We are now hosting a stall at the Big Pineapple Grower’s Markets each Saturday morning!!
Meet and mingle at the Transition Town stall inside the Big Pineapple’s main building each Saturday from 6.30 am to 12.00 noon and join a table for conversations.

For more details please contact
Jeanette and John Isaacs-Young: 5442 2118 or 0438 562 118 ttnambour@yahoo.com.au ; jeanette@lifestreamassociates.com.au
From March 2012 we hope to resume meetings at the CWA Hall, Short Street, Nambour on the 4th Wednesday of every month
from 7.00 pm. The CWA hall is next to the Nambour Town Square and adjoining the IGA supermarket complex.

All are welcome to join us at Transition events!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Friday, April 6, 2012

Elizabeth Fekonia

Elizabeth Fekonia will be at the Transition stall at the Big Pineapple Saturday morning 7th March  from10am. She will be demonstrating how to create saurkraut and answering all your questions on home food production.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hello fellow Transition Towners and folk who have recently registered interest through Nicole Foss or the Big Pineapple!
Transition Nambour had monthly meetings over the last couple of years. Since taking on the Big Pineapple Markets TT stall during our summer recess a few things have changed in people’s lives, and we are instead hosting a number of community events.
The next one for this year will be in April: a pot luck dinner followed by an open space ‘conversation’ to discuss where we might focus our energies and attention during the rest of the year.
We welcome folk from beyond (greater Nambour) who are just interested or are getting ready to launch other local Transition groups. It could be a rich and vibrant evening!
Venue to be confirmed and it will be Tuesday April 17th, in Nambour. 5.30 for dinner (pot luck) – 8.30 .
 We recently had a stall at the Montville Sustainability Fair, and this resulted in an invitation to offer a positive Transition perspective at the Coal Seam Gas rally at Mapleton last Sunday.
At a meeting this week themed ‘Small is Beautiful’ and hosted by Nambour Community Centre the Open Space process came up with 3 topics: transport, ‘having no friends’, and transition equipment (stuff that does not require fossil fuels or power)
 We’d like to remind people about preferential voting if you are voting in the State Election. You don’t have to ‘just vote one’. On the contrary, it is our democratic right to put preferences, and in the case of closely contested seats, or where there are Independent candidates it can make a huge difference.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review of Nicole Foss's talk at The Big Pineapple on 9 February

On Thursday 9th February Nicole Foss spoke to several hundred people at The Big Pineapple, Woombye. This was the largest turnout for a Transition Nambour event, the largest Nicole had spoken to anywhere in the world, and the first public event at the venue since its re-opening under new ownership.

The strength of the turnout may be attributed to the strong viral networking amongst the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane sustainability and environmental groups, and to the broader spectrum radio interviews that Transition Nambour was able to set up with Radio National “Life Matters” and Annie Gaffney (ABC Coast FM). Congratulations to the organising team. Annie’s support before, during and after the event was much appreciated.

Once the news of Nicole’s talk was out on the radio it was the strength of her message that attracted at least half of the new attendees and strengthened the resolve of the “already converted”. Her message is one that, like or not, one has to listen to in order to help make major decisions about the future.

In addition to this talk Nicole had time to spend a few hours talking with senior Sunshine Coast Council officers and to business people and academics at the Innovation Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast. The main event was well supported by Council staff and councilors Jenny MacKay and Keryn Jones (Environment) attended.

Nicole spoke for and hour and a half after which there was a break for refreshments. She then continued to field a wide range of questions for a further hour, in spite of having had no sleep for over 24 hours.

 Nicole’s academic experience draws together avenues of thought from a wide variety of disciplines, allowing her to see clearly the macro-economic position the world finds itself in today, and at the same time understanding the underlying human emotions that drive economies.

Nicole laid out her argument in a carefully orchestrated and illustrated PowerPoint display explaining a complex subject with enviable clarity and precision of language. Her relentless logic seemed to hit home.

She described the world economy as a giant “ponzi” scheme built on 30 years of expanding credit since the liberalisation of the major world economies in the 1980’s. This credit expansion was fueled on the way up by cheap oil energy and it has created very high levels of debt for citizens, businesses and governments.

