Shining Example

September 30, 2008

It’s funny how when you read, the wisdom from books seem to intermingle. Well, this gem came from The Magic Key to Charm – nothing to do with climate change, but all to do with communication.

“Remember that you can influence others far more easily by your own shining example than by trying to interfere.”

The personal is political – each action we take is either a symbol of compliance or resistance.

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Opportunity

September 30, 2008

As you know, in December 2009, the city of Copenhagen will host perhaps the most important UN talks on climate change in history. There, the world will decide on a global deal that cuts greenhouse gases, and how we deal with the changes that our lifestyles have already forced onto the climate.

This week, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visits America. In a recent speech, he said,

“The world is at a crossroad. We need to choose a direction that will take us safely through the 21st century. Right now, we are on the wrong track.

We can continue to watch helplessly how the oil price rises and falls. Watch floods here and abroad, continue to transfer huge amounts of wealth to autocratic regimes and rely on unstable supplies of oil and gas, watch our planet grow more unlivable every day.

Our will to act upon these problems goes to the very heart of who we are. Climate change will occur whether we decide to act or not. But we have the opportunity to control the process and take advantage of the transition.”

Let’s hope that our actions prove to those politicians that we want them to take that opportunity.

Le Prominade Libre

September 29, 2008

More genius from Do The Green Thing. This time, giving walking an edgy, punk/hoodie-wearing urban underground image.

Win/Win

September 29, 2008

Rescuing multi-nationals has become a bit of a habit on Wall Street (privatising profit, socialising risk anyone?).

This week, Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN environment programme (UNEP), compared the need for intervention in the failing financial sector to the need to support emerging green industries.

“Imagine for a moment if some of those stimulus packages could be targeted towards not maintaining and sustaining the old economy of the 20th century but investing in the new economy of the 21st century. Millions of jobs, millions of enterprises and above all millions of opportunities for new entrants in the global economy”, said Steiner.

So it’s no wonder thing that the International Trade Union Confederation now support real action on climate change.

See what I mean by win/win?

In My Name

September 28, 2008

Climate change is reversing the progress we have made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

They are;

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

Every government promised to achieve these by 2015. And we are not on target – by a long way.

People from all over the world have said that governments must keep their promise. You can too.

Pretty amazing stuff from someone who used to be the VP of America.

“If you’re a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration.”

CHANGE ’08

September 27, 2008

In the summer of 2006, I took part in the Oxfam CHANGE program – a week-long training event for young campaigners.

It was where I met Emma, I learned how to speak to my MP and decided that a vegetarian lifestyle would allow me to seriously cut my personal carbon emissions, and therefore live within my values of sustainability and compassion.

This year, I was asked to facilitate at Change ’08. I knew it would be hard work, but it was so worth it.

Seeing 27 young people arrive with a sense of ‘wanting to do something’, and some of them having already volunteered abroad and campaigned on issues, it was awe-inspiring to see how their potential was unravelled. After four days of intensive learning and doing, these amazing young people are confident, skilled and passionate. They have so many creative ideas to address the massive issues that we have to solve, and I can’t wait to see what they do.

All too often we underestimate ourselves. This group proved that the best of us lies waiting to be untapped.

(And part of the untapping was via the Green Finger Project.)

This video is about the Change program in the US, but it does exactly the same to people in the UK – it gives them tools, it gives them a network and it gives them purpose.

Green Jobs Now

September 27, 2008

Today is a day of mass action in the States. 250 events in 42 States all promoting the new green economy – this is awesome stuff.

It’s all about communities, getting people of colour into new green jobs and cutting carbon.

Letterman

September 26, 2008

Wow! American chat show hosts who make sense?

Since when!?

I have no idea who/what the Voice of God is, but the short video segment from the Letterman show below highlights four important points.

  • We need leadership. From the White House, Downing Street, we need more people to stand up and be bold. Letterman talks about JFK’s skill at this. As soon as nuclear warfare became a possibility, the whole country had their anti-radiation gear ready!
  • Action on climate change will be a win/win situation. Solving the problem of increasing global temperatures, but also creating new green jobs, rebuilding communities, and better transport facilities. The space race gave America pride and knowledge, so can action on climate change.
  • People are afraid of vested interests like Big Oil. We don’t want them to be the bad guy – because we all know someone (and usually like them) who is involved with the dirty energy sector. And yet the audience whooped when Letterman said we need renewables – so we know what we need to do, but we’re scared.
  • We make lame excuses. Reuse cocktail sticks? Come on?! A big problem means we need a big solution! We’ve changed lightbulbs, now we need to change laws.

But he’s wrong about it being too late. Yes, we will see changes which we can no longer avoid – but it is up to us how much we lose.

Don’t do nothing, because you can’t do everything.

Two Will

September 26, 2008

Love this :)

Turning off lights are so much more fun when you pirouette while you do it…