This article by Kate is the first in a series of individual reflections by Transition Falmouth’s members as we adapt to the radical changes to our lives wrought by Covid-19. Comments welcome.
Covid-19 is upon us, both here in Falmouth, and also in nearly every community in our vast world – our interconnected world. This virus is a huge problem, but our very interconnectedness can make it part of the solution. There is another way.
With holistic, interconnected and co-operative solutions, such as we have been suggesting for many years, it is definitely time for Transition.
The simply elegant Friends of the Earth Slogan Think Global, Act Local is hugely important now.
Globally, as an example, there is a drop in demand for oil and the price is really low. Some forms of fossil fuel extraction may soon not be viable businesses (e.g. shale and tar sands) and yet the oil industry may fall into the category of “too big to fail”. Remember the bail out of the banks with disastrous affect 12 years ago, which was, don’t forget, paid for by us – individual hard-working human beings…
…the same people who are now working their socks off in poorly paid, frontline jobs – saving lives and lifestyles for the benefit of the multitude of the rest of us, both locally and around the world. Thank you, thank you and thank you again.
The power of the Act Local part of the message is plain to see. Inventive and imaginative solutions are being found in our local communities to mitigate the problems caused by the overdeveloped world’s dependency on complex national and international “just in time” supply chains. Local communities are working co-operatively to help one another. Big business is still chasing the competitive edge. So far the Stock Market, not the Local Market, still rules.
It is important to support local food shopping and production – growing and sowing near to home is much healthier as well as more sustainable and secure. It requires less packaging and reduces carbon emissions. (see Tim Lang on food security). Much of nature’s gifts that were once valuable resources to keep communities alive and healthy have been industrialized, thereby destroying local markets (e.g. seeds, palm oil, wheat varieties).
Here in Cornwall there are many excellent local networks emerging in response to Covid-19 for mutual support. Long may these be part of the solution after this crisis. Also, the revitalising of global networks and forums that encourage global rethinking about how we tackle our upturned world – vitally important now and for the future. Currently video conferencing is really finding its place, keeping contacts and meetings going, without destroying the planet. Thank goodness for the world wide web.
We must make do with what we have -and reduce global consumption. Our planet does not have infinite resources and cannot sustain infinite growth.
World Earth Day (April 22nd) is 50 years old this year. Let’s view this difficult time as an opportunity to reconnect with the Earth and Nature, with Soil, Soul and Society (Satish Kumar). It is a beautiful Spring to do it! Already our air quality has improved with the hugely reduced world carbon emissions. Working people all around the world would like this to continue, especially those in towns and cities and where heavy industry dominates.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Live lightly on this world as we only have the one. Stop over producing and stop making people live such hard lives, just to earn a crust. We are aiming for right livelihoods and creative solutions.
Keep it local and simple; appropriate and as gentle as can be.
Kate O, TF veteran