I attended a meeting in The Loft Venue (overhead the Locke Bar on George’s Quay) of a number of local people who are interested in getting a chapter of the ‘Transition‘ movement going in Limerick. The movement is fairly well known at this stage and there is now a network of a few thousand small local branches worldwide, from New Zealand, to the USA, to Europe and Ireland.
In brief, the idea is that if towns and communities get organised they can gear up and prepare for the very serious problems they are set to face in the coming years due to two things:
1. Peak Oil
2. Climate Change
If we get ourselves ready for the effects of climate change and peak oil, then we can minimise the shock and hardship that we would otherwise face. In a nutshell, it’s about building resilient communities that will be able to weather the storm that is fast approaching. There is no doubt that this makes a lot of sense.
Transition Limerick came into being at the meeting, and for the moment it is a loose gathering of various interested people, but there’s good expertise and enthusiasm there. If you are interested in getting involved come along to the next meeting, which will be held at 8pm on Wednesday 26 October at the Raggletaggle Consortium (the old Benetton building on the corner of Sarsfield Street and Henry Street). A facebook page has been set up to help publicise Transition Limerick and it will have details of various events and projects posted up on it. Click the following link to go to the page – http://www.facebook.com/TransitionLimerick.
Peak Oil is a big problem. It’s when the level of oil production globally reaches a maximum, and no matter how hard we try, we just can’t produce it at the rates that we used to simply because the oil fields are mostly depleted and the extraction technology is limited. What does this mean? For starters, it means the price of oil will go up fairly rapidly as demand remains high while available quantities start to fall. And because we depend on oil for electricity generation, transport, manufacturing, food production and much more, the prices of all these things are set to rise just as rapidly. And that equates to a lot of hardship for a lot of people, especially in the western world. The timing of ‘peak oil’ is expected to occur in the next 10 years or so and the most obvious way to mitigate its effects would be to become less dependent on oil.
We’ve all heard a lot about climate change, and if you delve into story any bit, it’s pretty much accepted that it’s real and the consequences are not good. The only uncertainty at the moment is just how bad it’s going to get. Estimates vary from very bad to catastrophic. And that’s not just for the poor denizens of the peripheral regions of the world, but for you and me and those around us here in Ireland as well.