Her argument runs that such wealth creation is largely a chimera as it is based entirely on the availability of cheap credit and property value is unrelated to its ability to generate income, or to its real underlying value. Property is at the heart of our economic peril because this property is the collateral used to expand the world wide credit system, and when the credit market dries up  (as in 2008) there exist far too many claims on the underlying (and now devaluing) collateral resulting in a credit implosion, asset price deflation and the grinding to a halt of the world economy.

Nicole sees the coming depression as being deeper and longer than that of the 1930’s because we no longer have a cheap source of fuel to help us climb our way out of the hole. The cost of extracting even the vast reserves left in the world are so high that the nett energy out represents little more than 40% of the reserves. That is, it costs 60% of the energy recovered just to extract itself.

All bubbles burst eventually she explained and they usually fall harder and faster than they climbed up, as they are driven by fear. She also claimed that they normally undershoot the point from which they started. This, she predicts, might see a return to asset values similar to those last seen in the 1970’s.

Nicole regards the major economies’ attempts to “band aid” their way out of trouble through Quantitative Easing, public purchase of private banks in crisis and by offering more debt to troubled countries like Greece as dealing only with the symptoms of the disease, and not with the deep underlying problems.

Australia’s unique problems include a strong reliance on international credit for property loans (at risk of a collapsing European credit market), rising oil imports, climate change, a dependency on fossil fuel derived nitrates for farming (and real soil depletion), and a vulnerability to the decline in commodity prices (now coming off their high) as the Chinese economic bubble starts to deflate.

Nicole was able to explain what happens in a deflationary economy both internationally and at home. She explained carefully why we would have deflation not inflation as in Weimar Germany  (a credit contraction not a money supply contraction) and she explained how people react in such circumstances, exacerbating the problem in an understandably human way.

Her advice was to rent property or own it without debt if you can. Renting is just a clever way of letting someone else experience a devaluing asset!

Pay off all debt because debt just creates a type of indenture to others, and debts will be chased for recovery. In the short term cash is king but in the medium term, banks are likely to fail and short-term government bonds are probably best, but nothing is guaranteed. Beyond that, if you have cash available and recoverable, you may be able to buy some hard assets very cheaply. Gold is both over allocated and of little use in practice, and will crash in value as no one will have any cash to buy it with.

Finally she delivered a more up beat assessment of how we can mitigate the worst of these effects. Nicole spoke at some length about how to deal with living through such a crisis in the world economy and emphasised the unique role of local community sharing and networking. She sees a key element to be that of de-centralising utilities and services (local power supply, local food supply, local government decisions/accountability, barter currencies, etc), and not to be expecting big government top- down solutions.

Building a new economy through grassroots movements like the Transition Network and building local resilience through permaculture groups will be important.

Life after such a power-down would be slower and there would be less consumer choice but it could be better, and planning for such an event – given the constraints that will also arise through expensive fuel and ongoing climate change – is vitally important. 

By experiencing such a change we will learn to value the true wealth within our lives –wealth that cannot simply be measured by a unit of currency  - the Earth, our soil (where true wealth resides), relationships, family, community, the arts and our true culture.

There will be a Transition Nambour  follow up meeting to discuss Nicole's talk soon. She writes as “Stoneleigh” on www.theautomaticearth.org

Think Global, Act Local.

James Macdonald-Buchanan

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Nicole Foss visit to the Sunshine Coast

On Thursday evening 9th February Transition Nambour special guest, Nicole Foss, gave an excellent presentation at the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast Queensland.

The night was very well attended by a receptive and appreciative audience. Following her talk there was an interesting Question and Answers session.

Nicole’s message has struck a chord with many people and her visit has been a catalyst for a number of positive initiatives in the area.

Please note that Nicole's website - The Automatic Earth now has a new web address: -   http://theautomaticearth.org/

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Talk by Nicole Foos at the Big Pineapple on Thursday 9th February at 6.00 pm

Why is your local community the answer 
to global economic implosion?

