Transition Leicester was initiated as a local response to two great global challenges: Climate Change and Peak Oil. We see these issues as interlinked, along with many other major challenges to our current way of life, such as the economic crisis, reductions in biodiversity and increasing scarcity of water and other natural resources.
An awareness of climate change gives us a strong motivation to greatly reduce our city’s carbon footprint, so that we can play our part in looking after the future wellbeing of people and the Earth’s ecosystems. An awareness of peak oil makes it clear that we need to prepare for a transition away from fossil fuels in any case, as the availability of oil (then gas, then coal) will be reaching a peak and then declining this century.
A big inspiration for the approach that Transition Town initiatives take to this work is Permaculture, which is a set of ethics and principles for designing sustainable systems, and identifying opportunities for positive change.
We also realise that one of the main things holding back strong action on climate change is the imperative for continuing growth in our economic system. The growth we’ve seen to date has only been possible through ever-increasing energy supplies, and Peak Oil is likely to usher in the end of that era (if it doesn’t collapse of its accord first!).
This makes one of the important goals of our Transition project to explore new systems (and in particular new money-systems) to create truly sustainable economies – where we don’t face the stark choice of unsustainable growth or the hardship that comes from a collapsing economy.