We should all be well enough aware that our generation are living in a time of great change. For our parents & grandparents life’s path was well enough laid out – to be sure, times were harder for them than for us – but the choices they faced were narrower. Back-in-the-day, you got a job, you struggled to make a living; if you were lucky you steadily improved the lot of yourself and your family. In British society as a whole, life just seemed to get better each decade, working conditions steadily improved, more people could afford life’s luxuries, better cars, colour televisions, automatic washing machines, computers; more recently laptops, tablets & mobile phones – we’ve almost reach a par with Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame “beam me up Scotty”
For our forebears, fed as they were on a diet of Star Trek & the like, there was somehow an implicit faith that things would continue to get better for each generation, sure, the human population might in the end get too large for the planet, but hey! “we’ll just find another planet to send people to”
As a society we now have access to unprecedented amounts of information through the guise of those laptops, tablets and mobile phones making it very easy to seek the truth on a variety of issues, rather than being fed a story. As Carl Sagan tells us below, we now know that the future as portrayed by Star Trek is not going to happen, and that we must “preserve & cherish the pale blue dot” leaving it safe for our children and our children’s children.
We now realise that the extraordinary leaps forward – in technology, food production, transport and almost everything else you can think of – made in the last 200 years, have only been possible because of the availability of fossil fuels. First coal, followed by oil and gas. This epoch is soon coming to an end, the discovery that burning fossil fuels is causing the climate to change has thrown a spanner in the works. In the words of author and social activist Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything. These things are widely known, you don’t have to look far to discover people taking more interest in growing your own, the record demand for allotments; renewable energy schemes and a resurgence in cycling.
Those of us in the Transition Movement believe that this is the beginning of a profound shift in the way we live our lives. We believe that we are key players at a time in history when we move away from dependence on oil, to becoming more resilient more self-reliant and more caring communities. Transition recognises that change is coming, (is happening now!) whether we like it or not, we believe that by embracing change positively we can regenerate our local economies, redeveloping our local communities and move towards a more ecological way of living.
Transition works on a local scale, it enables people to respond to the challenges of our time such as peak oil, climate change and a deeply flawed economic system in ways that are relevant to them and their local community. Transition invites people to be bold, to be optimistic about the future, to imagine what kind of world they wish to live in, and, as Captain Kirk would say “make it happen!”