|13.2||Notice of Motion: Green Heart of Wales
This Council in seeing Powys as the Green Heart of Wales;
1. acknowledges the Climate Change Emergency and thus:
2. Asks the pension trustees to develop a strategy of divestment from fossil fuels
3. Supports the principles of Zero Carbon Britain and the work done by CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology)
4. Encourages the development of Hydrogen production and technologies in Powys utilising the clean environment, water and energy supply
5. Highlights that green technologies and the new economic opportunities as part of environmental sustainability should be a fundamental part of the Mid Wales Growth deal thus giving us a USP (Unique Selling Point)
6. That the authority should put in place a strategy for net zero carbon of its activities and develop best environmental practice in its buildings
7. That the authority should look at best practice from other authorities such as robinhoodenergy.co.uk with Nottinghamshire Council and theleccy.co.uk/about/ with Liverpool City Council, in not only developing local energy ownership and supply chains but also assisting tackling fuel poverty.
Proposed by County Councillor Elwyn Vaughan
Seconded by County Councillor Bryn Davies
Cornwall Council has declared a ‘climate emergency’.
The authority says the declaration “recognises the climate change crisis and the need for urgent action”. It follows a motion debated at a full Council meeting today, where the Council called on Westminster to provide the powers and resources necessary to achieve the target for Cornwall to become carbon neutral by 2030 and committed to work with other Councils with similar ambitions.
The motion – ‘Urgency on Climate Change’ – was brought to Full Council by Councillor Dominic Fairman, local member for St Teath and St Breward, and seconded by Councillor Edwina Hannaford, the Council’s Cabinet portfolio holder for neighbourhoods.
The motion was amended by Councillor for Falmouth Smithick, Jayne Kirkham, to declare a climate emergency in line with the declarations of other local authorities.
Cllr Fairman said: “After a very lively debate a cross-party amendment was accepted which went even further than the original motion. If we are to avoid the worst-case scenarios, then the social change required will be deep.
- Town by town and now whole counties are declaring a climate emergency, but what does that entail?
- Should we all be pushing for similar action locally?
The science is settled, yet we seem unable to collectively plot a course to a safe horizon. Global emissions are still rising, they are still drilling and even worse we are still subsidizing the costs of bringing fossil energy to market and putting obstacles in the way of renewable energy development and investment. This must change.
But we definitely know that continuing to work in the ways we have done until now is not just backfiring – it is holding the gun to our own heads. With this in mind, we can choose to explore how to evolve what we do, without any simple answers.
Prof Jem Bendal PhD
The Prof. in a recent paper of staggering implications argues convincingly that we have to consider three courses of action, immediately as carrying on as we are is counter-productive to our own survival.
In the paper Deep Adaptation we are urged to look at our lives under these 3 headings
- Resilience asks us “how do we keep what we really want to keep?”
What are the valued norms and behaviours that human societies will wish to maintain as they seek to survive?
- Relinquishment asks us “what do we need to let go of in order to not make matters worse?”
This involves people and communities letting go of certain assets, behaviours and beliefs where retaining them could make matters worse. Examples include withdrawing from coastlines, shutting down vulnerable industrial facilities, or giving up expectations for certain types of consumption.
- Restoration asks us “what can we bring back to help us with the coming difficulties and tragedies?”
This involves people and communities rediscovering attitudes and approaches to life and organisation that our hydrocarbon-fuelled civilisation eroded. Examples include re-wilding landscapes, so they provide more ecological benefits and require less management, changing diets back to match the seasons, rediscovering non-electronically powered forms of play, and increased community-level productivity and support.
There is much we dont know
Equally there is much that we do, the inevitability of transition or total collapse and the need for urgency. Every prediction made using 1990’s climate modelling is being overshot by current reality, we are looking at very grim scenarios within all of our lifetimes.. the only way we can mitigate the crisis we face is to begin to frame our collective response. If it is a crisis of our own doing, then we need to call it a crisis and stop doing those things rapidly
We will be meeting in the Cross Keys again next week, that is Thursday 31st January, Llanfyllin High Street. It is a free event, refreshments are served, donations to Cross Keys are welcome. Doors open 7.00 pm formal business from 7.30.
In last weeks meeting we looked at issues around key topics.
- Feedback points included the following
Land, farming, food
A profound shift is happening in farming, localised, seasonal, organic, diversity friendly and carbon negative. There was interest in generating dialogue with farmers to release more marginal plots to re-wilding and local food projects. Starting co-ops, supporting local groups, more allotments and better growing skills and local distribution
Church land? Other public spaces that could be re-wilded or made productive
Will also be profoundly hit by transport costs. Ideas shared were can children educate their parents, it is after all there future that is being destroyed. The kind of jobs people are being prepared for will not exist, are we even creating the right skill set in pupils. Can we cope emotionally with the changes before us.
