Michigan Land Trustees and the Transition Movement

By Norm & Rita Bober

In 2009 at the MLT August meeting the board agreed to work with the Transition Van Buren-Allegan program to educate people about key issues of peak oil, climate change, economic decline, and resilience as the goals for each group were similar:

"…the transition movement is a response to the coming of peak oil. When the supply of oil fails to meet the demand, the price will rise rapidly and perhaps there will be rationing. We will have to learn new skills to replace the work that oil does for us now. This is especially true in the production of food. We all need food to survive (as well as clean air, drinkable water, and the sun). With less energy available, our whole industrial society will need to be redesigned… The Transition initiative focuses on local revitalization. It's important to be prepared to feed ourselves locally, to provide local energy (i.e. solar and wind power, wood for woodstoves), to be able to get around (low-energy cars, bikes, horses and buggies) and to support each other in all of these endeavors." (From an article in the Lawton Free Reader, August 2010)
"Cultivating Resilient Communities: Michigan Land Trustees is dedicated to the goal of revitalizing rural and urban communities by promoting responsible land use and the development of localized food and energy systems." (From our MLT flyer)

As a result of this initiative, we have worked with the Transition team to set up educational programs and reskilling events to fulfill this process. Below is a list of the programs we have presented over the year reaching at a minimum over 400 people.

In talking with Maynard about our events, he indicated it is more important to think of Transition as a "Movement" rather than as building an organization. In this regard, there are many more events taking place to enhance the movement. These include:

Whatever name you give "The Movement" — sustainability, resilience, relocalization — it has begun and we are in the forefront of bringing it to Southwest Michigan.

Published in the Michigan Land Trustees Newsletter, Fall, 2010.