Tag Archives: mental-health

Having an ‘Aha!’ moment

I met someone on the weekend and he told me what really got him to take action on climate change and peak oil. I like to think of this point in time as an ‘Aha!’ moment. That moment when you really get the magnitude of the crisis facing us. This got me thinking about these moments, are they similar for others? And how do you deal with what can be scary or depressing realisations?

For me, my ‘Aha!’ moment was several years ago, and thanks to Professor Tim Flannery. I was sitting in bed reading his book “The Weather Makers”, and it scared the sh*t out of me. I literally couldn’t sleep. I flicked to the last chapter on ‘solutions’ for some good news. But it really didn’t seem like enough.

Have you had a ‘Aha!’ moment, and what was it from?

When you’re faced with this information, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and get down. For a long time, I really didn’t know what to do. I read more and more, following the news for anything on climate change, and staggered that there wasn’t more coverage. Religiously reading the public debate in the letters to the editor from proponents and skeptics. In the end, it was a ridiculous letter from a skeptic attacking a previous well-reasoned and evidenced based letter that pushed me to do something. I wrote a response. It didn’t get published. But it was the start of my journey to take action….

This also led me to discover one of the ways of dealing with the ongoing barrage of negative climate news. Take action. Doing something helps. Even if it’s catching public transport or growing some veggies. Being in action and trying to make a difference in whatever way you can is, I think, crucial.

I’ve also found over the years that talking to other like-minded people is vital in staying sane. To give voice to your fears and frustrations. To vent those things that just seem so absurd given what’s happening to the global biosphere currently. And through this, to know that there are many others, just like you, sharing the same emotions is quite comforting.

Finally, something that’s given me hope for a long time is tipping points. The fact that change can be non-linear and things can go from one state to another in a very short space of time. While this applies soberly to Climate tipping points, what gives me hope is that it also applies to social change. Throughout history, large social change has often taken place overnight, once a tipping point or critical mass is reached. It is this tipping point which gives me hope. And I think we are all responsible for making sure we get there as soon as possible.

How do you deal with the enormity of climate change and peak oil? What gives you hope?


Event success: A weekend of building community resilience

What a weekend! Last Friday night was a sell out,  with 100 people packing into St Matthews hall to hear a powerful talk from Nicole Foss. This was followed on Sunday by the Transition of the Heart workshop.

The first half of Nicole’s talk was quite confronting as she outlined the serious challenges we are facing: finance, energy and environmental. She focused particularly on the financial side, as she believes this is the issue with the shortest time horizon, and therefore the most urgent.

It was encouraging to hear that the solutions that Nicole was advocating fit the Transition Town approach very well. Namely, decentralise and increase self-sufficiency. She also highlighted that building community is KEY!

“Relationships of trust are the foundation of society”

You can read more from Nicole at her blog The Automatic Earth

A special thanks to Sheena, Kristylee and Charles (PermacultureWest), and Shani (Ecoburbia) for organising with us.

This led perfectly into Rod’s Transition of the Heart workshop on Sunday, and the launch of the Heart and Soul sub-group of Transition Town Guidlford. The workshop was a great chance for people to explore and express their emotions and thoughts around these challenging topics. It became apparent that through expressing our past hurts and emotions, we are able to think clearer and respond in more productive ways towards environmental issues.

Don’t worry if you missed out, there will be a repeat of this workshop later in the year.

Thanks to Charles Otway for the photos