We are living in an age of unprecedented change, with many crises converging. Global economic instability, overpopulation, erosion of community, declining biodiversity, and resource wars have all stemmed from the availability of cheap, non-renewable fossil fuels. But, fundamentally, by burning fossil fuels we have irreversibly heated the earth; its soil, ice, sea, and air. This has resulted in dangerous changes in the climate, causing great damage around the world. This will get worse, to the point of the earth no longer being able to support complex life, as the global temperature increases beyond 1.5 degrees Centigrade. The coming shocks will be catastrophic. When, as, we do not act these shocks threaten our existence, and the existence of all life on earth.
Our central survival task for the decades ahead, as individuals and as aRichard Heinberg
species, must be to make a transition away from the use of fossil fuels –
and to do this as peacefully, equitably, and intelligently as possible.
In the next 20 or 30 years, one way or another, we will stop burning oil, coal, and gas. When we do we will reduce the amount of energy that we use to a small fraction of what we are using today. As virtually everything we do in the world now depends on burning fossil fuels we will be forced to severely reduce our consumption of earth’s finite resources and live very differently. Because there will be less of the world’s resources available to waste we will have to share more, if we are to live justly.
We have been given the gift of the chance to learn to live together with all life on earth as we never have had to. We will either grow into this unknowable future or we, with much of the rest of life on earth, will be decimated. We have experience of collapse, though none of this magnitude, so we do understand at least some of what we need to do to withstand the challenges we are beginning to face. We can even thrive on those challenges with grace. Working together to nurture our individual and community resilience, in the rich soil of the fruit of the spirit that is in every one of us, plants vital seeds that can only grow.
- The Climate Crisis and the economic and social crises that are resulting from it require urgent action
- Adaptation to a fossil-fuel-free world is inevitable
- It is better to plan and be prepared than to merely react
- Our present society is not resilient enough to to cope with shocks we will, and are beginning to, experience
- We have to act together now
- We must find our way down from the peak of energy consumption using all our skill, ingenuity and intelligence
- We can create an abundant, connected and healthier future for all of us by applying our creativity, knowledge, cooperation, sense of fun, and love to unleash the genius in each of us and our communities.
The Transition Movement believes that is up to each of us in our local communities to step into leadership positions to save the living planet. People have been working for decades to mitigate the interrelated effects of the climate crisis we have caused. Much more is needed. Together, and only together, we will make it better.
Check out this excellent video put together by Ben Zolno on ‘Why Transition?’