Food growing, processing storing and cooking. Can permaculture be part of education, and children more empowered to shape the school environment and hierarchy?
Un-schooling, can we bring people of different ages and backgrounds together to share life experiences and skills and find new ways of learning?
Powys has miles of roads, a dispersed population and is very vulnerable to cliamte or market disruptions. We need to think a lot more about transport. Car we go car free through sharing schemes, car clubs and community taxis. Electric bikes, what other alternatives are there?
Can we create a local currency, or several different types of ways to interact with local, esp. food economy. Social ecoomy work can be rewarded with local currency.
Revolution is a strong word. It implies many things, most of them challenging but I use it deliberately, this my friends is a revolution, a seismic change is underway and we all need to get behind it. The more we take part the more we get to shape it and the corresponding outcomes.
One thing is for sure is that the immense challenges we face are not going to away by us ignoring them.
Revolution? I am actually quoting Prince Charles of all people, not your text book revolutionary, but those are the first words of his recent book Harmony.
“This is a call to revolution. The Earth is
under threat. It is losing its balance and we
humans are causing this to happen”
Revolution is a strong word and I use it
deliberately. The many environmental and
social problems that loom large, cannot be
solved by the very approach that caused
them” HRH Charles
I am no great royalist or in the habit of quoting their words but this statement cannot be overlooked. It is highly significant. Charles has been environmentally inclined his whole adult life and mainly laughed at in the tabloids for talking to plants or whatever, but it is undeniable that he has a deep understanding of the natural world and he is absolutely correct to raise the most urgent of concerns. Carrying on our current path will lead us self destruction, a whole new way of thinking is required, tinkered at the edges, making eco bricks from plastic at best slows our demise by a moment or two, something much more fundamental is required of us all.
Don’t look to Government, this is beyond their remit, they care about GDP, banks and corporate access to minerals and markets, the change will come from the bottom up and we will have to drag our government kicking a screaming into the new paradigm, This we have to do and with some urgency too. 2019 is the tipping point year, we really have left this to the very last minute and it is going to take everyone to get us to where we need to be.
This is also no overnight event, this is 30 year revolution we have before us, that is how long we have to de-carbonise our economy, maybe a lot less. To set a course to a sustainable future we must half global emissions this decade, failing on that means we will have left it way to late to even have a chance. We have delayed and delayed, but the time for action really is upon us. 2019 is the year we set a course to a very different destination.
Please come along to find out more, meanwhile listen to this.
Alexandra Ocasio Cortez overturned a long standing incumbent to gain a seat in congress. At 29 she has a radical outlook for the future, her ambition is exciting. Radical, Bold. I want to hear a lot more of this kind of talk. I see her rapid rise in politics as a reflection of the changes coming.
You might wonder what we are proposing, what is the agenda, simply that begin meaningful conversations across the community about the problems we face. Poverty, debt, a contracting economy, Brexit but the over arching issue is climate and that we have to halve our emissions and rapidly as we can. I like the idea coming from Extinction Rebellion, that of forming people’s assemblies, we need to demand the government at every level do their job, they should be working for us and being held account by us much more. They are failing us as they are still subsidizing oil companies, holding back renewable energy development while pushing for investment in fossil fuel extraction.. there is simply no excuse for this and we will have to hold them to account.
Climate change, the science
In year one of the One School One Planet we screened this video at the school, as a baseline for understanding of climate science. Chaired by HRH Charles, introduced by David Attenborough and presented by Professor Johan Rokstrom it is an
‘invitation on a transformational journey’ Professor Johan Rokstrom
We have also invited our community to watch the ‘Overview Effect’ which documents the impact of viewing the Earth from space has had on many of the astronauts and space shuttle crew who have been in orbit.
Some Key Quotes from those who have viewed Earth from space
It is not just fixing an economic or a political system, but it our whole world view, our basic understanding of who we are that is at stake
A part of that is to come up with a new picture, a new story, a new way to approach this and to shift our behavior in a way that it leads to sustainable way instead of a destructive approach. Right now that seems very difficult to see how it is going to be, but we are going to have to work on it.
An a grand scale we are all basically living in this ecosystem called earth and everything that you do on side of the ecosystem affects the other side and that is a new way of living for most of humanity
Emergency is not too strong a word
Link to the presentation we will be discussing and answering questions about on Thursday 20th Dec at the Cross Keys Llanfyllin high street
One School One Planet is a Sector39 led project over three years to find ways to link school curriculum, climate action and community development together, using permaculture. We feel you cant teaching about climate change and ecological problems without also responding to them. Showing how to respond the problem, whilst also exploring the nature of the problem itself.
Everyone should hear Greta thunberg’s speech at COP24.
June to November have been a momentous time for our training teams here in Western Nile. In just 6 months we have been tasked with the challenge of introducing permaculture methods in this untamed region where refugees greatly outnumber the indigenous population.
