by Kevin Wilson
Recently Immanence published news of a new group, Transition Powell River (TPR), aiming to raise awareness and focus action around climate change, Peak Oil and other resource-depletion issues. Here’s a brief report on what we’ve been up to so far, and what we’re planning.
In May, we held a kick-off meeting, where we gave ourselves the self-teaching Peak Oil lecture, an interesting experience! We learned about what a Transition Initiative is and does, including the 12 steps that would guide us towards creating an Energy Descent Action Plan (EDAP), and the 7 buts or roadblocks that might prevent us from even getting started. A lively discussion about transportation alternatives for Powell River resulted in six people forming a steering group to get TPR moving.
We held our first information booth at the opening of the Hot Summer Nights market on July 16th, and we’ve since had several more. During September you found us at the Community Information Fair at the Complex, at the showing of Food Inc at the Patricia Theatre, and at the Fall Fair, Sep. 26th and 27th. We display information and resources, explaining what Peak Oil is, how it connects to climate change, and how it will affect all our lives and the very basis of our culture and society.
Our first film screening, “The End of Suburbia”, in August, explored how North America created a culture and living arrangements based on the heavy use of oil, and what might happen as world oil supplies decline and prices rise. The film will be be screened again in November. While you might not think that Powell River has much in the way of “suburbs”, there are plenty of areas where it’s a long walk even to the nearest corner store, and a drive to get to anything else. We have a very car-based, fossil-fuel-dependent lifestyle here and this movie speaks directly to the consequences of that. Read more »
The Transition movement is a grass-roots, bottom-up community response to the combined challenges of climate change, resource depletion (including “peak oil”) and economic instability. It started in the UK several years ago and has been spreading by leaps and bounds ever since. There are currently 159 official transition initiatives in 14 countries and many more communities thinking about becoming Transitioners. Transition Initiatives work towards rebuilding the resilience of their communities to climate change, energy crises, and shocks to the economy.
Transition Initiatives are based on four key assumptions:
1. life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable, and that it’s better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise;
2. our settlements and communities presently lack the resilience to enable them to weather the severe energy shocks that will accompany peak oil;
3. we have to act collectively, and we have to act now;
4. by unleashing the collective genius of the whole community to creatively and proactively design our energy descent, we can build ways of living that are more connected, more enriching, and more cognizant of the biological limits of our planet.
by Kevin Wilson
A critical decision when starting your own business is what to sell—whether product or service. There are two main ways of deciding.
First, “Do what you love, the money will follow”. This can work well, but often it doesn’t happen freely.
Second, look for something that people want very much and are willing to pay for, and then sell it to them. This often pays better, but you may end up with a business you’re not very interested in.
Ideally, combine the two: find something that fascinates and motivates you and that people will buy.
How do you find that something? Market Research!
You probably know what you’re interested in, but you may not know about all of the possibilities for basing a business on it. One way to find interesting niches is to explore online.
Check out eBay Pulse: what’s hot?
Look at the most popular information products on Clickbank: what’s selling?
Use a keyword research tool: what’s being searched for?
Use Amazon: what subjects are selling?
If your market will be purely local, you need local information.
Talk to people. Do surveys in busy locations like the mall, at the Open Air market, or at events. (Get permission to survey on private property). What do they want to buy that they can’t get?
Who are the “movers and shakers” in your area of interest? Talk to them—find out what people are buying.
Is there a rash of new stores or services of a particular type? Can you piggyback on that without competing directly?
The bottom line is that if people won’t buy what you have to sell, you have no business. Find out before investing years of time and energy!