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As seen on TV - Breakfast Show
A great opportunity came chasing after me yesterday, when Paul from TVNZ tracked me down to invited someone from Transition Towns to go on the Breakfast Show on Wednesday morning to talk about the Transition Towns response to rising fuel prices. I hesitated briefly. Here was a chance to raise the bar on the conversation, above simply rising fuel and food prices (which are intimately interlinked).
So in case you can't (or didn't) see the 7:10am breakfast show here's what I am hoping to bring to the conversation.
Fuel prices are a small part of the picture
Fuel prices are linked to international oil price and availability. We've passed the period in history where oil production was increasing year on year and able to meet our continued thirst for it. The International Energy Agency who keep a record for governments, came out last year and said that conventional oil production peaked back in 2006. In October last year, the NZ parliamentary library report titled "The 'Next Oil Shock" highlights a number of issues New Zealand is likely to face in the coming years because of dwindling oil supplies.
The future is local
Moving from oil dependency to local resilience is key to building healthy, vibrant communities. This is a core understanding of the bottom up, grass roots response represented by the Transition Towns movement.
At a very local level, people are rediscovering the joys of growing more food and sharing it with one another, building fun ways of distributing food through creative boox schemes like Ooooby and Bucky Box. People are getting enormously creative with reducing their energy requirements, at home, at work and via alternative forms of transport.
At a regional level, food alliances are being formed to build on each others strengths, and ensure that we meet our essential needs despite likely disruptions in the global food system.
At a local government level, staff and elected representatives in the Auckland Council are finding ways to reduce dependence on oil, and we can expect to see these written into the likes of the Spatial Plan.
At a national level we'd be looking for leadership that looks to acknowledge the transition we're in and explore the likes of fuels from bio mass as alternative to the likes of lignite from Southland, that would leave a greater climate challenge to future generations.
Embrace the uncertainty
In New Zealand we have so many opportunities for redesigning our world in a positive manner, and embracing the uncertainty of these times we live in. Be gentle with yourself and each other, do your own research and seek out ways you can become part of the solution.
The possibilities for the future are endless, and it's up to each and every one of us to find where we can or feel moved to contribute, and play our part in singing a brighter and healthier future into existence.
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