Permanent Culture Now offers a warm welcome to our guest writer, Boyd Lee from Transition Towns Bolton in Lancashire.
My town works like yours. On the shelf at the library they have a story of how they came about. After the donkey tracks came the pavements and they are about to become more interesting as we read about a missing chapter. While stock markets rallied towards 2007, we passed a quiet but global milestone. By 2006 the world had used about half of the easy to get oil that we run our global towns and cities on. It’s an important chapter to understand. Because the value of all current financial assets including job security rest on ‘the promise’ of future industrial production and distribution. Banks’ need countries to have access to cheap oil to power the payback of their global loans and are now entering a new phase in their fight to survive ‘the promise’ themselves.
It’s a simple but hard fact for most of us to grasp right away. Without a growing supply of oil you cannot grow or maintain an economy designed like ours.
Yes. Without a growing supply of cheap oil you cannot promise to keep growing.
Bank loans or maintain yesterday’s promise of a globalised industrial economy like ours.
Meanwhile international politics struggles to patch a promise that can’t be delivered.
Without noticing, we’ve all come to live in high-energy towns, triple glazed by smog of financial engineering. As the glazing units continue to fail, so will ‘the promise’. Look around you. Pavements are the new economy. The pavement is the most reliable, low carbon transportation in town. Bicycles come next. Using our local pavement we can meet our neighbours face to face, eye to eye, revive essential services, play live music in the streets, eat together, set up urban farms to bring food within footsteps, help others to survive the promise, adopt local currencies that allow local trade to flourish and make a life that provides enough for everyone’s needs without desperately holding onto an international promise that can’t be delivered.
No need to logon. Take a walk on your towns pavements, go to each district as often as you can, it’s weird at first but you’ll be ok. Take a good look around you, think about how families here will operate without the promise that oil brings. Let’s accept this human pace is unfolding and the slow quality of life this offers. A slow economy is here. It’s a certainty. Forget the smog of the old promise and we’ll begin to notice others in the new one. The triple glazing promise is failing faster than we’ll accept at first but you’re sure to find your feet with new friends across town. It’s still a promise but a local one that we can only walk together. It’s a new day alright.
Boyd Lee October 2011 – Bolton Transitions
The Promise was inspired by Rob Hopkins’s article describing the difficulty that Most families in British towns, governments and glazing units are having adapting to the end of the promise
If you’ve understood this page, you might be ready for -luxury Campground.