"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau



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Rethinking Resilience

By Eric Rempel

Those of us who have become concerned about the sustainability of our lifestyle; how our lifestyle affects resource depletion, catastrophic pollution, climate change and a host of other environmental issues, are well aware that the activities of any one of us will do nothing to save this planet for our children and grandchildren. Global action is necessary to address the threat of climate change. National action could significantly affect resource depletion and some other aspects of sustainability and our vote once every four years, in a small way, contributes to national direction. We can add to that vote by writing letters to our MPs, but beyond that, there is little we can do to affect national action. So, in the end, does it matter what we do?

The Post Carbon Institute (PCI) is a non-partisan think tank that came into being in 2003 in order to address the global sustainability issue. It has brought together experts and leaders in the various aspects of this issue. If you go to their website you will see that they have assembled a wealth of resources that address what governments can and should do if we are to address this issue. But the fellows at the PCI were well aware of the powerlessness of us individually, so in 2012 the PCI spawned a section they call Resilience.org. At Resilience.org they address exactly the question: how can we live resiliently in the face of the above reality. 

Resilience.org has recently prepared an online course consisting of four hours of lecture on various aspects of resilient living. They are calling this course “Thinking Resilience”. We here, at the South Eastman Transition Initiative, think this is a very timely series of lectures. The course has been set up in such a way that anyone can participate on his/her own, but we thought there would be value and interest in doing this as a group activity. To that end we have booked space at the Jake Epp library, Friday evenings, beginning January 11, 7:00 – 9:00. Anyone is welcome to join us. We intend to meet for seven successive weeks. The format we anticipate is that we will view a lecture and follow that by discussion. More details on the lecture content is here. We recognize that many people will be unable to attend every session, but if you are interested, we encourage you to come and join us when you can. 

The lecturer is Richard Heinberg, whom some readers will know because of the monthly museletter he has been sending out. In this course, Resilience.org has teamed up with Transition US. Transition US is part of the world wide Transition Town movement that inspired the initial formation of the South Eastman Transition Initiative. Read what Transition US has to say about this course.