In key ways, Quakers are no different from anyone else. We are all living in an age of unprecedented change, with a number of crises converging. Climate change, global economic instability, overpopulation, erosion of community, declining biodiversity, and resource wars, have all stemmed from the availability of cheap, non-renewable fossil fuels. Global oil, gas and coal production is predicted to irreversibly decline in the next 10 to 20 years, and severe climate changes are already taking effect around the world. The coming shocks are likely to be catastrophic if we do not prepare. As Richard Heinberg states:
Our central survival task for the decades ahead, as individuals and as a species, must be to make a transition away from the use of fossil fuels – and to do this as peacefully, equitably, and intelligently as possible.
The global Transition movement represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people and local communities to take the far-reaching actions that are required to mitigate the effects of peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Furthermore, these relocalization efforts are designed to result in a life that is more fulfilling, more socially connected, and more equitable than the one we have today. Indeed, the Transition movement offers us the opportunity to foster communities that are much more closely allied with Friends’ historic testimonies on simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and equality.
The Transition model is also based on a loose set of real world principles and practices that have been built up over time through experimentation and observation of different communities as they push forward to reduce carbon emissions and build community resilience. Underpinning the model is a recognition of the following:
Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Economic Crisis require urgent action.
Adaptation to a world with less oil is inevitable.
It is better to plan and be prepared, than be taken by surprise.
Industrial society has lost the resilience to be able to cope with shocks to its systems.
We have to act together and we have to act now.
We must negotiate our way down from the “peak” using all our skill, ingenuity and intelligence.
Using our creativity and cooperation to unleash the collective genius within our local communities will lead to a more abundant, connected and healthier future for all.
The Transition Movement believes that is up to us in our local communities to step into a leadership position on this situation. We need to start working now to mitigate the interrelated effects of peak oil, climate change, and the economic crisis, before it is too late. Together we can make a difference.