Wicklow Town Transition Towns Initiative

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Report of Information Session on Tuesday 27 May in The Dominican Ecology Centre, Wicklow Town.

Welcome: Marian O’Sullivan welcomed all present and explained briefly the background to the gathering. Transition Towns, begun in Kinsale by Rob Hopkins, is an initiative to help local communities plan ahead for a time when fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas will be very expensive and scarce as well. Ireland is very dependent on imported fossil fuels which would leave us very vulnerable in the event of a crisis. The alternative is to build local resilience, growing our own food instead of importing 90% of it as at present, encouraging energy-saving initiatives and  promoting local sustainable businesses. Marian then introduced Davie Phillips of the Cultivate Centre in Temple Bar, the facilitator for the afternoon.

Presentation: Using many very telling graphics Davie pointed out that oil discoveries peaked in 1964 and that oil production has peaked or is about to peak now.  With demand growing exponentially prices will inevitably soar and there will be shortages. Instead of waiting for doomsday we need to put systems in place that will help us to cope.  In so doing we will learn that life after oil can be as good if not better because people will lead healthier lives, become involved with their communities and spend less time stuck in their cars.

In the second session Davie divided the participants into groups and gave them the task of writing the front page of a local newspaper ten years from now.  The headlines should indicate the positive movement towards a more sustainable life-style. The goup responded with gusto with headlines like:  “Council Car Park to become Community Garden”, “New Woollen Mill opens on disused Tesco site”, “Artisan Food Fair features Multi-cultural Cookery Course” “Light Rail System goes National”, “ IFA to go Organic”, “Tidal Energy Online” and many more equally creative.

Conclusion: It was agreed that we should take this initiative forward.  It was proposed that a steering committee be formed to decide on the next steps. Volunteers are invited to form the steering committee which can continue to meet in the Ecology Centre if they so wish. Marian thanked everybody and Davie in particular for an excellent afternoon’s work and wished everybody well in the challenge and opportunities that are opening up before us.

Contact: Marian O'Sullivan | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.