We Have Moved!

UPDATE:

As of 9 Sept 2009, this blog will now be located at our brand new home at http://www.transitionbedford.org .
Please come on over and find out what’s new.

IMPORTANT: If you are a subscriber to this blog, please be sure you go to the new site and subscribe there, so you may continue to receive our updates. Thanks!

Contributors to this website

Contact us if you’d like to contribute to this site and help us gain from a diversity of vantage points. As such each blog post includes the views of the author. There is no central transition Bedford “perspective”. There are however some core principles that underpin the Transition concept (see about us) and hence underpin the type of content we promote.

Bedford replies: ‘We are NOT stupid, Mr Prescott.’

In a recent article, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was quoted to say that the Bedfordshire town of Bedford, should be given a “stupid award” owing to its local planning committee opposing the construction of wind farms on aesthetic grounds. While the implications of this opposition are duly noted, the recently formed community initiative Transition Bedford, part of the larger Transition Town Network of over 1500 local initiatives worldwide, replies, “Look deeper, Mr Prescott, and you will find that the people of  Bedford are not at all stupid in matters to do with climate change and peak oil.”

To illustrate Bedford’s intelligence and to increase public awareness on these important issues, Transition Bedford will be hosting a free viewing of the film “In Transition” at the Ent Shed on Castle Road, MK40 3QY, on Wednesday 9 Sept 2009 at 7.30pm. Special guest at the event will be Chris Keene, a member of the “Zero Carbon Caravan”, a troop that is currently cycling and sailing from Wales to the UNFCCC talks in Copenhagen.

BEDFORD, BEDFORDSHIRE – 1 September 2009 – Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott thinks Bedford is “stupid.”

At least that is what he was quoted as having said in a recent article published by Business Green and The Evening Standard. According to the article, Mr Prescott said the planning committee in Bedford, whose wider borough is estimated to have a population of more than 150,000 people, should be given a “Stupid Award” (named after the recently released environmental film “The Age of Stupid”), calling the committee, “stupid nimbys” and saying “I hope they get upset about it.”

But a group of local Bedfordians, who are members of the recently formed initiative Transition Bedford, invite Mr Prescott to look a little bit deeper, beyond the surface of local planning committees, to see the real Bedford. 

“And if he does,” says current Chair of Transition Bedford initiating group, Lynn Serafinn, “he would see an informed, passionate and proactive side to Bedford, where people are at the cutting edge on the issue of climate change.”

Transition Bedford is a part of the larger Transition Town Network, founded in 2006, which is now comprised of thousands of other towns, villages and urban neighbourhoods who are taking definitive, community driven, grass-roots action in response to climate change and the impending impact of peak oil upon our lifestyle. They describe themselves as a “social experiment on a massive scale” saying, “if we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late; if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.” Their ultimate aim is to move from oil dependency to a “low energy, highly vibrant and fulfilling future.”

“Although Transition Bedford is a newly formed initiative,” says Ms Serafinn, “Bedford has been acting on these issues for some time now. Over the past few years, local groups like Zero Carbon Castle (founded in 2006) have really raised awareness and made great changes in the area of local carbon emissions, and various local permaculture experts and food growers have helped residents understand how and why it is vital we know about growing and harvesting local food sources.”

Ms Serafinn, a Bedford-based life coach, personal development trainer and bestselling author, also speaks about what the Transition Network refers to as “the inner transition.”

“What is important to understand,” she explains, “is that no one is going to agree to make changes to their current lifestyle unless they have a compelling reason to do so. Feeding people scary statistics about climate change may motivate some, but it is more likely to turn off others and make them apathetic or perhaps even hopeless. And while government action is certainly very important, truly lasting social change cannot occur simply via planning initiatives. The most effective means to lasting, positive change is to raise public awareness and to help re-establish people’s emotional connection to the planet on which we live, so they will want to make the transition out of a genuine sense of desire and purpose, rather than from a feeling of panic and need. The issue of climate change is an opportunity for all of us to educate, re-skill and reconnect our communities, and create a more meaningful and harmonious world.”

When asked how she will personally be involved in Transition Bedford, Lynn says that her primary focus will be on the “inner” side of this initiative, dealing with people, beliefs and wellbeing. Many others in the network are experts in the “outer” transition, being highly skilled experts in skills such as developing new energy sources, transport, conservation, food production, permaculture and other key areas. 

One such expert on the Transition Bedford panel is Shane Hughes of Carbon Accounting Systems, and one of the initiators of Zero Carbon Castle. About the current and future state of local awareness in Bedford Mr Hughes says, “One of the smartest things that the Bedford Borough Council is currently proposing is a renewable hydro-electric energy project, which, if successful, could benefit the town in diverse ways. It would not only create a massive carbon saving for the town, but it would also be of great educational value as an exemplar for people around the country to appreciate and imitate. But in addition to that, we hope to turn the project into a truly innovative investment fund in which people of the town can become share-holders, creating a flowing and renewable fund of money that can be re-invested in other zero-carbon energy projects. This is the kind of community-driven creativity that the Transition Town Network, and Transition Bedford, is all about.”

