I had the pleasure of attending the above event last Friday evening to listen to Chris Martenson in person share his views about the coming challenges in our economy, environment and energy.
Nine years ago, Chris Martenson was an executive with a Fortune 300 company and living with his wife and three children in a 5-bathroom waterfront house in Mystic, Connecticut. But based on the future he foresees, Chris opted for a much more sustainable lifestyle. He hosts the website www.chrismartenson.com which tracks current worldwide economic, social, and environmental trends.
Chris has spent the last 5 years developing the ‘Crash Course – The Unsustainable Future of our Economy, Energy and Environment’ which Transition Toronto recently presented at OISE – 252 Bloor St. West, Rm 212, Toronto – to encourage the people of Toronto to become aware of these critical issues as it affects our city.
Transition Toronto believes that we, as a city, have a responsibility to confront and deal with these issues to ensure that our children have a healthy, prosperous and safe future to grow up in and to pass on to their children.
This event was very well organized and attendance exceeded my expectations in every respect. I knew a lot of the material that Chris presented, but he is such a dynamic speaker that he brings it to life and engages the audience in a way that makes them willing to seriously consider the topics and start making the necessary changes. He is also very personable and articulate which helps to make the listener more receptive. It is clear that people enjoyed the session and will go on to share this important information with their communities – which is the goal that Chris sets out in his presentation.
Tina Clarke (http://transitionus.org/trainer/tina-clarke ) was the second speaker. I was just as impressed with Tina as with Chris although I hadn’t known about Tina prior to this event. She represents Transition US as a trainer for others who are implementing transition initiatives. She ‘walks the talk’ in everything she does.
Tina Clarke has been an advocate, educator, consultant, and director of nonprofit programs since 1985. She was recently a consultant with Bill McKibben's global 350.org initiative and the Sustainability Institute. She is popular speaker on energy and environmental issues, creative frugality, and social change. She has trained and advised over three dozen Transition Initiatives. Tina lives in a below-zero energy, passive solar-heated, Platiunm LEED, low-toxic "Power House" that she helped design and build. In 2009 the home won the Massachusetts utility company-sponsored competition, the Zero Energy Challenge, and in 2010 won the NESEA award for zero energy buildings. The house is free of all fossil fuels and wood-burning, and generated 2.5 times more energy than needed in 2009. www.zeroenergypowerhouse.com.
Like Chris, Tina has a way of connecting with the audience as she shares her vision of a sustainable future for everyone on the planet. She helps people to realize that although the changes that are coming are going to be very physically as well as emotionally challenging we can, through community, redefine what it means to be a human being as part of nature. I found Tina’s presentation, at times, very poignant as she shared some of the incredible work she’s doing in the US with extremely destitute communities. I came away with a sense of awe and respect for the special kind of person she is doing this work.
Overall, I believe that Transition Toronto is on the right path in providing opportunities to help our communities to become more resilient as we adapt to the new economic, energy and environmental realities. The changes are here and they are accelerating. I find myself feeling more positive than ever after Friday night and looking forward to a simpler, more dignified, more spiritual way of life in the coming years. I am so happy to be part of an organization that will be there for everyone who is willing to contribute to making Toronto a more sustainable city.