The geek shall inherit the Earth

After the third Ashlyns Conversation on Wednesday night, I can’t help but wonder whether there was some mis-translation early on when the Bible was being compiled.  “The meek shall inherit the Earth” has been an eye-catching and thought provoking phrase for me.  I’m wondering whether the “m” was a mistake and it should have been a “g”.

I’ve read Mark Stevenson’s book, and while feeling out of place in a hip pub in London Mark he did take me through his go-to slide presentation.  While there were adaptations in the talk he gave last night to what I’d read and heard before, it was largely similar.  It didn’t stop me letting out involuntary gasps of astonishment as I sat in Berkhamsted Town Hall while he rattled through his bewildering torrent slides, taking the 70 attendees through already existing technologies such as Star-Wars-like thought controlled robotic hands with sensitive touch, to reversing the aging process using telomerase; from successful competitions to find businesses that can make money by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere (without government incentives), to the meteoric rise of renewable energy and algae creating petrol from carbon dioxide and water.

Optimist's Tour of the Future

After the talk I gave a lift to Jean to get her home and save her knees, and worked into the evening to prepare for a client meeting today.  A short night’s sleep later and I’m on a train to Derby, thinking.  What I heard last night changes everything for me.  And at the same time it changes nothing.

It changes everything in that I have to admit that I’m much more optimistic about the potential for us defeating climate change.  Technologies are on the way, and they will come sooner or later whether governments get on board or not.  It changes nothing in that the steps I need to take now are to orient myself in moral philosophy, and help to build and inclusive, collaborative and fair community, starting within myself and working out to my family, friends, neighbours, street and town.

I now have renewed insight and belief that the work of the Transition movement is all the more fundamentally important and pressing.  Climate change will knock us to the floor unless we reduce our individual, local, national and global carbon footprint – we need to give ourselves another decade or two to allow these technologies to come through and help repair our battered planet.  Our humanity, our understanding of our place in the universe and our moral outlook need to keep pace with the onset of the world-shifting technologies.  That can only happen if we get to know the Blaneys next door and the Yarkers across the road, talk about the important things in life and yes, dare I say it, love one another.

The world just around the corner (ooh, I like that phrase) isn’t going to wait for our lumbering political systems and unresponsive behemoths of corporations.  Either through Mother Nature showing her hand or through Fred building a self-replicating 3D nano-printer in his bedroom, government and big business are going to get caught napping.  So we need to be there to help smooth the transition and ride the wave of change rather than get swept aside.

The new insights Mark gave change everything in that the destination I now imagine looks very different from the one I had in mind, with just as much nature and collaboration, but a few more gizmos and a lot more algae.

It changes nothing in that we are still at a crossroads in the history of the human race.  Will we race unthinking into that future, use a shiny new monofilament graphite saw too cut off the branch upon which we are sitting.  Or will we allow our humanity to transcend our animal instincts for competition, to move with self-aware assuredness into a collaborative and equitable paradise.

I’ll probably aim for the paradise option, hope that most of us go the same way, and build a bolt-hole in case those that go for the fast lane try to wipe me out.

A massive thank you to Bex in particular, plus Emma, Phillipa and Ivan for organising the talk, and to Mark for delivering such a profound message to us all.

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

Queasy Optimism

I’m just getting to the end of “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future”, and my brain seems to be avoiding thinking about the implications.  It’s good that I’ve nearly read the book through, because the author Mark Stevenson is coming to Berkhamsted tomorrow night to give the third Ashlyns Conversation, and I’d feel a little guilty if I’d not read his book, having invited him along.  If you feel like being emotionally and intellectually challenged and uplifted by a former stand-up comic turned saviour of the world, come to the Town Hall tomorrow night (Weds 21 May – booking in advance preferable but not necessary).

Thinking about emerging technologies and the profound effect they will have on the make-up of the world causes my stomach to turn and my heart to soar in equal measure.  Will we live for a thousand years?  Is that a good thing?  There are already too many of us – how would we organise ourselves not to take that to extremes?  Will computers become more intelligent than us, and will we join them as Terminator-style cybernetic organisms?  We’ve already started that, with our ever increasing reliance on smartphones, which are getting ever closer to being physically part of our system.

Can Cows Save the Planet?

My unconscious* threw another googly with an absurd reaction when I read the sections about climate change and the technologies out there that could solve it for us.  It’s not the rapidly reducing costs of renewable energy, including printing solar panels on film, or the farming techniques that are turning parts of the parched Australian outback verdant green without pesticides or fertilisers.

