Community Peak Oil Training Tour Underway
Way back in my early days for writing for TreeHugger, I made a prediction for the year 2007 – arguing that we would see a huge increase in community solutions to climate change and resource depletion. It’s been a wild and bumpy ride since then, but we’ve seen the emergence of all kinds of community groups planning for a better future – from the Fifth US Conference on Peak Oil and Community Solutions, through to new guides for local authorities on peak oil. But the Transition Towns movement stands out as a shining light in community organizing - we’ve seen Transition Towns reaching New Zealand, Japan and more recently the birth of Transition Towns USA. And as I already reported - a Transition Towns Training world tour is currently underway. (Yes, a fossil-fuel powered Transition tour is ironic, but the organizers reckon that trainers travelling is better than trainees.) Here’s an update on the US leg of the Transition Towns tour:
The next city/town really was Montpelier, Vermont. Over 220 turned out on a cold night with snow forecast. Several people on the way in remarked on the number of activists turning up, and what a crowd, and what a buzz. This was a beautiful, well planned and well supported evening. I met up with the Transition Montpelier initiating group at a local organic restaurant for a light supper before the event and we talked and exchanged stories. One gentleman told me of the energy committees in so many of the towns in Vermont. He said that there was an energy committee in ¼ of the towns in Vermont. That’s huge!. Their remit was the same as the energy group of TTT, to reduce overall energy use and increase renewables. These groups work closely with Town Councils and other stakeholders. Powerdown seems to be a given, no awareness raising necessary.
Unfortunately not every arm of the tour has gone so smoothly, with only 8 people showing up in NYC. Whether this is down to the increased materialism of NYC, as instructor Naresh posits, or whether the tour failed to get the publicity it deserved, as Jody, a somewhat disgruntled New Yorker comments, it’s hard to say – but let’s hope the numbers are more like Vermont for the rest of the tour!
Further Reading on Transition Towns
The Times Newspaper on Transition Towns and ‘Apocalypse Now’
Transition Towns and Cities Emerge in the US
Transition Towns New Zealand Gains Strength
Transition Towns Reach Japan
Transition Towns Reach New Zealand
Transition Town Plants Up Nut Trees for Food Security
Interview with Rob Hopkins, founder of the movement
Transition City Bristol
The Transition Handbook
Transition Towns Reach Australia
The Virtual Orchard Project