Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Tracking transition towns -- by Ruah Swennerfelt

This is an excerpt from about in Ruah's new blog Transitionvision. Her latest post has reports from Rob Hopkins and others across the world at the Transition conference in the UK. See also the discussion site of her local group Transition Vermont and resources at Interfaith Power and Light.  For a book list see Visions of the future recommended by Friends.

I’m on a search for how our civilization will survive the current “perfect storm” of peak oil, climate disruption, and economic instability. We live in a time where our world economic system requires perpetual growth to survive. This is not sustainable since there is a limited supply of Earth’s resources available. My search will take me to Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Europe, Scandanavia, and North America. I want to help articulate the world vision that exists as a result of the wonderful efforts of Transition Town Initiatives, Sustainable Cities, and other municipal “green initiatives”. Like a quilt, each piece is unique and beautiful on its own, but the finished quilt is something greater than the parts. I hope that my research will reflect this whole as a blueprint for our necessary transition. I hope that you who follow my blog, will comment, suggest, argue, and support what I write. I’m depending on that interaction to enrich my research and the results of it.

How will the human race live as we enter the post-carbon world? What if people in towns or section of cities got together regularly for local foods potlucks, discussions about sharing resources and building resilience, listening to speakers and watching films, making music, and having fun? What if the place we each call home had really prepared for the end of cheap, abundant fossil fuels? What might that look like? Can one imagine bringing people together who are from different political viewpoints, different incomes, and different educational backgrounds? How can the obstacles to that vision be overcome? 

These are the goals of the Transition Town, Sustainable Cities, and other “green” movements. There are many fine grassroots movements around the globe that are individually working on community efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change and peak oil. It will be a difficult transition—with fewer resources to help that happen. I have learned from previous journeys about the difficulties of improving the lives of people in developing countries and the hopes and fears of people in our own country.

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