A Stripey Sweater Fights Peak Oil, Proves Jimmy Carter Right... and Wrong (Video)
Image credit: Transition Culture
From planting nut trees for food security to launching local currencies, the international spread of the Transition Movement—a community-focused response to peak oil and climate change—has resulted in many concrete initiatives to increase resilience and decrease fossil fuel use. But it is equally as notable for its cultural influence, because as I have noted before, the stories we tell ourselves matter in the struggle for sustainability.
Here's a neat new project that stems from the forthcoming book, the Transition Companion, in which the story of transition is told through 10 everyday objects. So what the heck could a rather nasty stripey sweater (sorry fellow Brits, really I mean jumper!) have to do with getting us off fossil fuels?
Of course the sweater itself is just a prop, an opportunity to talk about a rather incredibly effort by a transition group and its local authority to teach over 300 council employees about climate change, peak oil and community resilience. The effort resulted in large energy savings, the founding of a car club and, yes, a "wear a nasty sweater to work" day to help keep heating bills down.
Of course any mention of a sweater and sustainability here in the US will inevitably evoke sneering remarks about Jimmy Carter. And I think there are lessons to be learned from this vido on that front too. Because Jimmy Carter was 100% right—clothing is the first line of defense in an effective insulation strate—and he was 100% wrong, in that an overly earnest approach to sustainability will leave it doomed to the sidelines.
Good on Rob Hopkins and the Transition folks for keeping things light, and still keeping it real in the process.