In partnership with Norwegian Refugee Agency Sector39 has led on a 6 month training program for refugees and host community members. Many of the trainees are not experienced farmers or gardeners, more typically cattle herders and grazers. Here in Western Nile they have been given a plot of land and challenged to supplement their basic food aid with what they can grow in kitchen gardens, using organic and permaculture approaches
This is a 15 minute narrated slideshow with thoughts about the final phase of the project with thoughts on how it can be best continued. (below)
Interviews and testimonies
This first interview is with NRC translator and host community member Julius, he has fully involved himself in the project although he wasn’t present at the initial training. He makes some very perceptive observations about the impact of the project and has taken on many of the ideas and insights himself as he can observe them working effectively.
This 2nd video with one of the members, Opio Grace is very revealing and worth listening to. I left in the local language as well as the translation (translated section from 2:10) as I wanted to share her voice as well. It is clear that permaculture has had a significant impact on her life in just 6 months.
“Permaculture has changed by life” Opio Grace
Audio testimony from a Maaji 3 team member
Zone 4 BididBidi have the aspiration of securing a 2 acre plot to develop a permaculture enterprise and demonstration center. The map below is the product of group discussion and consultation over several days. We have already worked together to create a small training plot right next to the church we have been using as a class room.
We would hope very much to have the opportunity to support these pioneers over the establishment phases of this project.
The permaculture team members Maaji settlement
Slides of the Maaji team design presentation
Permaculture Training Centre Maaji,
This audio track is a presentation from the members design team which focused on building and the carpentry skills as an enterprise within training centre sketched above.
Fuel Efficient Stove project
This slideshow and narration explores progress developing and promoting fuel efficient stoves with the community members
Proposal: This project would benefit from support for a minumum ofr two years.
– ambition is to establish a permaculture training centre which will will transition into a stakeholder owned and managed fully independent enterprise.
– exploring a training and Enterprise development model that can be self replicating and able to generate much of the resource need to sustain from within its own internal economy.
The vision is to work closely with the members from the training to create a new and wholly refugee (stakeholder) owned enterprise that will serve as a permaculture training and demonstration hub for the region. It would incubate several related enterprises that initially would be the service providers for the training centre.
Building livelihood, enterprise and food security is the aim and to create a thriving learning hub at the centre of this new emerging community. We envisage the centre acting a hub for training and outreach across the Western
Nile region, developing many of the resources and skills needed to create a shift in the prevailing methodology for food and livelihood security.
Project proposal summary document below
Here are some photos from our last week’s work in the Uganda at Maaji refugee settlement area. These farmers were new to permaculture back in June by September they had created these and many more examples of working with nature.
Practical sessions captured from the PDCUG18 in May this year
Thanks to Nina Moon and Lil G
This one from a You Tue contributor.. looks at huglKultur beds at three different ages
The Permaculture design certificate course is 80 hours of intensive study, practicals, demonstrations site visits and group work that serves as a foundation in permaculture design. It is an essential, energising and life changing course for most participants.
Sector39 have been delivering these courses since 2006 reaching 100’s of people and in many locations and venues. The most tried and trusted format for this course is the two week residential course, that literally immerses participants in the permaculture ideas and practices and is designed to create a personal shift from ideas to action. I always like to say permaculture is much more something you do than something to talk about and the whole purpose of the course is to create a momentum or tipping point that propels people from aspirations of change to really making that happen.
However, for many two weeks is prohibitively long time to take time out from work/ life commitments and increasingly it is hard for our facilitation team to commit in advance with many other commitments competing for attention. I have been thinking hard about how to get around this and to make the courses accessible to all, as well as wondering how to make the most of the great facilites and working permaculture projects and examples we have in our area here in Mid Wales.
4 Part rolling PDC.
The idea is to plan a rolling on going course, spread over 4 long weekends a year that can serve as a refresher, an introduction or form part of a full PDC process. Sessions will run from Friday to Monday with a weekend in the middle that is open to all comers and will be themed around site visits, demonstrations and practical work as well as slots for people to present on tier worn projects, develop ideas and recruit participants.
A typical weekend might look like this
- Friday: 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. PDC sessions covering core syllabus areas working towards the certificate.
- Friday evening, all Saturday – up til Sunday 4.00 pm: Permaculture action weekend. Open to all, past graduates and potential future participants
Participants can therefore join and any stage of the course and those completing all 4 units will be awarded their Permaculture Design Certificate.
We are very keen to receive feedback and interests regarding this new proposed programme. Please get in touch
From PDCUG18, a full permaculture design course at Sabina School Kyotera, Uganda 2018.
Video filmed and edited by Nina Moon. Practical sessions led by Ritchie Stephensona nd Grace Maycock for sector39 permaculture.