Published in Battersea Matters:
Residents and community groups in the Wandsworth area are combining their local knowledge and neighbourhood spirit to address and tackle the issues of Peak Oil and climate change by volunteering their time for projects, workshops and skills swaps in the Wandsworth Town area. Transition Town Wandsworth, spurred by the burgeoning nationwide Transition town movement, is a way for local people to take a direct hand in planning resilience for tomorrow by getting involved in sustainable projects today.
With current projects including one of Wandsworth’s first community gardens (proposed to be located in Wandsworth Town), skills share workshops and music & culture events (such as last years ‘Low Carbon Carnival’ hosted at the Battersea Arts Centre), the group is committed to creating projects and finding ways to engage everyone from the area; to strengthen the community and educate on the issues.
Peak oil, the theory that most of the cheap and easier to extract oil has already ‘peaked’ in terms of discovery and extraction, has slowly gained ground over the last few years; tellingly the October 2008 report of the UK government’s ‘Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil & Energy Security (ITPOES)’, plainly sets out its expectations for a supply ‘crunch’ around 2011 – 2013. These realities, coupled with the ever present challenges of climate change, have resulted in a decisive shift in recent years towards clean technologies and sustainable, local commerce.
As people increasingly recognise the need for action to tackle this and other issues directly affecting their everyday lives – dependency on cheap imports, increasing instability in fuel markets and unsustainable levels of consumption – Transition Town Wandsworth have decided to turn to the community for many solutions to these problems, believing that some of the answers to the Boroughs most pressing concerns are likely to be found at the local level.
Although working with pre-existent initiatives to create community gardens, growing projects, green transport solutions and skills share projects, whilst recognising the need for close cooperation with the local authority, Transition Town Wandsworth want as many volunteers from the community as possible to come forward, join in and make Wandsworth a model of cooperation and sharing. For example, many members of the Borough’s older generation may hold skills, such as clothes repair, beer brewing and kitchen gardening that are lost on today’s generation – now’s the time to pass them along!
Already comprising members of the Wandsworth Environment Forum and Food up Front, the initiative is committed to involving every member of our diverse community in its plan to provide local resilience against climatic or oil ‘shocks’ for Wandsworth in the coming years.
If you have an idea of what might make Wandsworth a greener and more sustainable borough, would like to take part in TT Wandsworth events or projects, or simply want to find out more, check out http://www.projectdirt.com/group/transitiontownwandsworth), or call or email Dan O’Neill on 07931 106 949/ firstname.lastname@example.org