In 2006 Totnes in Devon became the first English town to officially align itself with the 'Transition' movement.
One answer, they believe, is for communities to develop in a spirit of self-sufficiency a coordinated range of projects across all their areas of life that "strives to rebuild the resilience we've lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community's carbon emissions drastically." http://www.transitiontowns.org/
'Resilience' seems to be a keyword in transition thinking. I read, for example, that "A 'transition initiative' occurs when a community aims to rebuild the resilience that it has lost as a result of cheap oil, and to reduce drastically its carbon emissions," while a cheery message from the Exmouth Transition Town people hopes that we've had "a low carbon Christmas and resilient New Year."
It's hard for someone of the 60s generation not to think of all this as a resurgence of a sort of tougher version of hippy flower power. And you could go back even further in time by suggesting that it's a nostalgia for the good old days of 'make do and mend' and of wartime resilience.
And Budleigh? Well, the idea was floated a year or so ago, with a meeting arranged in July 2008, but it doesn't seem to have come to anything.
"Transition Towns," he says, "are a radical new way of creating a better lifestyle that takes into account declining oil supplies, while putting the planet and all its people first".
Picture: The Otter estuary, a wildlife haven on our doorstep
"Our climate is changing. High summer temperatures are becoming more frequent and very cold winters are becoming less frequent," I read with mixed feelings considering that 2009/10 has brought us one of the coldest winters that Budleigh has experienced in recent years.
And OVA goes on to make a promise. "Where appropriate, we will help to create flexibility and opportunities for habitats and species in the face of climate change."
It surely goes without saying that the species should include the most important, human, variety.