|Issue 13 : 13 October 2006|
Tip… Tip… Hooray!
The Berlin Wall – the ‘wall’ of not mentioning climate change in polite conversation – has fallen and now everyone is talking about it. Like all fears, once faced bravely, whole new possibilities emerge, and new grounds for hope return. Can we fix this? Yes we can!
Welcome to this celebration issue. Over the last month or so the collective will of millions of carbon-conscious people around the globe exerted real power and influence on world events. By our deeds, actions and purchasing decisions we are known. World leaders are shifting to a more proactive position on global warming. How cool is that? How rapid can be change for good.
In this issue:
... and lots, lots more!
Remember, remember the fourth of November…
Prepare to celebrate. Like a solar eclipse, all climate campaigns will be aligned on this amazing day of peace, fun and solidarity… we are one.
It will be one huge celebration. Revel in clear sky, breathe the life-giving air we all share, and just be part of it. I will be marching in London, but if you can’t join me, don’t worry – you can join in wherever you are, however you can. Be in a state of raised carbon-consciousness. Be part of the global 'light bulb moment'. Kick some high-carb habits and get free!
Let's stand up and be counted by registering with the mouthwateringly delicious ‘I Count’ campaign, which is making the impossible possible. Take action, lobby the PM and Come Off It all in one go.
Saving the planet just became easier – and much more fun! Help recreate the future of the planet today by visiting the I Count website and join me in popping a few more (purple) bubbles.
And here are some other useful and interesting links for you, whether you want to join the march or a peace vigil, conserve power, plant new energy efficient bulbs… just do whatever you feel you can.
is behind Stop Climate Chaos
The end of the beginning: An Inconvenient Truth is out
September will be remembered as the month we ‘got
it’. It may sound dramatic, but I reckon we are witnessing the emergence
of the Winston Churchill of our time.
"Every man, woman and child in the country
should see this film”
The Sun – and even Heat magazine – gave the film their highest (five star) rating.
See the film, read the book, inspire a friend to see it. The Truth will set us (and our children) free. Find out more about the film and find your nearest cinema at:
Be quick – you don’t want to be left behind
at dinner parties.
Give me sunshine
The Sun has got its (green) hat on:
There are some fun, playful suggestions for how low carbon lifestyles can not only be cheaper, safer and more fulfilling, but also happier, sexier and more stylish!
“By being aware of all the tiny decisions we make every day, we can be part of a change for good. And that’s sexy,” says The Sun’s Green Goddess.
The Sun will save our planet
The Sun is urging readers to think green in the debate on global warming. Ex-US vice president Al Gore warns we have ten years to save the planet…
Lead letter, Friday 15 September:
Five years on from 9/11 and The Sun leads us in the battle against the real terror – climate crisis. Well done my Sun.
This is the biggest issue we will ever face. If our children still have a future it was re-born this year – thanks to the leadership of The Sun and former American vice-president Al Gore.
The sun (the one in the sky, not the one in the newsagents)
The same week The Sun ‘came out’, the cover story of New Scientist (16 September) was “Will the sun come to our rescue? We may have one last chance to tackle global warming, and it comes from the unlikeliest source.”
The good news is that we may get a small lucky break. On the horizon is the possibility that the sun may be entering a cooler period – as in the Little Ice Age – owing to reduced magnetic activity. This might give us a little more time in which to achieve the unimaginable civilisational turn-around. What a truly amazing time to be alive.
Of course the New Scientist has long been telling us that things are looking very bad indeed – and it still does. For example, here’s an extract from Fred Pearce’s 27 September article, ‘One degree and we're done for: "Further global warming of 1°C defines a critical threshold. Beyond that we will likely see changes that make Earth a different planet than the one we know." But the truth is that what used to be a minority heated debate, is now a wide open public concern.
Not least thanks to Al Gore’s revelations. For example, over a ten-year period not a single one of over 900 peer-reviewed scientific articles suggested either that climate change isn't happening, or that it isn't caused by our emissions. But despite this over 50% of media articles reviewed over the same period indicated there were some doubts… Huh?
All that time the people who owned the media, the people who worked in the media, and the people who got talked about in the media, all shared one common cultural belief – roughly speaking that “Climate crisis can’t really be happening or we’d have heard much more about it”. How self-fulfilling was that?!
But now the Truth is out, and one by one our leaders are ‘coming out’ – the media carbon blackout has come to an abrupt end.
The Edge Pledge
You can now download a free, easy-to-use personal CO2 emissions spreadsheet, known as The Edge Pledge. It’s been designed to give multiple users a quick indication of their current primary CO2 bubble, arising from home energy use and travel.