No, it’s the technologies that claim to be able to reverse the industrial revolution and suck all of the excess carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere in just a couple of decades.  Why would that make me feel uneasy?  It sounds fantastic, but is it too good to be true?  Will the potential for its existence spur us on to pollute ever more efficiently?

It seems to me that we are in a race against ourselves in a gladiatorial fight to the death.  We need to perfect these technologies on an industrial scale.  They will be mostly distributed in our communities rather than centrally, if we get our act together.  We need to do that before the climate enters an irreversible downward spiral and creates conditions that mean we are scrabbling for resources and lose the ability to save ourselves.

Or we could live a little more simply, with more time on our hands, and aim for happiness and love rather than being a cog in the Gross Domestic Product machine.

And/or?

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

* ah, cyborg again – I spelled that “unconsious”, but my extended intellect automatically corrected it for me via the spell-check on this laptop

A year of Transition

Last year we did quite a bit actually, with the Transition Town here in currently wet and windy Berkhamsted.  The bits I will remember fondly aren’t necessarily those that would grab the headlines.  OK, the headlines I am talking about are in the local rag the Berkhamsted & Tring Gazette.

It won’t be the steering groups and updating strategies that will stick in the mind, even though they have given us the foundations and direction to transition the town as a whole rather than just our own back gardens.  It won’t be the Fresh Local Accessible local food initiative, with the extensive survey of the opportunities, opinion and barriers to local food, mainly because I’ve not personally been involved in that.  I’ll remember singing along while we broke our backs digging up and reclaiming rough ground at the allotment to plant a community orchard with the other allotment holders.  My little bubs running with an excited shout through the runner bean bamboo wigwam thing, and it not collapsing, will stick in the mind.

The work with Safer Routes to Schools, making a difference to plans for traffic so kids can walk around more freely, is great, but I haven’t been involved in that either so it’ll slip the mind.  I will remember finally getting into the habit of cycling everywhere, zipping past Trevor or Kate shouting “hello!” while not being able to wave as I held on for dear life.  It’s great to have got over that initial wobbly stage.

I probably won’t even remember the B-Hive town consultation and all the invention, creativity and scribbling of the townspeople as they designed their ideal town centre.  I’ll not forget how I felt, mouth-agape, as Anna Perry silenced the bustling Civic Centre hall with her breath-taking a cappella rendition of ..?  No wait, I seem to have forgotten that.  I remember the tears in people’s eyes though.  Beat endless meetings with councillors.

I’ll probably forget all of the meetings to organise not one, not two but three big talks – the Positive Money talk with Fran Boait and the first two Ashlyns Lectures, with Ian Roberts and Polly Higgins.  I won’t forget chatting with Ian and finding out we went to the same primary school and that our retired parents are working together on the leisure centre in Beaumaris, or eating Parul’s wonderful vegan curry before being awed by Polly Higgins warmth, wisdom and knowledge.

It won’t be the emails and phone calls organising the first two gatherings of the Transition Towns of Beds, Bucks and Herts that will stick in the mind.  It might be the shared meal with Berkhamsted Transition Towners at Danny and Jo’s understated mansion.

I do like to eat.

I may remember the start of an energy co-operative in Berkhamsted, with the cricket club and potentially one or two of the local schools being lined up by Seb, Tracy, Peter, Tom and John.

The point of this?  I’d like to see Transition Town Berkhamsted grow, not just food, but in numbers and the time we want to put into it, so we can really make the practical steps to live the life we expect to see after the town has transitioned into the future of local energy and food, with less reliance on cars, lorries, planes and fossil fuel and more biking.  Oh, yes, I’d obviously forgotten the Bikefest (but not my 7-year-old Tall cycling out of the Canal Fields car-park without me, onto the main roads and making it up the Bridgewater Road hill without gears during the guided ride – Go Tall).

So my aim for the coming year will be to make the work that we do be include socialising, eating, family, friendship and be attractive for us all to want to spend more time doing it rather than seeing it as a drag .  We can then bring in more members and a lot more will be achieved.

Come to the AGM tonight (Thursday 15 May) at HERE Berkhamsted from 8pm and we can plot a fun year ahead.

