Identifying Transition Ingredients
People, communities, and organizations are already working to create resilience and sustainability. Some for quite a while now. But they tend to be doing their thing in isolation from each other and with limited awareness of how powerful they could be. They’re doing transition without knowing it. Oh, if only they knew what they were doing?!
Transitions Lehigh Valley wants to raise the we’re-in-this-together consciousness as well as the awareness that wow-what-we’re-actually-doing-is-working-for-system-change, the awareness that transition is already happening. One way we’ll be doing that is by identifying the transition ingredients to be found in events we’ll be posting on our Events calendar during the coming year.
Here are some of the ingredients we’ll be calling attention to:
Need: Focus on Objective Conditions: the immediacy of crises that threaten our way of life, even our existence: catastrophic changes due to global climate instability are looming, as is the disarray of a post-peak oil world, the malaise of economic collapse, centralization of governmental power at the expense of local rights, and unending military excesses abroad.
Readiness: Focus on Subjective Conditions: the burgeoning of responses to these challenges: 350.org’s Sept 24, 2011 Moving Planet day of around the globe action for sane climate policies; 1,252 North Americans arrested in front of the White House protesting against the tar sands pipeline; Pittsburgh and other municipalities passing rights-based bans on fracking; farmer-consumer groups fighting for local foods, like raw milk, and against industrial frankenfoods, like GMO salmon or GMO rice; Occupy Wall Street, begun 9/17/2011, and its many offshoots; hundreds of communities around the world (100 in the United States) becoming official Transition Initiatives (http://www.transitionus.org/ ).
Process/Ingredients: Initiating Transition: Creating the new system: The Transition Movement is essentially establishing a social field, providing a rationale, values, and strategies for individuals, households, communities, organizations, and publics to take actions away from fossil fuels and other unsustainable life threatening modalities to local life-affirming resilience.
- Reskilling: Learning/teaching that results in people gaining the wide range of skills needed for creating a localized economy and resilient community. Involves recognizing the skills and approaches that underlaid the resilience of ancestral cultures as well as developing new skills needed for our times.
- Rethinking: The changes in thinking/paradigms needed for transitioning to resilient communities.
- Building a regional food system: Focus on local food production, regional food distribution system (farmers markets, CSAs, buying clubs), protecting farmers and consumers from agribusiness and agribusiness-promoting agencies, community and household gardens and livestock raising, and foraging for wild foods.
- Energy descent: successfully adapting to the move away from fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas) and toward conservation, appropriate energy use, and renewable forms of energy.
- Community Rights: The right of communities to true sustainability, to democratic self-government, and to community bills of rights that can drive change up to state and federal levels.
- Local Transition Initiative: A local effort in the works to create a Transition community.
- Open Space Days: A democratically run meeting technique used to engage the public directly in sharing their concerns and ideas for community-led solutions.
- Community Land Use and Transportation: Settlement patterns serving community needs, taking energy concerns into account, and enabling resilience.