Thursday 11 March 7.30 Refreshments and displays from 7pm.
Swanmead School Ilminster TA19 0BL
SOUTH SOMERSET CLIMATE ACTION asks:
Are our food supplies secure?
How soon will petrol cost £2/litre?
Is our response to climate change adequate?
Can economic growth go on for ever?
Put YOUR ENVIRONMENT QUESTION to our MP
PLUS an update on the science and possible solutions
Tues 16 Mar
7.30 Jonathan Porritt: Hinkley C – What’s the Point? – ‘STOP HINKLEY’
Temple Methodist Church, Upper High Street, Taunton.
The former director of Friends of the Earth and the Sustainable Development Commission is an eloquent and informed speaker. http://stophinkley.org/ Supporters include: Lord Ashdown, Raymond Briggs, Julie Christie, Dr Caroline Lucas MEP, Michael Meacher MP.
Sat 20 Mar
9.45am – 12.45pm
Severn Estuary Tidal Power The Blakehay Theatre, Wadham Street (next to Grove Park Car Park) Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset. FREE A unique opportunity to learn, question and challenge
High profile speakers: Dr Robert Kirby, oceanographer, Dr Roger Wade, Environment Agency, Adrian Jowitt, Natural England, John Chaplin, Director of Engineering, Port of Bristol Company & Professor Nick Pidgeon, Cardiff University, a researcher in risk attitudes and behaviour relating to climate change and energy choices.
www.tenons.org.uk or phone 01934 623000. For the consultation process go to www.severntidalpowerconsultation.decc.gov.uk
Tue 23 March 10am – 4pm
Discussion after film Food Inc at the Brewhouse withTaunton Transition Town
A look under the disturbing lid of the American food industry to expose the highly mechanized underbelly of a system that puts profits before consumer health. It features interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto). Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what the US diet is really like, how it’s produced and what the future might hold.
You think it doesn’t happen here? Join the post-film discussion to find out more about food co-ops, ‘People’s Supermarkets’, community supported agriculture schemes etc. Guest panellists will include Ian Tremain, Nuffield Farming Scholar; Tom Nielson, gardener, environmental designer and permaculturist; and Beth French, consumer representative on the board of Taunton’s Farmers Market.
Tickets £5 from the Box Office 01823 283244. All profits go to help the Brewhouse achieve it’s 10:10 pledge.
Sat 27 March 10am – 4pm FREE locally sourced lunch Transition Somerset FREE EVENT- Richard Huish College, Taunton,
Local author, Tracey Smith, shows ‘Slow down & green up’; Junk Band ‘Weapons of Sound’; Willow sculpture; Natural relaxation with hand massages; Story Telling; Bread and Soup Workshop; Bicycle maintenance; Rags to Riches Fashion Show; Healthy walks & Tai Chi; Fun with Junk and scrap; ‘Ready Steady Cook’ competition with audience participation; What ‘Taunton Transition Towns’ is all about!; Make your own material bag; Tree Care workshop FREE local apple tree!; Animation Work shops; Make & sow a seed tray; Recycled mosaics.
To book a workshop call Somerset Skills & Learning Pauline McCarthy on 01823 355733 or email PMcCarthy@somerset.gov.uk OR JUST TURN UP ON THE DAY
Extract from the Triple crunch log 2010 compiled by Jeremy Leggett emphasising matters relevant to the energy-, climate-, and financial crises, and issues pertinent to society’s response to this triple crunch
27-2-2010 Al Gore editorial in the NYT: “We can’t wish climate change away.” And if we did, we’d still have to tackle dependency on foreign oil and China’s lead in cleantech.
28-2-2010 Bank of America and Barclays Capital tell clients to brace for crude above $100 (£64) a barrel by next year, then relentlessly higher prices over the decade. “Oil has the potential to flirt with $100 this year. We forecast an average price of $137 by 2015,” says Amrita Sen of BarCap. “The groundwork for the next sustained step up in oil prices is now almost complete. Global spare capacity is likely to be reduced to low levels within a relatively short time. The global economic crisis has postponed, but not cancelled, a crunch which would otherwise be starting to bite now.” Francisco Blanch of Bank of America Merrill Lynch says crude may touch $105 next year, with $150 in sight by 2014. “Approximately 1.7bn consumers in emerging markets with a per capita income of $5,000 to $20,000 are eagerly waiting to buy cars, air-conditioning units, or white goods.” He expects demand to rise by a further 2.8m barrels per day (bpd) in China and 2.5m bpd in India by 2015. Global use will increase by 8.8m bpd to 95m bpd.
UK to test low-carbon technologies in 87 social housing units
Eighty-seven differents projects will each receive �150,000 and two years to demonstrate success in cutting CO2 emissions. Guardian 25 Feb 2010
Campaign against Climate Change www.campaigncc.org links.
