10 03 18 Non-Violent Crisis Prevention and Treatment

Whether or not our lifestyles are sustainable gets tested during a time of crisis. Is it possible to live in a way that will prevent chaos and suffering during a major crisis? If it is, you might say we have discovered a non-violent mode of existence.

Imagine that another country wants to invade us. Incoming missiles down communication and hydro lines. Major gas lines, highways and bridges around Winnipeg are bombed… in winter!

 Imagine a massive pandemic. A large part of the population is out of commission, either very sick or dead. There are not enough healthy people to support transportation, energy production or food production systems.

 Imagine a really bad economic crash that puts lots of peoples on the street. Or even just a severe shortage of oil caused by a foreign conflict.

 In such situations most of us would be very vulnerable because we live in cities almost completely dependent on far away resources, an exposed transportation system, and on a handful of farmers, using complex technologies and oil that is running out..

 But imagine living in a community that produces its own food, clothing and building material. It even draws on local resources for energy and transportation. This is a real possibility in smaller communities like La Broquerie or Grunthal, for example. Maybe even Steinbach.

 I know people who have built their own homes with local wood, straw, sand and clay.  I know someone who makes beautiful felt clothing made of local wool from local sheep. I know people producing their own electricity with wind and sun, living off the grid.

 I know someone who produces his own veggies and fruits without imported harmful chemicals, buys local organic grain to make flour and knows where to get local meat, eggs and milk. He heats his solar-passive, well-insulated house with a little local wood. He has access to water without the use of electricity. So he would be able to eat well and stay warm for many months without going shopping.

 What will it take to make us think about and work together towards a more sustainable lifestyle? Will it take a major crisis? Will it take dramatic suffering? Wouldn’t it be easier and more efficient to act now while things are relatively stable?

 Do we really need such big houses, so many gadgets, so much money and so many resources to be happy?

 Maybe I am wrong about our need to re-examine our lifestyles. But if you think what I say has some validity, come join me and my friends at South Eastman Transition Initiative or any other similar group. Stop feeling helpless as you watch this world collapsing on your high-definition television. Stop waiting for most politicians and large corporations to really serve our interests.

 Let us turn towards our neighbours, organise ourselves, and serve each other with our talents, skills and gifts. By doing so we will reduce the risk of violence and chaos in our future.