Sunday, 15 March 2009


Transition Inishowen

Transition Inishowen have been raising awareness of what life will be like for us here in Inishowen when the demand for oil exceeds the supply. The group have been showing films in Carndonagh, Moville and Buncrana, which have been introducing the concept of peak oil. This shows that the supply of oil is running out and will be much more expensive to extract in the future. The twin issues of peak oil and climate change are now being realised as a reality and the transition town movement aims to explore how we might reduce our energy needs yet still maintain a rewarding life style. Climate change makes reducing our carbon footprint essential, peak oil makes it inevitable and Transition initiatives gives us practical ways to go about it.

So how will Inishowen feed itself beyond peak oil? Transition Inishowen member Claire Gilmour says, “Inishowen needs to be able to meet its own needs. This movement is about people working together, re-localising everything, supporting local cottage industries and growing our own food.”

The Transition Town movement started in Kinsale, Co Cork in 2005 (where the Town Council took the historic step of adopting the plan to work toward energy independence), and has since spread like wildfire across the world with participating towns in many countries including the UK, Australia, Chile, Japan and the USA. It plans to be a positive and hopeful movement where people use the same creativity, ingenuity and adaptability that was used when oil became more plentiful now that energy resources are depleting.

Local Community
Here in Inishowen, with the recession biting, we are already seeing local people and businesses becoming more aware of keeping as much of their spending power in the community as possible and Claire sees this as a positive step.

“Every-one can make a difference,” she explains with passion. “We need to work together. If we wait for the government, it will be too little, too late. If we act as individuals, it will be too little, but if we act as communities, it might be just enough, just in time.”

Transition Inishowen sees connecting with local groups as a vital step in the process. “There are some great community groups out there, ” she explains but Transition Inishowen is not just another group. “It is not something you join, but will involve every-one. It is about increasing resilience in the community, strengthening existing groups and working together.”
The new group are following the transition town process of raising awareness (through the film screenings), creating forums for discussion on all relevant topics such as economics, energy uses and food production. Transition Towns also put on all sorts of events such as tree planting, how to forage for food, growing vegetables etc in order to increase skills and networks within the community.

Claire feels very optimistic about the Transition in Inishowen. “We are in a good spot for alternative energies such as wind and waves,” she begins “ and we have people within the community who can still remember the old ways so that their memories and skills are still with us.” She pauses for a moment, thinking. “We have cottage industries such as tweed-making, basket weaving and carpentry and there is a wealth of art and music here, so we will never be short of craic,” she smiles.

The next two events run by Transition Inishowen will be The End of Suburbia, which will be screened on Sat 21st March in the IDP offices in Pound Street from 2pm –4pm. Then on Saturday 4th April (2pm –4pm), there will be a showing of the film Peak Oil –Imposed by Nature, followed by a talk by charismatic speaker Dr John Barry who is a Professor of Environmental Politics and Sustainability at Queens University, Belfast as well as a member of the Transition Town in Holywood Co. Down.

If you are interested in the Transition Town movement you can check out the website or phone Claire 074 9378577 or Bev and Mike Doherty on 074 9374581.

1 comment:

BeyondGreen said...

There could be no better investment in America than to invest in America becoming energy independent! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources.Create cheap clean energy, new badly needed green jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. The cost of fuel effects every facet of consumer goods from production to shipping costs. After a brief reprieve gas is inching back up.OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel.If all gasoline cars, trucks, and SUV's instead had plug-in electric drive trainsthe amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota.There is a really good new book out by Jeff Wilson called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now.

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