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

Power Shift UK 2014 – How it happened

It took three hours to get through to London via circuitous route on Saturday, with the trains up the swanny. It was worth every minute to get to Power Shift UK, which after all these months of planning, copious use of skype and the waxing and waning of the team, has now happened.  I feel very privileged to have been part of organising such a historical event.

After buzzing backwards and forwards to London to deliver painting materials for the conference banner and then working late into the night on Friday to make sure we knew the plan for the two days and had some idea of how our introduction would hang together, Saturday morning was about getting the posters, programmes, tea urns and accoutrements to UCL before the delegates started to arrive.

The introduction was due to start at 11am, and I have to admit that as the time drew near and I felt as though the attendance was going to be well down on the 150 people who had booked their places, as I was seeing the same few faces wondering around the building trying to find their bearings that.  I need not have worried, as 130 people of all ages and backgrounds rolled into Lecture Theatre 1 in the Cruciform building to kick off the event.  The other 20 would make an appearance at different times over the weekend.

We had a few inspiring videos lined up to get everyone in the mood for sharing stories and skills and hatching plans to shift the power from those who seem hell bent on destroying our natural world.  We pressed play, and watched some interesting looking pictures of flooding and wild fires, but not a decibel of sound accompanied them.  Veiled panic ensued – all rather annoying given it had all been working beautifully just an hour previously.  Eventually Tom found that someone had sat on the mute button on the remote and the audience were treated to this:

Our carefully planned intro had to be curtailed, which meant my idea was dropped, which would have involved me frantically pointing around while people shouted out a word to describe what they wanted from the weekend.  I’ll have to keep that one up my sleeve for another day.  It’ll be great.

The plenary speakers performed verbal miracles on stage, eruditely communicating on complicated topics, bringing interest and emotion, all without notes.  I have to say that for me personally, it was Fiona Brookes who stole the show, with a speech from the heart about being challenged to accept the innate differences and similarities between each of us.

Power Shift UK - Stretching after Day 1

Only when we are together can we bring about the change in society that is needed for social and environmental equality and justice.  Over the weekend we found out how many different takes there are on how to go about that, and we also recognised how we need to incorporate all of those viewpoints into our thinking.  Once we recognise that we are all part of the same movement, we can move to critical mass.  As George Barda said in one of the opening plenaries, historically it has only taken between 1-7% of the population to be actively following a cause for it to become mainstream.

If the social and environmental movement in the UK can join together effectively, we would have that 4 million activists necessary to change our world for the better.

I was part of Power Shift UK 2014.  Will it be seen by history as one of the steps on that road?  Next – Power Shift UK 2, if the students from Warwick Uni keep their enthusiasm, plus potentially Power Shift Scotland.

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

Express complaint – unexpected turn – hoping they will become Ex-press

Well, I didn’t expect that.  I submitted the official complaint for the article in the Express, and on the same day heard back from the Press Complaints Commission.  What I heard back slightly threw me.  In short, you’re bonkers if you read the Express and believe anything you read in that paper.

This was the complaint I made to the PCC in the end about the article “Global warming is about hotter, drier weather … not flooding“:

The article is riddled with inaccuracies, but I shall concentrate on those that are the most marked:

[1] Firstly, the headline is inaccurate. Global warming is about flooding. Please see the following extract from the IPCC report:
“Changes in many extreme climate events have been observed since about 1950. It is very likely that the number of cold days and nights has decreased and the number of warm days and nights has increased on the global scale. It is likely that the frequency of heat waves has increased in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia. There are likely more land regions where the number of heavy precipitation events has increased than where it has decreased. The frequency or intensity of heavy precipitation events has likely increased in North America and Europe. In other continents, confidence in changes in heavy precipitation events is at most medium.”
http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf
Page 5, final paragraph.

Indeed, increased precipitation was predicted from the first IPCC report in 1990 – “The global warming will also lead to increased global average precipitation and evaporation of a few percent by 2030” – see page xxii of the summary for policy makers (http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf).

[2] Secondly, the article states “In fact in the last century in Britain there were four winters with heavier rainfall”. This is not true.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26367160

The UK has had the wettest winter (517.6mm of rain fall) since national records began in 1910, the Met Office has confirmed.

