Transition folks from around the world gathered last weekend at Battersea Arts Centre for the 6th annual Transition Network conference. In a week when the Arctic ice reached its smallest ever extent, scientists warned that the world’s weather could be on the verge of running amok and it was suggested that Saudi Arabia, always meant to be the ‘swing producer’ on whom the rest of the world could depend for reliable oil supplies, may become a net importer of oil by 2030, the theme of the conference was, appropriately, ‘Building resilience in extraordinary times’. Unlike previous conferences which had spanned two, perhaps three days, this was, in effect, a 6 day ‘Festival of Transition’, and it turned out to be an extraordinary event which deeply affected those attending.
…whether there would be a White House garden had become more than a matter of landscaping. The question had taken on political and environmental symbolism, with the Obamas lobbied for months by advocates who believe that growing more food locally, and organically, can lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.
I never would have thought, until I had spent some time immersed in the world of permaculture and growing my own, that a large pile of rotting manure could be a source of such pleasure. There is something utterly magical about the biological processes that go on in a pile of decomposing organic matter, as the microfauna and bacteria alchemically transform it from one thing into an almost entirely different thing. It really is something worth getting very, very excited about.
I have to confess I had never really thought about this before. I strive to be mindful in daily life of not using more heated water than I need to, to keep energy bills and CO2 emissions down, and also of not wasting cold water, particularly for watering the garden, due to its being a precious resource. However, I had never really considered the carbon implications of the water that emerges from our taps.
The flyer for Transition Town Totnes is now done, is at the printers, and will be ready tomorrow. I thought those of you outside of the ‘pop into Totnes and pick one up’ radius would like to see it. It was done by the very creative, professional and patient Simon Blackler of Idealic in Ivybridge. Idealic is a South West Devon design agency specialising in corporate identity, concerned about the affects of climate change, wanting to work with companies who wish to work more sustainably, who I recommend wholeheartedly. You can download it here. Do feel free to print out and distribute or circulate in whatever way seems appropriate.