A Transition Town (or village or city, etc.) is a community-led response to the combined challenges – and opportunities – presented by climate change, fossil fuel depletion, and economic instability. It starts with a small initial group that comes together with a shared concern, then builds into a broad coalition of people and groups within a community. Together, they unleash the genius of the local community to design ways to reduce energy dependence, looking at all the key systems – food, energy, economics, education, transportation, textiles, health, etc. And they do it in ways that are practical, playful, cooperative, engaging, and mindful of the wider questions of biodiversity, social justice, and economic equity.
Two crucial ideas are at the heart of the Transition movement.
- We used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity, and adaptability on the way up the energy slope; there’s no reason for us not to do the same on the downslope.
- If we collectively plan and act early enough there’s a good chance we can create a way of living that’s significantly more vibrant and in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted treadmill we find ourselves on today.
Climate change makes the carbon reduction transition essential. Peak oil makes it inevitable. Transition initiatives make it feasible and viable. If we wait for governments to act, it will be too little, too late; if we act as individuals, it will be too little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.
There are many hundreds of transition initiatives around the world, including over 50 in Canada.