Glossary of terms

As with all organisations or specialist fields, the transition movement uses particular terms or phrases to embody certain concepts that may be unfamiliar to the general reader. Definitions for some of the most frequently used ones are given here.

Peak oil: There is a limited amount of oil that we can extract from the Earth. Peak oil refers to the point at which the supply of that oil is at its limit. After this point, oil supply will begin to decline. [source: ecomii]

Climate change: The periodic fluctuations in global temperatures and precipitation, such as the glacial (cold) and interglacial (warm) cycles of the Pleistocene (a geological period from 1.8 million to 10,000 years ago). Presently, the increase in global temperatures since 1900 is of great interest. Many atmospheric scientists and meteorologists believe it is linked to human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. [source: ecomii]

Sustainable oceans/Sustainable seas: The need to fish wisely, without overfishing to extinction, and to maintain ocean reserves.

Peak water: Peak water is reached when the rate at which water is demanded is higher than the rate at which the supply is replenished. There is a vast amount of water on the planet but sustainably managed water is becoming scarce. Much of the world's water in underground aquifers and in lakes behaves like a finite resource by being depleted. The peak usage sparks debates similar to those about peak oil. There is concern that the state of peak water is being approached in many areas around the world. If present trends continue, 1.8 billion people will be living with absolute water scarcity by 2025, and two thirds of the world population could be subject to water stress. Peak water is not about running out of fresh water, but the peaking and subsequent decline of the production rate of the water. [source: Wiki Encyclopedia]