Being one of those people who is anticipating the end of the world as we know it, I naturally warm to things like the Transition Network, and its emphasis on local people responding to peak oil and climate change, rather than waiting for politicians to wake up and do something about it.

Unfortunately I’m in a minority here.

Think about it. One in five people locally works for a car company, or a company making things for car companies, doing research for them, or collecting data on car sales. I can talk about local communities getting stronger as much as I want, but for most people here a world with less oil and fewer cars means potentially losing their four-wheeled status symbol, their job, qualifications, social standing, financial security and pension. Nice vegetables and knowing the neighbours may not seem much of a return.

It’s no surprise people tend to change the subject, so I’ve learned to censor myself to appear slightly less like the resident weirdo in public.

This makes reading about ‘Transition Towns’ a bit frustrating, but apparently there is a sort of conference in Stuttgart soon for people who are thinking about stuff like this. I’m not entirely sure what it will be about because they don’t seem to do updates on their website, so it was still advertising last years gathering until about a month ago, but hopefully I’ll be able to go along and enjoy sounding slightly less differently sane, or at least not being the only oddball in the room.

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