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TRANSITION £1 Issue No. 1 Spring 2013 FREE PRESS RECONOMY: Are there livelihoods in Transition? asks Fiona Ward Page 5 WORLD: Is Peak Oil dead? Richard Heinberg investigates Page 7 LAND: Reclaiming the fields Shaun Chamberlin Page 14 PHYSICAL: Lying down on bikes, walking up ski slopes Page 23 Will extreme weather bring climate action? by Alexis Rowell If climate change was the global crisis which drew many into the Transition movement, then 2012 was the year it became almost impossible for the rest of the world to ignore the link between extreme weather events and climate change. There was of course Hurricane Sandy, the most violent tropical storm since Katrina, which ravaged the Caribbean and the US East Coast, killing more than 250 people, and causing widespread flooding and physical damage. But 2012 was also the worst drought in the US since the dustbowl era of the 1930s. And, with 9.2m acres burnt, it was the third worst wildfire season in US history. The UK experienced its wettest summer for 100 years and 2012 as a whole was the second wettest year since records began, just a few millimetres short of the record set in 2000. There was also extreme flooding in Australia, Thailand, West Africa, Pakistan, Argentina and China, plus unusual and devastating temperature lows in Russia and Eastern Europe. Scientific institutions like the Tyndall Centre in the UK, NASA in the US and the United Nations World Meteorological Organisation (UNWMO) in Geneva fell over themselves to say that the increasing number of extreme weather events was the result of manmade global warming. In the words of the UNWMO: “Climate change is “Doha is essentially an agreement to do absolutely nothing“ taking place before our eyes and will continue to do so as a result of the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” Global carbon emissions are now 58% higher than in 1990, the year the international community first started talking about reducing them. The 2012 UN climate negotiations in Doha are widely agreed to have been Au s t e r i t y b i t e s i nto UK nu t r it i on by Tamzin Pinkerton Sales of fruit, vegetables and all major nutrients have dropped to all but the highest income families in the UK over the last four years, according to the government’s annual Family Food survey, the most detailed annual snapshot of spending on food and drink. Families have less money because of the recession, but Greenland is melting five times faster than in the early 1990s. Photo © 2009 James Balog/Extreme Ice Survey for the film Chasing Ice a disaster. Teresa Anderson of Transition Town Totnes and the Gaia Foundation, who was at the conference, said: “Doha is essentially an agreement to do absolutely nothing.” Alongside the extreme weather events came climate trends that scientists dared not dream of five years ago. The most terrifying was the disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, which reached a new annual minimum in September 2012. Until recently, most scientists thought it would be the second half of this century before the ice started to melt appreciably. Now Arctic experts like Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University say it could all be gone by 2015. If the ice cover goes, then the sea will soak up the sun’s heat rather than reflecting it back out into space. Prof. Wadhams calculates that the loss of the Arctic sea ice in the summer will CONT. PAGE 3 food is also considerably more expensive. Wet weather and crop damage in the UK; droughts in other major food exporting countries; biofuel production on arable land; and the rising cost of fuel, animal feed, pesticides and fertilisers on global markets: all have combined to force a steep rise in food prices. Figures from the British Retail Consortium show that food price inflation reached 4.6% in October 2012. Waitrose chairman, Mark Price, has warned it could rise to 5% and beyond in 2013. Rising prices don’t always lead households to eat less - often good quality food is being replaced by food that has dubious nutritional value. A recent study for The Guardian showed that, since 2010, the levels of processed, high-fat foods consumed by families living on an annual income of under £25,000 has soared. As food production gets more industrialised, lower quality and cheaper, so health declines. According to government figures, more than one in four of the UK adult population is now clinically REPORT PAGE 4 WORLD NEWS pages 6-7 PEOPLE page 12 REVIEWS page 13 ARTS page 16 FOOD pages 18-19 WELL-BEING page 20 PRACTICAL page 22 SPORT back page

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