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Age of stupid? Or age of transition?

26th October 2009 @ 10:10am – by Chris Thornton
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Climate change and oil running out – too big, too difficult, what can I do about it? You'd be surprised. Over 50% of carbon emissions come from our homes and cars. With advice and help we could all make big reductions. This was just one of the points raised on Saturday, International Day of Climate Action, when over 30 people watched and discussed the film The Age of Stupid and others browsed an exhibition organised by the local transition group in Audlem's Scout and Guide Hall.

For some, the film is depressing; for others, thought provoking. Either way, it's a cautionary tale. Set in the future, and looking back at the present, it asks why didn't humans stop runaway climate change and human extinction while they could?

After the film people talked about how, in the last two generations, we have become more and more dependent on mass-produced stuff; how we, and our children, are in danger of losing our grandparents' self-sufficiency skills – skills which could really help us make the transition in lifestyle required by low-carbon living.

The message from people who watched the film? Spread the word about the threats to our communities' long-term sustainability and the need for transition. But keep it simple, and help people to see solutions and the advantages, not just the problem.

The local transition group gives you the opportunity to do just that. The group has adopted a manifesto with five priorities:
Grow more food locally.
Shop local.
Micro-electricity generating schemes.
Surveying household energy usage (and advising how to reduce).
Communications and information about the need for transition to low-carbon living, and about low-carbon products and services to help achieve the transition.

The group is informal and open to all ages from Audlem, Buerton, Dodcot-cum-Wilkesley and Hankelow. One of the group's principles is collaboration, not duplication. So, members will be working with Parish Plan working groups where there is a common interest, rather than setting up separate initiatives; and work on the priority about growing more food locally can include collaborating with the Allotments Society, for example.

The transition group, rather than being a separate organisation, is more a village market place where all groups contributing to our communities' long-term sustainability can meet regularly to exchange ideas and skills and plan joint activities.

At the group's next meeting, targets will be set and action plans made for the manifesto priorities. It's on Wednesday, 4th November, 8 pm, at the Baptist Chapel, Salford. The group will meet thereafter on the first Wednesday of each month.

At Saturday's event, 21 names went into a draw to win a wireless energy monitor, highly recommended by Which magazine. The winner was Tony Gentil from Newhall.

The organisers want to say a huge 'thank you' to everyone who made a donation on Saturday. A total of £120 was raised, which is a fantastic contribution towards costs of £150 for the day (hall hire, film hire, draw prize).

So, are we really living in the age of stupid? Actually, it's up to us. We can still make this the age of transition instead.


This article is from our news archive. As a result pictures or videos originally associated with it may have been removed and some of the content may no longer be accurate or relevant.

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