Mr Hughes continues, “Something I would like people to realise is that Transition Bedford will not just be looking at ways to become carbon-neutral. We will also looking at how our local economies can become more sound and self-reliant. A recent study done down in Totnes, Devon (the original Transition Town), has revealed that if we made the shift of ensuring that even a small percentage of our building materials for new housing projects came from local sources, millions of pounds would go into our local economies, while at the same time reducing carbon emissions. Again, it is this kind of win-win scenario that Transition Bedford hopes to create here in the town of Bedford in every aspect of life.”

Ms Serafinn adds to this, “And the ultimate irony of Mr Prescott’s comment is that Shane’s Bedford-based company Carbon Accounting provided the makers of the film “The Age of Stupid” with their carbon auditing services. If you go to the bottom of their web page on their 14 March entry, you will see Shane’s company name right there. In fact, their whole media angle of the UK premier being a 1% carbon event is based upon Shane’s audit.

“So the bottom line is, people really should take the time to look a little deeper, and you’ll always find that there is more to any story—or to a town.”

Transition Bedford, whose official launch will be announced early in the New Year, will be working closely together with groups like Zero Carbon Castle, Sustainable Oakley, Goldington Golden Gardens, the Global Wellness Circle, Mile End Allotments and many others, as well as with Bedford College through their Education for Sustainable Development programme. The long-term goal will be to develop educational programmes, skills training and community projects that will not only raise public awareness, but will also help the town make the transition towards a more vibrant and self-reliant community in such areas of food and energy production, natural health, economy and environment.

Transition Bedford invite any and all members of the greater Bedford community, whether individuals, groups or businesses, to contact Shane Hughes at shane@carbon-accounting.com and get involved. You can also visit their blog at www.transitionbedford.wordpress.com

To show just how “smart” Bedford is on the issue of climate change, Transition Bedford is hosting a viewing of the film “In Transition”, which is an uplifting rebuttal to the sense of hopelessness and helplessness many feel when they think about the challenges of climate change. The film offers a healthy dose of inspiration about what communities of people, just like the people in Transition Bedford, are doing all across the globe to make the transition towards a sustainable, resilient and vibrant society, to restore our balance and harmony with the Earth.

“In Transition” will be shown at the Ent Shed (next to the Gordon Arms) on Castle Road, MK40 3QY on 9 Sept 2009. Doors open at 730 PM, and discussions and drinks will follow at end of programme. While this programme is free and open to the public, donations will be gratefully accepted to help cover the cost of room hire.

In addition to the film, special guest at this event will be Chris Keene, a member of the “Zero Carbon Caravan”, a troop that is currently cycling and sailing from Wales to the UNFCCC talks in Copenhagen. Mr Keene says, “We are making our way to Copenhagen without using fossil fuel transportation. Along the route we’ll connect with local groups to establish an itinerary of ‘zero carbon conferences’ to build momentum for zero carbon awareness.” Bedford is one of those local groups.

That’s very smart of you, Bedford.

###

ARTICLE REFERENCES
Charlsworth, Andrew. 26 August 2009. “Prescott proposes stupidity awards for wind farm ‘nimbys’”. Accessed from Business Green website at http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2248512/prescott-proposes-stupidity 

 Evening Standard. 26 August 2009. ‘Prescott Slams “Nimby” Councils’ Accessed from Evening Standard website at http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23736980-details/John+Prescott+slams+%27nimby%27+councils/article.do 

 TRANSITION BEDFORD CONTACT INFO:
Contact:         Shane Hughes or Lynn Serafinn
Email:          shane@carbon-accounting.com (Shane Hughes)
Email:           lynn@lynnserafinn.com (Lynn Serafinn)
Web:            http://www.transitionbedford.wordpress.com
Forum:         http://groups.google.com/group/transition-bedford
Tel:                44+ (0)7809 882 077 (Shane Hughes)
Tel:                44+ (0)845 880 25 28 (Lynn Serafinn)

TRANSITION TOWN NETWORK:
Web:            http://www.transitionnetwork.org 

FILM “IN TRANSITION”
Web:            http://transitionnetworknews.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/film-in-transition-online-preview/ 

BEDFORD VIEWING OF “IN TRANSITION”
Web:            http://transitionbedford.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/free-film-premier-in-transition/

