Archive for July, 2008

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Crap at the Environment

July 31, 2008

Meet Mark Watson, my now morning environmental entertainment.

Mark is a comedian who, like many of us feel, claims he is crap at the environment, but is trying to be less crap.  And whilst doing so, is trying to encourage a movement of people who want to be less crap too.  Not so long ago, quite ignorant about the impacts of climate change, he is now trying to make a difference and what better way than to combine it with humour?

Mark’s accounts on ‘Book of the Week’ from his new book ‘Crap at the Environment’ give me my morning chuckles and no doubt many will identify with his feelings about the challenge of keeping your carbon footprint small.  It’s a book to request for the birthday list…  I’d recommend going to BBC Radio 4’s listen again to share my morning enjoyment.  Apparently, he also has a weekly Tuesday evening show, ‘Mark Makes the World Substantially Better’.  I’ll be checking it out myself…

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More Great Footage!

July 30, 2008

Whilst out the Arctic, there was a lot of creative material being put together by the awesome team of photographers and film makers who were with us.  And this video was put together to give to the Aspen Group which was visiting the Arctic on a trip not dissimilar to ours.  The Aspen Group is made up of influential leaders, including former President Jimmy Carter, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, former Senator Tom Daschle, Prince Albert of Monaco, founder of Google Larry Paige, the CEO of Shell-US, the CEO of Chevron, many representatives of international NGOs, and many more big players.  And we wanted to share our message with them while they were on their own voyage.

You can watch our video here.

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Meeting the decision-makers

July 30, 2008

Since our return from the Arctic, Casper and I have been meeting the politicians who lead on environmental issues from the three main political parties, including Norman Baker, Liberal Democrat MP – Chair of the All Parliamentary Group Environment Group, Peter Ainsworth Conservative MP – Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary and Hilary Benn Labour MP and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

We’ve been sharing with them our Arctic experience, what we learnt and the urgency with which we must act in order to protect the Arctic and the rest of the planet.  We’ve been updating them with the progress of our environmental campaigning and the progression of the UK-Youth Climate Coalition and discussing the policy over which they have influence over, including the current Climate Change Bill passing through parliament.  I only made the meetings with Norman Baker and Peter Ainsworth – both of which were encouraging.  Both MPs are working hard for strong climate change policy however clearly frustrated with the slow political pace and the lack of strong support.  I hope increasingly they will find more MPs on their side to lead in making law that is necessary – law to change the way we live and work, for the better, not for the worse.  People often perceive transferral to a carbon neutral society as restricting our rights, I see it as a move towards healthier lifestyle, more local community, cleaner air and local environment and a reduction in materialistic value and dependency.

Casper had a good meeting with Hilary Benn and from the pics, it looks like a very posh meeting!  You can read more about it here

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The world is changing. Can we move?

July 29, 2008

“With the approaching threats of climate change and economic crisis, the world is changing fast.  Business as usual cannot continue.”

Last night, I joined one of my friends to check out the climate caravan.  The climate caravan is a group of people linked with the climate camp which begins next week.  They are walking and cycling from Heathrow airport where last summer’s climate camp took place, to Kingsnorth, Kent, for the beginning of this year’s camp.  Along their way they are holding a series of events include debates, presentations and workshops.

Yesterday evening they were in Putney in London and had speakers discussing ‘Turning the world upside down’ and each speaker came up with a proposal as to what was necessary to achieve this.  Ideas ranged from thinking what is really in our best interest –  it is not in our best interest to over-exploit all our resources, to finding our common goal that we want to achieve from life, to the public leading politics with our thoughts rather than political parties leading the public with their thoughts…

All ideas were great and we need to work on them all.  I think if I were to put a proposal forward, I think it would be for everyone in the environmental movement to communicate with people about climate change in a language they understand and in a context that is relevant to them.  If you asked many people about climate change, they would likely know what climate change is, but with other more immediate life challenges facing them will care very little.  Therefore it is our role to communicate that a) this IS an immediate life challenge and b) it will affect everything they care and love the most.  Some may feel that this approach dums down or avoids the numerous other issues that are connected with climate change, however, although this is true too, the situation is so urgent that our work must be focused and to the point in the little time we have.  And we can all do this is the areas that are our strengths.

The Climate Caravan is still making stops on its way to Kingsnorth, and in case this is near you, this is what is going on in the next few days:

Wednesday 30t July: Climate Capitalism Climate & Capitalism. Finance and The City – A Tour; meet at 3.30pm outside Liverpool St, Bishopsgate exit. (1 ½ hours).  *Tackling climate change starts at home, apparently.*  Examining the root causes of climate change has brought us to the bleeding heart of London: the single square mile of the business district. Decisions made in the City over financial investments across the world are locking us into decades of carbon emissions. How are we tied up in this? How do we affect it?  Take the tour, meeting at Liverpool St on Bishopsgate at 3.30pm.  Look for the suits with umbrellas..

Thursday 31st July: Life Beyond Cars – Family friendly foray into a fossil fuel free future.  Bring your bikes (Dr Bike in residence).  Workshops, talks, displays and Demonstrations.  4-6pm nr Oxleas Wood Cafe, Crown Wood Lane, Shooters Hill, Greenwich, SE18 35A

Friday 1st August: Climate Camp – What’s it all about?  – Come along and meet the campers.  7.30pm St Botolph’s Church Hall, The Hill, Northfleet, DA11 9EU.

Saturday 2nd August: Climate Camp – What’s it all about? – Come along and meet the campers.  7.30pm: Church of St Francis of Assisi, Galahad Avenue, Strood.

Sunday 3rd August: The caravan joins up with Campaign Against Climate Change.  march from Rochester station to Kingsnorth.  Assemble midday.

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Casper and Em’s Arctic Podcast – thank you Warwick!

July 27, 2008

Click here to listen to our interview on the outcomes of our voyage and what we learnt…

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Fancy becoming more involved? Fancy becoming climate PROactive?

July 26, 2008

Then maybe this is your opportunity to get inspired and get active!

The Young European Friends of the Earth are running an Earth Climate Tour to strengthen the European climate movement.

50 young people from Europe are meeting in September in Sweden and then meeting again in December in Poland to create an impact at the UN Climate Change Conference.

To find out more and get involved you need to apply here by 10th August!

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Women and Climate Change

July 25, 2008

Thanks to everyone who listened to BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour today and who have written to me with support!

If you want to read more about how women are impacted by climate change you can find out more on Oxfam’s ‘Sisters on the Planet’ web page and watch this video!