What’s your sense at the moment of the movement of people around the world who are doing this kind of work, whether it’s Transition or your work or all the various other kind of things like it? This bottom-up, community-focused sense that the new economy that’s actually going to be able to sustain us needs to be run very very differently from the one we have at the moment which is failing so many people wretchedly at this point. What’s your sense of the state of health, where are we do you think?
There’s this common link that you and I have, which is climate change. Climate change, to me, is the over arching context of everything we deal with on the planet at this moment in time, and henceforth for the rest of our lives, our children’s lives and on into the future. It’s now become the 800 pound gorilla in the room, whether our politicians are able to act on it or not. Eventually they will, at different levels, and they already are at some levels, but as Thomas Friedman, who writes for the New York Times, says “Nature bats last”.
This month’s round up covers two months, because this time last month half of the team that lovingly create these round ups was away when they should have been producing this. As a result it’s a bit of a whopper. The latest Transition Bristol newsletter begins “In this issue…. The Bristol Pound is coming, the Bristol Pound is coming, oh, and lots of other stuff too! Read on”. That seemed like a good way for us to start too. The Bristol Pound, the vastly exciting imminent launch of a city-wide currency that is creating a frenzy of media interest, is nearly here. Here is a short film about it:
Here is a great new film from Peterborough about a project called ‘The Green Backyard’, which is developing a Transitioney/permaculturey/community resource/educational type thing in urban Peterborough. Beautiful film, with talking bees and everything. The Transition Companion makes an appearance too near the end… thanks to Daryl Mulvihill, who made it, for letting me know about it.
George Monbiot announced in the Guardian on Monday “We were wrong on peak oil. There’s enough to fry us all“, an article which concluded “peak oil hasn’t happened, and it’s unlikely to happen for a very long time”. Several people have written, and even stopped me while I’ve been out shopping, to ask for my take on his piece, so here it is. It has been a tricky thing to write, as in the time it took me to compose it, so many other interesting analyses of it have been posted, many of which I have tried to reference here. In a nutshell, I think Monbiot’s piece swallows an over-optimistic take on peak oil, and there are things in his piece that I disagree with and things that I agree with, although I don’t for a moment consider myself a peak oil expert. What he does prompt is a rethink in terms of how we present peak oil. Let’s start with the things I disagree with.
This dual review looks at the new documentary from film-maker Emma Goude and the pairing of it with the latest paperback offering from Transition co-founder Rob Hopkins. The Transition movement offers one possible solution to the problems and challenges arising from peak oil and climate change. It does this through a series of initiatives focused on the self-motivated rebuilding and reskilling of communities across the globe. It is an extraordinary worldwide movement giving rise to an ever-growing list of amazing and inspiring grass roots projects. And this latest book and film demonstrate that this 21st-century global phenomenon continues to expand and thrive.