Cork Transition Town – Global and Local Finance and Us

The Transition Town movement, which started in Kinsale, is now a world
wide organisation. Its aim is helping local communities become more
self sufficient and more resilient to whatever happens in the uncertain
years ahead.

Down here in the South, Cork, Youghal and Midleton now also
have Transition groups. Cork Transition Town was host this August to
Nicole Foss to hear her talk on the current financial and energy
challenges and how local communities can prepare to meet them.

Ms Foss has been involved in many aspects of energy in Canada. She hasNicole Foss
also studied the implications of the current global financial upheaval.
She questioned how long our governments can keep borrowing, and what
will happen when the money for dole and government services runs out.

The most encouraging part of her talk was where she suggested steps we
can take, and must take quickly, to insulate ourselves from the worst
possible effects. She suggested that, wherever we can:

• As a family or individual, put our own house in order first by:
• Getting out of debt.
• Taking more control of the essentials where ever we can – shelter,
health, food, fuel for cooking and heat
• Investing in ‘hard’ goods, land if we can afford it, tools, equipment
and skills for sustainable living.
• To be even more effective, do all of this in co-operation with other
people at a collective or village level.

Like many people, I just wish that the government would fix things and
that we could continue as we were and I have found it really difficult
to put my mind to preparing for more difficult times. Aware that such
problems might lie ahead of us, I have felt helpless about doing
anything about them. Ms. Foss’s talk was pretty scary, but to me it rang
true. It has given me the jolt to get out of my feeling of hopelessness.
It has pointed out a direction in which people can put action and
effort, as they focus on what needs to be done to protect their
livelihoods. There is certainly a place for starting community gardens,
rainwater harvesting, planting trees for fuel, building timber, fruit
and nuts and setting up local Time Banks and Meitheals for helping each
other and sharing skills.

These are activities that unite and build up local communities and put in place the basics for a less energy extravagant, more sustainable society. This is the type of thing that Transition Towns are all about.

~ Natasha Harty, Eco Congregation Ireland's Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) representative