You may not have heard of the Transition Towns movement, but chances are you’ve heard of survivalists. What really are these two groups and how might it matter to your life?
Transition Towns are spreading throughout the world. In a nutshell, transition towns (or cities, or islands, or whatever) come about when a group of people in a community get together to explore what can be done there as preparation for a world with less oil and different climates. This is a new but very vital movement and clearly one whose time has come!
I’ve been reading some about this movement, and late last night I happened to surf my way to the site for the United States transition movement.
Right away, I liked the description in the upper right corner: “Tackling climate change and peak oil. Bringing the head, heart, and hands of communities together to make the transition to life beyond oil.” I liked both the emphasis on community and the positive approach.
As I browsed around the site, I came across a long discussion of survivalism and the transition movement. People disagreed with each other – at times heatedly – but it got me thinking about how the movements overlap.
Survivalism can mean different things to different people, but to me, this movement (in the US, which is the only place I am familiar with it) is about being prepared for massive changes in society. I became aware of the movement in 1998, when I began reading about possible Y2K issues. Happily, none of those happened but certainly now some level of preparedness and household self-sufficiency is as good an idea as it has ever been. This includes having some extra supplies around the house, growing a garden, and much more. Some of the discussions survivalists can get into aren’t my cup of tea at all. I may be wrong, but I think there is a mindset that peak oil means societal collapse. I’m not sure of that at all.
So there’s a lot of thinking and discussion going on about how to respond to our changing world. I like community-based approaches because, well, no man is an island.