Lighting candles for Copenhagen…

On Saturday evening 3,000 towns and cities around the world came together to hold candlelit vigils and mark the halfway point of the Copenhagen climate negotiations.

They wanted to send a powerful message to politicians: “Stop playing games and start taking action.”

Here in Farnham we did our bit too!

Members of Transition Town Farnham turned the usually rather dull and dreary traffic island at the top of Downing Street into a spectacular sparkling extravaganza, as shoppers and cars went about their normal business.

“Some people think climate change is all doom and gloom”, said Eloise Grey, member of Transition Farnham, “but we think it’s an opportunity to make life better. Standing here now, you can smell the exhaust from all the cars. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was gone? Wouldn’t it be nice if more of our food was grown locally and we knew the farmers who grew it, or if more people had jobs locally and didn’t spend so much time commuting?”

Despite the cold weather, several people stopped for a chat. Whatever happens in Copenhagen this year, the world of 2050 is going to be very different from today. The more we can come together as a community in Farnham, the more we can help each other through the changes that are coming.

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2 Responses to Lighting candles for Copenhagen…

  1. Julie says:

    Hi, I’m with you on the need for action in relation to climate change – I have just run a couple of prayer services at my church for the Conference. But is a candlelit vigil the way to make the point? I thought that many candles were made from petrochemical based products …?

    • finnjackson says:

      Hi Julie,
      Thanks for your note.
      You are of course right — lighting candles does burn oil-based products. And on top of that, we also used plastic cups to put the candles in to stop them blowing out in the wind!!!
      We did realise this and think about it carefully before we went ahead with the event.
      The reason we chose a candlelit vigil was to act in solidarity with thousands of other groups around the world, being organised by http://www.350.org.
      We felt that acting together with these other groups would give a stronger help to influence our politicians.
      In addition, the Transition approach is not about suddenly going to zero fossil fuel usage — it is about reducing our dependence over time, at the same time as building a more exciting, more sustainable future in place of the oil-dependent way of life we have today.
      It seemed to us that at Christmas time it would be fun to light a few candles in the street. And we hoped that the awareness raised in Farnham, plus the extra influence on our politicians at Copenhagen would lead to bigger, faster reductions in fossil fuel (and other actions to build a more enjoyable, sustainable future) that would outweigh the short-term burning of a few candles.
      At least, that’s what we hoped 🙂

      Very best, and we hope you had a Happy Christmas!
      Finn

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