30 October 2011

FLOW - 'Can anyone really own water?' @ uni Thur 3rd Nov

The Environmental Society - University of Essex - continues its weekly film series in conjunction with the interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society (iCES). This coming Thursday, 3rd of Nov, 6.30pm in room 4.311<http://www.essex.ac.uk/about/campuses/find_your_way/colchester.aspx> we screen FLOW - “Can anyone really own water?”. An award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis. The film builds a case against the growing privatization of the world's dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel. http://www.flowthefilm.com/trailer

22 October 2011

An open letter: Please Support Occupy London

Dear Transitioners,

The world’s poorest 2 billion are still the poorest 2 billion, violence and resource wars fueled by our insatiable hunger for diminishing resources like oil and rare earth minerals for consumer gadgets are helping keep them that way. This year saw record ice melt in the Arctic. Despite efforts to decouple CO2 pollution from economic growth, not to mention a global recession, we are currently tracking the IPCC’s worst case emissions scenarios. Improvements to well-being have all but stalled in the world’s largest economies while inequality and resulting social and health problems are booming.

20th Century capitalism alone isn’t helping us address these urgent 21st century issues. Instead of trickling wealth and resources down, we seem to be hoovering it all up. There’s a desperate need for a new economics that delivers shared prosperity at home, helps quickly raise living standards in developing countries and emerging economies and does it all within ecological and planetary limits and boundaries.

To wit, some pesky kids have decided to occupy Madrid, Wall Street and now the City of London. Far from being the trouble making free-loaders some currently seem to think they are, my take is that these predominantly young folk are bucking the trend for apathy and instead championing activism. And where many of us feel paralysed and helpless at the task in front of us, they are actively exploring, embracing and promoting solutions. They deserve our support.

In their first week Occupy London have opened an outdoor kitchen (hygiene certified), a library and hosted free, public talks and workshops from the likes of the New Economics Foundation, The National Institute of Economic and Social Research and Egyptian writer and activist Nawal Saadawi - right in the heart of the city. They’d like to stay there and carry on hosting talks and workshops on new economics, social justice, ecological limits and transition all winter.

To cut a long story short, they need your help. The best way to do that right now seems to be to petition (nicely) St Paul’s Cathedral and appeal to them to continue giving Occupy London a home.

Obviously a tented village suddenly arriving on your doorstep is a bit of shock, and St Paul’s are currently wrestling with potential health and safety implications - but with will, those are issues that can almost certainly be resolved through cooperation.

Please take five minutes to write to the Dean and Chapter: deanspa (at) stpaulscathedral (dot) org (dot) uk and ask them to support the Occupy London camp.


jay (at) transitionwivenhoe (dot) org (dot) uk

That time of year again (part 2.5)

A quick update on September’s summer ice shenanigans at the Arctic. According the the National Snow and Ice Data Center the season ended a little early this year and the 2007 record minimum for summer ice extent is still intact, but only just. Other data-sets said otherwise (.pdf from University of Bremen). But NSIDC was our measure, Ruth lost the bet and did a dashing turn as a medieval serving wench. There are photos.

Even though the minimum extent wasn’t the lowest ever, this was an interesting year in other ways. The crash in ice extent in 2007 was the result of warming strongly boosted by natural factors such as wind which pushed the ice South into warmer waters. This year those natural factors were doing the reverse and keeping the ice intact - the minimum could easily have been much lower.  And now September is over we can update our graph - the average ice extent for the whole of the April to September summer season (the one that counts) was the lowest since satellite records began - so the all important ‘albedo’ was low and the Solar Radiation Budget (warming) for the region was high.

Just to add to your measure of eco-guilt for this weekend,  not all ice is born equal. Multi year ice that gets a chance to build up when there is less melt at the Arctic is more robust than the single year 'slush puppy' ice that forms in winter following a large summer melt. This year's big melt has left the Arctic ice that bit more fragile and more prone to melt next summer.

11 October 2011

Apple Day - tomorrow Wed 12th

After the amazing success that we had making apple juice for the barn dance, and given the still over burdened branches on trees around we thought we might have a second apple juicing day.

Maureen's offered to host it from 3- 6.30 tomorrow 12th Oct.
Come along and bring apples (and pears), bottles for juice, and particularly labour and company/moral support for the labourers (and i am sure a few biscuits wouldn't go amiss!)
We'll run a sort of communal approach where you get some of the juice if you help with any of the elements.

Address: 5 The Avenue - next door to former Cedrics site, opposite the Co-op.
Tel: 827935
email Ruth for more information : hello-food@transitionwivenhoe.org.uk

Transition Town Wivenhoe Monthly Meeting - This Thursday 13th October

A meeting of Transition folk on the 2nd Thursday of the month.

There will be a standing but flexible agenda:

19.00: Arrive and tea:
19.30: Core business: working group upates, finances, events and new projects
21.00: Specialist interest discussions - email for information or to make requests...

All are welcome - please email if you would like to come along:


A donation of £1 towards meeting room hire would be much appreciated.