[3] And the article states that “the Earth is not getting hotter” and that “Temperatures have remained static for the past 17 years”. This is not true. It is widely accepted that global surface temperatures have been rising continually, even over the past 17 years. More pertinently, if you include the temperatures of the oceans, the Earth has been accumulating heat at an increasing rate. An example of where this is explained is on the New Scientist website, but there are many other sources: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14527-climate-myths-global-warming-stopped-in-1998.html#.U1_Cm_ldUds

And this was the unexpected response from the PCC:

Dear Mr Bell

Thank you for making a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about the Daily Express.

The PCC formally considers complaints about the vast majority of UK newspapers and magazines, provided that they subscribe to the system of self-regulation independently overseen by the PCC.

Northern & Shell – the publishers of the Daily Express – do not currently subscribe to the system of self-regulation independently overseen by the PCC. The publication does not therefore fall under the Commission’s jurisdiction and, as such, we are unable to take forward your concerns in this matter.

In the circumstances, you may wish to complain directly to the publication. Its contact details are as follows:

Nicole Patterson
Daily Express Legal Department
The Northern & Shell Building
10 Lower Thames Street
London, EC3R 6EN

nicole.patterson@express.co.uk

So, that is what I’ll do.  I’ll do it via email and in the post.

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

More success than I had

Following my attempt at persuading my MP to work behind the scenes to stop the proposed moratorium of onshore wind farms in the next Conservative manifesto, the excellent Graham has also written to his MP, Mike Penning.  I think Graham’s letter was better than mine, and the response was more favourable as well.  Do you fancy writing to your MP?

Graham’s letter:

Dear Mike
 
I was very disappointed to hear that the Conservatives are planning a moratorium on onshore wind farms from 2020, in next years election manifesto.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report calls for renewable energy production to be at least trebled and dominate world energy supplies by 2050.
Onshore wind will be cheaper than fossil fuels very shortly, which has given Ecotricity (who supply 40% of renewable energy) the confidence to freeze their electricity prices for 21 months, the longest period in the industry.
 
While there is local opposition to onshore wind, 60% of the country are in favour, and this figure can only increase with the latests warnings from the IPCC.
 
I do hope that you will oppose the planned onshore wind farm moratorium which would rob us of cheap energy and jobs in future years ?
 
I look forward to your reply
 
Yours sincerely
 
Graham Cox
And the reply:
Dear Graham
 
Many thanks for contacting me with your concerns over a possible moratorium on Onshore Wind Farms.
 
I can confirm that I am aware of residents concerns and have written to the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change on this.
 
I will of course be in touch as soon as I have his response.
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Mike Penning
Well done, Graham.  Although, thinking about it, isn’t the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change a Liberal Democrat, and not Conservative?  How can he influence what the Tories put in their manifesto?
John Bell,
Ordinary Bloke

Where am I? Coo-ee!

This post is a general catch-up on what’s happening in my life at the moment and where I see it going in the short term.  I’ll start with me and work out as usual.

I’ve reduced down to one day fasting from two, because I’ve managed to motivate myself to start jogging again.  With that and the cycling I was edging towards 10 stone, which is a little too low.  I’ve also been reading Sophie’s World, to get a very basic grounding in philosophy – more about that in a later post or two.  I’m intending on grounding my next activities on my insights from this work.

The family are well, with Tall and Small back at school again.  Small is particularly pleased about her new school shoes – it took all of our parenting skills to coax her into taking them off before going to bed.  They made up a fantastic competition last night that involved everyone winning.  Tall had to take as few hops as she could to get from one end of our short landing to the other, and had to do fewer than Small.  Small on the other hand had to try and hop as many times on the same route, and had to hop more times than Tall.  So they both always won.  Genius.  Bubs was happy as well, as he just walked around while everyone counted – great fun.

There has seemingly been a very encouraging response to my pre-requisites for taking on the Transition Town Berkhamsted leadership role for a third year.  For once I was unable to attend our monthly Green Drinks social event at HERE, where they had some very fruitful discussions. As a result, I am very pleased to be able to say that if I’m wanted, I will accept the nomination to be leader again this coming year.  I’m looking forward to the 15th so we can get started – this year will be big.

Then we get to the UK and international level, where we are closing in on the 3/4 May for Power Shift UK, part of the Global Power Shift.  Emily and Lindsay in particular, plus Claire and Susan, have put in a humungous amount of effort in organising every last detail.  The list of speakers and workshops is very exciting, and the aims of the conference to plan the connection of the diverse UK climate movement look very attainable as a result.  It has been a huge strain on those who have put in such a lot of time and energy, and the outcomes will be all the better for it.

