The Transition Town movement is a response to imminent, catastrophic climate change and its underlying cause, our oil dependency. It’s a movement that believes if we wait for governments to act on these threats, it will be too little, too late. If we act as individuals, it’ll be too little. A community, however, coming together to address these issues, may be the best way forward.
Tofino and Ucluelet are diverse communities whose populations have the knowledge, skills, abilities to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and increase local resilience. In Transition Towns, community members form into groups—gardening/food group, alternative energy group, housing, economic (local currency) groups, etc.—to find ways of decreasing our dependence on globalized, oil-powered markets and relocalizing the economy, satisfying most of our needs from local resources.
Our present-day, global economy is based on scarcity and the long, fragile chains of supply and demand upon which our globalized markets depend. Locally, on the other hand, we have the example of First Nations whose acquired wealth from the sea and forests gave rise to an economy of plenty, an abundance shared out in potlatch gift-giving among the people. Transitioners seek to emulate that economy, a gift-sharing of abundant human and natural resources allowing us to transition from oil dependency to local resilience in a positive, joyful and celebratory way.
Born in 2006 in England, the Transition Town movement has itself gone global. Vancouver Island has five Transition Towns: Sooke, Cowichan, Comox, Salt Spring Island and (since 2007) Port Alberni. The BC mainland has 14 towns undertaking Transition.
These are communities harnessing the knowledge, skills, abilities of resident community members to increase food security, install alternative energies, explore alternatives in housing, relocalize the economy—in short, becoming more locally resilient. The Transition movement believes the climate change and economic shocks we’re vulnerable to can best be absorbed by a community that’s come together to create its own future, working in concert with local government, cultivating local resources in the environment and a positive vision of that future in the community. This is the way forward offered by the Transition Town movement.
Transition Town Tofino-Ucluelet is a newly forming experiment. To find out more about the Transition Town movement, see:
The movie: “In Transition 2.0” (on YouTube, 1 hr. 6 min.).
The website: transitionnetwork.org
The local contact: Robert Zurowski – firstname.lastname@example.org