Tag Archives: Peak Oil

Sustainable Watches

My Mother’s generation, growing up during World War Two, had to learn to make do. Growing up poor, we also needed to save, money. My Mum hasn’t forgotten those times, and remains ‘careful’ with her money to this day. Yesterday she taught me another lesson in economy.

My mum is a car boot, and jumble sale fanatic. As a pensioner, she gets free bus travel, so I often get her to look out for stuff for me. It gives her a good reason to get out of the house. Yesterday I asked her to check whether or not any of the Jewelers shops in the local towns, still sold wind up (non battery) watches. I have not worn a watch for some time now, and dislike digital watches. Many of them are so cheap that people throw them away, instead of replacing the battery. I wanted a watch that didn’t need a battery, but wasn’t sure if anybody sold them any more. My mum listened carefully whilst I explained what I was looking for, why I was looking for it and so on.  She then said “I buy old watches from the second hand shops for £1. Do you want me to look for one for you?” It turns out that she has bought non-digital watches for less than it costs to change the battery on a new one. How messed up have we becomeas a society? We pay more for a plastic watch, that will always need replacement batteries, than for a second hand mechanical timepiece, that should last a lifetime. Whoever did the advertising for that must have earnt a fortune. Imagine the advert. “Why spend your money on a watch that will last a lifetime, when you can buy a piece of plastic, that will need you to keep spending more money on it, for the rest of its life?”. Yes, I know, I bought them too, but it’s time for a reality check. Sustainability isn’t just about the big things. It’s about all of the little changes that we all need to make. For me, a new (old) watch is one of them. Secondhand clothes are another. I recently decided to avoid all artificial fibres in my clothing and told my two shopaholics (wife and mother) so, and that I needed some jumpers, preferably wool, but cotton would do. My wife did what she does, and bought me a new woollen jumper, for about £20. She doesn’t always get it!. My mum turned up with two jumpers from a charity shop. Total cost £2.25. Pure wool. I had already bought two for myself, total cost £2.50. One looked like new, and I wear as ‘decent’, but all of the others I wear to work in. I’m wearing one at this moment.

After asking my mum to look out for a watch for me, I tried to tell her that she needed to check that they were still working before she bought one. I needn’t have bothered. She said that when she finds a watch that’s she’s interested in, she winds it up, and then leaves the shop. She then goes back another day, and if the watch still shows the correct time, she’s happy to part with her pound. There’s a lot that we can learn from our mums.


Transition Training 2

Hi All

Sorry about the lack of originality in the title, but it’s late, has been a long weekend, and if BBC iplayer had been working well, I would have been watching the Rugby.

I spent this weekend in Lincoln, doing the official Transition Town Training, provided by the Transition Town Network. The training was organised by Transition Lincoln, and was conducted by two trainers from Mid Wales. 22 of us attended, the majority of whom were from Lincolnshire, but with 2 from Ireland, and Brazil, joining us.

For those of you who know nothing about The Transition Town movement, the following links will provide the best sources of Information.

The Transition Town Wiki  http://transitiontowns.org/TransitionNetwork/TransitionInitiativeis probably the most comprehensive source of information about the movement.

It also lists all of the initiatives that are going on around the world.

Global Public media http://globalpublicmedia.com/ contains lots of articles on Peak Oil, for those of you who are not fully up to speed on the dangers that we face.

There are some great articles published on the oildrum.http://www.theoildrum.com/

In outline, Transition Towns are a ‘bottom up’ response to the threats of Climate Change, and Peak Oil, that realise that we cannot wait for politicians to take action, and recognise that we need to lead them, and not the other way around. We need to find a way to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels, and come up with alternatives that are sustainable, physically, mentally, and emotionally. What attracts me the most, is that instead of telling us all that we’re doomed unless we do something, but failing to offer an alternative, Transition Towns challenge us to decide for ourselves what type of world we want to create. It is then up to us to come up with our own plans to make our visions real, at a local level. Please take the time to look into the implications of Peak Oil, and Climate Change, and ask yourself is this the type of world that you want to live in?

I saw this little clip from youtube, and thought that it was amusing. there are plenty of clips about Peak Oil there.


This clip explains what Peak Oil is.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uYmZmWAaxk

Can you tell that I’ve just learnt how to create a video link?

Back to the Training. I found the training more useful than I expected it to be. There was a lot about forming groups, and awareness raising, which was to be expected. There was also quite a lot about ways to conduct meetings, or ‘doings’, in order to get the most out of people. What was really inspiring was sitting in a room with 23 other people who had all decided that they were going to do something to change the way that we’re all heading. Closer to home, there were five of us from my own area, who are now going to look at how we can make Transition Horncastle a reality. Probably the most moving thing was to visualise for myself what I hoped that the world would be like in thirty years time, and discovering that everybody in the room had a similar vision. Perhaps deep down we are all longing for something similar, a sort of collective ideal that we don’t always understand, or express, but which is sitting there dormant, waiting for the opportunity to grow into something beautiful.

Is the world that you live in the one that you dream of?


Transition Training

This weekend I am away in Lincoln doing the official Transition Training. I became involved with Transition Lincoln by accident. I went along to a meeting of the Lincoln Urban PIGS (Pemaculture Interest Group), as I’m involved with Permaculture, and they were in the process of morphing into Transition Lincoln. I decided to get involved, even though I live 26 miles from Lincoln. In reality, I should be involved with Transition Horncastle, but they don’t exist yet. There are four of us from the Horncastle area scheduled to do the training, but only one of the four lives in the town itself. Perhaps we’re a few months away from forming a group, but it is something to aim for. Local solutions for local people. Perhaps my own village will, take up the challenge? Maybe not. The Burghers were outraged when we tried to get some affordable housing built. ” We don’t want poor people in the village” was the mood of the minority, and was actually said to me. The selfish way that we lead our lives has to change.

I intend to lend my support to Age of Stupid, by watching it again on Saturday. Hopefully, enough people will attend to convince the cinemas to show it more widely. Even though the film doesn’t offer any positive message, or solutions, I still think that we will turn things around. I don’t believe that it’s too late to change, and that it is imperative that we do so.

I will reply to any comments next week.

Have a productive weekend.


Age of Stupid premiere

I went to the Premiere of Age of Stupid yesterday, and was impressed with the film. I thought that the premise of looking back in time from the future was a good way of approaching the subject, and that the use of the stories of real people, affected by climate change, and by Peak Oil was very moving, and effective.

After the film, they announced a coalition against climate change, involving lots of different organisations, that they claimed represented nearly 6 million people, or 10% of the UK population. The message that they were trying to get across was that we must put pressure on the government to push for a really strong treaty to come out of Copenhagen, in December, to replace the Kyoto agreement, and that they were organising a mass rally in December.

The website implores people to watch the film on its opening weekend, which is coming, as the number of ‘bums on seats’ over the opening weekend, will determine how widely shown the film will be. There is a list of cinemas sheduled to show the film, so if you’re concerned about climate change, or peak oil, you need to get yourself, and as many friends as you can muster, to a screening this weekend.

Please support the film, and encourage as many people as possible to go and watch it.