Empowering communities for a joyous, efficient and resiliant future. header image 2

Resiliant Communities

January 15th, 2010 · No Comments · article, primer

Enormous changes are unfolding in our country and the world.  These changes are happening now – in our lifetimes.  To learn about the energy, economic and environmental challenges we face, read

Energy costs will go back up to 2008 levels within a few years. Over time our energy bills will rise uncontrollably unless we transition from fossil fuels to modern, high-efficiency technologies and renewable energy sources like wind, sun and water movement.

Economic instability will be a chronic challenge, with job insecurity and lower real wages for many.

Environmental damage and pollution will increase health care costs, harm wildlife, and damage the biological-food-materials resource base upon which we and 7 billion people depend.

We are such a clever species. We invent, create, and find new ways to use natural resources. Our technologies and resource extraction now that we are now damaging our life-support system.

Our world is changing. Many things we depend upon – cheap food, cars, airplane flights, decent wages, reliable jobs, bountiful material goods – may not be so easy to get. Plastics, gasoline, long-distance travel, food and manufactured goods from around the world have become commonplace.

In our lifetimes we will see many aspects of our world change, and costs will rise while income falls for most of us.

What’s the answer?

Humans have been facing and dealing with change and challenges, and economic and material highs and lows, since history began. Over the centuries, the people who survive are those in well-functioning, largely self-reliant communities.

In times of stress, uncertainty and crisis, humans survive — and thrive – when they work together and live harmoniously in their land.

How do we recover our ability to thrive? How do we work together, yet retain our individual freedom? How can people come together when we have become so separated, selfish and cynical about finding solutions?

No one has a complete answer to these questions. But people around the world are coming together to create a more positive future. Rather than allowing despair and intellectual analysis of the problems paralyze us, we are living the life we want: lives of courage, playfulness, invention, resourcefulness, caring, mutual support, leadership, compassion, integrity and greater harmony with and respect for the very real physical limits of the planet.

We invite you to join us: to give your gifts and skills to help your neighborhood, your community, your bit of the world. Help everyone in your life to transition away from dependence on dangerous, harmful and increasingly costly fossil fuels coal, tar sands, oil, natural gas (also called methane), and toxic uranium. Together we can transition to safe, clean, renewable energy sources. Together we can transition to greater local self-reliance in food production and energy.

Together we can become more economically resilient.

This is the heart of the Transition Movement: people like you and me not waiting for someone else to solve the mess we humans are in. We’re not waiting for some miracle technology, some fantasy leader to rescue us, or somebody other than ourselves to make our lives better.

Start looking for the people in your community who sense that our world is in trouble – who see that our collective bank account is in the red. You’ll find people of all kinds – people who look and act very differently, but who share your concerns and your desire to take action. You’ll find experts in military operations and pacifists, Christians and pagans, farmers and urbanites, hippies and conservatives, old and young, black, Latino, Asian, and the descendants of the Pilgrims.

This movement is Big, and it’s rapidly, daily, getting Bigger.

How do you start? Invite anyone you can think of to come together and start talking about how to strengthen your community – how to increase resilience together. You could:

  • Show the In Transition movie.  Download it here.
  • Form a book-reading group and read The Transition Handbook.  Download a study guide here.
  • Watch videos together. Here are a few you might like.
  • Start offering skills workshops and asking people to share their skills.  Make a calendar on the web and send out a monthly newsletter of events and activities.
  • Bring people together to do Community Mapping.
  • Have a party.  Have some fun.
  • Form a regular club to play something together (games, music, cards – whatever people want!)
  • Have a potluck and get to know each other.
  • We’re adding more ideas to this site every time we work with new Transition groups.  Check back soon for more stories of how people are bringing their community together to transition.

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