The news release is certainly intriguing:

The GenGreen Network makes its launch as the first comprehensive national online community of individuals, businesses and organizations sharing a common interest in saving the planet. The online resource is a multi-faceted easy to use platform including all the tools anyone needs to live a sustainable life and create local connections for eco-conscious communities all across the country.

Indeed, local connections are crucial to building a base of activism for planning and doing in the interest of getting ready for the impacts of climate change. And lifestyle change is absolutely necessary in strategies for both mitigation and adaptation. But somehow, looking at the site, I can’t help but wonder if it’s more feel-good lifestyle than serious practical lifestyle.

It does have potential, however, if it fulfills its promise as a collector of local resources. Activists generally know who their local allies are, but citizens will need to be able to find the local activist groups that most closely reflect their values and interests. Presilience, also, would like to know which groups are active in each locality. Our purpose is to help them become as effective as possible in expanding their organizations to fill local adaptive needs.

It’s not the most romantic of names, even for activist groups, but it definitely describes the views of their members, which center around the belief that the world will be different once we get beyond reliance on carbon-based economy. The Post Carbon Institute sponsors several programs including Global Public Media, Local Energy Farms, Oil Depletion Protocol, Post Carbon Cities and the Relocalization Network.

The Local Post Carbon Groups “work, within their communities and in cooperation with local government and other community-based organizations, to put the concept of Relocalization into practice.”

Local Post Carbon Groups are in fact experiments themselves; they can be an existing group that wants to take on peak energy response as a new program area or a completely new group. The key is action – we recommend that groups get started quickly with small projects, try things out and share what works. Local Post Carbon Groups develop knowledge, infrastructure, and working relationships that will be valuable in the post-carbon world. Projects focus on making immediate improvements to your community such as urban farming, car share, and local money.

The Relocalization Network supports local groups with resources and shared ideas drawn from the experiences of other groups. Its program brings together a range of skills, ideas and resources for:

  • Creating a sense of community and interconnectedness
  • Providing a focus for debate, research and organization
  • Developing self-help skills
  • Working to improve local quality of life, both socially and environmentally
  • Facilitating direct action
  • Providing opportunities for local government and organizations to engage in public discussion with community members.