Transition Café – Travel

Some of the folks who cross the land here are regulars, like Chestnut-Backed Chickadees, Oak Titmice, Towhees, Juncos, various Reptiles, etc. Some are seasonals, like Golden-Crowned Sparrows, Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, and others. Every year, I look forward to the Golden-Crowneds returning, with their long-whistled calls. Those on the land here will often forage right around my feet if I’m sitting out on the land. Not so in other areas I encounter them. They often ride in on the first Fall winds, and are around until mid-Spring, when they head to other lands to raise their families.

I also look forward to visits from Human relatives. Family in the North Bay come by from time to time, and we visit them. Corvallis is a home away from home, as has Mendocino been, and I regularly go tracking on the coast and in the hills around here.

It is likely that this will all change, within the next decade, if we take climate change and the impact of fossil fuels seriously. Can renewable energy help with this? For the moment, only if you can afford it, but then, the same could be said of non-renewables. Buying renewable energy from Arcadia has turned out to be much less expensive than non-renewable, but we also live pretty lightly in that regard, and go low-tech whenever feasible. Of course that word, “feasible”, means different things to different folks.

The promise of the Petroleum Age was that we were to be connected, to everywhere and everything, so we distributed accordingly, falling in love with people, peoples, and places all over the planet, scattering our families to the winds. Even somewhere that is a mere hour away by car is much further by bike, and a serious time commitment by foot. Electric vehicles, of course, are the proposed replacement technology, but how many of us can afford those? About as many as could afford Horses in the days before the Horseless Carriage, I’m guessing, but that’s okay, right? After all, the wealthy are the only ones who would really need to travel or have the time to, as everyone else will be too busy cooking for, cleaning up after, and making things for them, yes? Especially if their wages are kept low enough. Whew, solved that problem, and in only one paragraph! But seriously…

Will we go back to family and friends living close to each other? How close? Biking distance? Walking distance? Probably depends on how close we want to be, how often we want to see each other. What of those of who have friends or family who are incarcerated? Those who commute over huge distances, each weekend, to spend time with loved ones who cannot come to them? Can you imagine that life? How many of us who live that life can afford an electric vehicle? I’m guessing not so many.

Humans, of course, are not the only travelers. Our stuff travels all over the world, too, courtesy of Big Industry. What will we eat, when that option is affordable only to those who can afford it? Whatever is in easy biking or walking distance, I’m guessing. Would it make sense to start establishing food and medicine gardens now, before it’s an emergency? Not just the occasional backyard garden or community garden, but everyone growing stuff, and skilling themselves up on the relationships between our leafy or mycelial neighbors and ourselves.

Of course, we’ll probably have to revise that relationship, stop spraying poisons on those wild edibles and medicinals, stop paying folks to blow the life-giving leaf mulch off our moonscapes, and stop calling the Homeowners’ Association or the police on our neighbors who refuse to, or who want to have a vegetable garden with (gasp!) a compost pile instead of (gasp!!) a lawn. Who knows, that volunteer plant in your neighbor’s yard may be exactly the medicinal which could help you with that antibiotic-resistant superbug rampaging through your insides.

The question of Travel comes up a great deal in Transition Town circles, especially when we’re looking at national or international gatherings for those of who only know each other as voices on the phone or faces on a video call.

Travel may get much easier for the non-Humans, though, not having to worry about getting hit by vehicles transporting Humans somewhere or another, and rendering the air- and waterways unfit for traversing, much less living in. What if we had learned to be more respectful, sooner? What if we learned it right now?

I’m definitely not saying we should not be exploring “renewable” energy, I think that is an important step towards what comes next. But I believe it is a step, and that the next step should be on our minds, so we don’t find ourselves in this place again, in another century. I have read that folks were predicting the end of the Petroleum Age before it even really got going, and they were right, for the reasons they cited, can we learn from that and make reasonable plans for what comes next, and after that? There are some very very smart people on this, what would it be like to listen to them and work towards implementing their ideas?

These are just my opinions, my questions. Although the Transition Town movement has Energy Descent as one of its goals, many join us who are excited about renewables, electrics, high-tech solutions. That is fine, and I, personally, think resilience comes from having the most diverse toolbox and set of options we can have.

Meanwhile, lifestyle changes will be happening, whether we like it or not. What will change in your life, in the short term? In the long term? How does this bear on our lives in the Transition Era? Come on down to Red Rock, and let’s talk about

Notes: Fiction
Personal Narrative

Changing vs. keeping your personal narrative?
How does your narrative change, over time?
Does your narrative change, over time?
Is there a relationship between a changing narrative and a changing life?
Does blame figure in your narrative?

Death stories
Family stories/secrets
Finding your story
State-controlled narrative
Fake News vs. Fiction

What story do you tell yourself about the news, after reading it?
Are the ways we change our story a sign of healing?
Family narratives
Where do you get your news?



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