Community matters when we are looking for responses to peak oil and climate change because of the power that emerges from working together and creating meaningful change through shared action. In a world where social capital and a sense of connection to community are in decline, it is the taking of practical action that enables us to rediscover meaningfulness and community.
It is my observation, through seeing what groups inspired by Transition have done, that happiness and fulfillment are achieved through meaningful activity, and meaningful activity needs to happen with other people. If we see climate change and peak oil as purely environmental and energy problems that someone else will fix, we give away our potential to create change, and we close ourselves away and feel powerless–and the last thing we need at this point in history is people feeling powerless.
This is a chapter from The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises (2010).
See also our 2017 book, The Community Resilience Reader: Essential Resources for an Era of Upheaval.