whether the optimistic spirit of the American Dream that Tocqueville observed is alive and well in the twenty-first century, or whether George Carlin was right when he famously quipped “It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.” View the trailer…

September 23, Meet and greet, 7pm, film starts at 7:30, conversation follows the film
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
505 E Charleston, Palo Alto

Dream on



UN Association Film Festival Cafe Inequality for All – Sept 30

TPA is delighted to be a partner this year for the United Nations Association Film Festival. Join us on Friday, September 30 for a FREE Festival Cafe at the Los Altos Public Library. We’ll be showing “Inequality for All,” Robert Reich’s award-winning film about the widening income and wealth gap, the problems it causes, and what we need to do about it.

Until we can take a step back and understand the big picture, we can’t do anything to get ourselves out of this mess. Our democracy as we know it depends on it. I’m an educator. I love the classroom. But I also write books, appear on television and on the radio, and do everything else I can do to help people understand the economic truth. It’s my life’s work and it’s more important than ever. One of the best ways to help people understand the challenges we face, is with a movie that can grab an audience and move them to action.
–Robert Reich, Economist, UC Berkeley Professor, and former US Secretary of Labor

inequality for al big posted

The film was shown last year at the 18th UNAFF.
Click for a flyer that you can share or post.

Please register at EventBrite so we know how many people to expect.
Gather for cookies at 7pm, film starts promptly at 7:30, followed by conversation.
Friday September 30
Los Altos Public Library, 13 S. San Antonio, Los Altos

The film was first screened at the UNAFF 2105 festival (http://www.unaff.org/).

Conceived in 1998 at Stanford University by film critic and educator Jasmina Bojic in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF) screens documentaries by international filmmakers dealing with topics such as human rights, environmental themes, women’s issues, children, refugee protection, homelessness, racism, disease control, universal education, war and peace. By bringing together filmmakers, the academic community and the general public, UNAFF offers a unique opportunity for creative exchange and education among groups and individuals often separated by geography, ethnicity and economic constraints. For more details please visit http://www.unaff.org


A Perfect Summer Day

The gentle breezes that kept knocking our signs down helped make it a perfect summer day for the Share Faire. From the world of imagination (mythmaking circle) to down-to-earth skills (scrubbing powder, eye exercises, darning, and bike repair), there was something for everyone. And lots of good stuff to share. Congrats to Peter for getting the prize cast iron skillet!

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August Fourth Friday – “Sustainable” film and discussion

Meet Marty Travis, a seventh-generation farmer in central Illinois who watched his land and community fall victim to the pressures of big agribusiness. Determined to create a proud legacy for his son, Marty transforms his profitless wasteland and pioneers the sustainable food movement in Chicago.

Sustainable explores the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. It’s a film about the land, the people who work it, and what must be done to sustain it for future generations. See the trailer

sustainable good film 2

August 26, 7:30pm
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
505 E Charleston, Palo Alto

The Scoop on Carbon Farming

Amazing things are happening in the world of carbon sequestration. And July Fourth Friday attendees did plenty of their own knowledge sequestration while glued to their seats for John Wicks’ jam-packed talk on carbon Farming. A Marin rancher and preservationist, John co-founded the Marin Carbon Project and is a passionate evangelist for their work.

marin carbon banner

The Marin Carbon Project is noteworthy in the scope of the questions participants are exploring, the rigor of the science involved, and the effective mix of theory, field testing, and implementation. Click here for a list of some papers published by the Marin Carbon Project research teams.

Here’s a smattering of observations from John’s talk.

  • Healthy rangelands require grazing animals. The rangeland ecosystem degrades if the land is not grazed.
  • All plants sequester carbon. The question is, for how long? Some sequestered carbon is returned almost immediately to the atmosphere and some is stored up to a decade or so. But if the carbon becomes mineralized and attached to clay particles, the storage becomes effectively permanent.
  • Holistic management techniques, which involve intensive grazing of animals in a small area for short periods, are effective for promoting deeper rooted perennial grasses (vs. annual grasses), but are not effective for intermediate and long term carbon sequestration and can actually increase the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
  • Perhaps the most remarkable observation of the talk is the finding that a single application of as little as 1/4-inch of compost can promote intermediate and long term carbon sequestration for years following the single application.
  • John spoke of many other aspects of the Marin Carbon Project work, including soil microbiology, research on composting of manures (including human waste), other sources of compostable materials, and even the efforts to lobby the California legislature and governor to support research and implementation of effective carbon sequestration techniques.