A group of Hope residents has banded together to strengthen their community and to raise awareness for peak oil and climate change.

In the spring, Lew McGregor, Ryan Entwistle and Willow Hall went to a Transition Network training session at Hope Spinnery and from there the Hope Transition Town movement was born.

The transition town movement is a global grassroots initiative that began in the United Kingdom in 2006, and now about 1,000 towns worldwide are involved. The Hope group is a spinoff from the Midcoast Transition group that includes residents from Lincolnville, Hope, Rockland, Montville and Liberty.

“We’re more like a work party than a street rally,” McGregor said of the group.

Transition Town Hope is a community-led response to create a sustainable and supportive community in the face of the challenges created by climate change, a finite fossil fuel supply, and the economic crisis. Each different transition town group is charged with creating its own unique solutions.

Peak oil is a problem of energy resource depletion, or more specifically, the peak in the rate of global oil production. Oil is a finite, non-renewable resource. The rate of oil production has grown almost every year of the last century. Once the world has used up about half of the original reserves the rate of oil production will begin to decline. An increasing number of people will begin to compete for a smaller and smaller amount of oil being produced each year, with unpredictable consequences, according to information provided by Transition Town Hope.

“We are looking to feed, fuel and finance ourselves,” Hall said. “We will have a future with less readily available energy.”

Climate change is happening and is evident by varying, less predictable weather, she said. The mission is to be prepared with a system now for producing food and other resources, Hall said.

“We each feel in our heart a concern for humans on a big scale and for our friends and family on a smaller scale,” she said.

“We want to start the change now to create a positive possibility rather than wait for the government or an environmental disaster,” Entwistle said.

If the community collectively plans and acts early enough, it can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more fulfilling, the three said.

Entwistle, who lives in a straw-bale house, raises pigs and has a greenhouse. Hall also has a greenhouse. McGregor recently installed solar panels on his house.

Another key element is to work with the local government and work with existing “green” groups. The group has made a presentation to the Midcoast Regional Planning Commission.

The long-term plan is to create an energy descent plan, which will address how the community as a whole can use less energy.

In addition to the Midcoast and Hope transition groups, Belfast, Portland, Boothbay, Dexter and Brooksville and Hancock County also have similar movements in place.

The group hopes that everyone in Hope will get involved regardless of their age or background as the diversity of the group allows for different skills.

Three movie nights have been organized for November. The first movie night was Nov. 12. The other two are Friday, Nov. 19 and Friday, Nov. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hope Library.

For more information about the transition town movement, visit transitiontowns.org or transitionus.org.

To get involved with the Hope group, call Hall at 763-3047. Lincolnville’s Anna Abaldo is also looking to start a Lincolnville group. She can be reached at 763-3321.