Living with Climate Change: Alexandra Wax of Transition Marlborough
By rob hopkins 28th March 2014
I live in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England. From 2006, there was an organisation called Marlborough Climate Pledge, which worked to raise people’s awareness around the issues of peak oil and climate change. In 2011, at a Green Drinks, there was a visiting speaker from Romsey, Hampshire, talking about how they had started a Transition Initiative. This led directly to our starting one in Marlborough. This filled me with excitement!
I have been interested in living holistically all my life. The way we have always done things is not necessarily the best way of doing them, when viewed from the perspective of all life on this planet and with an understanding of people and psychology. We have this amazing challenge – step up to create a viable, sustainable future for all of life on the planet, or be destroyed in one of any number of unappealing ways.
Last year, working with the Environment Agency, the Town Council installed a flood protection scheme on the River Kennet, which winds through the centre of town. This worked beautifully this winter, and the only flooding was due to drainpipes backing up, not due to the river. With all the problems of flooding sewage systems, perhaps we should all build composting toilets, that can then go to be composted, instead of wrecking the water system. However, people living here still find it impossible to get buildings insurance because they live by the river; so from that point of view, it was useless.
Personally, we live on higher ground, so our main experience has been a massive increase in wind. Fence panels have blown down. Luckily, the roof is sound. For planting, we are thinking more and more in terms of creating a windbreak (trees) for the prevailing south-westerlies. However, the wind has come from all directions recently, too!
I wish to create a future with dignity and respect for all, where we may reduce the amount of planet we visit, but we live more deeply and meaningfully on ‘our patch’ in relation to everyone else.
For me, being a part of Transition is an act of revolution – the structural inequality of our culture needs to be radically changed, the banking industry needs to be radically changed. The goal should be maximum benefit for the many, and not the few. In my day job, I am a benefits & money adviser, as well as being a transpersonal counsellor and psychotherapist, and an astrologer and teacher.
On an individual basis, I deal with the fallout in financial and mental health issues generated by our current economic climate and culture. I work to change and improve our experience of the world, one person at a time.