Tuesday, 18 May 2010


I’m not sure that Sloth is really the correct title for this post but it was the best that I could come up with to describe the particular Resistance to Transition that I am going to write about – and it enables me to use this nice picture of a Sloth! Maybe you can suggest a better word to describe the reluctance shown by many people to take some action – however small that action may be.

Way back in the last century I used to run a Friends of the Earth group and I still have a vivid memory of people coming to meetings and their first words would be ‘You could do xxxxx’ – only rarely did someone say ‘I will do yyyyy’. There was no shortage of great ideas – enough to keep all the FOE groups in the country busy – but a great shortage of people prepared to do some legwork.

The Sloth is inactive because its food provides very little energy, humans don’t have that excuse. The problem that I see is that since the middle of the last century people have been brought up to believe that someone else will fix every problem. Politicians will sort out the state, doctors will provide a pill for every ill, someone else will pick up the litter. In many ways our quality of life has improved, people live longer and more healthy lives but we have handed control of our lives (and our diets) to the state and to global businesses.

I understand a key tenet of Transition to be that people act as individuals to make changes to their own behaviour and that the many small actions taken by individuals builds into a big wave of change. I very much agree with the tenet and I don’t think that politicians and business are going to provide the leadership that we need but I’m worried by how few people are prepared to get involved in – well, anything really. It is so much easier to sit in front of the TV, consume unhealthy things and wait for someone else to sort out the mess.
Picture of sloth from Wikimedia commons

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