Contact your pension fund to ask them to vote against tar sands development at BP and Shell shareholder meetings. http://www.fairpensions.org.uk/tarsands/action
Support a Robin Hood Tax on banking to fund action on poverty and climate change. http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/category/latest/
Climate change in the news – UK
Another survey shows the British public’s belief in climate change has declined. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/23/british-public-belief-climate-poll
An amendment to restrict carbon dioxide emissions from new power stations has been defeated in the Commons by just 8 votes. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jyP_fgaR8g6fKLtwF7cmpFbwMP9g
You can find out how your MP voted here http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2010-02-24&number=86&display=allvotes
The Heathrow Third Runway Judicial Review is underway. http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/heathrow-judicial-review-day-1-wrap-20100223
A biofuel power plant planned to run on palm oil has been rejected by local councillors in Avonmouth because of the wider environmental issues http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/8532017.stm
The Committee on Climate Change has warned Scotland needs to step up its efforts to meet its target of cutting CO2 levels by 42% by 2020. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/24/scotland-emissions-target
£60m Climate aid from the UK to Bangladesh has been criticised for being drawn from existing aid budgets and for being channelled through the World Bank. Bangladesh initially rejected the terms but agreement has now apparently been reached. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/15/bangladesh-world-bank-climate-finance
Climate change in the news – International
Yvo de Boer has announced his resignation from the UNFCCC.
The world’s top firms cause an estimated $2.2tn of environmental damage. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/18/worlds-top-firms-environmental-damage
Obama has announced money for two new nuclear reactors. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/16/barack-obama-nuclear-reactors
Three leading corporations, including BP America, have dropped out of a coalition that had been pressing Congress to pass climate change legislation.
MIT analysis shows pledges submitted to the UN falls short of reduction targets by at least 11bn tonnes of CO2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/12/copenhagen-carbon-emission-pledges
EU biofuels are found to be significantly harming food production in developing countries. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/15/biofuels-food-production-developing-countries
Climate change in the news – Science
The world’s coral reefs could disintegrate by 2100 because of rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/23/worlds-coral-reefs-disintegrate-2100
“Life Cycle” provides free cycle parking under their Take a Stand scheme. Voluntary sector groups, schools, small businesses, churches and surgeries, in fact almost any type of organisation, are welcome to apply. Good cycle parking tells the world that you’re an environmentally-friendly organisation or town and it’s a proven way of deterring cycle theft.
For more details see www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/cycle-parking
Free home insulation for all in West Somerset
Free loft and cavity wall insulation is being offered to all homeowners or privately renting tenants in West Somerset during March on a first-come first-served basis.
Call the Energy Saving Trust Helpline on 0800 512 012 for more information and to be referred to the scheme.
THE ENORMITY OF OUR TASK
Cambridge Physics Professor, David MacKay addressed the House of Lords on Tuesday 13th January 2009. He is now Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change
“The public discussion of energy options tends to be intensely emotional, polarised, mistrustful, and destructive. Every option is strongly opposed: the public seem to be anti-wind, anti-coal, anti-waste-to-energy, anti-tidal-barrage, anti-fuel-duty, and anti-nuclear. We can’t be anti-everything! We need an energy plan that adds up. But there’s a lack of numeracy in the public discussion of energy. …
Today’s British total energy consumption is on average 125 kWh per day per person. (That’s for all forms of energy: electrical, transport, heating – not just electricity.) … And this is perhaps the most important message: the scale of action required to put in place a sustainable energy solution. Even if we imagine strong efficiency measures and smart technology-switches that halved our energy consumption [from 125 kWh per day per person to 60 kWh per day] (which would be lower than the per-capita consumption of any developed country today), we should not kid ourselves about the challenge of supplying 60 kWh per day without fossil fuels. Among the low-carbon energy supply options, the three with the biggest potential are wind power, nuclear power, and concentrating solar power in other peoples’ deserts. And here is the scale that is required if (for simplicity) we wanted to get one third from each of these sources: we would have to build wind farms with an area equal to the area of Wales; we would have to build 50 Sizewells of nuclear power; and we would need solar power stations in deserts covering an area twice the size of Greater London. Of course I’m not recommending this particular mix of options; there are many mixes that add up; and a more detailed story would discuss other technologies such as ‘clean coal’ with carbon capture and storage (as yet, unproven); and energy storage systems to cope with fluctuations of supply and demand. Whatever mix you choose, if it adds up, we have a very large building task. The simple wind/nuclear/solar mix I just mentioned would involve roughly a hundred-fold increase in wind power over 2006 , and a five-fold increase in nuclear power ; the solar power in deserts would require new long-distance cables connecting the Sahara to Surrey, with a capacity 25 times greater than the existing England-France interconnector. It’s not going to be easy to make an energy plan that adds up; but it is possible. We need to get building.”
Full text: http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/book/SUMMARY
Prosperity without growth – Economics for a Finite Planet by Tim Jackson (Earthscan £12.99)
“Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries. But question it we must,” says Jackson in his new book, “Economics without growth is possible, and imperative.”
In London last September, the idea of ‘A Zero Growth Economy’ found favour at the Friends House conference. Professor Jackson adds yet more intellectual weight. He asserts that financial and ecological sustainability are intimately linked. Our institutions, he argues, need to shift the balance away from materialistic individualism towards ‘goals of family, friendship and community’.
Jeremy Leggett was in turn an academic, oil industry executive and then Friends of the Earth advisor. In his review for The Guardian he wrote, “For what it’s worth, as a creature of capitalism – a venture-capital-backed energy industry boss, a private equity investor, and an Institute of Directors director of the month – I am convinced that capitalism as we know it is torpedoing our prosperity, killing our economies and threatening our children with an unlovable world. Tim Jackson has written the best book yet making this case, and showing the generalities of the escape route. The specifics, post-Copenhagen, are all down to us.”
Tell us … What do you think? How could you help?
South Somerset Climate Action campaigns for sustainable communities – renewable energy, energy conservation, reliable food supplies, waste limitation, pollution control,
careful use of minerals and forests, fresh water & oceans.