Uber doomers?

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nexus
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Uber doomers?

Post by nexus »

Some people- even round here :wink: believe that Transition is full of airy fairy middle class do gooders and that if TSHTF any functioning TT is going to be overun by people from the next village/town/city wanting to nick all their stuff and laying waste to their hard work.

One answer to this is that the more TTs there are, the less chance there is of this happening; but it is still clearly something that puts people off.

My question is this- what can we say (if anything) to persuade the uber doomers out there that working collectively is the way forward?

Any ideas?
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Frederick Douglass
revdode
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Post by revdode »

Just my opinion but I think many uber doomers can't be changed. It's worthwhile discussing to see if there is any possibility because you never know if you are dealing with a general punter tending toward pessimism.
For real uber doomers this is just the way they see the world. If you follow some forums (is that fora?) you see the same people turning to the new doom saviour time after time. It could be climate change, bird flu, pig flu, y2k, peak oil, particle accelerators, weapons of mass destraction, the gnomes of zurich or the Hitler's head commanding jack booted hordes from a jar, did I forget zombies.
They don't remember the times they are wrong or at least don't consider it an issue, when one issue blows over they latch onto the next or in some cases they always consider a portfolio. The good news for them is chances are they will eventually be right, it may take a few years, decades or even lifetimes but eventually the universe will get us. I'd also say that given the same information on any crisis they have more or less the same chance as the rest of us (Polyanna through peak oil geeks and out to the rapturists) of being right. You can say that their view affects their judgement making them ignore some key evidence, but I think we all suffer from a blindspot to our own prejudices to a degree.
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biffvernon
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Re: Uber doomers?

Post by biffvernon »

nexus wrote:Some people- even round here :wink: believe that Transition is full of airy fairy middle class do gooders
I'm not too sure what an airy fairy is but middle class do gooders are rather well represented in local politics, local government, health, education and welfare services, non-governmental organizations, charities and bodies that basically run the country. I might be one of them and don't think it's anything to be ashamed of.
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nexus
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Post by nexus »

Didn't mean to give the impression that I think it's anything to be ashamed of.... I'm probably one myself- without the airy fairy bit.

It's just something I've heard bandied about as a 'problem' with TT, ie that it's not attracting a broad enough range of people.

Personally I like the Margaret Mead quote:Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Frederick Douglass
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clv101
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Post by clv101 »

nexus wrote:It's just something I've heard bandied about as a 'problem' with TT, ie that it's not attracting a broad enough range of people. [/i]
I've just come back from the Transition Network conference. It is a major problem. Transition is overwhelmingly white middle class, this was raised on several occasions with no way forward readily apparent. We had an advanced screening of the Transition film "In Transition" and the lack of ethnic minorities and inner city dwellers and the abundance of rural white middle class was striking. It was main feedback with at least one person saying they wouldn't feel comfortable showing it for this reason.

This isn't really your first question though. It's obvious that when times are bad 'enclaves of success' will be threatened by those out of luck. We see this in many parts of the world today. The obvious answer is not to create such enclaves. Transition isn't about securing you and your community, it's about moving slowing to ensure you bring everyone with you.
RevdTess
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Post by RevdTess »

If there was a TT movement that easily attracted groups from society other than the educated white semi-rural folks, what would the differences be from the current TT movement that allowed it to be attractive to these groups?

We might as well be talking about powerswitch as well of course.
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Ludwig
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Post by Ludwig »

revdode wrote: For real uber doomers this is just the way they see the world. If you follow some forums (is that fora?) you see the same people turning to the new doom saviour time after time. It could be climate change, bird flu, pig flu, y2k, peak oil, particle accelerators, weapons of mass destraction, the gnomes of zurich or the Hitler's head commanding jack booted hordes from a jar, did I forget zombies.
They don't remember the times they are wrong or at least don't consider it an issue, when one issue blows over they latch onto the next or in some cases they always consider a portfolio.
I consider this a straw man argument - the claim that because doomsayers have been "wrong" so far (by which Westerners really mean since the end of WW2), they will continue to be wrong.

Or that because something one nutcase claimed would happen, hasn't happened, all things that haven't (yet) happened must have been predicted by nutcases.

It's bollocks.

The Earth's resources are finite, and at some point there won't be enough of them left to sustain our current way of living. It's not being an ueber-doomer to say that, it's self-evident.

Nor is it being an ueber-doomer to look at the scientific evidence and conclude that we have already reached the inevitable production limit of one resource, oil, and that other resources will be following soon.

It is of course comforting for people who can't face up to the truth to label those who can "doomsayers".
"We're just waiting, looking skyward as the days go down / Someone promised there'd be answers if we stayed around."
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Ludwig
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Re: Uber doomers?

Post by Ludwig »

nexus wrote:Some people- even round here :wink: believe that Transition is full of airy fairy middle class do gooders and that if TSHTF any functioning TT is going to be overun by people from the next village/town/city wanting to nick all their stuff and laying waste to their hard work.

One answer to this is that the more TTs there are, the less chance there is of this happening; but it is still clearly something that puts people off.

My question is this- what can we say (if anything) to persuade the uber doomers out there that working collectively is the way forward?

Any ideas?
The real problem is not getting the ueber-doomers on board, but getting the average complacent, self-interested oik in the street on board. Ueber-doomers constitute a tiny fraction of society, whereas complacent oiks constitute a majority. Firstly, they don't know about the oil crisis because the Sun and the Mail don't tell them about it. Secondly, if they did know about it, they wouldn't believe it until the consequences really hit them. Thirdly, when the consequences hit them, they'd cast around looking for someone to blame, largely because the media will whip them up into a frenzy to do so.

If there is a way forward, it has to come from government. One MUST be realistic: the reason that transition towns appeal only to educated people is that you NEED to be educated/intelligent to understand why they're necessary.

If we are to have any hope of getting through this, people need to be TOLD what to do. Unfortunately, politicians have been telling the British public for the last 30 years that no one has any business telling them what to do, and that if they don't like things they should get stroppy. There are going to be a lot of things they don't like, and there is going to be a lot of stroppiness. I wish I were somewhere else, really.
"We're just waiting, looking skyward as the days go down / Someone promised there'd be answers if we stayed around."
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JohnB
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Post by JohnB »

When I was in Totnes recently, I went to a talk by Naresh and Sophie who do the Transition Training, about their world tour. Apparently in some parts of the USA it's the poor and minority groups who are most enthusiastic about Transition. I think a group in Australia was bringing together all the different social groups in their town. So it's possible.
John

Eco-Hamlets UK - Small sustainable neighbourhoods
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