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Communities plan for a low-energy future

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To Glen Brand, director of the Sierra Club’s national Cool Cities campaign, which promotes clean energy solutions, the Transition movement “provides a fresh perspective for educating the public on local sustainability in an era of looming climate change and depletion of fossil fuels.” The key, he says, is to “make sure that ‘Transition’ means meaningful action with local clean energy and other sustainable solutions.” Aaron Heurtas, spokesman for the Union of Concerned Scientists, says such local efforts “help to drive all levels of government to take the actions which will be needed to address these issues.”

The goal is not to replace ongoing en­­­­­viron­­mental and economic projects. Sand­­­point Mayor Gretchen Hellar says the movement serves to “bring together all groups” working on sustainability, organizing community efforts while not duplicating effort.

A tool kit for responding to warming

Since its founding three years ago, the movement has made “raising awareness” the first step. But, says Jennifer Gray, who spearheaded the effort to launch the second Transition Initiative in Penwith, Cornwall, “We’ve got raised awareness. The climate is changing. Prices are rising.... Transition initiatives are about more than awareness. It’s a tool kit, a template for how to respond, practical projects people can get their teeth into.”

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