While we face many problems going into the future, there are already lots of good efforts going on to address them in Albany. You can find a list of working Albany organizations on the City’s website.
But the problems are far too big for a few organizations or for government to tackle alone. Behind all of them – over-population, species extinction, climate change, fossil fuel depletion, unsteady economy – the idea that we can continue to live disconnected from nature’s laws and “grow” our economy endlessly on a planet whose resources are limited, is key . We’re going to have to seriously rethink our lifestyles if we are to have a world of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all.
It’s going to take everyone in Albany – young, old, working, not working, rich, poor, Latina/o, African American, White, Asian – working together to create neighborhoods that can gracefully weather the changes ahead in a way that’s fair, fun and inclusive.
The Transition movement believes that there are plenty of people in every community with the smarts to come up with solutions that are unique for their place. So for those of you who have been coming to our events for the last 18 months and left thinking, “What’s next?”, here’s what’s next:
The Great Unleashing … of the Genius of the Community!
The time has come for all of us to put our shoulders to the wheel in the areas where we each have the most passion and interest. Then, with the advantage of everyone’s best thinking focused on the problem, we can devise practical solutions that dig deep, solutions that are uniquely applicable to the place where we live.
The task? To make Albany resilient to sudden, as well as gradual but inevitable, change, especially in areas where we rely on a fragile supply system for our essentials. You can find ideas on the kinds of areas we could work on at TransitionUS.org.
We’ve been led to believe that consumption is what life is all about, but what about learning to be producers again? Good neighbors? These are the kind of issues that we will be addressing together at the Great Unleashing.
➢ If we wait for the governments, it’ll probably be too little, too late.
➢ If we act as individuals, it’ll be too little.
➢ But if we act as communities, it might be just enough, just in time.”
Potential Problems We Need To Address In Albany
- If the price of oil stopped trucks from running or made the cost of food rise steeply, how would we feed ourselves? In the event of disruption, Safeway and other food stores only have enough to keep us going for about three days.
- What if we couldn’t afford to buy the essentials we need? Do we have skills to share with others in exchange?
- What if pharmaceutical drugs (most of which are based on petrochemicals) became less accessible? Are there effective alternatives we could develop locally?
- Are our children equipped to deal with the practical demands of a life without gadgets and technological aids? What useful skills could we be teaching them?
- How well do we manage during a power outage, or when the water’s turned off for a few hours, several days? What about sewage?
- How are we dealing with the realization that our children and grandchildren are going to be living with a lot less of what we’ve been taught is our “due”?
So, what exactly IS the Great Unleashing?
It’s a working afternoon with a celebratory feel, starting 2 pm Sunday afternoon, May 22nd, at the Albany Vet’s Building in Memorial Park on Portland Avenue. Because we want everyone’s participation, we are providing a great kids’ program for children 4-11 in the room next door. Details below.
After a short introduction to the concept of Transition, we’ll remind ourselves briefly of the challenges (with active dialog) and look at how they affect us in Albany.
Using Open Space format, those who want to will propose initiatives, then we gather into working groups with others of like mind to brainstorm projects that will help ensure a future Albany that is energy-lean, satisfying and resilient. Each participant will come away with contact information of neighbors they would like to work with going into the future, and a plan to meet again to put these projects into action.
A picnic in the park, with food for sale by local merchants, music and fun
Richard Heinberg will give the keynote address based on his soon-to-be-published book, “The End of Growth”. He has authored ten books, including “The Party’s Over” and “Peak Everything”. Richard is widely regarded as one of the world’s most effective communicators of the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels. Indeed, in many important ways life without oil could easily be preferable to the present. With a wry, unflinching approach based on facts and realism, Richard exposes the tenuousness of our current way of life and offers a vision for a truly sustainable future.