November 1, 2010 - “Exploring Transition Towns/Greenfield,” sponsored by Greening Greenfield Energy Committee (GGEC), is a free public gathering, Wednesday November 10th at Second Congregational Church, 7-9pm.

Following a showing of the film “In Transition,” which is about the Transition Town worldwide movement to develop community responses to the many changes confronting us today, we will discuss how these ideas relate to Greenfield.  
“Instead of only reacting to crises brought on by extreme weather changes or fuel price increases or shortages, we want to develop citizen-based solutions that make our lives better now and will help us deal with crises when they arise, “ said Susan Worgaftik, a Greenfield resident and member of Greening Greenfield Energy Committee. “An energy crisis will not only effect how we heat our homes and drive our cars, but the cost and quality of food, the cost of our medical care, the materials our local manufacturers use, and the cost of shipping the finished products.  Basically, fuel shortages could impact how we live our lives,” she added. 
When energy prices skyrocketed in 2008, the impact on Greenfield and Franklin County was felt by everyone.  This year’s intense spring storms and the extended hot and dry summer weather were concerns for residents and farmers alike. Some predictions for the Northeast indicate that the weather we experienced this summer may be the new norm in our region, an expression of climate change.
Worgaftik notes that “these factors call for individuals, organizations, and businesses to think about how we will respond if this represents our future.  How will we manage the high costs and lower availability of energy?  What changes should be made to our infrastructure to enable residents to live well in our community? “
Exploring Transition Towns Greenfield, sponsored by GGEC, will begin a dialogue about the impact of higher oil prices and the changes they may require in our local economy and society.  Through the 10% Challenge, GGEC has involved more than 800 households and 40 businesses in reducing their energy use by at least 10%. “It is time for us to move to the next level,” said Worgaftik.  Exploring Transition Towns Greenfield, Wednesday, November 10th at 7 pm at the 2nd Congregational Church, will engage leaders of key organizations, schools, worshipping communities, businesses, municipal departments, farmers, and residents in how to make our community more resilient.  
“We hope that the Transition initiative will begin a discussion that will lead to future actions by the community as a whole, “ says Becca King, a member of GGEC and also Second Congregational Church. ‘Transition Towns offers a model for how a community can work together across all areas of community life.  It will help us address the BIG question of “how we increase our ability to sustain our community and make it thrive, in the face of Peak Oil and Climate Change?"

Transition Towns recognizes:
1)    that we used immense amounts of creativity, ingenuity and adaptability to create our energy dependent lifestyle, and that those same traits can help us create a lifestyle that is equal or better but does not use as much energy;
2)    if we collectively plan and act early enough we can create a way of living that's more connected, more vibrant and more in touch with our environment than the oil-addicted one of today.

If you want to learn more, call 773-0228, 773-7004 or go to the Transitions Towns website: www.Transitionus.org.  For more information on Greening Greenfield Energy Committee, go to www.greeninggreenfield.org.

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