World has stark warning

The latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was another massive effort. It is based on over 6,000 scientific studies and involved a team of 90 scientists and policy experts nominated from 40 countries. The process started in March 2017 and there were three report drafts and 42,000 reviewer comments. The final report was published on 8 October 2018 after a week-long meeting in South Korea. See the following links for the conclusions and implications.

In December, the world’s governments will review the implementation of the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change at a conference in Katowice, Poland.

BBC – Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’  and What does it mean for the UK?

WWF – How much difference will half-a-degree really make?

Guardian – IPCC report spares politicians the worst details

Inside Climate News – Radical Energy Transformation Needed

Professor Kevin Anderson says high-carbon lifestyles of top 20% need to shift rapidly

Carbon Brief – In-depth: IPCC’s special report on climate change

International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – headlines, summary and full report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C.

And how you can help: Five top tips to combat climate change

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In Our Hands film show

Wivey Action on Climate & Environment showed In Our Hands, a new feature length documentary commissioned by the Land Workers’ Alliance, on 25th September 2018 at Wiveliscombe Primary School hall to about 45 people.

We were joined for an informative discussion after the film by Ashley Wheeler of Trill Farm Garden in East Devon.

The film explored 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 possible. See brief details on their stories and links to their websites. The film promoted food sovereignty and Community Supported Agriculture as one way forward.

Click on links to view a trailer and facts from the film or buy a copy.

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.

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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.