Transition Town Nambour 
invites you to consider…THE BIG PICTURE
at an evening with

Thursday 9th Feb 2012 
5.30 pm for 6.00 pm start

 The Big Pineapple, 
Nambour Connection Rd, Woombye

Talk followed by Questions & Answers, tea and coffee 

Nicole Foss is one of those all too rare big picture people who
both understands and can explain the links between the many converging factors now threatening to re-design 
life as we have known it.

Tickets: $10.00/$8.00 concession - Available at the door
or from the Transition Town Nambour stall  at the Big Pineapple GrowersMarkets  every Saturday morning

For more information please call : 07 5442 2118 or 0438 562 118

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Transition Town stall at the Big Pineapple Growers’ Market on Saturday morning 4 February

Down to earth gardener, Dee Humphries from Kin Kin, will be our special guest at the Transition Town stall at the Big Pineapple Growers Market on Saturday 4th February.

Dee will share her knowledge of edible weeds and growing animals as food plus will give helpful hints on how to make 18-day compost.

Visit the Transition Town stall for useful information on sustainable living and upcoming community events. Browse the markets from 6.30 am to 12.00 noon each Saturday.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guests coming to the Transition Town stall at the Big Pineapple Growers’ Market on Saturday mornings

On Saturday January 21st, Dee Humphries will be our guest at the Big Pineapple Transition Town stall to  answer questions about making 18 day compost, growing animals as food and edible weeds.

On Saturday 28th January Doug and Linda Mahony will bring along samples and talk about establishing food gardens which survive the Queensland summer.

Some and join us at out Transition Town stall for a chat and to network from 6.30 am to 12.00 noon each Saturday.

NICOLE FOSS – Her Australian tour starts at the BIG PINEAPPLE - 6 pm Thursday Feb 9th
Zero Carbon by 2020 was at the Woodford Folk Festival – Transition Town Report
         What happened at The Green House at Woodford Folk Festival?
·        Why would we spend up big on a yesterday’s monster?
·        What is wrong with a national electricity grid in times of financial and energy contraction?
·        What does the global financial crisis have to do with renewable energy?
·        Why do climate activists think it’s ok to do deals?
·        Why is small both beautiful and resilient?

