In Our Hands film show in Wivey on 25 Sept

Wivey Action on Climate & Environment are screening In Our Hands on Tuesday, 25th September 2018 at Wiveliscombe Primary School hall, followed by a Q&A with the producer Holly Black.

Refreshments from 7pm; film starts at 7.30pm – £3 entry to cover costs.

In Our Hands is a new feature length documentary (67 minutes) by Black Bark Films commissioned by the Land Workers’ Alliance.

It’s the inspiring story behind the blood, sweat and tears of the British farmers seizing the Brexit moment to outgrow an outdated industrial food system. This film explores the daily reality of nine real life farmers who refuse to be ground down by the machinery of big agribusiness and are proving, every day, that an alternative is not only possible – it’s profitable as well!

Made throughout the summer of the Brexit referendum, the film takes you on a journey where hope, hard graft and sheer bloody mindedness triumphs over an outdated industrial farming system that has taken the “culture” out of “agri-culture”.

The film unearths both, seventh generation traditional farmers and new entrants to the farming world, who are taking back control of their lives and their livelihoods, from the soil upwards. A way of farming that will “bring back life to the soil, a fair wage to the farmer and a flavour to the tomato.”

Advertisements

Fifth Give or Take for Free

Our fifth Give or Take for Free was held on 15th September 2018, allowing unwanted household goods to be given away for others to take and put to good use.

Summer of heat and fires

Summer 2018 has seen a succession of heatwaves in Europe, Asia, North America and northern Africa and raging wildfires in Sweden, Greece, California and on Saddleworth Moor in the north of England.

The following reports consider the link to climate change, including in the media:

 

Hothouse Earth tipping points

An international team of scientists has shown that even if the carbon emission reductions called for in the Paris Agreement are met, there is a risk of our planet entering what the scientists call “Hothouse Earth” conditions.

This would see the climate stabilise in the long term at a global average of 4-5°C higher than pre-industrial temperatures, with the sea level 10-60 m higher than today.

The scientists conclude it is now urgent to greatly accelerate the transition towards an emission-free world economy. Avoiding a “Hothouse Earth” requires not only reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions but also enhancement and/or creation of new biological carbon stores.

Reports with further details:

Drawdown – the top solutions to global warming

Drawdown is that point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis.

Project Drawdown is based on meticulous research that maps, measures, models, and describes the most substantive solutions to global warming that already exist. It is the most important goal for humanity to undertake.

Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. It involves a coalition of researchers, scientists, policy makers, business leaders and activists, who have assembled and presented the best available information on climate solutions deployed at scale. Solutions are described and quantified for their financial, social and environmental impact over the next thirty years.

Over 100 solutions were assessed. The top 15 are listed below from the project’s Plausible Scenario, which models the solutions based on a reasonable, but vigorous growth rate from 2020-2050. The list below also shows the total reduction from each solution in atmospheric carbon dioxide (equivalent) in Gigatons (US).

Top 15 solutions to global warming

  1. Refrigerant Management (89.74)
  2. Wind Turbines – Onshore (84.60)
  3. Reduced Food Waste (70.53)
  4. Plant-Rich Diet (66.11)
  5. Tropical Forests (61.23)
  6. Educating Girls (59.60)
  7. Family Planning (59.60)
  8. Solar Farms (36.90)
  9. Silvopasture (31.19)
  10. Rooftop Solar (24.60)
  11. Regenerative Agriculture (23.15)
  12. Temperate Forests (22.61)
  13. Peatlands (21.57)
  14. Tropical Staple Trees (20.19)
  15. Afforestation (18.06)

Click here for information on each solution and the full list.

Carbon pricing is not included in the listing as it is a mechanism to implement solutions and not in itself a solution to global warming. Project Drawdown only focuses on technological, ecological, and behavioral solutions. The team chose not to model incentive-based policies and financial mechanisms, such as carbon pricing or congestion pricing, although these may be the keys to the more widespread adoption of many solutions.

