THE MOST INSPIRING MOVEMENT IN THE WORLD: TRANSITION TOWNS
By Frosty Wooldridge
February 23, 2009
Transition! It advances undeterred and unstoppable. A growing movement steps up to deal with the inevitable change facing humanity in the 21st century.
America and the world face unprecedented challenges in the 21st century due to peak oil and unparalleled climate change which drives food scarcity. While the "Age of Oil" that supported massive population growth declines, human population explodes. The human race gallops toward a collision with its own numbers. Strap on your seatbelts, helmets and parachutes folks!
Today, at 306 million citizens, America adds 3.1 to 3.4 million annually. U.S. population projections show America adding 100 million by 2035, a mere 26 years from now. (Source: PEW Report; "US Population Projections, Fogel/Martin March 2006) At the same time, globally, humans add 77 million annually, net gain. That increase expects human planet expansion to multiply from 6.7 billion to a low of 9.2 billion to as high as 9.8 billion in 41 years--2050. (Source: www.populationmedia.org)
While 18 million people die of starvation or starvation related diseases annually worldwide, hyper-population growth stands as the 'sacred cow' that remains untouchable in America and across the world in the 21st century. No world leaders address it; and all ignore it. (Source: World Health Organization)
If humanity cannot feed 18 million people that will die in mass in 2009, how will humanity feed an added three billion in 41 years when oil supplies exhaust themselves? Here we see a blatant example of incongruent short-sightedness from so-called leaders that should be visionaries!
Amazingly, most people think alternative energy will solve the energy crisis. According to Michael Brownlee, Boulder, Colorado, www.transitionbouldercounty.org, alternative energy cannot and will not be able to replace the energy density of oil. He presents a power point show locally and nationally.
In his profound and enthralling slide show, he illustrates poignantly: humans burn 85 million barrels of oil daily. That equals a cubic mile of oil annually. In order to equal that vast amount of energy it would take 91.2 million solar panels built every year for 50 years. Or, 102 coal-fired electrical plants built every year for 50 years. Or, 32,500 wind turbines built every year for fifty years. Finally, the alternative of 52 nuclear powered plants built every year for 50 years would equal one year of oil energy.
In other words, nothing today or in the future can equal the power of oil. Therefore, the human race faces a profoundly different future?one that means returning to basic, simple living, within the energy restrictions of wind, light, water and animal power. Let's hear it for horses, oxen and mules!
"As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the "civil" part of civilization survive? As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 9 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain?selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid." Walter Youngquist, Professor of Geology, University of Oregon
What does America face? What kind of actions must citizens take? Who leads this civilization toward a sustainable future?
TRANSITION TOWNS WORLDWIDE
Across the world, now numbering 900 communities, a grassroots organization enables citizens to engage the future with hope and tools for sustaining communities in the 21st century. www.transitionus.org.
It's been called the "Most Inspiring Movement in the World" from the founder Rob Hopkins?THE TRANSITION HANDBOOK: From oil dependency to local resilience.
He explains, "Why peak oil and climate change mean that small is inevitable."
He quoted Einstein, "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius--and a lot of courage--to move in the opposite direction."
How will we rebuild community resilience in response to Peak Oil?
2. How will we strengthen our local economy in response to economic instability?
3. How are we going to reduce carbon emissions in response to climate change?
Transition groups organize workshops, meetings, programs and community gatherings like old fashioned potluck dinners. Top energy speakers visit Denver and other communities from around the U.S. and dozens of other countries.
As Michael Brownlee said, "We cannot wait for the government to change course toward a sustainable future. We must do it ourselves. Our actions are imperative if we are to survive the coming decline in oil."
This journalist attends meetings regularly. I find sharp, aware persons taking action at the local level. You will discover the nuts and bolts for managing the coming energy crisis. You will find out 'how', 'who', 'what', 'when' and 'why' we must construct a sustainable future or face an uncomfortable future.
Visit these web sites for resources, events, network and information about Transition Town gatherings. Send the information to friends in other cities and states so citizens can access Transition Towns in their states and communities. Participation includes all 50 states and Canada.
You may be wondering if this movement will work because hyper-population growth will add 100, 200, 300 million people to the USA in 70 years. That human growth may well undermine any well-intentioned attempts toward sustainability. Hopefully, at some point, the USA addresses its calamitous population growth and moves toward a "US Sustainable Population Policy."
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The USA must shift its paradigm of unlimited growth and expansion to a stable population to best facilitate Transition Towns' innovative mission. In the meantime, www.TransitionUS.org starts the discussion. Be a part of it!
All that needs to be asked is: what is the value of our nation, of our way of life and the prospects for our children--the future of the United States?
Listen to Frosty Wooldridge on Wednesdays as he interviews top national leaders on his radio show "Connecting the Dots" at www.themicroeffect.com at 6:00 PM Mountain Time. Adjust tuning in to your time zone.
© 2009 Frosty Wooldridge - All Rights Reserved