|Issue 25 : 28 October 2008|
First off, a solar-warm, high-energy, low-carbon welcome to you all. If you’re a new subscriber, thanks for joining our fast-growing community of the energy conscious: cutting cost and carbon. Welcome to the ‘high on life’ party!
You’re now part of a growing band of people intent on carbon coaching ourselves and our friends. Individuals who are cutting the carbon from our own lives, so we can see where we are going, and become ever more influential advocates of the viability of a perfectly good life after fossil.
In this issue:
Discover why it's not the credit crunch cloud that we need to be talking about
Despite our credit crunch woes, we need to keep talking about the funny weather. Just like it’s okay to talk about death or mortality, it’s okay to talk about how bad the climate crisis is, even in polite company. The climate crunch will make our current money worries a joke!
Suppressing and denying stuff – ignoring our carbon shadow – is what got us into this mess. Let’s start a massive conversation about giving the kids their future back. We can get through the triple storm ahead: the credit, carbon, and climate crunch. Can’t we?
In my opinion, the best plan for doing so – in the UK at least – is probably the Green New Deal.
This is the best ‘greenprint’ for getting the UK economy back into shape. Shouldn’t we all be demanding this Green New Deal now?
Thanks so much for your response to the questions I asked you in the last issue. (What you liked, what you didn’t, and what you wanted to see more of.) Your views were useful and much appreciated, and I’ll be covering many of the subjects you suggested in future issues.
Here are just a couple of your quotes:
“For me, it keeps the green and carbon reduction issue in my mind, suggests ways to change, but doesn't make me feel stupid, irrelevant or dictated to.”
“I like the regular reminder of the big and the small actions required to combat climate change.”
It seems that Communiqué ain’t broken, so I won’t try to fix it. Collectively we are a positive, optimistic and action-based bunch. Keep it up!
350 is asking each of us to invite presidential hopefuls Obama and McCain to attend the climate talks in December. I sent one of 350's invitations to every contact in my email address book to ask them to take part! This campaign seems to resonate deeply with people, and it’s my top ask of you this month so please click and join in.
Make this month count
I was an early supporter of the amazing One Hundred Months campaign. It has very broad support, across 150 countries. Best of all, it's highly collaborative. Sign up, see other backers, get your logo added, participate and enjoy! If you’re committed to action, send your logo to the address below:
Wake Up, Freak Out – Then Get a Grip
Talking of tipping points (as we do) you might enjoy Leo’s film:
Occasionally I take some stick for backing ‘tough love’ campaigns like this one. Some people feel they have an unnecessary air of ‘motivation by panic’ about them. I don’t. I’m fed up with those in power deciding how adult I am, and how much of the truth I can take. So this nonsense of, “What would Jo Public do if we told them the truth?” is deeply damaging.
Honesty is always the best policy. We’ve tried motivation by common sense, by vested self-interest, by fashion, by incentives, by posh ad campaign, by positive visions… and look where all that got us! So I’m all in favour of a bit of honest alarming (not alarmist) speaking out. We don’t have much time.
www.onehundredmonths.org believes we have roughly 100 months – about eight years – before it’s too late to reverse climate destabilisation on Earth. Of course, we may not have that long. Mother Earth is trying to readjust to several rapid onslaughts by humans at once: felling trees, releasing 100 million years’ worth of carbon in just 100 years, and administering toxins, viruses, poisons and CFCs. What a headache we are!
Perhaps it’s time to cheer ourselves up! One of the most positive, action-based and climate justice oriented websites I have seen is Operation Noah.
Keep spending – but on good stuff
Here are some cool ideas for saving and spending on the stuff we still need – and a chance to have a FREE sapling planted on your behalf.
I’ve long had deep respect for Graham Simmonds, chair of Trees for Cities. Now Graham has helped instigate something very smart called Green Rewards. I predict that Green Rewards points are going to be the new Nectar points – of loyalty, not to commerce, but to planet!
It’s ambitious, and it’s out there making a difference in the real world. The scheme rewards people for shifting their buying habits in a positive direction. The more points you collect, the more rewards you get – the difference is, all the rewards are ‘green’!
I predict that Green Rewards will have a big positive impact on shifting mass consumer habits.
