Transition 2:0 – A Story of Community and Climate Resilience in a Time of Global Inaction

By Erin Olschewski, Office of Sustainability

If you’re anything like me, you may sometimes feel helpless in this world full of headlines such as “Gambling with our future,” “Yosemite’s largest ice mass is melting quickly,” and “Is the end drawing closer?” Whether you are an activist, politician, professor, economist, mother, dentist, veterinarian, forest service employee, or student, the gloom and doom rhetoric regarding the state of our world can be extremely discouraging, which is why you need to see the documentary “Transition 2.0.”

At 7 p.m. Nov. 13, the Bennion Center’s Environmental Action Team, Sociology Student Activities Association, and Environmental & Sustainability Studies Student Association will host a FREE screening of “Transition 2.0” in the Union Theater. The film was created by the Transition Network, an international organization that began in 2006 to help communities reduce CO2 emissions and deal with the impacts of climate change. The organization focuses on making change happen locally on a city, community, or neighborhood level. ”Transition 2.0” looks at how a variety of communities are doing just that – changing. These communities are in multiple countries, are different sizes, and are in varying stages of the transition process, but the one thing they all have in common is that they express hope and optimism for the future of their communities.

This film is unlike many other documentaries in a variety of ways. First, it is a unique film in that it truly held fast to the value of sustainability by not having a film crew fly thousands of miles across the globe to record these stories. Rather, each location had its own local camera crew and then sent the footage to the producers, making it one of the lowest-carbon international films ever made. Additionally, while many environmental documentaries view the issues in a problem-oriented paradigm, “Transition 2.0” looks at our changing world through a lens of positivity by focusing on the inspiring and authentic stories of real individuals who aspire to make sustainable changes in their own communities.

The film highlights case studies of ordinary people doing extraordinary things at the local level. The groups hosting the screening hope that the film will inspire us, as University students, to embody the characteristics of the Transition movement in our everyday lives. In addition, after the film there will be a Community Activism Meet and Greet in the Union Lounge across the hall with more than ten community and campus partners, including the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, Utah Tar Sands Resistance, Peaceful Uprising, Ching Farm and Animal Rescue Sanctuary, Bennion Center, the Office of Sustainability, and Transition Salt Lake. All of the organizations exemplify the very values that the film demonstrates: sustainability, service, community development, and most importantly – action. By coming to this FREE event, you not only have the chance to see this inspiring film, but also the incredible opportunity to meet with the individuals behind these impressive organizations.

Erin Olschewski is a junior in Communication Studies. She is a Sustainability Ambassador with the Office of Sustainability.

"In Transition"

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