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3-5Mar2011: Conference on Transition in Cornwall

Conference on Transition in Cornwall

We live in interesting and uncertain times. There are troubles, but a rewarding and resilient new kind of lifestyle could soon emerge. The way this might happen is the subject of a conference being held in North Cornwall next month.

For many decades we have had cheap oil and an amazing way of life, with the opportunities to travel far and wide, to eat as much food as we like from all over the world, and to buy large quantities of manufactured items, from clothes to computers. There have been widespread consequences too, ranging from global climate change to a widening gap between rich and poor. As the cheap oil era comes to an end, everything will change and there will be a transition to a new and different era in the history of people. What will the transition be like?

No-one knows the answer. But up and down the length and breadth of Cornwall, ordinary people have started to work together, discussing the transition and how to make it good for us, here in Cornwall. We need to establish resilience, so that whatever happens, we shall be OK. More people and landowners are needed to become active participants. The Transition movement was started a few years ago by Rob Hopkins in Devon, and since then some 20 groups have started up in Cornwall.

At the beginning of next month, representatives of these groups will be meeting together to review what they have done and to inspire each other about what they are going to do. From 4th – 6th March, they will meet and confer at a place between Camelford and Bude called Trelay Farm. At Trelay a small group of people live in a cohousing community, seeking a lifestyle which is resilient but also rewarding and good fun.

The conference will include a wide range of expert speakers from Cornwall who will offer talks and workshops on many topics including cohousing, low carbon farming, the economy, people care and emergency planning. There will be dancing and music on offer too, and visits to local places already practising low carbon ideas. Discussion of the troubles facing us will not be shirked, but the idea of Transition is to find a positive way forward. As Rob Hopkins says, meeting the challenges of peak oil and climate change will be more like a party than a protest march.

The conference "Reviewing and Re-imagining Transition in Cornwall" is open to all, not just people who already belong to a Transition group, but pre-booking is essential. The booking fee is only £10 per day, and lovely home-cooked food is available too. Find out more by visiting www.transitioncornwallnetwork.org.uk, www.TransitionNC.org or www.trelay.org, or book in by contacting jackie@trelay.org or 01840 230 423.