Here's a story about how something good grows. Around 2005, Permaculture teacher and designer, Rob Hopkins gave his students at the Kinsale FET college in Ireland an assignment to come up with a community 'energy descent action plan' that took into account local response to peak oil and climate change.
So compelling was the project that the Kinsale Town Council adopted the plan of one of the students. Hopkins then devised an evolving Transitions Town model which has now spread through Ireland, England, Wales, the U.S.A., New Zealand, Australia, Italy and Chile. Transition Towns communities now include villages, towns, boroughs, districts and cities.
The main aims of the project are to foster local hubs of self-reliant sustainable living and build community resilience in the face of peak oil and climate change. People like you and me are mobilising, reinvigorating the concept of community to address food production and transportation concerns, waste reduction, energy alternatives, alternative commercial exchange systems and a new and better way of being in the world.
The central idea underpinning Transitions Towns is that sustainable living, that is living within the bounds of Nature, is actually richer and more fulfilling living than what we experience now. That it offers us all wise ways to be truly thriving, resilient and abundant. Transitions Towns is a relief from the lonely, depressed world of consumerism, waste, greed and war-mongering - freedom from the myth that there is such a thing as unchecked, unlimited 'growth' on a finite Planet.
There are various global hubs now supporting more than 200 Transition Towns, you can find them by starting with http://www.transitiontowns.org/