Hi, my name is Ruah Swennerfelt

Hi, my name is Ruah Swennerfelt and I’m part of Transition Charlotte, Vermont in the U.S.A. My town is quite rural, with working farms, but many residents commute to work in Burlington. My husband and I live in an off-grid house, making our electricity from solar. We also have solar hot water and grow much of our own food. We try to live with reduced ecological and carbon footprints.

I'm on a search for answers to the question of how our civilization will survive the current “perfect storm” of peak oil, climate disruption, and economic contraction. We live in a world economic system that requires perpetual growth to survive. This is not sustainable since Earth’s resources are limited.

My search will take me to Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Europe, and North America. Like a quilt, each piece (each initiative) is unique and beautiful on its own, but the finished quilt is something greater than the parts. I hope that my research will reflect this whole as a blueprint for our necessary transition.

Although the transition network website reports various activities of the different initiatives, an overall, global vision hasn’t yet been articulated. I understand that the work needs to be done locally, but how do all those local efforts relate to one another? I hope to reflect these varied successes, struggles, actions, and joys into that vision.

I will be asking each person I interview three questions: 

  1. Why are you involved in this work?
  2. What is your vision for your town?
  3. Do you see a connecting global vision? How can we learn from the hundreds of initiatives instead of always trying to start our own from scratch? How do we live into a new world if we don’t have the vision of what that world might be? I hope my blog will share such a vision, with practical tools for action.
I probably would not be undertaking this effort if it were not for my belief that we are living in a time of planetary crisis at many levels, all of which are reflections of a spiritual crisis. While we must understand the spiritual basis of the crisis and act from the heart, we must also learn the practical tools to try to avoid the potentially great suffering when cheap fossil fuels are no longer available for agriculture, transportation, healthcare, and manufacturing. I hear a call to awaken to my complicity in this crisis and to undertake the necessary radical changes in my own
life to leave a healthy, peaceful, and just planet for future generations.
Although I do not make a regular practice of flying, due to the environmental impacts, I believe that the potential outcome of my research is worthy enough to justify the plane travel. I hope we can partner on this project. I look forward to your comments at www.transitionvision.wordpress.com.
Photo: Award-winning re-use zone in Israel

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