One UNM professor says a world without electricity and ravaged by natural disaster might not be too far off, and the UNM community needs a plan.
“I think we are going to crash in one form or another,” Sustainability Studies professor Maggie Seeley said. “It may be slow; it may come economically so I want the UNM campus and the perimeter around the campus to have a plan.”
The newly formed Transition Club is ready to prepare students and UNM for possible societal and technological collapse.
The club was originally a project started last semester in Seeley’s Sustainability 334 class called “transition group.”
Seeley said she isn’t planning for doomsday, just that the lives of future generations are going to be more difficult and preparation needs to begin now.
“I’m not thinking about Armageddon,” she said. “I am just totally believing that we won’t have the life that I grew up with.”
The group became a club on campus two weeks ago and hopes to have monthly potlucks where students can come together to plan to make UNM more prepared for environmental disasters and hardship.
Pily Rodriguez, a junior community regional planning major and head of the Transition Club, said the club aims to train students in traditional agricultural techniques that don’t depend on modern technology.
“It’s a movement that is becoming more resilient and becoming less energy dependent,” she said. “It means increasing the amount of food we produce locally, having chickens and learning manual skills that we have lost over time because of technology.”
Rodriguez said the group had a meeting off campus last semester that 83 people attended. About 30 percent of the attendees were students, he said.
Rodriguez said holding club meetings on campus will encourage more students to attend. She said she is going to focus on teaching students simple manual skills, such as sewing and repairing, that many people don’t have because machines are able to do them.
“It’s (about) becoming resilient so that when crisis happens we are going to survive as a community so we’re not going to go into chaos,” she said.
Seeley said UNM will be one of the first campuses in the country with a club like this.
“UNM could cut some serious ground here,” she said. “I think it’s a good plan if we are prepared. It could just be a drought with no water, or it could just be a brownout, or some sort of flu epidemic or perpetual unemployment.”
Seeley said she wants to build on the idea behind Lobo Gardens, which is an agricultural initiative that teaches students how to cultivate and harvest crops. La Posada dining hall and Outtakes then use the produce for the food they sell.
Lobo Gardens is an effort to teach students how to live off the land, Seeley said. “We already have Lobo Gardens, and we have a tiny amount of produce going into Outtakes from the produce we make,” she said. “It’s not much, but it’s a beginning. I want to see something big enough so the University can get behind it. “
Transition Club meeting
Monday 5 p.m.