The big question was posed at the Power of Community presentation at Meaford Hall Sunday past.
The film explored how the island nation of Cuba rose to the challenge and thrived through collective effort after their oil supply was cut off due to the collapse of the USSR.
The big question is “Can we change; live with less and be happy & healthy before we are forced, like the Cubans to deal with a life or death national crisis?”
The short answer is, no one knows.
The hopeful answer is yes, because we have already begun the process of social change.
Daniel Taylor of Future Generations said “Change happens because of how we invest our human energy, and it always has since we came down from the trees. Everyone has a margin of discretionary energy – that isn’t used up by making their way in the world. That’s the energy that’s available for social change. If you can get a whole community to start focusing their energy together, building on success, just as business builds on successful products, then you get social change.”
Transition Meaford is focusing all their discretionary energy into building a resilient community; a community that can function in the face of peak oil and climate change pressures.
Transition Meaford ‘treaded water’ for a year, and now they have an environmental film series at Meaford Hall.
They are part of a local community garden at Georgian Bay Secondary High School that had a painfully slow start and is now an example of amazing community cooperation.
A Bee & Butterfly Habitat initiative has been started by a local landscape designer, Thomas Dean, whose heart is in the development of healing gardens.
Transition Meaford, the municipality, farmers, urbanites and local businesses are cooperating to make Meaford a haven for indigenous, as well as, domesticated honey bees & butterflies.
Grey County is looking at the possibility of incorporating a green infrastructure valuation study into their strategic plan.
The valuation of green infrastructure is an acknowledgement of mother earth’s value beyond exploited natural resources.
The Municipality of Meaford is in the process of creating a Tree By-law for municipal property and will be looking at the possibility of an Urban Forest Management Plan as part of a sustainability review.
Our Municipal Planner visited the ECO (Environment, Community, Outdoors) class at Georgian Bay Secondary School to talk with students about planning and sustainability, and to quote her Blog site;
“The students expressed a keen awareness that our society’s way of living is in many ways unsustainable. They are also aware that knowing and doing are separate matters. One student expressed that their vision for Meaford of the future did not include ‘growth’ but instead focused on enhancement and preservation of our natural environment and our sense of community”
At last Sunday’s film, a young person, made some thoughtful points, including the observation that; “Cuba had Venezuela to turn to for much needed emergency oil. What do we do when there is no where to turn?”
All of these activities along with this perceptive observation from someone just starting out in life suggest to me that social change is happening.
The six week series, Films for Thought, is a significant part of that social change process.
Urban Roots, at Meaford Hall, Sunday, June 3rd at 1:30 pm documents the remarkable social change happening in post-industrial Detroit, Michigan. (Adults $7.00 Students $2.00)