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The Anti-Ostriches: Preparing for an Uncertain Future

The Anti-Ostriches: Preparing for an Uncertain Future

Peak oil. Climate change. Financial disruption. It’s enough to make you want to pull the covers over your head, or turn on the TV and hunker down with some junk food, anything so you don’t have to think about it.  But groups of people all over the world are pulling their heads out of the sand and preparing to thrive in the face of turbulent change.  They are part of the Transition Town movement. 

In our resource-constrained world, as transportation costs rise, reliance on local communities will be key. The Transition movement encourages and assists the formation of local groups dedicated to the peaceful transition to a post-carbon society that relies on local resources, natural and human, as the primary source of physical and spiritual nourishment.

Each local initiative self-organizes around issues of concern to the community.  For example, the initiative in Sandpoint, Idaho has working groups around:  Art, Community Design, Economy, Education, Energy, Food System, Health, Heart and Soul of Change, Natural Resources, Mobility and Zero Waste.

As Peak Everything author Richard Heinberg states: “Our central survival task for the decades ahead, as individuals and as a species, must be to make a transition away from the use of fossil fuels – and to do this as peacefully, equitably, and intelligently as possible.”

The Transition Network started in the UK in 2007; Transition US was founded later that year.  There are 204 registered Transition initiatives in a dozen nations from New Zealand to Finland, including 38 in the US, from Vermont to Tennessee to Tucson. Thousands of people, dubbed “mullers,” are considering the movement, with more joining every day.

Transition initiatives are experiments in moving toward a just and sustainable future.  Transition US’s executive director, Carolyne Stayton, points out the movement’s “Cheerful Disclaimer”:

“We truly don’t know if this will work. Transition is a social experiment on a massive scale.
What we are convinced of is this:
    •    if we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late
    •    if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little
    •    but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.”

It’s challenging to imagine our way into a radically different future.  But, with the help of our neighbors, now may be a good time to start.

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Transition Oklahoma City members participate at a Local Food event
Photo by Shauna Struby, courtesy Transition US

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8:29PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Thank you for article.

8:28PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Thank you for article.

8:28PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Thank you for article.

8:28PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Thank you for article.

6:56AM PDT on Aug 20, 2009

Nancy, It won't be long before people in the western world are compelled by their wallets, if nothing else, to accept the inescapable link between Peak Oil and Climate Change....we're in the vanguard of a movement that will grow exponentially....I'd like to quote Katherine Fulton, from her talk on, called You Are the Future of Philanthropy...the end of that is totally inspiring!
She said:
"....we're not thinking our way into a new way of acting, we're acting our way into a new way of thinking." By immersing ourselves in whatever field of Transition we feel passionate about, we're part of the solution....and it's a great antidote to the mind-numbing media collusion.In Spirit, from Eire,Charlie x

7:11AM PDT on Aug 19, 2009


I understand where you are in terms of being the squeaky wheel on these vital issues... nobody seems to want to hear it (the sand is so quiet and cool...). I believe that if we continue to reach out to like minds, (show up to local events and network), and begin to live the change we seek; that the Ostrich crowd will begin to become interested in what is going on that they might be left out on.

8:07AM PDT on Aug 18, 2009

I'm with you Nancy. The element that is so often overlooked in all of this is the power of our minds to imagine things as we would like them to be, then letting the quantum field [Universe, God, creator] pull to gether the matching vibration into particle mass to form a physical reality. Remember that when you are freaking out about the bad stuff. You know you don't want more of that. Picture what you do want. As for the people listening to the lies, imagine them really starting to understand what they're hearing, and question it. The same goes for us. When this 'carbon emmissions' thing is being used by the nuke industry to try to gain a foot hold again, red flags go up for me.

4:13AM PDT on Aug 18, 2009

As last year ended and our new President started working for change, I pulled my head out of the sand for good, for the first time in my 60 years of life. have one question. How do you get your friends and relatives to do the same without making yourself into someone nobody wants to talk to? 99% of my relatives don't have time to pull their heads out if they wanted to because they are too busy scrabbling just to get by. I have 3 or 4 friends who will discuss these things with me, the rest are also busy just trying to get by. They do have time to listen to the news media telling them lies every day and they would rather stay right there and do nothing. I have made myself a person to stay away from in most of their eyes already. The only thing I can do is keep on keeping on with what I believe is the right thing to do and leave the rest up to my Creator. I can't force anyone else to get out of their sandbox. Each person will, in time, get out of the sand, but it may take something really BIG to happen, again, before that happens. I pray not. I must say that the ones with their heads out of the sand must get together, physically and mentally and send peace, love and light to everyone else, everything else, the whole world. We must do this NOW.
Thank you for allowing me to comment.
Nancy Freeman
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

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