Friday 30 October 2009

Heart and Head

At the beginning of the week, I thought it might be a challenge to write five posts. Now I'm thinking it’s a challenge to stop at five! After tonight, the blog will be open for anyone to post over the weekend, then I hand over to Elena to be guest-writer for next week. I’ve really enjoyed writing this week, and am looking forward to seeing what Elena will write about.

In the meantime, I’m going to finish off my week as guest-writer by talking about motivation. Part of the challenge of transition must be in motivating enough individuals to join in, so that we collectively reach a tipping point in terms of our environmental footprint and our ability to respond to a post-oil world. The question is how to do this. Some people will be motivated by the heart, some by the head, some, possibly, solely by a self-interest that just happens to be served by transition-like activity. If someone wants to comprehensively insulate their home just so that they have smaller utility bills rather than because of their carbon footprint, does that really matter? The outcome is still the same.

I have a strong heart motivation in that I don’t want my children to have an impoverished future as a result of my society’s actions today. However, overall I consider myself motivated more by head than heart. I’m drawn to the complexity of the twin problems of peak oil and climate change; I like solving problems and understanding the underlying causes of those problems. I like working from facts, evidence. I like to understand the arguments for and against before making a decision; I like to know that a solution to one problem won’t have unintended consequences in another area.

Finding good solutions to these problems will require heart and head, and I hope that the solutions to the challenges of climate change and peak oil will also go some way towards creating a more responsible world, a fairer and more equitable world, the kind of world that I would like to bequeath to my children.

I'm hugely encouraged by the people I've met so far in Transition Norwich. And I hope it continues to grow. And to do that, we need to motivate, in different ways, all sorts of people to join the Transition movement – teachers, builders, agronomists, economists, town planners. Practical people, leaders and visionaries. Thinkers and doers, head people and heart people. Ordinary people who want to do extraordinary things.

In other words, everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed your posts this week Jon. Love the clipping from The Usborne Book of The Future!

    I think that the person you mentioned in an earlier posting wanting to start up a practical home projects/DIY type of group is me! Yikes! There has been plenty of discussion and enthusiasm around the theme (as expressed via the TN2 Google Group) but no actual action as yet except for a TN2 meeting to take place at Chris's house (mooted for December) where there's a rainwater fed loo and some novel plumbing that we can take some notes on!

    I'm hoping that TN2 and burgeoning TN Circles groups will be the catalyst for this kind of activity and urge anyone interested in Transition to join in one of the Circles or get one started up!

    With heart, head and hands...