March was an innovative month for TN as 60 council staff took part in Transition Training at County Hall. Meanwhile there were creative moves within the often dry scientific areas of climate change and peak oil. Following the Norwich Transitioner’s blog, This Low Carbon Life (look out for the topic week this month on The Industrial Food System, beginning April 12), the Low Carbon Roadshow started to tell the story of Transition in the classrooms and on the streets of Norwich.
The Earth Hour "I'm a bit of an anorak," people kept confessing at the Future Visions: a world beyond oil event organised by Greener Fram(lingham) last Saturday. I have to admit when it comes to the Low Carbon Roadshow we were more of a velvet jacket/multicoloured trouser/leaves and skulls/blue faced kind of people. It’s good to know facts about peak oil and climate change but when it comes to big cultural shifts you need colour and imagination, you need drums and music, boldness and a lot of style. You need a show of how things might be in the future.
At the Low Carbon Roadshow’s first reheasal at the Norwich Arts Centre we found ourselves developing a performance based on Future Beings of 2110 “returning” to 2010 to speak about the times of Transition, Each of us incorporated a possible scenario from Mad Max to Steady State, Green Tech to Paradigm Shift. Then on Saturday evening (27th March) four of us conducted a ceremony to open the Earth Hour, accompanied by Taiko drums, converging at the Forum from the four directions. “What did it mean?” asked one of the crowd. “We’re creating the future,” I replied and realised in that moment that that’s what everyone was doing right there.
(Charlotte Du Cann/Communications)
To get involved in the Low Carbon Roadshow contact Charlotte Du Cann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transition Tales and Visions at Catton Grove School One unexamined assumption I appear to have been holding until recently was that kids ‘these days’ are addicted to TV and video games, the content of which influences their tender opinions about society and our culture, about relationships between groups, relationships between people and people’s relationships to the environment. This assumption was partly blown out of the water by one particular day of work at Catton Grove Primary school. Charlotte Du Cann and I were working with a class from year 5 (9-10 years old).
We played the ‘Oil Game’ with them – in brief a game designed (by Rob Hopkins) to get people to think about Oil being a finite energy source required by lots of different outlets from transport to food to clothing etc. A litre jug of water is used to represent oil and a pupil from each varying group whether it be clothing and cosmetics or mobile phones and computers comes up to the front of the class to get 75ml of water/oil, to last them 10 years. 10 years goes by in 1 minute and suddenly all the groups, transport, clothing, food, energy for business and homes, TV’s etc, come up to receive more oil. However, there’s not enough to go round! Who deserves the oil the most and why? Blow me down! All the class agreed that TV and computer games were not important enough to warrant using any oil for. One young man even suggested that TV was completely unproductive, to quote “You don’t do anything, you just sit there!” There fizzled my assumption that TV is one addiction that kids can’t do without.
The next day we invited Transition Cambridge to come and share their Transition Tales and Visions: two hours of time travel from traditional fairy stories about the relationship with the earth to a Transitioned future in 2050 where school children were milking goats and singing songs in praise of anerobic digestion. (Tom Harper/Core Group)
Above: Richard, Sarah and Chris on the Taiko drums outside the Forum at the Earth Hour: Salli from Transition Cambridge and Catton Grove Year 5 enacting a scene from a fairy tale about animals and the harmony of the world