March 2, 2012

Sailing The Winds Of Change

Pessimists curse the wind. Optimists adjust the sails.

The winds of change are blowing, and the clouds of denial are being swept away. We are realizing how the status quo is no longer a viable option for a new reality. Time for a new destination.

People are adjusting the sails and are altering course in their personal journey. They are responding to opportunities provided by the shifting winds, and are leading the way to a greener future through their actions. Collectively, they are making change happen.

Forward thinking communities are transitioning to a post-oil world in a movement started in 2007 by British teacher and permaculturist Rob Hopkins. Transition Towns promote sustainability at the local level — whether it's to do with food, transport, building materials or energy resources.

Canada's first such project started in 2009 in Peterborough, Ontario. There are 420 transitioning communities worldwide, including my home town, Sooke, BC. Part of the program here has been a massively successful new community garden that is one of four in town. I am looking forward to tending to my new plot in the spring.

Transition US has a vision "that every community in the United States will have engaged its collective creativity to unleash an extraordinary and historic transition to a future beyond fossil fuels; a future that is more vibrant, abundant and resilient; one that is ultimately preferable to the present".

Even the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut of big business is beginning to see what the future holds if we continue on our current path. No sustainable environment, no sustainable profits.

To show how far this line of sober thinking has gone, a major corporation took out a recent full-page add in the New York Times that read, “Don’t buy what you don’t need. Think twice before you buy anything.” 

 They must read this blog, like many others that are rolling up their sleeves, working hard, and mapping a new course.

Will the winds of change obliterate unsustainable production and consumption? Are we finally waking up to the impossibility of our 5-planet lifestyles, and our own deepening dissatisfaction with them? Can we adjust the sails in time to ride out the uncertain conditions that are sure to prevail?

According to the good things that I am seeing, including some very encouraging comments on this blog, we are beginning to turn this thing around. But there are no passengers on this sailboat. We are all crew, and it is time to get busy.

We can make sure we ALL arrive safely at our new destination.


  1. I really, really hope you're right, but I'm afraid I'm not so optimistic at this point. What about all the climate change deniers?

    1. Maybe they will change their minds after the US mid-west just broke a record for the most severe tornadoes in one day - 86 I think it was (about the number they normally record in an entire season).

      People are beginning to use their own eyes to see that we are headed for trouble on our current course.

      Ignorance, greed, and mean-ness are slowly going out of fashion. Love and compassion is prevailing.

  2. Anonymous3/03/2012

    I'll ride on the coat tails of optimism. Like the previous commentor, I'm finding it difficult to stay positive. Maybe if I lived in Canada?

    1. I am not sure there is anywhere that is safe, even here. Canada's current government is leading us further to the right, but I don't think the majority of Canadians support that.

      We used to have a much better international reputation, but that has changed due to our current "leaders".

      However, the people are still the same - very supportive of each other, and with a deep love for this great land. I am no flag-waver, but I do love where I live.

      I am certain that The People, and sanity, will prevail, but it will take a lot of hard work. The inertia is hard to overcome.


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