Transition Longfellow holds free movie night
Transition Longfellow is having Movie Night Friday, Sept. 20, from 6:30 to 9:30 at Bethany Lutheran Church, 3901 36th Ave. S. Everyone is welcome. It’s free. The movie is “The Power of Community, How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.” Potluck is at 6:30 (come even if you don’t bring food). Movie is at 7:15.
Leslie MacKenzie and Peter Foster, associated with Transition Longfellow, are a married couple in their 50s. They have a blog: Think Of It As An Adventure. Leslie does most of the writing: “In 2007 we took on a challenge to get radical about being thrifty. What we discovered was that as we became more thrifty, we also became more green. It wasn’t such a jump, then, in 2011 when we set our sights on reducing our carbon footprint.
“Leslie had some good role models for mindful living, many of them from the Quaker community. She had experience with some of the things we were going to do. Peter had a very powerful model of frugal living from his mother. He was a good sport about trying a lot of different things: co-op shopping to minimize packaging, using gray water, taking the light rail. But there were a couple of areas where he was hesitant.
“Housing: For most of us, housing is the biggest strain we put on the environment. That’s especially true in the frigid north. We can’t shrink the size of our house so the next best way to minimize our footprint is to shar it. We started taking in renters.
(BOLD THE WORD TRANSPORTATION) “Transportation: Peter was not keen on buses, whereas Leslie loves mass transit, so it was a real leap of faith for Peter when we sold our second car and became a one-car, one-motor scooter family. Leslie carpools, buses or bikes most places. Peter rides a People 50 to work from April to October. (He gets 90 miles per gallon and has put more than 5,000 miles on it!)
“Despite his initial hesitation, Peter discovered that these changes were not difficult at all. We have experienced transportation problems fewer than a handful of times in the past three years. We have had a lackluster tenant or two, but we’ve also had some wonderful tenants who’ve greatly enhanced our lives.
“Three things (PUT THE WORD HAVE IN ITALICS) have been a challenge for us:
(BOLD THE WORDS HEALTH ISSUES) “Health issues: We’re not as young as we used to be! Our completely sedentary jobs have taken a toll on our stamina and our low backs. In 2013, we’re committed to getting more fit. Leslie even did some biking this winter when it was well below zero! That was a first for her.
(BOLD THE WORD RESKILLING) “Reskilling: Like many Americans, there are a lot of things our parents and grandparents knew that we don’t. We need to relearn some skills, especially how to repair things.
(BOLD THE WORD MONEY) “Money: In general we are looking at what we can reasonably afford to do with a typical 1920 South Minneapolis bungalow. Over the years we’ve insulated and replaced windows and doors. When some money came our way with the death of parents, we used it to install solar electricity and hot air on our house. We were perfectly situated to take advantage of that technology and it was the most significant change we could make to reduce our carbon footprint. We did it when we could.
“Al Gore may have come out with his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” in 2006, but we only became aware of the seriousness of climate change and peak oil in 2011. I wish I had been paying attention sooner, but I’m paying attention now and NOW is the only moment I have to work with. Like every endeavor, the more you know, the more there is to learn. We’ve been on a steep learning curve. I thought it might be helpful, for those who are just beginning to explore the issues, to explain a bit about the Transition movement and the interconnected issues it seeks to address.
(BOLD THE WORDS TRANSITION TOWNS/TRANSITION MOVEMENT) “Transition Towns/Transition Movement: Every good story begins, ‘Once upon a time in a land far away’ and so does this story. It begins in the UK, with a community college teacher and his erstwhile students who became aware of the problem of peak oil and climate change and decided they needed to do something. They brought their ideas to transition from fossil fuels to their community council and —unlike the experience of most people who try to affect city hall—their community leaders understood the challenge and embraced change. Over time, their entire community became involved in change efforts and the movement spread across the UK and across the globe, adapting as it went to local conditions and local resources.
(BOLDTHE WORDS PEAK OIL) Peak Oil: Peak oil is a very misunderstood concept—likely because it fits the agneda of certain interests to constantly misrepresent it in the media.
“Peak oil does NOT mean that suddenly there will be no oil.
“It does NOT mean there will be no new discoveries of oil.
“Peak oil is the concept that the world has hit it’s highest point of oil extraction and that oil production will decrease every year after that. It’s thought that peak extraction occurred five to six years ago. That means that over time we will be seeing less and less oil coming to market and that the oil we do have will be harder to get (Arctic Circle, deep ocean) and of poorer quality (Alberta tar sands), and therefore more costly to produce. Long before we run out of oil, the return on investment will make it a losing proposition.
“Unfortunately, before that point, our use of fossil fuels will have caused such massive climate disruption that most life on this planet will end. So whether we quit using fossil fuel because it’s expensive, or we quit using it to save the lives of our grandchildren, we’ve got to quit all the same.