If you haven’t already done so, please do register to attend the event.  It’s free.

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

Whet your appetite for Sunday of Power Shift UK

Power Shift UK is just over a week away.  While the Saturday will have a load of fantastic workshops and talks on the subject of diversity and the climate change movement in the UK, the Sunday will be for all attendees to work together on how we will convert all of that into action.  While this will be largely an open discussion (Open Space for those who know their facilitation methods), the visionary Claire Morris has written up her thoughts on the topics that might be developed.  If this looks exciting and you want to be part of it, please register now as time is running out.  To whet your appetite, take it away Claire:

1.  Raising and Sustaining Consciousness: How to persist with bearing witness to the severity of the crisis, while sharing real vision, to reach a tipping point in public opinion/social action?

2.  Balancing the narrative and messaging: How to caringly communicate the terrifying destruction but also the possibility for the future if we choose now to work for a thriving world?

3.  The Energy Crisis: Rolling Power Cuts by 2020?  How can we ensure a swift but just transition to 100% renewable energy that is fair, accessible and affordable for everyone?

4.  Reclaiming the Food System from global to local control: How to popularise community farms and agriculture to the point where they are accepted and mainstreamed in the UK?

5.  Building the integrated Global Movement: How to grow a publicly visible, fully participative social movement to apply a critical mass of pressure, to radically shift social/political will?

6.  Divestment from Fossil Fuels & Reinvestment in Renewables: How to stigmatise and dismantle the Fossil Fuel industry & raise up every opportunity to invest in Renewables?

7.  Pushing out every story into the Mainstream Media: How to make a concerted effort to broadcast on TV, radio, newspapers and blogs every community success story and act of resistance?

8.  Uniting on clear, proven, bottom-up solutions everywhere! How to bring people together to implement new systems in our communities from food to energy to tree planting to insulation!

9.  Empowering the masses: How to engage disenfranchised, marginalised or voiceless people, make actions relevant and engaging, and trace the benefits back to the kitchen table?

10.  People Power and Staying Connected and Supported: How to set our individual concerns in the perspective of local needs and wider groups to address problems powerfully collectively?

11.  Overhauling our values: Community, Solidarity, Justice: How to replace greed, fear & insecurity with strong values that build us up: love, peace, compassion, empathy over apathy?

12.  Badgering MPs, local politicians and Government Depts: How to pressure and converse with all levels of government to demand the restructuring of most national systems & policies.

13.  Creating the safe spaces for Real Democracy, collaboration and creativity: How to make platforms/assemblies where people can innovate, debate, plan & work together for change?

14.  Re-Skilling for resilient, adaptive, creative communities: How to nurture “worthwhile work” that rewards and enriches life, and relearn traditional skills and new knowledge to thrive?

15.  Education in and out of Schools: How can we ensure that the truths, and uncorrupted information about global, national and local trends, are taught honestly and openly to people all ages?

16.  Growing personal resilience, determination & inspiration through reflective and mindful practice: How to sustain ourselves through quietness & inquiry into our own responses?

17.  Strengthening and resourcing Grassroots Resistance: How can we as a broad movement support and participate with activists around the country committed to resisting fossil fuels?

18.  Challenging Consumerism, Capitalism and the Status Quo: How do we stand up to the powerful structures and lobbies that block progress, & assist those that are calling for change?

19.  Strategies around COP20, Paris, 2015 & “The Global Deal”: How can we make the best out of the United Nations critical climate negotiations, as well as in the lead up and aftermath?

20.  Engaging with current regulatory and planning systems: How should we interact with current processes in the UK for environmental regulation and the threats to this (e.g. TTIP)?

I’m looking forward to it – hopefully see a lot of you there on 3/4 May – please register now!

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke

Conservative moratorium of onshore wind

I sent this to my MP. If you have a Conservative MP, I implore you to write to them on the same topic. My email was sent before the recent UN report that says that the current actions on climate change are only sufficient to keep temperature increases to about 4 degrees Celcius. They suggest we start now to make a speedy transition to renewables from fossil fuels, with natural gas replacing oil and coal for the next 20-30 years.

