Image credit: Dean Philpot
Community-lead Transition Town groups have been spreading like wildfire across the Globe. From planting nut trees in community parks to nurturing local economies and local currencies, they tend to focus on community resilience, self determination, and taking action to build a better world with your neighbors. But some people don't see it that way—at least one online pundit seems concerned that they are part of a sinister online conspiracy to "take your land away".
It seems YouTube user Dean Philpot is concerned that the Transition Movement is a front group for a sinister government-lead conspiracy that is planning to take over our lives and remove our freedom. Pointing a finger at the United Nation's Agenda 21 which emerged from the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, and which is apparently seen by some as a master plan for global domination, Philpot warns us that the movement was founded by "this guy" (see our interview with Rob Hopkins for more on his sinister agenda), and that it has links with the Post Carbon Institute. He then raises the prospect that the whole movement may be a scam to "take away our land."
As someone who has spent some time among environmentalists with their own conspiracy theories about corporate control, it is interesting to see how these complex narratives are used on the far right too. While it may be tempting to laugh off such extreme narratives, they aren't without danger. As Hopkins argued on his piece about why political activism and transition should stay at arms length, part of the movement's strength has been its ability to attract folks from all backgrounds, biases and political persuasions and to get people talking about what really matters to them on common ground. In fact I've met many libertarian-leaning, anti-big government folks who are inspired and motivated by the idea of transition.
As we saw with the great global warming conspiracy debacle, outlandish ideas can quickly catch hold in some circles. It's worth knowing what people are saying. (At least that's what my political paymasters tell me.)