Coupling resilience with sustainability to bounce back stronger.
Other Transition Towns in the area are looking at life after Coronavirus:
Transition Town Lewes is positive about a real transformation happening:
But what is clear, say campaigners, is that the world cannot go back to business as usual once the pandemic recedes. And the greatest hope could lie in the way that the virus pandemic has triggered community action around the world. As George Monbiot observes: “We could revert to the isolation and passivity that both capitalism and statism have encouraged. But I don’t think we will. I have the sense that something is taking root now, something we have been missing: the unexpectedly thrilling and transformative force of mutual aid.” The Guardian: The horror films got it wrong. This virus has turned us into caring neighbours
Transition US gives ‘relevant and practical solutions’ for the current crisis and beyond:
Both strangely and predictably enough, this crisis has presented a massive opportunity for those of us who have been or are currently engaged in building local community resilience. Our job is now, as it has been in the past, to offer relevant and practical solutions that meet real needs. In fact, many groups all over this country have already been taking inspiring and meaningful actions to counter the economic, social, and health impacts of COVID-19: scaling up efforts to teach people how to grow their own food, banding together to provide local investment for struggling local businesses, organizing mutual aid networks, and advocating for a “green stimulus.” These efforts should be celebrated, supported, and replicated throughout the US. Many more should be developed to help meet skyrocketing needs.
With some helpful training sessions for transitioners on offer:
Here’s an excerpt from an interesting piece – by Piet Dircke of Arcadis – looking at the key issues that concern the Transition Town movement:
Coupling resilience with sustainability to bounce back stronger from the coronavirus
One of the things the COVID-19 or coronavirus has demonstrated is that ‘sustainability’ and ‘resilience’ have a lot in common but are not the same.
Over the past weeks, sustainability has been greatly enhanced around the world. Skies above China, normally thick with air pollution, have cleared. Worldwide, there’s been a drastic reduction in CO2 and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as industries, including the airlines, have ground to a halt. Mother nature has been given a chance to recover, during what we all hope will be a short-lived, though unprecedented disruption to our normal lives.
But this period has also shown that the world is severely lacking pandemic resilience. Our cities, communities, industries and public utilities are under tremendous pressure. And in many countries, our public health systems have reached, or, in the case of Northern Italy, passed the breaking point. People all over the world are living in fear and our economies are barreling towards recession.
With this single-minded focus on getting things back to normal as soon as possible, there is a risk that public and political attention for sustainability will be lost. Sustainability issues will likely take a back seat, as our physical and economic health are now the top priorities. But since making our institutions more resilient will definitely be a fundamental part of our economic recovery, we would do well to consider how to couple this with sustainability, lest we risk wasting the current benefits that have been created for the planet.
Some resilience measures very clearly go hand-in-hand with sustainability. Globalization has been an economic boon, but this crisis is driving home the point that perhaps we’re too dependent on goods from far-flung parts of the planet. So, stimulating supply of and demand for locally grown or manufactured goods can make communities more resilient while creating the sustainability benefit of reducing transportation-related GHG emissions.
But things get trickier when we think about other issues like how we restore air transportation, while reducing the emissions from that industry. There’s no simple answer but this crisis presents possibilities: an opportunity to transition towards a more sustainable and profitable airline industry. To be clear I am simply highlighting the fact that now is the time for us to be thinking about these things. At a time when the airline industry is under pressure, there could be a robust discussion about addressing some of the ways the industry can strive to achieve better environmental outcomes. Perhaps it’s time to address price competition that makes it, in many instances, far cheaper to fly than take the train. Could the industry use this as an opportunity to enhance resilience and sustainability? What steps can be taken beyond the current efforts on biofuels and carbon offsetting? As we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic we would be remiss not to be asking ourselves these and many other, admittedly, difficult questions.
For instance, how can we bring industrial production back online but reduce GHG emissions and waste?
Or, how can we control or regulate tourism in places that are being overrun with visitors, decreasing quality of life for residents or harming nature?
And there are myriad other questions like these that we should examine now.
That said, there are questions for which we already have answers.
Can we drastically reduce business travel?