Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Climate Change and Sustainability Day clips and info

A packed house, informative speakers and an informed audience made for a stimulating Climate Change and Sustainability Day on Friday 27 March.

It opened with a pledge from Councillor John Jarvis to set up a screening of The Age of Stupid for Herefordshire Council in its entirety. “You can't change your life if you can't change your thinking. We have to get the message (about climate change) across to the people who manage the budgets,” he said.

Among other green measures, county library services are to make energy monitors and intelligent plugs available for loan while many Herefordshire schools have now achieved their green flag as part of the eco-schools award scheme.

The Age of Stupid (which has had a phenomenal run of five consecutive weeks at the Odeon West End) will be available for independent screenings after its official launch date on May 22. Information about purchasing a license (on a sliding scale according to the size and nature of screenings) can be obtained from the Indie Screenings website from May 1.

Listen to Mark Lynas introduce The Age of Stupid.

And, from the Q&A after the screening, a proposal for a 'War Bond' type scheme for renewables was greeted with much enthusiasm by the audience.

A lively session on Alternative Sources of Energy featured presentations by Richard Priestley on the breakthrough technology of concentrating solar power, Alice Goldstone of Talybont Energy on hydropower and how Talybont is working steadily towards carbon neutrality and Jon Hallé of sharenergy and Energy4All who urged any audience members inerested in setting up or participating in renewable energy co-ops to contact him via the sharenergy website.

Richard was prompted by the potentially large demand from audience members to set up a new course of evening classes Global Problems : Global Solutions at The Barrels pub in Hereford. Details in the comment attached to this post or contact Richard by e-mail or on 01432 358104.

Re local hydropower, we've been contacted by Stephen Ainsleigh Rice of the Herefordshire Hydro Group(see comment attached to this post for more information).

Summing up the energy debate, environmental broadcaster Robert Lamb said that there had been some terrific insights but added a note of caution, "As we've seen from the film this morning, as science shows, we can't wait for attitudinal change. Governments have a huge role to play; at the end of the day they regulate things. They did something about acid rain in the US, governments got involved, ODS (ozone-depleted substances) were made illegal. We have to press governments to deliver. Where things are happening in Germany, Denmark, Spain it's where governments have intervened. We have to recognise that we're a middle-class outfit and that 95% of the people in the UK would not find it particularly shameful to travel on EasyJet."

Following on, here's Joss Garman of Greenpeace and Plane Stupid spelling out why 2 degrees are quite so significant.

Joss's full PowerPoint presentation will soon be available for download.

The session was billed as How Far Do We Go? Speaking after Joss, Trish Marsh, Sustainability Manager for Herefordshire Council argued for renaming it How Near Should We Stay?



BLURT said...

Here are details of Richard Priestley's forthcoming course.

Global Problems : Global SolutionsA vision of an ecologically sustainable and socially just world
Evening Classes (in a pub!)
8 Tuesdays, from 19th May to 7th July 2009
The Old Brewery, The Barrels, St. Owen Street, Hereford, 7.45pm
£35 for the 8 sessions

Over the course of 8 evenings we will take a very positive solution-focused approach to looking at the complex network of interlinked global problems from climate change, habitat destruction, hunger and poverty to the current economic turmoil. Within the crisis is an opportunity. The transition from 'The Fossil-Fuel Age' to 'The Solar Age' could and should be a chance to build a radically fairer, more inclusive and more ecologically secure world. There are many exciting ideas and examples of best practice from around the world, in many areas from power generation and land use to governance that we will look at in the course.
E-mail Richard Priestley or phone 01432 358104

BLURT said...

Here is the information sent by Stephen Ainsleigh Rice of the Herefordshire Hydro Group.

"We're a group of Land owners in Herefordshire who have frontage to watercourses and we seek to help each other develop those resources; we have good contacts with others in the micro-hydropower industry. One project is under construction and four others are moving towards submission of their planning applications, licences and consents; they involve waterwheel or turbines. About 20 (quick) feasibility studies have been carried out to date for various parties.

We have a constitution but no funds. If you're interested please contact the Group Secretary via our website"