03 July 2008 - The Bay Chronicle


Transition town gets moving

The Bay of Islands transition towns initiative got off to a roaring start last week with about 110 people packing the Wharepuke hall.

It was clear there will be no shortage of people willing to climb on board the community campaign to become less wasteful and more economical.

Kaitaia and Kohukohu are also making moves to join the transition town movement, which brings people together to explore how communities can respond to the twin challenges of climate change and peak oil.

Peak oil refers to the maximum extraction rate of oil after which the rate will decline. In the face of increasing demand for and decreasing supply of oil, the cost of fuel, food and energy can only continue to rise.

Added to this, climate change is expected to affect food production, transport and natural and built environments.

The aim of the transition town movement is to localise communities, making them more resilient and truly sustainable.

Speaker Thomas Lindstrom said people had different responses to the looming threats. They could deny, get depressed, lean on faith, hide or they could make a space for everyone and make changes. This might include driving less, eating less meat, producing more food and developing eco-audited homes and activities to create carbon neutral neighbourhoods.

"The challenge is to agree on a sustainable living programme," he said.

Mr Lindstrom pointed out that 70 percent of Kerikeri’s food comes from outside the area.

Ken Ross said society has been prioritising the economy above socio-culture and the environment and it was now time to flip that around to put the environment at the top.

"We’ve been making mistakes for the past 150 years. The transition town movement is the first rung on the ladder to correcting the situation. We need to decrease our demands on resources."

- Contact Remi Dierick 4016081 Ken Ross 4078749 or visit www.transitiontowns.org.nz