The beauty of the spreadsheet is that it can be used in the workplace or with groups of friends. Everyone gets to see where they currently 'spend' their carbon, and can compare with friends and peers!
The gift of Christmas future
Flipside Vision has produced a lovely calendar for 2007 which would make a great Christmas gift for any carbon conscious friend. ‘Whatever the weather: the calendar of climate change 2007’ contains 12 exquisite photos providing a daily reminder of what really matters.
The law of escalating efficiencies
An article I’ve written about ‘the power of the fourth’ has been published on Neil Crofts’ website. Curiously enough, I also wrote the fourth article down:
Efficient Light now stock a beautiful, tiny, 7W candle bulb that makes a delightful replacement for the old 35 watt candle bulbs that burn away in chandeliers and decorative light fittings.
There’s simply no excuse for not replacing these bulbs now. At £9 per bulb they’re not cheap, but consider the savings: each bulb lasts 15,000 hours and will save £30 over its lifetime.
These bulbs, and other energy-efficient bulbs for the home can be found via the link below. Mention the Carbon Coach when you order and save 10%.
CARBON CONSCIOUS THINKING
Did you see the BBC show Inside Out?
Introduce a neighbour to their big invisible friend, the jolly purple giant. Our shadowy invisible self that we carry round with us!
Congratulations to Sam Heath, Director of London Sustainability Exchange (www.lsx.org.uk) on her cool persuasiveness with the featured Murray family. "Our sitting room was almost full of purple balloons!*”
*After consulting with the Carbon Coach back in July, the programme makers adopted my one-metre diameter purple balloons as a great way of symbolising each kilo of CO2 saved. So at last we can all ‘see’ CO2.
It’s all out in the open folks! What a fabulous adventure, popping all those bubbles and coming clean. It’s the detox of the century!
Public figures, private coaching
CEOs, celebrities and politicans are flocking to me in droves. They’re realising you can no longer be a leader without being a carbon leader. As well as preparing people for leadership, I help manage reputations. Enlightened CEOs are seeking carbon coaching as development training for their successors and I’ve become their personal carbon shrink!
Have you heard the one about the inflatable headteacher?
(It’s okay. It’s clean.) The inflatable schoolboy went to his inflatable school with a drawing pin one day. The inevitable happened. Ba’boom! The inflatable headteacher reprimanded him:
“Boy, you’ve let the school down, you’ve let me down, but worst of all you’ve let yourself down.”
None of us want to let anyone down… least of all our children.
No one’s laughing any more
Low carbon lifestyles are coming to a town near you. Forget guilt trips, we’re talking vogue! People are walking more, biking more, and challenging habits of a lifetime. It’s okay to talk about the weather! It’s okay to holiday in the UK!
Bull’s eye – but the wrong target
Recycling boxes, organic vegetables, fair trade and organic cotton drapes are all important – and they all reduce our carbon footprint – but they aren’t the biggest issue. Behind the drapes can be hidden a vast purple balloon of frequent air travel, thirsty cars and energy profligacy in the home, that can make all that pretty green etiquette a nonsense. Fortunately, we are the only ones that know the truth about our personal carbon emissions.
It’s not what you can see that counts – it’s what you can’t see. For every one waste bin we see, the average home produces seven times that mass of CO2. And the amount of space remaining for further air-fill is far less than remains for landfill.
The rich and famous can only ever be part of the problem.
TRUTH: Sir Richard Branson has pledged £1.6 billion to help tackle global warming. “Hopefully, this contribution will help our children experience our beautiful world and encourage others to also do what they can,” he said.
Al Gore can’t really do much until Bush has been voted out.
TRUTH: Not true. He’s doing plenty now. In a terrific interview in Metro he nails a great many myths.
We have run out of time.
TRUTH: Al Gore says, “Respected scientists are saying we may have as little as ten years to start making significant changes. I think we’ll do it in less time. In fact, I predict Bush will change his position within two years.” How awesome is that?
You wouldn’t believe how often I’m asked about the same myths. It makes you wonder where they come from and why we believe them, instead of engaging our common sense. For example: "creating wind farms results in more CO2 than they ever save in their lifetime".
Nonsense! After about a year the energy generated is in credit. The proponents of nuclear power stations wish they could say the same thing.
"It saves energy to leave the light (heating, car engine… whatever) switched on." Sorry to be rude, but do you really, honestly believe this?!
“Energy efficiency is a great idea, but I don’t need to change yet.”
“Global warming is a myth.”
In response, let me once again quote Al Gore:
“Fifteen per cent of the population believe the moon landing was actually staged in a movie lot in Arizona and somewhat fewer still believe the Earth is flat. I think they all get together with the global warming deniers on a Saturday night and party!”
Happy hunting carbon buddies. I know we can (carbon) count on you.
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