Monday, January 3, 2011

The Great Launch

If you are planning to live on Denman for another ten, twenty, thirty years, this article is for you. Your community needs you, and you need your community. It’s me again, Ashlea. I’ve been pretty happy-go-lucky, nose in the roses in my previous articles about Transition Denman Island. If it’s been a little nauseating, I apologize. Being the new kid on the block, I didn’t want to come across as a patronizing pessimist. I really need to grab your attention now though, because we are inviting you to take a leap as part of this dynamic community and we (The TDI steering committee) really, really want your participation.
As you know, we are experiencing climate change, and we are about to experience a whole lot more. You have probably also heard about peak oil – it’s getting harder and more dangerous to suck that black gold out of the earth, and there is less and less of it available. We think we’ve seen oil prices skyrocket over the past decade, but in our hearts we know it’s only been the tip of the iceberg. And you may have noticed that the federal and provincial governments have been useless thus far in doing anything about it. I’m willing to bet my guitar that they will continue along in that vein until most of the planet is scorched and starving. (Man, this isn’t happy-go-lucky at all, is it?)
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been feeling pretty powerless lately. You try to drive less, take fewer flights, buy local – but you know that while you’re bicycling up that giant Denman Rd. Hill, some CEO is on his ninth flight of the week negotiating to knock down another dozen hectares of forest and put up new mega marts. No matter what you do, the oil is going, going….
Time to transition. Time to work toward self-sufficiency and local resilience. We already have a head start – great initiatives currently lead by skillful community members, support from local government and an amazing sense of solidarity. And we know what’s possible by looking at communities like Totnes, the original Transition Town, which is fully engaged and well on its way to true independence, setting an example for Villages, Towns and Cities all over the world. We too have the potential to be a leading force – Denman Island is a strong community.
On January 22nd the entire community is invited to the front hall for “The Launch” where we will declare and celebrate this island’s commitment to transition. We will all work together to envision Denman Island as we think it ought to be in ten and twenty years, and we will sign on to donate our time and expertise to action groups that will focus in on areas where change and ingenuity is needed. Every single person will have the opportunity to share their gifts and learn cool stuff from others as we join forces for a brilliant future. (Please note: since the previous article we have changed the location to the Front Hall to better suit the needs of the community.) The launch will begin at 12:00 noon and run until 4:00. There will be delicious food available for sale throughout the day, provided by Fireweed. In the first hour we’ll have an introduction from a guest speaker and then we will have time to talk to each other and think about Transition as a whole and how we can mould our future. At 1:00 we will begin working toward the formation of action groups. There will be tables for the various areas of interest such as Water Security, Health and Well-Being, Education, Eco-Friendly Building etc. There will be a facilitator at each table who knows a thing or two about the subject and who will help get the action teams off to a start. If you are feeling like you want to get more involved in the community, this is a great chance for you to start making a difference. And if you are one of the many who volunteer their time eight days a week, perhaps you already have a lot of information to offer and can work pieces of the transition plan into what you’re doing now. At 3:00 we will come together again to cut a ribbon and make the official declaration that we are a community committed to making a positive change for the future. Cake and bubbly will be passed around.
If you want to know more about Transition Towns, Climate Change, Peak Oil and community building, come out to our mini film-fest on Saturday July 15th at the Old School from 11-4. We will run some informative videos related to the Transition Movement. Stay tuned to local bulletin boards and the January Grapevines for more information.
If we act now, before things get out of control, we can stop climate change and peak oil from taking such a great toll on us locally. We will be prepared for change, we will be able to provide safe-haven for our loved ones and we will become one with the earth again – as we were meant to be – working with nature instead of fighting against it. We can look forward to a great feeling of pride, accomplishment and security. We can enjoy working together now, instead of worrying together later. This is not a burden – it is an opportunity for community, learning and success.

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