My email and David Gauke MP’s response are below:

Dear Mr Bell,
Many thanks for your email. I have made David aware of your concerns.
Kind regards,
Polly London
Office of David Gauke MP

From: John Bell <jubble@hotmail.co.uk>
To: David Gauke MP (home) <david.gauke@btinternet.com>; David Gauke MP <david@davidgauke.com>
Sent: Thursday, 10 April 2014, 14:39
Subject: Onshore wind farms

Dear David
Thank you for your time at the recent surgery in Berkhamsted.  I have to say I was bitterly disappointed when it came to the budget itself, with so many reductions to the renewable energy sector and the freezing of the carbon floor.
The future of the energy sector remains strongly in the low-carbon energy sector, which is largely renewable energy.  Shale gas is not low carbon, it is high carbon.
I have read that there is consideration to include a moratorium on onshore wind in the Conservative manifesto for the next election.  I sincerely hope that this is not the case, and urge you please to make your voice heard in opposition to any such move.  It would be very anti-market forces, and drive the UK to miss out on a fantastic opportunity to lead the way globally in this vital technology, which would supply jobs and low-cost energy for decades to come.  Onshore wind is by far the cheapest form of renewable energy out there, and is becoming competitive with fossil fuels – that is why Ecotricity have been able to freeze their electricity prices for 21 months, and expect to reduce prices going forward.
If the Conservative Party is willing to try to persuade the public on the use of unpopular shale gas, surely it can do the same for onshore wind.
I was pleased to hear that 70 global corporations, including Unilever, Shell, BT and EDF Energy, have called for governments to step up efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.  I hope the Conservative Party will take note.
John Bell,
Ordinary Bloke

My part in the UK climate movement

Over the past year or so, I have met with a number of the leading lights in the UK grassroots climate movement.  We’re all part of it, we just don’t always know that we are or realise that there is a movement at all.  The Power Shift UK is aimed at bringing us all together, as part of wider strategies from other UK and international climate change organisations.

I see the movement as providing so much that it is hard not to agree that it is a hugely positive influence on life in the UK.  Thousands of groups and people around the country are working in their own way to bring community back into their neighbourhoods, where at the moment we are getting used to an insulated lifestyle that revolves around a digital display.  They are finding ways to generate electricity from the sources of energy provided to us by nature.  They are finding ways to reduce our outgoings so we can have a better standard of living.  They are preserving their local natural habitats from an increasing human population and its consequent demands on our natural world.

I am not alone in finding the work a huge drain on my time and energy, as I spend countless evening and days away from the family in meetings.  It can and does feel depressing and feed exhaustion in the face of seemingly overwhelming apathy, wilful ignorance and destructive behaviour from what seems like the majority.  The political class follow what they feel is the vote-winning majority view, and fail to see the opportunities of a change in direction or the dire consequences of our current path.

That is why I am part of Power Shift UK (3/4 May – book your place now, it’s free, and we might even pay to get you there) which is working with the Campaign against Climate Change (CCC) to unite the UK climate movement at all levels.  The strategy aligns with that of the other UK climate organisations, represented by the Climate Coalition.  It is Power Shift “UK” because there are Power Shifts happening all over the planet, from the places most affected by climate change in Africa and the island nations, to the lead culprits in Australia, the US and Canada.

Power Shift UK - 3/4 MayI have been working with Fiona and Laeti at CCC on a funding application to help support the work.  This is where we are at in describing our aims:

  • To provide concerned citizens and groups with a platform for discussion and learning around climate change issues; to build a strong foundation and diversified movement to ensure a just transition towards climate justice and action
  • To give communities and their projects the spotlight and opportunities to demonstrate that alternatives and solutions to climate change are possible; To learn from these community solutions; To invite communities to share their skills in and outside the climate movement.
  • To influence policy and key decision makers in the UK in order to provide a mandate for them to implement the example solutions and alternatives put forward by our British communities; To create space for change to protect citizens who already suffer the consequences of climate change in the UK.

Knowing we are part of a much bigger movement breeds togetherness and a positive, re-enforcing energy that helps to conquer the exhaustion.  It brings inspiration, ideas, skills and experience that strengthen what we do.  It allows people who are partially involved, or are merely at the moment observers, to give themselves permission to join the movement, be that making changes in their own lives, taking part in an event or helping with an initiative.

This groundswell will give the politicians the mandate to enact legislation and bring in policies to turn the tide and bring the rest of us along.  Critical mass will be reached and apathy and ignorance will be swept up in the river of change and what might at the moment seem like inconsequent activity will be justified.  It is that vision that keeps me going.

Will it happen?  I can only hope.

Global power shift flyer 2

John Bell

Ordinary Bloke