Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Network, is a man gearing up for climate change and peak oil. The good news is that he says he can taste a brighter future already.
A low-carbon world, a post-oil, resilient world isn’t something abstract and notional, rather it is something we can already taste in the world around us.
For me, the future is a mix of the best urban food projects (such as Incredible Edible Todmorden in Yorkshire), the best agroforestry projects (such as the Agroforestry Research Trust on the Dartington Estate in Devon) and the best market gardens I have ever seen (such as Anne Evans’ and Peter Segger’s Blaencamel Farm in Wales).
It includes the finest natural buildings I have touched and walked around (like the first strawbale house I helped build in Clones, Co. Monaghan in Ireland), and energy systems we can already visit. The future is not something esoteric, or some kind of Logan’s Run hi-tech fantasy, but the very real upscaling of what we already know and understand.
This is also what I love about Eden. Being able to embrace a cob wall, swoon at the sight of a gracious sweeping edible landscape, recycle as though it were the most natural thing in the world and spend a day surrounded by solar panels and energy conservation, this all becomes everyday (photos, right).
As indeed it will be. The future is no longer something abstract, something foggy and unknown, rather it comes into bold and vivid focus, in bright, warm colours. The stories we tell ourselves about the future start to shift. The fear dissolves, replaced by a sense of excitement about the possibilities.
If we are to successfully navigate the next 10-20 years, it will be an achievement more impressive than the Industrial Revolution, and will have happened in a fraction of the time. Any sense that we are ‘moving away from’ something irreplaceable will only be an impediment.
The power of Eden is that a low-carbon world becomes something to move towards, in such a way that life won’t seem worth living if we aren’t part of the collective effort to make it happen. This is a powerful thing indeed, and in this your 10th birthday year, I thank you deeply for all that you have brought into the world.
Rob Hopkins is the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and the Transition Network. He blogs at http://transitionculture.org/ and is author of The Transition Handbook and the forthcoming The Transition Companion.
Be inspired by Eden’s outreach projects, which are helping neighbourhoods connect and start to build more resilient communities – through activities like street parties, gardening and creative planning events.