Road to Nowhere?

As another New Year gets under way, I find myself wondering yet again whether it’s worth continuing with Transition South Lantau. We’ve actually been going for about four years now, but have we achieved anything? And who is ‘we’? It seems as if we consist of an email list to which I send links to news items relating to global warming, peak oil and transition; an occasional small event, such as a film show or a swap party; and nothing else. Is that good enough? We don’t have regular meetings, and we haven’t had a gardening workshop for ages. Our most recent film shows were of episodes from The Powerdown Show which attracted 5 or 6 people only. We do less now than we did a year or two ago, and although we occasionally get new people on the email list we’re doing next to nothing in practical terms. We don’t seem to be building community, and we’ve got no community projects going. We have no sub-groups focusing on issues such as renewable energy, transport, and so on. I’m not sure if we really exist as a group. Who would ever say they are one of the Transition group? Well, I do, which I guess is a start, but that’s not much after four years!

Nevertheless, a New Year is as good a time as any to renew your enthusiasm for something and to try to breathe some life into that which is moribund. I suppose the question to ask is would things be better if we folded up TSL? Hardly anyone would notice, of course, but I still think sending round the email links to news items is a good way of spreading information that we wouldn’t get from the mainstream media for the most part. I also think the film shows and swap parties are worthwhile, and there’s no reason why we can’t resurrect gardening workshops and seed swaps. If we’re only reaching ten people that seems better than reaching no one, as long as it’s not the same ten people all the time! Although, even that is better than reaching no one at all. There’s also the possibility – dare I mention it? – of getting a community garden going, as I now have two other people wanting to do some gardening on my little plot. I’m still trying to clear the jungle of weeds which took over when I broke my hip, but slowly it’s getting back into shape. I’m pretty sure there will be a bit of community action in this little spot in the very near future. This is not to be sniffed at. We are also going to show a movie made by two local women about a chap who came from China about fifty years ago and has been making tofu here in Mui Wo ever since. Who knows, we might get a few Chinese to come along to it as it’s in Chinese and it’s about a local ‘celebrity’. In fact, this might be an opportunity to make ourselves known to more of the locals. Small steps, indeed, but this is what we must be content with for the time being. We just need to keep plodding away at it.

For me, you choose what seems to be the best path through the darkness and you stick with it until a better alternative appears. You choose what you think is the right way to live in the light of the environmental and economic crises we face, and then you live it whether it has any effect on others or not. You follow the promptings of your heart, your mind and your soul. You try to live with integrity. So, until I feel I’m barking up the wrong tree, I’ll plod on with TSL  and hope that 2011 will be the year when we start to make a real impact.

Don Latter

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About transitionsl

I've been an English teacher for the best part of 30 years, teaching in England, Tanzania, Brunei, Australia and Hong Kong. I've always been interested in nature and environmental issues, but it was the discovery of Peak Oil about five years ago that galvanised me into trying to help my local community to prepare for what will be a dramatically different world to the one many of us have been used to. I've been helping to run a transition group, following the guidelines created by Rob Hopkins's Transition Movement in the UK. This blog is an attempt to engage in discussion with a wider group of people in Hong Kong on the ways to transition from our current oil dependency to a state of fossil-free local resilience.
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2 Responses to Road to Nowhere?

  1. ruby says:

    You should plod on. Totally agree with the last para.

  2. Jennifer Lorrimar-Shanks says:

    keep up the good work don. its a waiting game, but hong kong will get there in the end.

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