A little history… what is Wilmington in Transition, and what is a Transition Town?
Wilmington in Transition (WIT) is a local initiative, representing the Greater Wilmington, DE area, as a part of the global Transition Town Movement. It is a project of the Wilmington based Delaware Pacem in Terris, a 47 year old Peace and Social Justice Organization (non-profit status 501c3).
Wilmington in Transition grew out of a Pacem in Terris group originally organized in September, 2009 under the name ‘Peacemakers Project for the Planet’. The early organizers agreed that climate change, and environmental depredation are very much ‘social justice’ and ‘peace’ issues, since the first populations to suffer the real effects of climate change (‘climate refugees’) are seldom the ones who most contribute to its causes. Additionally, wars, and conflicts emerge as populations worldwide are in ever greater competition for scarce natural resources.
The Peacemakers Project for the Planet group was inspired to begin building a Transition Town initiative, locally, after reading The Transition Town Handbook: From Oil Dependence to Local Resilience, by Rob Hopkins. This book offers the premise that when it comes to making the systemic social changes which are urgently needed to address dwindling fossil fuel supplies and global climate change, acting locally is the way to go. It explains the rudiments of a grass-root, local effort to shift one community to a less carbon-intensive lifestyle, while building greater community strength, and local economic and resource resilience. The town is Totnes, England. The town’s people who took on this project had such a good time doing it that Rob Hopkins (one of the principle participants in the effort) decided to write a book showcasing how they went about generating the public will to start implementing new (or bringing back older) more sustainable ways of doing things. They named their initiative ‘Transition Town Totnes’ – and it was the beginning of a trend that has since ‘gone viral’ globally! There are currently more than 500 ‘official’ Transition Towns in 47 countries, with 151 in the USA, and several hundred more that are making steps along the path toward ‘official’ status.