At last the weather was kind to the Woodford Folk Festival making it just that bit easier for people and networks of ideas to intersect amongst the music and comedy. One of several of my duties this year was self appointed monitor of the Green House program for Transition Nambour. The Green House if you haven’t been there, is that venue where environmental and related issues are spruiked and work shopped. There was much talk for example, on the hot topic of coal seam gas and plenty of discussion on growing and processing your own food. But a new presence this year was an organization calling itself Zero Carbon Australia 2020 - Beyond Zero Emissions. These folk seemed to be very organized and had been given the large booth at the entrance to the venue. They promoted their cause with vigor on and off the program and were actively seeking recruits for a grass roots platoon for their campaign. The session I attended was conducted by a flawlessly self confident young lady. She had learnt her stuff and held our attention as she delivered the blueprint for the transition to a completely de-carbonized Australian economy by 2020. Hundreds of experts are involved in this not for profit project. When the plans are complete, they will be handed over to corporations to implement – the same that have been funding the research. I was very impressed by the boldness of the project and the quality of the research and completely unconvinced of its legitimacy.
One of the key components of the plan involves the replacement of all existing coal and gas fired power stations with large scale wind farms and solar thermal plants involving the storage of heat energy in liquefied salt. These old and proven technologies, in large format, will provide base power in support of our national electricity grid into the future.
I am not qualified to hold any position on the technology as such, which may or may not be adequate to the appointed task but I am quite prepared to suspend any doubts on that score and concede this might well be good technology. My difficulty is with the national electricity grid itself – that darling of our centralist planners, big energy companies and investors. It works now but is it in fact viable into the future? My other difficulty is with those climate change activists who suppose it’s in the interests of the climate and humanity that they support the perpetuation of big centralized systems such as our national power grid.
In his essay ‘Money verses Fossil Fuel’, David Holmgren, the co founder of Permaculture, sets out a position that challenges much of the strategic logic behind current mainstream climate change activism. He describes the moneyed interests supporting the alternative energy agenda as more problematic than the miners and polluters themselves.
 “The out of control power of money and markets is leading us more rapidly towards the collapse of human civilization than the short-comings and impacts of any specific activity or technology including the burning of fossil fuels.” http://www.holmgren.com.au/
Climate activists are right to be concerned about the big polluters and about finding alternative, non polluting technologies, for generating electricity. But the cleanliness of the technology is one thing – size, resilience and who owns it, turn out to be just as significant. Can we or should we, like the Zero folk, be attempting to maintain or increase our current levels of power generation. Should we continue to buy into the debt/growth based model that is part and parcel of big centralize systems?
David Holmgren - “And many environmental activists have failed to grasp the importance of energetic limits to the wider human project in the quest for politically acceptable solutions to the climate dilemma.”
Amongst the big operators in the global economy are those who accumulate wealth by exploiting the natural world directly and those who make it big-time by ‘clever’, more abstract means, in the market place. These two groups are mutually inter-dependant but also constantly at war with one another. Both of them are deeply committed to the debt based growth model and the creation of larger and larger systems with each jostling for the controlling high ground. But both groups are in fact losing control and both are now hell bent on self preservation. Only the big fish survive in the current economic climate and the path to survival is through merger and acquisition, financed by more debt.
 Says Ashvin Pandurangi of the Automatic Earth, “The largest institutions are clearly the least flexible to ‘new and unexpected’ conditions that will arise: and therefore are the most acutely vulnerable to “black swans” and systemic shocks on the tightropes stretching across every line of latitude from the North to South Pole. Look out below!” <http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-7-2012-death-of-institution.html>
 ‘Big’ is increasingly vulnerable and economies of scale and the laying off of workers is increasingly, obviously counter-productive. The very survival process is hastening the demise of the system as a whole. Of the two groups however, David Holmgren sees the ‘clever’ group, those not involved directly in exploiting the earth for profit, as the more imminent threat to life as we know it. These folk are more involved with wild speculative bubbles and complex schemes involving massive leverage. And it is these folk who often support large scale alternative energy technologies.
David Holmgren - “Our money and markets are the most complex products of this deeply ingrained faith in human ‘brilliance’ (hubris). And just as their foundational beliefs are incomplete, so is their expression extremely dangerous.” http://www.holmgren.com.au/
After the so called green shoots of recovery, the signs are here again of a liquidity crunch in the asset markets. In fact the situation looks much worse than 2008, when there was still a store of faith to draw upon. That faith has been drained away by feckless regulators and authorities who failed to address any of the root causes of the crisis or bring anyone to account. Instead they have been spreading, layer upon layer, thin-as-air-funny-money, over the top of the symptoms. Anyone who has paid the least bit of attention knows that these ‘magic money layers’ have proved to be anything but magic. Not only are the root causes still with us (too much debt, vast regional financial imbalances) but they have grown steadily throughout the intervening period.
As Nicole Foss explains, “our vulnerability to the consequences of debt is extremely high at the moment. The scale of that debt is staggeringly large. The global credit hyper-expansion has been decades in the making… we should be in for the largest economic contraction in several hundred years, and it will be global.” http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-3-2012-storm-surge-of.html
The trouble with deleveraging is that once it gains momentum, money is sucked out of the system through massive debt default and falling asset values. There will be no money around to fund new projects and no one who has it will be willing to lend it.  As demand falls, and with it prices, investment in the energy sector in general is likely to dry up. An effective transition to a big system, carbon free economy will no longer be possible under these circumstances. Because these conditions are already underway, the likelihood of realizing this 2020 dream becomes more and more remote. On the other hand, carbon emission may well drop owing to reduced demand and without the help of climate activists or big ‘green’ corporations.
Nicole Foss - “One of our consistent themes at TAE (The Automatic Earth blog spot) has been not expecting solutions to come from the top down. Existing centralized systems depend on dwindling tax revenues, which will dry up to a tremendous extent over the next few years as economic activity falls off a cliff and property prices plummet.”
