It’s been a tough winter, and it’s not over yet. We need a break. This month’s Transition Ferndale video – “No Impact Man” – has been selected to provide a bit of a break: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 7:00 pm at the Ferndale Library, 222 East Nine Mile Road in Ferndale, MI. [Date corrected from previous error – sorry.]

We’re not getting away entirely from our idea that we need to build a resilient local community. This video is funny, mostly without intending to be humorous, in illustrating how NOT to go about being green.

Let’s set the stage. A middle-class, educated and well intentioned couple lives in a 9th-floor apartment in New York City. They want to see how far they can go to lower their impact on the planet. It’s a noble goal. They didn’t actually set out to make a comedy.

The fun comes from seeing how many of the things they try just do not work at all. The learning experience comes from seeing that some things actually do work. The suspense comes from wondering if this whole experiment will cause them to get a divorce, because after all, just how much unnecessary inconvenience and occasional outright misery will human beings take?

As far as we are concerned, it demonstrates that you can’t do well developing a sustainable lifestyle as a single family going against the current of the society you live in. The wonder is in the lengths this family goes to illustrate the point for the rest of us.

Now, if we can get a whole community moving in this direction, or even just a substantial minority of the local community, it can be a different story – especially if we can agree that if you live on the 9th floor, it’s OK to use the elevators.

The meeting is free, open to the public, with some light refreshments provided. Ready for a break?

Art Myatt