Kickoff meeting invitation

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If you’re interested in getting involved with starting up a Transition initiative here in Powell River, this invitation is for you. Don’t forget to RSVP either here or direct to Kevin if you want to come! (Wednesday May 20, more details below.)

What, you may well ask, is Transition Powell River and why would I want to
attend yet another meeting?

The Transition movement is a grass roots, bottom up community response to the combined challenges of climate change, resource depletion (including “peak oil”) and economic instability. It started in the UK several years ago and has been spreading by leaps and bounds ever since – there are currently 159 official transition initiatives in 14 countries, plus many more communities thinking about becoming Transitioners. Transition Initiatives work towards rebuilding the resilience of their communities – the ability to weather climate, energy and economic shocks. This meeting is aimed at forming a steering group to get a Powell River Transition initiative off the ground.

Transition Initiatives are based on four key assumptions:

  1. That life with dramatically lower energy consumption is inevitable, andthat it’s better to plan for it than to be taken by surprise;
  2. That our settlements and communities presently lack the resilience toenable them to weather the severe energy shocks that will accompany Peak Oil;
  3. That we have to act collectively, and we have to act now;
  4. That by unleashing the collective genius of the whole community to creatively and proactively design our energy descent, we can build ways of living that are more connected, more enriching and that recognize the biological limits of our planet.

Almost all local development plans and government plans are based on the assumption that climate change won’t happen for a long time, if ever, and energy prices will remain cheap. Such assumptions are questionable. The Transition movement is an attempt to design abundant pathways down from the oil peak, to generate new stories about what might be waiting for us at the end of our descent, and to put resilience-building back at the heart of any plans we make for the future.

Transition Powell River (TPR) is an independent community action project which will encourage rather than compete with similar projects, seeking to work in partnership with individuals, local groups, businesses and our City Council. We want to engage our whole community in finding and implementing practical alternatives to our fossil-fuelled and energy intense lifestyles, and to foster the idea that everyone can make changes which matter, right now, without waiting for unknown experts or Government to do it for us. This gives us the best opportunity to develop locally what our communities actually need, and improve the resilience of the area as a whole. The aim is to re-localise our town, making it vibrant, resilient and truly sustainable.

TPR aims to bring about changes to our city that mean we both use less energy and are more resilient to future energy shocks. These changes will, at some point, be forced upon us by reduced energy supplies and changed climate conditions, and it will be a much smoother transition to this changed future if we change now rather than in a mad scramble at the last minute. In addition, it is believed that many of the changes we need to make – more localisation, less unnecessary travel, more community interaction – will be a more pleasant way of living than at present.

What’s special about Transition?

Transition initiatives are proactive. The basic idea of Transition is, given the realities of resource depletion and climate change, to envision the future we want to be living in, decades from now, and then work backwards from that to create an Energy Descent Action Plan to guide us in getting there. Rather than reacting to actions by others (government, business etc) and saying what we don’t want, Transition initiatives work out what we DO want and exactly how to get there.

Transition initiatives are inclusive. Everyone will be affected by climate change and peak oil, and only by involving all of us – residents, public bodies, community organisations, businesses, and schools – will we come up with the most innovative, effective and practical ideas, and have the energy and skills to carry them out. Transition doesn’t seek to blame, to point fingers, or to emphasise difference.

Transition initiatives are positive! While there’s plenty of doom and gloom to go around, it’s possible that the future with less oil could be preferable to the  present, if we plan sufficiently in advance with imagination and creativity. We focus on the positive benefits of the changes we’re trying to bring about rather than the terrible consequences of worst-case climate and energy scenarios.

This first meeting is intended to bring together people who might be interested in forming a steering group to get Transition Powell River started. The job of the steering group would be to get TPR through the first five steps of Transition:

  1. Set up a steering group (and design its demise from the outset);
  2. Raise awareness (public talks, film screenings and other informational
    events);
  3. Lay the foundations (network with existing groups);
  4. Organise a “Great Unleashing” (a splashy public kickoff event with lots of hoopla);
  5. Form working groups (focused on specific aspects of transition).

At the meeting we’ll talk about Peak Oil and its relationship to climate change, about the Transition movement and how it might play out here in Powell River, we’ll enjoy potluck desserts and appetizers, and we’ll form a steering group.

When: Wednesday 20th May, 7pm
Where: 5865 Mowat Ave, Cranberry (backup location if more then 15 people RSVP is the Unitarian Hall). This is a non-smoking cat house 🙂
Please bring a dessert or appetizer if you can: the more local the better!
RSVP to Kevin Wilson, 483 9052 transitionpowellriver@gmail.com

Links for more information about Transition, Peak Oil and Resource Depletion:

What is a Transition Initiative?

Peak Oil primer

Transition videos on Youtube

The Transition Handbook (PDF)

Transition primer (PDF)

May 7, 2009 · Kevin · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: General chat

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