Hello Zero Carbon people. I like your technology. How about bringing your know-how and enthusiasm down to Nambour? With your help we’ll drum up some real grass roots support for a local, small scale, solar thermal, molten salt plant. What do you say? A community scale power plant and grid, owned locally, that supplies only its immediate locale is part of a very different story to the one that you are currently championing. What is politically acceptable to leaders and bureaucrats in Canberra or Brisbane won’t work up here. We are looking for a resilient decentralized system that is not owned or funded by mad bad corporations and does not want to grow beyond its means.
 “Climate activists in particular”, says David Holmgren, “tend to focus on the fossil energy industries as the ‘enemy’ (both for generating greenhouse gases and funding climate change denial), but naturally see any parties accepting the new climate agenda as allies. I believe that many of the global players promoting the climate agenda are as dangerous as those denying that agenda.”
One has to choose ones battles. Why go after big polluters, guns blazing, when deleveraging is already moving against them. Why make common cause with governments, central planners and corporations who sound like environmentalists but are really growth junkies, for whom our one earth is just too small. Step back a moment, allow deleveraging to do the fighting for you, then throw your weight behind a truly worthy cause - like community building and localization. Soon enough, the effects of peak oil will also be fighting on the side of the environment to lower carbon emissions.
 David Holmgren - “And many environmental activists have failed to grasp the importance of energetic limits to the wider human project (which includes energy flows in financial systems) in the quest for politically acceptable solutions to the climate dilemma.” http://www.holmgren.com.au/
There are reasons why a smooth and easy transfer to a green energy economy is unlikely to happen merely because it’s a good idea. One cannot, for example, overestimate the level of psychological embeddedness of almost every one of us in the context into which we are born and have lived. The industrial age is our age after all. Whether it continues to advantage us or not, the underlying assumptions upon which it was built are fundamental to our lives and identities, almost like breathing. Only at the edges do some of us start to question the under-pinning stories. We are not converted so easily, even to sensible ideas; intellectually perhaps but not profoundly.
Ilargi – (Nicole’s writing partner at The Automatic Earth) -  “It’s high time we begin to understand to what extent the interests of the politicians and bankers and CEOs that we allow to make our decisions for us (read against us) differ from our own. But since our education system and media have denied the very existence of any such difference all of our lives, this understanding will be very hard to come by for 99% of the 99%.” http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2012/01/january-7-2012-death-of-institution.html
Even in the face of the disintegration of the world as we know it, we will tend to want to cling to our big-system-world and demand that it be fixed. Most of us will continue to lend our support to those who claim to be able to bring it back. Those who enjoy or have enjoyed positions of power are even more invested and will be relentless in their efforts to rebuild the big systems. Time and again this will look like it is going to work only to fail again. Eventually we will get the idea. There will be a shift in values and a different way of doing things.
 Nicole Foss - “We have already seen cuts to services and increases in taxes and user fees, and we can expect a great deal more of that dynamic as central authorities emulate hypothermic bodies. In other words, they will cut off the circulation to the fingers and toes in order to preserve the core. This is of course, a survival strategy, from the point of view of the core. But it does nothing good for the prospects of ordinary people, who represent the fingers and the toes.”
Transposing this general comment on the economy to the national electricity grid, you can see that when ordinary consumers have difficulties paying their accounts then there is less revenue and reduced capacity for grid maintenance. When sections of the grid are not maintained, outlying customers lose service. This is the nature of big systems. They work in orderly, abundant times but are otherwise loaded with inefficiencies and grave vulnerabilities. Big systems are sitting ducks for cyber or physical attacks on hardware.
Nicole Foss – “The job of national and international politicians in contractionary times is typically to make a bad situation worse as expensively as possible, as they attempt to rescue the dying paradigm that has conveyed so much personal advantage in their direction. That paradigm is one of centralization – the accumulation of surpluses from a broad periphery at the centre of power.”
Anyone who is a little familiar with how the exponential function operates within our growth model or what complexity theory tells us about mature systems under stress knows that our current way of doing things is no longer working and all attempts to fix it can only make it less functional. Despite initial appearances, the Zero Carbon plan for the national power grid is one of probably many attempts to enliven, improve or save an imperial scale technology.
Nicole Foss - “Such systems cannot be responsive within the time-frame that would actually matter in a financial crisis, where risk is cascading system failure, potentially in a short period of time. Everything they might do is too complex, too expensive and too slow to do much good. If we expect top –down solutions we will be disappointed, and more to the point we will be unprepared to face a period of rapid change. By the time we realize that the cavalry is not coming, it may well be too late to do anything useful.”
Let’s say you are a former corporate director, high-level officer or government official.  And let’s say you have bled your institution dry and retired with a nice package. Why not set up a “non-profit” research organization and use it as a front to lobby in favour of certain corporate interests – what about large scale green energy? Why not, it is a long term cash cow if ever I saw one, a real on the ground asset. I think that would be quite a good retirement plan for you and you’d be doing your bit for the earth. Incidentally, I think there’d be something in it for you -probably quite a bit actually, in one way or another.  See Pew Charitable Trusts for ideas. They will help you and so will countless climate activists worldwide.
Nicole Foss – “Fortunately, other strategies exist beyond attempting to preserve the unpreservable. What we must do is to decentralize – to build parallel systems to deliver the most basic goods and services in ways that are simple, cheap and responsive to rapidly changing circumstances.”
To discover more about how we might go about building these parallel systems, we will need to go along to the Big Pineapple and listen to Nicole.  She is happy to keep answering questions till everybody is satisfied.
Nicole Foss is giving her first talk of her Australian tour on the Sunshine Coast February 9th between 6pm and 9 pm at the main hall, The Big Pineapple Woombye. Tickets are $10 and $8 and will be available at the door and at the Transition Town Nambour stall at the Big Pineapple on Saturday mornings prior to the event.
The Facebook page for her Australian tour can be found at
Zero Carbon people in Melbourne, Nicole is speaking with Professor Steve Keen at Ceres Community Environmental Park by Merri Creek in East Brunswick February 19th. 9am to 3.30 pm. Don’t miss it. http://www.ceres.org.au/

