Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

Life Can Be a Party Instead of a Protest March – Transition Towns

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

Carin Schwartz, audience

An inspirational talk on the growing Transition towns movement was given in Inverness on Saturday to interested members of the public by Carin Schwartz, Chair of Transition Town Forres.

Carin’s background, perhaps surprisingly, is in international banking.  She became disillusioned after many years of working in that field, left London and came with her family to live in Forres, and now describes herself as being “like a recovering drug addict, trying to make amends for all the bad things I did!”

Carin told the audience about the origins of the Transition Towns movement in Kinsale, Ireland and Totnes, Devon.(1) Transition Towns are formed when a small coalition of motivated individuals within a community comes together with a shared concern: how can our community respond to the challenges and opportunities of Peak Oil and Climate Change?

In Forres the group is currently focussing on local food production, working to establish new allotments and to start up a Farmers’ Market in the town.

Myra Carus, convener of the Highland Green Party which hosted the event, said:

“Carin is an inspirational speaker and I was particularly struck by her insistence that whatever a Transition initiative does must be fun — that life should be a party and not a protest march!  All too often the messages of Peak Oil and Climate Change can lead people to feel a bit helpless, but the Transition Town movement is all about people taking control and doing something positive in their own community.”

Taking small steps to solve a problem is so much better than waiting for someone else to take a big step — or as Carin said, “It’s better to be one particle of the solution than part of the problem”.

Following the meeting many of those present expressed an interest in starting their own Transition Town initiative; there is particular interest in the Black Isle, Inverness and Alness.


(1) information on the Transition Towns movement is available at www.transitiontowns.org.