The Transition Towns movement is growing rapidly. Having started out in Kinsale, Ireland and Totnes, just a few years ago, there are now more than 100 initiatives around the globe, with many more in the process of setting themselves up.
So what's it all about?
In a nutshell, the Transition Movement is about communities deciding they can't hang around for local/national/international government to act on climate change and peak oil, but they need to start building up local resilience to prepare for an era of ever-rising fuel prices, fuel shortages and the impacts of climate change. The activities they get involved in are varied, but might range from insulating homes, setting up community allotments, establishing a local renewable energy company to establishing their own local currency to encourage people to shop locally.
First of all, Transition Towns go through an awareness-raising programme, where they organise lots of events, film-showings etc to get local people involved and understanding what it's all about. Brixton has been doing just that over the past year or so and this week is about to have its 'unleashing', which basically means they start to implement their 'energy descent plan', a plan to reduce the communities dependence on fossil fuels. They have a big event this Thursday in Lambeth Town Hall, with Transition Towns guru Rob Hopkins.
So why am I telling you all this?
Because lots of people are talking about this (even the Archers has a Transition Ambridge Movement!), a number of people locally are pondering setting up a Transition Town Lewisham and have been asking me if I know anyone else who is interested. The key thing about Transition Towns is that it needs to be a community-led initiative, not a Council-led thing, so it can't come from us councillors, but I'm sure we would be delighted to support any initiative that local people got off the ground.
The next Lewisham Green Drinks, on Monday 6th October, are going to have a Transition Town theme. The idea is that anyone with an interest in Transition Towns, and setting up an initiative in Lewisham, comes along and meets other like-minded people, and hopefully they take things from there! So do come along next Monday, 7pm onwards, Mr Lawrence Wine Bar, 389 Brockley Road, SE4 2PH. (And if you're a regular green drinker, do come along too!)