FILM “THE AGE OF STUPID”
Web:            http://www.ageofstupid.net/ 

SHANE HUGHES CONTACT INFO (Carbon Accounting)
Email:          shane@carbon-accounting.com
Tel:                44+ (0)7809 882 077

LYNN SERAFINN CONTACT INFO (AUTHOR, SPEAKER, TRAINING):
Email:          lynn@lynnserafinn.com  
Web:            http://www.lynnserafinn.com 
Phone:         44+ (0)845 880 25 28 (business)
Mobile:         44+ (0)771 84 94 234

LYNN SERAFINN COACHING AND TRAINING ENQUIRIES:
Email:          info@create-a-life.co.uk
Web:            http://www.create-a-life.co.uk   

ZERO CARBON CARAVAN (Norwich Team)
Contact:       Lesley Grahame or Chris Keene
Web:            http://zerocarboncaravan.net/wordpress/ 
Email:             lesley7railway@yahoo.co.uk (Lesley Grahame)
Email:           chris.keene@zerocarboncaravan.net 
Tel:                01603 920 801
Mobile:           07711 298 214

- END - 

FREE Film Premier – IN TRANSITION

FREE Film Premier 
“In Transition”
Wed Sept 9th 2009

(09.09.09… a call to action)
Ent. Shed, Castle Rd (Next to Gordon Arms pub), 
Bedford, MK40 3QY 
doors open at 7.30pm

To download the FLYER for this event CLICK HERE
(please post it in your community)

DON’T LIVE IN OR NEAR BEDFORD?
This film “In Transition” is being shown in numerous Transition Towns throughout the world on 09.09.09. Visit www.transitionnetwork.org to locate the community nearest you.

About the film “In Transition”…
The issue of climate change can no longer be ignored. But with so much of our media portraying what lies ahead as a bleak, depressing “doomsday” filled with global chaos, it is all too easy for us to become overwhelmed, depressed and passive, at the very point in history the Earth needs us more than ever.

 “In Transition” is an uplifting rebuttal to the sense of hopelessness and helplessness many feel when they think about the challenges of climate change. The film offers a healthy dose of inspiration about what communities of people just like you are doing all across the globe to make the transition towards a sustainable, resilient and vibrant society, to restore our balance and harmony with the Earth.

PLUS… Talks from the “Zero Carbon Caravan
A troop of people are cycling and sailing from Wales to Copenhagen on their way to what has been dubbed “the most important meeting of our time” and “our last chance”. Be a part of the discussions and their journey, meet and support Chris Keene from the cycling troop.

Find out more at www.zerocarboncaravan.net  and www.transitionculture.org    

Discussions and drinks to follow at end of programme

Event is FREE and open to all, but we welcome your donations
to help cover the cost of the room hire. Thanks!
 

What is the “Transition Network”?
The challenges of climate change and peak oil demand local action on a truly planetary scale.
Residents, business people and politicians from across the globe are joining together in thousands of community groups, creating positive change and transforming their neighbourhoods, respecting local food, local crafts and history.
Come and find out about some inspirational examples and help answer the most pressing question of our time. 

Can Bedford make the transition to a
sustainable and vibrant community?

For more info, contact
Shane@carbon-accounting.com or 07809 882 077

Transition Bedford is now on Twitter

Do you Tweet?
If so, then please follow Transition Bedford on Twitter! Just go to http://twitter.com/TTBedford and click “follow”.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest news about the Transition movement in Bedford, the UK and throughout the world. AND be sure to share your own news with us, if you are a member of any Transition Town group, so we can ReTweet your great work. It’s all part of “raising awareness”.

TransitionNetwork-75percent-greenIf you don’t have a Twitter account, you can sign up for free at http://www.twitter.com.

I (Lynn) am a bit of a Tweet-geek, so if you are new to Twitter and you need any help, just Tweet me at http://www.twitter.com/LynnSerafinn

Great Greenpeace video

The unstoppable transition

We come out of decades of needed campaigning and protests against the world we don’t want and we move with exponential momentum towards the systematic and uncontrolable creation of the world we want.  Transition involves being aware of the negatives of former but embedding ourselves in the positives of the latter.

It’d be interesting to find other video clips that hold a story of unyeilding positivity that’s not told through dreams or fantasies but through real life inspirations.

The tables have flipped, can you feel it? Probably not, it’s not portrayed in the media, nor in our political circles, it’s difficult to see at all in or every day lives but now, today and for the first time the status quo is on the back foot. Those supporting it’s continuation now make up the resistance movement. No longer is the great challenge to change the world, a far greater challenge is resisting the tide of change.

Every whole dug with a shovel, every seemingly boring community meeting, every humble local project started, every personal  commitment made……..we have to gain a sense of it’s place in a sea of diversity of small changes across the globe that are building a new and nourished world, one dig of the shovel at a time.

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