Here is a communication close to my heart from Diana Leafe Christian who refers to herself as an "Earthaven Airspinner". I don't know what an airspinner is, but Earthaven is one of maybe six stable functioning ecovillages in north America. Diana's column is from Earthaven's Summer 2010 Newsletter.
Thank You, Transition Towns!
The way I see it, Transition Towns (now called Transition Initiatives) are doing exactly what ecovillage activists always wanted folks to do.
Ecovillagers have been motivated over the last 20 years or so by hoping to make the world a better place. Similar to “putting your money where your mouth is,” we attempt to put our lifestyle where our values are. But our motivation has not been to prepare for Peak Oil and climate change, which most of us didn’t know about until a few years ago. We live this way because it seemed like the right thing to do.
Transition Town activists, on the other hand, are specifically responding to Peak Oil and climate change. Yet . . . their response is totally resonant with the values and lifestyles of ecovillagers. For example, here’s the vision of Transition US: “Every community . . . 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.” Well of course. That’s exactly what we want for the world too.
I’m an ecovillage activist: in my work I advocate ecovillages and present workshops on starting successful new ones. Yet I believe Transition Towns — not ecovillages — are more likely to rapidly spread ecological values and practices worldwide. In fact, the Transition Movement seems to be the fastest-growing social/ecological movement the world has ever seen. I say, “Hallelujah!” As someone who lives off the grid and deals with buckets of compost daily — and wishes everyone everywhere would do the same for the Earth — I certainly hope this is true!
Diana Leafe Christian is author of Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community, and Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities. She teaches workshops on starting new ecovillages, serves as a consultant to existing ecovillages and other kinds of intentional communities, and speaks and conferences internationally. She is publisher of Ecovillages, a free online newsletter about ecovillages worldwide, and her monthly column about ecovillages appears on the homepage of the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) website. Diana lives in Earthaven’s Forest Garden neighborhood.