Why Transition? Five Good Reasons

Transition imageSome things are so forehead-slapping obvious, you can miss them.  (From my journal entry, Sunday, January 19.)  A year ago, I had put together a tour of Just One Backyard, Dr. John Zahina-Ramos’ amazing urban edible garden project.  Everyone who attended was excited by the possibilities.  In the interim, my core Transition group of  ‘mullers’ — that is, people who are thinking about what we need to do to launch a movement in our community — lost membership (to relocation) and momentum.  Other projects, e.g. a vegetable patch at my congregation, First UU of the Palm Beaches, the Walk for Our Grandchildren last summer, Symphony of the Soil in the fall, came my way and claimed my attention.  

Clearly, the time for a self-administered Transition booster shot has arrived.  Obvious choice: back to basics — the ideas and practical tools of the Transition Movement, shared as widely as possibly.  Yesterday I began posting direct quotes from Rob Hopkins’ The Transition Companion in the Transition Palm Beach Startup Facebook page and other FB groups to which I belong. Think of them as seed-bombs (another tool about which more in a forthcoming post).

Here are five reasons for investing in Transition that speak to me strongly, mostly quoted from The Transition Companion.  In some cases, I’ve cited the original source to facilitate tracking it down.  If you are uncertain about what the Transition Movement is, this list will help, and so will the links that follow.  If enough of us clear-thinking individuals really grasp the fact that the climate has already changed, we could stop confusing social media for action and find the thing we can do together.  

So Why Do Transition?

1. Because it’s fun! Transition is a community-building response to climate change and looming resource inequality that is “more exciting, nourishing and rewarding than not doing it.” ~ Rob Hopkins, The Transition Companion: Making Your Community More Resilient in Uncertain Times. (You could make some new friends and learn some new skills.)

2. “…because a more local economy in which assets and key enterprises are owned and managed by and on behalf of the local community, offers a better route to social justice, as well as local economic resilience than business-as-usual does.” ~ Rob Hopkins, ibid.  (Commit 10% of your purchases to your local businesses as a start.)

3.a  Because of climate change.  “It may seem impossible to imagine that technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.”  ~ Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: A Frontline Report on Climate Change.  (Kolbert is of course speaking from the perspective of an overwhelming majority of scientists.)

3.b  “It is clear that the challenge of climate change is about far more than low-energy bulbs, solar panels and slower driving speeds.  It is about a profound shift in what we do and how we do it; a complete adjustment of what we imagine to be lying in front of us, of our expectations of the future.“ Rob Hopkins, ibid.  

4. Because of economic crisis.  “Conventional economic growth and cheap oil have marched hand-in-hand for the best part of 60 years; within a few years, it will have become increasingly apparent that both are on their last legs.”  Jonathan Porritt, Capitalism: As if the World Matters.  

5.  Because it gives me hope.  “We often underestimate the power of hope – what in Transition we call ‘engaged optimism’. Getting started and making change in our lives is a hopeful activity that touches people deeply.”  Rob Hopkins, ibid.  (Change is easier in the company of friends.)

You can find more reasons and longer excerpts here: The Transition Network Sign up for Rob’s blog while you’re at it.  And check out the latest news about Transition: http://www.transitionnetwork.org/transition-free-press

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