I'd love to travel less but ...
I want to be a travel writer... swim with dolphins... see the Galapagos Islands. I work in Crystal Palace but can't afford to live there. I've got a bad knee. I don't like walking in wind. I believe that travel broadens the mind ...
We're playing a game to illustrate the obstacles to reducing the amount of travel we do. Annabel's is the corker: I'd love to travel less... but I want to travel more!
Dear God, how are we going to change when travel is so entrenched in our culture?
The premise of the game is a green government who is not afraid of the electorate, which illustrates the challenge: in reality governments are not doing enough, partly because of vested interests and corporate pressure - partly because we, the electorate, won't vote in anyone who threatens to increase fuel prices and reduce our 'standard of living'.
Beth is distressed. She hadn't realised what danger we are in. Why are our airports building extra runways? She feels as if people are being duped. I share my own upset that the government who is supposed to look after us isn't doing so. Ben tells us that in June the Dutch government was ordered by the courts to cut its carbon emissions by at least 25% within five years. It was found to have a legal obligation to protect its citizens from the threat posed by climate change (read about it here). He says that legal charities are planning to do the same in this country. What a relief!
Ben points out that travel is a particular challenge as it depends so much on infrastructure which is largely beyond our control. But we can still make choices as individuals. Car and plane travel may be cheap but we're free to resist the cheaper option. And when we do, we lead by example. It's important to see these choices as gains, not a losses. We walk more and get healthier. We meet other people through car-sharing. We explore all the lovely places in our own country. We ensure that our children have a planet to live on.
Karen resolves to use her car less and public transport more. Also to drive slower on the motorway, and not to carry a roof rack.
Nicola resolves to initiate cycling training for the kids at her son's school.
And I'm excited about continuing as a group when the six formal sessions are over, to support each other to implement the changes we've chosen. Doing stuff, in partnership - what Transition is all about.