Image credit: Transition Culture
OK, my headline may be slightly misleading. I doubt every conservative is celebrating the news that the small town of Totnes will be getting £500,000 (about US$800,000) in government grant aid as part of the Low Carbon Communities initiative. But given the sharply ideological, anti-government comments from the climate 'skeptic' lobby here on TreeHugger recently, it's encouraging to see that this award is winning the support of some conservatives that are usually derisive of the greener elements in society. Rob Hopkins of Transition Culture tells us that an editorial in the Western Morning News, a paper that often denounces wind farms and whose letters pages are filled with the correspondence of climate skeptics, has placed itself firmly behind the award of the Low Carbon Communities grant. The paper even suggests that it is Totnes' very alternative, green culture that makes it such a sensible choice:
"Listen to the jeers of its critics and you would think the average resident of the TQ9 postcode was a sandal-wearing, crystal-gazing soap carver subsisting entirely on brown rice and organic parsnips.[...]In an interesting twist to the climate change debate, communities and individuals once seen as quaintly idiosyncratic for their way-out views have now become mainstream and may yet provide some of the answers to the biggest questions we all face. Totnes, which has been drawing free-thinkers with serious concerns about the environment for decades, now appears to have a concentration of like-minded individuals in the right place at the right time."
It's always good to see people reaching out past their own ideological or cultural comfort zone. As witnessed by Rob Hopkins' response to Alex Steffens' critique of Transition Towns, this is a movement that is intent on building bridges and making friends. It looks like that work is paying off.