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nicole Foss talk at The Big Pineaple Thursday night, 9th February

Why is your local community the answer 

to global economic implosion?

Transition Town Nambour 
invites you to consider…THE BIG PICTURE
at an evening with

Thursday 9th Feb 2012 
5.30 pm for 6.00 pm start

The Big Pineapple, Woombye

Talk followed by Q & A, tea and coffee 

Nicole Foss is one of those all too rare big picture people who both understands
 and can explain the links between the many converging factors
now threatening to re-design life as we have known it.

Tickets: $10.00/$8.00 concession - Available at the door
or from the Transition Town Nambour stall  at the Big Pineapple GrowersMarkets  
every Saturday morning

For more information: 07 5442 2118 or 0438 562 118

Thursday February 9th, 6.00pm at the Big Pineapple!

 Transition Towns Nambour hosts first stop on Nicole Foss' Australian speaking tour!!

Nicole's Message: Of the three storms threatening our modern way of life – Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Economic Crisis - Nicole focuses her attention on the third less widely understood economic storm. Because, she says, the time scale with finance is so much shorter than changes in energy or climate.   In September 2008 we came within hours of the global banking system seizing up. That’s how quickly events can unfold. The situation is global and Nicole will explain why Australia is not immune.

Who is Nicole Foss: Nicole Foss is one of those all too rare big picture people who both understands and can explain the links between the many converging factors now threatening our world. She has degrees in science and has worked in nuclear safety and grid technology.  She has two law degrees, acquired she said because ‘I was interested in the codification of power hierarchies and finding out how the world really works”. Her home is a farm run on Permaculture principles outside Ottawa Canada.
According to Nicole, "we must prepare right now for the onset of a period of deflation and depression. Many people are reluctant to make preparations until they see the roof on fire, but by then it will be too late to take action".
Nicole recommends that we should endeavour to clear debt and remain financially liquid, in order to maintain freedom of action and gain some control over the essentials of our own existence: Building social capital in our own communities is urgent.There is no time to waste.The future is at our doorstep and it does not look like the past as we have known it.

Advance purchase tickets available at the Transition Nambour in the main building at the Big Pineapple Growers Markets. Every Saturday morning 6.30 am to 11.30 am:
For more information Ph: 0438562118

5.30 pm Doors open for Transition display; 6.00 pm Nicole Foss seminar start; 7.30pm Short break for light refreshments; 7.50pm Questions & Answers; 9.00pm Finish