Also see:

Give or Take for small electricals too

Another good Give or Take for Free on 21st April, with about 45 people attending. This time, small electrical appliances were accepted too, with PAT testing to check their safety.

Four Give or Take events have been held since 2016 and proved very successful. Unwanted household goods, including kitchen ware, ornaments, toys, tools and more, can be given away for others to take for free and put to good use. Items are displayed from car boots or on the ground and what is not given away is taken back home.

All are welcome to take part, but it is not for traders. No money changes hands and items are given free for personal use only. The next Give or Take will be in the autumn.

For items needing repair, there is a new Wivey Repair Cafe, with the next session 10am – midday on Saturday, 28th April in the upstairs room at the Community Centre.

Tree planting at Wiveliscombe Primary School

On 24th March 2018, we had a great day planting trees with pupils and parents at Wiveliscombe Primary School. Weed roots were cleared in the morning, followed by planting of silver birch, rowan and wild cherry saplings in the afternoon. Click on following photos to view as a slide show.

A couple of weeks earlier, on 10th March, we had a good day preparing the ground. An area covered in brambles and nettles was cleared in conditions that ranged from wet and drizzly in the morning to sunny in the afternoon. Well done to Barbara, Brian, Dave, Jon, Nick, Oscar, Patricia, Sara, Steve, Sue G, Sue H and Tim for all the hard work.

Over the summer, Sara and Sue have done further great work to clear back the brambles. Most of the saplings are doing very well.

Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel was shown on 27 February to an audience of about 30 at Wiveliscombe Primary School hall.

Released in 2017, this compelling film on the climate crisis shows that while the stakes have never been higher, the solutions are still within our reach. It focuses on the contribution made by former USA vice-president Al Gore to the UN Paris Agreement and on speaking truth to power, now that Donald Trump is in the White House.

Councils support our petition to go single-use plastic free

With neighbouring groups, Wivey Action on Climate & Environment presented a petition to a full meeting of Taunton Deane Borough Council on 22 February 2018, calling on the local authority to resolve to become a single-use plastic free council. 861 local people* had signed to show their support through a campaign on the 38 Degrees community petition website. After a debate involving many councillors from all parties, the Council unanimously backed our petition.

The petition called for single-use plastic products to be phased out in all council activities, where reasonable and possible, by April 2019, and for alternatives to be championed, such as reusable water bottles, cups and cutlery.

Councillors showed that they shared our concern about the damage being done to marine wildlife by throwaway plastics. Many attended the meeting with reusable mugs and bottles, including the Lady Mayor, Councillor Hazel Prior-Sankey.

The Council should now submit a public report by October 2018, which summarises single-use plastic within the council, progress and plans for phasing it out, including by encouraging others; with a further update by April 2019.

*861 people signed the petition including 15 signing a paper copy.

Version 3
Petition supporters outside Shire Hall before the Council meeting.

West Somerset Council signs up too – The same motion from our petition was presented to a full meeting of West Somerset Council on 21st March, where it was again passed.

Town opposes fracking

Wiveliscombe Town Council joined a growing number of Somerset parish and town councils to oppose fracking at it’s monthly meeting in December 2017.

After discussing a paper presented by Dave Mansell, the following motion was unanimously agreed:

The town council has noted that licences have been awarded for oil and gas exploration in parts of Somerset, including an area along the coast from Minehead through Watchet to Burnham-on Sea. If approved by permitting authorities, extraction could be by drilling and hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. The town council is concerned this could pose a threat to water supplies, public health and the countryside, and, instead of new supplies of fossil fuels, prefers investment in clean energy sources to address the global threat of climate change. On current evidence, Wiveliscombe Town Council opposes exploration for oil and gas in Somerset, which could then lead to extraction by fracking.

Further information:

Onshore Licences 2
The nearest exploration licence to Wiveliscombe is shown above in the yellow-shaded area.