Put October 10 on your Transition Initiative's calendar

October 10, 2010 is the "global work party" for global warming solutions.  It is the latest move from our friends over at 350.org.  And in my opinion Transition Initiatives (TI) are perfectly situated to take major action.  Begin plans now to host a local project in your hometown, and have your TI be the hosting organization.


Firstly, #7 of the 12 Steps of Transition is physical projects.  We TIs aren't "talk shops." We're about real action and real preparation.  Finally 350.org has gotten around to real, physical, solution-oriented projects.  Let's partner them and host local sites.

Secondly, we TIs have our fingers on the pulse of the community, and know what resilience-building physical projects are needed.  We also know the difference between green-tech fantasy-oriented projects, and powerdown projects which will prepare us for the full panorama of crises ahead (climate change plus peak oil plus economic contraction plus biocapacity a.k.a. peak everything).  If our local TIs help guide and select our local 350.org projects, then rather than outcomes that are oriented toward more consumption and "growth," we're investing all those volunteer hours wisely.  Volunteers will be working on things that are truly resilience-building.

Thirdly, as in projects past, 350.org has enormous capactity to enroll grassroots volunteers.  As the project date approaches they will offer you posters, fliers, banners, pro forma press releases, press attention, and more.  Plus your project will be listed on their excellent look-up website so that people who encounter the national 350.org message can look up on the 350.org website and find you.  All of this brings attention to the existence of your local TI.  Plus it provides an already partially educated audience (they're concerned enough about climate change to come out and take action) who will be receptive to the peak oil message and Transition ideas.

As I said at the beginning of this post, physical projects are part of being a Transition Initiative.  You'll be doing them anyway.  350.org is merely handing you a date.  And a tremendous opportunity to boost local awareness of the Transition message as you do so.  You can have brochures about Transition (see ours), gain interested people for your local email lists, and more.  It's completely win-win.

So, start now to plan your local projects.  Put the October 10 date on your TI calendar.  Decide what physical project your local TI might like to host.  350.org themselves lists "put up solar panels, insulate homes, erect windmills, plant trees, paint bikepaths, launch or harvest local gardens," which is right in line with what we do.  Register your project on the 350.org website; as time draws nearer they will allow you to edit your post and it will be viewable by the public, but for now registering will keep you in the information loop as 350.org develops the action.  Meanwhile, start drawing up designs and getting permits.  Orient your local TI membership toward this exciting international project.  It serves the cause, it supports a partner organization, and it furthers your local community's Transition journey.

Joanne Poyourow is a core team member at the Transition Los Angeles city hub.  She is the co-founder of the Environmental Change-Makers, which was the initiating group for Transition ideas for many areas of Los Angeles.

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