Haven’t written much lately about the world-wide Transition Movement which we are trying to be a part of by building gardens, starting orchards, relearning lost skills and planning for disaster.
“The core purpose of the Transition Initiative is to address, at the community level, the twin issues of climate change and peak oil—the declining availability of “ancient sunlight,” as fossil fuels have been called. The initiative is set up to enable towns or neighborhoods to plan for, and move toward, a post-oil and low-carbon future: what Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Initiative, has termed “the great transition of our time, away from fossil fuels.” The world-wide economic debacle has insinuated itself into the motives for Transition which can be summarized as “preparing for an uncertain future.”
That great guru of the twentieth century, Yogi Berra, famously said that, “Predictions are difficult, especially about the future.” At this point, however, it’s hard to argue against the multiple realities of Peak Oil, climate change and economic disruption. As a result, the Transition Movement is gaining steam with world-wide initiatives. Transition.org summarizes them here: There’s lots of gardening, energy fairs, re-skilling activities, natural building, bicycling with videos that demonstrate this is a world phenomenon.
Although we have never formalized a Transition Lummi Island I think we are moving forward. If one considers the Disaster Preparedness Group which is gaining traction on the island (to get ready for short-term emergencies like winter storm, tsunami, volcanic eruption, wildfire, etc.), it’s possible to see the arc of these activities extended to a longer term. We are attempting to organize neighborhoods and utilize existing island organizations to manage the broad functions of: food, power, water/sewer, shelter and medical. Once this is organized properly it would seem logical to broaden the planning and training beyond the short term.
Our success in the future won’t depend on me having a garden or some rain water storage. It won’t depend on a few people who know how to preserve food or wildcraft. It won’t depend on the handful who have electric cars or bikes. It won’t depend on the fishermen and hunters. It will depend entirely on the ability of the community to work together in mutual support.
The problems we potentially face are overwhelming in scope. That’s the beauty of the Transition Movement because it focuses on the local, on what a smaller community can do that is practical, real, useful and visible.
“Transition communities have…looked at their own situation in various practical frames—for example, food production, energy use, building, waste, and transport—seeking to move toward a situation where a community could be self-reliant…. Strategies have included the promotion of local food production, planting fruit trees in public spaces, community gardening, and community composting…There are projects of seed saving, seed swapping, and creating allotments—small parcels of land on which individuals can grow fruit and vegetables…People never need communities more than when there are threats to security, food, and lives. The Transition Initiative recognizes how much we need this scale now, because of peak oil and climate change.”