What is Transition?
The fledgling Hale & Redlynch Transition Initiative is part of a fast-growing phenomenon that started in the UK and is spreading around the world. The idea behind Transition is that local people decide for themselves how to start making their local communities more resilient to the effects of climate change and peak oil - it is a way to take positive and meaningful action without waiting for government or global change. Since 2005, some 107 cities, towns, suburbs, villages & islands across Britain have become official Transition Initiatives, all finding ways to reduce their energy consumption, promote local economic prosperity and increase their sense of community. Find out more at transitiontowns.org/
What is Peak Oil?
Most of us know about climate change, and the need to reduce our use of fossil fuels in order to try to prevent the worst effects of climate change. But what does peak oil mean? In the next few years oil will become a much more precious commodity as world production peaks, and more countries join the USA, the UK and most of Europe as net importers. Once the peak is passed, the rest of the oil is harder and more expensive to extract. Demand will continue to increase in those countries which can still produce oil, making less available for export. Find out more at www.powerswitch.org
Why should this concern us now?
Oil started to make an impact on our lives at the start of the 20th century, when the world population was 1.65 billion. Mechanised agriculture and transport of food have enabled the population of the world to quadruple to 6.7 billion. Global food security is now utterly dependent on oil-based agriculture and transport methods, and many fundamental aspects of the modern western lifestyle rely on the cheap and abundant energy provided by fossil fuels. None of the renewable energy options currently invented could hope to replace more than a fraction of the energy we use.
What can we do?
The best thing we can do to prepare for the challenges ahead is to build better local resilience and self-sufficiency. This means starting to adapt to a lower energy lifestyle and developing more local food and energy options. As well as making us less vulnerable to global disruptions, the immediate benefits of stronger community networks and a thriving local economy are an obvious incentive for making the positive changes needed.