And so our Journey Begins
I suppose really I should start this story before the beginning if there is any hope of it making sense... I was born in South Africa in 1987... OK we probably don't need to start that far before the beginning, but it does give me a good opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Bradley Thompson and I am the newly appointed secretary for STC (yes, all those pesky future newsletters will be coming from me!).
Let's fast forward a few years to 2019, where the world has found itself in a pretty big pickle. Despite knowing for around half a century the environmental and ecological impacts of our capitalist, consumer driven society we decided to carry on with business as usual and steer our ship towards a big bag of money and an unfathomable amount of damage to the species and ecosystems that had existed without us for millions of years.
The good news is that people were actually starting to notice, we had all looked up from our phones for the first time in a decade and realised what was happening to the world around us and amazingly, people wanted to act... and act now!
My best friend Eva (you'll meet her soon enough when I make her write a post for this blog) found that Salisbury had just started an Extinction Rebellion group and we excitedly went to the next meeting. For the next year we had some crazy adventures and marched on the streets of Salisbury, London and Bristol (and even got ourselves a police escort off of Westminster Bridge). The colours, creativity and comraderie were something I hadn't experienced before and I was hooked on being an activist! It was in and through this group of people that I met the rest of the new STC steering group (not that we knew it at the time).
The life of a protester is really fun and I think raising awareness and demanding that governments locally and nationally declare a climate emergency was a big part of lighting the fuse that is about to set off a big green global change (I know it's coming, I can feel it!). For me it felt like we had definitely made our point (and don't get me wrong there are still plenty of points to be made before we are anywhere close to real change) but I wanted to find a more practical way to help make Salisbury more sustainable, be the change you want to see and all that!
For me, this is where STC came in, it turned out there was a group of people in my city that had the same gut feeling that I do, that we need to start taking our own advice, to act quickly and make tangible changes in our own community. The range of expertise that the members bring to this group feels second to none and although I have only been involved in STC for a few months I can already tell that we have the potential to snowball this city into the future (Hopefully a future with some ice caps where snowballs are still a thing.)
The transition movement is growing and growing organically, communities EVERYWHERE are getting together to support themselves, grow their own food, provide their own housing and services and make sure that the most vulnerable people can prosper too. This is what I hope Salisbury will be in the next decade, somewhere we all work together and make decisions together that will benefit all of us (and not just some CEO whose looking to get an extension put on their yacht.)
Hopefully this blog will be our way of sharing our transition story, warts and all. And right now, who knows where it might go! We want to be able to share the highs, lows, challenges and wins with everyone and hopefully by the end (whenever or whatever that looks like) it might be a handy guide for the next group of people who want to make their town a better place! We will share meeting minutes and ideas, decisions and disagreements, failed plans and successes and please comment along the way with your ideas and advice and help us shape our vision for a better Salisbury. We can only change the world if we do it together!
I very much look forward to changing the world with you!