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Just in time for this Saturday's Reskilling Expo, we deconstruct the Transition Movement's new term for learning old ways.

By Rula al-Nasrawi

Coined four years ago at the onset of Britain's Transition movement, the term "reskilling" refers to learning long-forgotten basic sustainability skills to help reduce energy use and preserve our natural resources. In the words of Michael Levy of Transition Santa Cruz--which, like the British movement, endeavors to prepare for a post-oil economy--"It's based on the idea that we have lost a lot of our basic skills. All of these skills will be relevant with energy becoming scarcer and more expensive."

Levy and many others believe all we really need is a simple refresher course. From beekeeping to water catchment to learning how to reduce food costs, reskilling is all about going back to our roots and conserving energy in the process. As Levy would say, it's a way to "'relocalize' by building the local skill base and economy to replace products, jobs and resources that are dependent on cheap fuel and a global economy." Transition Santa Cruz holds a Reskilling Expo Saturday, Oct. 17, 10am-4pm at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Cruz. Learn more at

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