Sunshine Coast in Transition

Transition Connection for the Sunshine Coast of BC, Canada

Transition 101

Introduction to the Transition Initiative

Transition Initiatives are a global movement providing empowerment, leadership and support to community-led responses to the pressing and interrelated issues of peak oil and climate change.

Climate change makes a drastic reduction in our carbon usage essential; peak oil makes it inevitable. Transition Initiatives make it viable and compelling.

In response to the unique challenges and opportunities the carbon crisis presents, Transition Initiatives focus on stimulating and sustaining a positive, pro-active process that engages and empowers the whole community, with an emphasis on hope and creative visioning as antidotes to the fear and grief that awareness of global environmental problems can often engender.

Some guiding principles for the Transition model:

Envision a positive future:

  • If we can’t imagine the future we want, we won’t be able to create it.
  • Things are going to change. Our choice is to have a future we want, or one which happens to us.

Resilience – building strong local communities:

  • Resilience is the ability of a system to absorb change and still function.
  • In most communities in the past – a generation or two ago – the basic skills for life existed within the community, such as growing and preserving food, making clothes, building with local materials.
  • We used to create the cake locally and import the icing. Now we import the cake and only produce the icing locally.

Awareness raising:

  • We understand that the messages in our media are contradictory.
  • Our aim is to tell people the truth and trust they will find their own appropriate response.

Inclusion – everyone is needed:

  • In a successful transition project every skill is valuable because there is so much happening.
  • We need good listeners, gardeners, people who like to make and fix everything, good parties, discussions, energy engineers, inspiring art and music, builders, planners, project managers.
  • Bring your passion and make that your contribution – if there isn’t a project working in the area you are passionate about, create one!!

Transition makes sense – the solution is the same size as the problem:

  • Many of the solutions to our problems lie at the local level – we don’t need to wait for others.
  • Transition proposes changes in proportion to the problem.
  • Many films or books suggest that changing light bulbs, recycling and driving smaller cars may be enough. This causes a state called “Cognitive Dissonance” – a trance where you have been given an answer, but know that it is not going to solve the problem you’ve just been given.

The Transition we need is both Inner and Outer:

  • The challenges we face are not just caused by a mistake in our technologies, but a direct result of our world view and belief system.
  • The impact of the information about the state of our planet can generate fear and grief  – which may underlie the state of denial that many people are caught in.
  • Psychological models can help us understand what is really happening and avoid unconscious processes sabotaging change. E.g. addictions models, models for behavioural change.

A viral model – something that is easy to replicate:

  • The transition model is simple yet powerful, and many communities of all sizes and geographical locations are trying it for themselves.
  • We aim to create ways of working that are easy to copy.
  • We have built in ideas of sharing resources and information from the start.

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