Trees for London
Trees for Cities' Million Trees Campaign aims to plant a million more trees in London by the start of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Trees are an essential part of our natural life support system: they have a vital role to play in the sustainability of our towns and cities and we need to take better care of them, both now and in the future.
Investment in well-managed green space has many benefits. Trees in cities can improve our health, moderate the local impact of climate change, boost wildlife and make cities more pleasant places in which to live.
Sign up to Green Rewards before the end of December and they’ll plant a FREE sapling on your behalf. You’ll also get 200 FREE Green Rewards points – whether you use them or not!
Simply register at the Green Rewards website via the link below – and be sure to quote promotional code reference TFC08. Please sign up now and help plant trees for London.
(It only takes a minute and costs you nothing!)
Now is the time for new power
Power of the sun
My solar panel has had another good season, supplying us with 90% of my family’s summer hot water needs, completely free. The ‘passive solar’ design of our house means we’ve not had to switch the heating on at all yet, even in the recent cold spell. Yes, we are wearing an extra layer!
Power of community
I am so excited about Transition Towns, and highly recommend that you get active in yours, or help start one, or at least learn about them and start spreading the word about how good they are. Try to watch the amazing film Power of Community too.
Power of miracles
Recently I’ve been reminded on more than one occasion that miracles do happen. If you’re finding the same thing, take a tip from me: don’t begrudge, deny or resent them – welcome them with gratitude.
Power of protest
I had a great time on Climate Camp. Wish I’d invited you all along! There are MPs, bankers, priests and lawyers all advocating activism. And the Kingsnorth six were acquitted by a jury of their peers. Who would have predicted that?
Power of the press
I’ve had quite a spell of letters in the Bucks Free Press of late. We still have a few vocal climate denialists in Buckinghamshire, incredibly, but they’re increasingly being seen for what they are. The rearguard of pseudo science obfuscation has started to run out of steam. See my letters:
Power of not stupid
If you haven’t heard me raving about the soon-to-be-launched climate change blockbuster The Age Of Stupid, starring Pete Postlethwaite, then where have you been? I’ve seen six previews now and each time it makes me cry. Watch out – this is an inspired work of absolute genius. This film will change your world.
Power of authenticity
These lovely Dr Seuss quotes can help us remember to be our true selves:
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
This was the question posed by consultancy Article 13, and the basis of their latest report, Sustainability Inside Out, looking at the role of coaching in sustainability and business performance.
I participated in the research because I believe it marks an acceptance by business of the significance of personal carbon leadership, for those in leadership roles.
"Our research shows how values and culture, rather than technology or prices, are increasingly being seen as primary constraints, and coaching is emerging as a powerful and effective tool for transformation. At the leading edge, more organisations are making the connection between personal development and sustainable development, between a coaching culture and sustainable innovation."
You can read the summary here:
So, isn’t it high time you or your company CEO or chair, discovered how you could benefit from executive carbon coaching or a motivational staff workshop? To discuss the ways in which I can work with you or members of your company's senior team, call me personally on 07768 806451.
New Yell for green?
Any green business can join cool directory One Green Earth – for free. It could become the new Yell for everything green! Just click the link:
Forget Santa's sack – save plastic with One Green Earth’s ‘onya’ bag
Surprise friends this Christmas with a gift with inbuilt fossil savings. Possibly the coolest bag you ever did see. You’ll be delighted – so will they – and we can all enjoy travelling light! While you’re at it, why not buy one for yourself – you’ll want one onya!
Renewable R&R at Buckland Hall
In a few weeks' time, I’m off to the Brecon Beacons for three wonderful days
Rest and relaxation? Sure – but I’d like to add a few new R’s. Renewal, rejuvenation, re-energise, recharge, reboot. Whatever ‘R’ you’re looking for, I reckon you’ll find it at Walk Your Talk.
The sixth annual Walk Your Talk conference, entitled Can We Afford to Work Without Heart?, takes place from 16 to 19 November at beautiful Buckland Hall in the Brecon Beacons.
It’s not cheap. But mention the Carbon Coach when you book and you’ll save 10 per cent. Last year, the ‘Open Space’ facilitation was the best I’ve ever seen. The venue, the people, the food, the inspiration, the air, the walks, the river and the falling leaves were awesome. Perhaps I’ll see you there.
Drop me an email
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