Low Carbon Communities Newsletter 44

Welcome to the 44th LCCN newsletter! Not a lot of climate or energy action in the last week around the UK – or was there? If we missed your news, tell us about it! Please forward this to anyone who may be interested, reminding them that they can get their own copy at: www.lowcarboncommunities.net
  • Climate and ‘Localism’
  • Climate Legislation moves forward in 16 major countries
  • Ethics, self-interest and climate change
  • Heads in the Sand?
  • Climate and weather…
  • People invited to share their climate change ideas (in China…)
  • The Time-Saving Service
  • Equilibrium Event
  • Renewable energy: getting the message across
  • Building LCCN – your help needed
  • LCCN Facebook page
Climate and ‘Localism’
Green Alliance, a London based environmental organisation, is exploring how the localism agenda is changing the way that civil society groups interact with their local authority on climate change and the environment, and the priority given to the issues. You will have seen LCCN’s concerns about the Localism Bill in a previous newsletter.

Green Alliance would value you completing their short online survey, as well as passing it on to other civil society groups you work with. Even if you don’t think that there are any significant changes in place, they would still value that feedback. 

The survey can be accessed here – https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CS73WKV

You can get in touch with Faye Scott at Green Alliance with any questions on fscott@green-alliance.org.uk.  Green Alliance is also running consultation meetings on this subject in Kent (May 6th) and Manchester (May 19th) to which any group active on climate change is invited. Contact Faye if you live in one of those areas and have not been contacted.
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Climate Legislation moves forward in 16 major countries
A new study released by GLOBE international – a coalition of legislators from around the world – found that climate change is featuring prominently on the legislative agenda across the 16 major economies.  The study, conducted by the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at the London School of Economics documents the kinds of actions that countries are taking at home to reduce their emissions.  While it doesn’t detail the impact of those measures, it does show a growing commitment of countries to change their laws, policies, and regulations to address their carbon pollution.
While not intended to be a full list of all the measures that a country is taking the report does provide a good glimpse into the actions in these 16 countries (the report provides good details for each country).  The countries documented are the biggest emitting countries and collectively account for over 70% of the world’s emissions so the actions that they take at home are crucial to solving this challenge.
To view the report click here.
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Ethics, self-interest and climate change
Many LCCN members will be aware of the ‘Common Cause’ report on how best to engage with peoples’ values when it comes to climate change.  Some people will say that what really matters is self-interest – ‘what’s in it for me’.   In the US work in climate ethics at Penn State University may be of interest,  one recent article is – “Are Ethical Arguments for Climate Change Action Weaker Than Self-Interest Based Arguments? Why Taking Ethical Arguments Off the Table Is Like A Soccer Team Unilaterally Taking The Goalie Out of the Net.”
Check it out by clicking here.


Heads in the Sand?

A new book looking at climate sceptics, Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand by Haydn Washington and John Cook was published on Thursday, 30 April, by Earthscan Books.  In the Guardian’s blog –www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/apr/28/climate-change-denial-skeptical-science, John Cook talks about why he wrote it and why he set up the excellent new site:

www.skepticalscience.com (check it out!)
Climate and weather…
This one will run and run, but as arguments build in the USA over climate and tornados, it’s clear that on average the low level air is 1oF and 4% moister than in the 1970s. 
Climate scientist Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, states  that “climate change is present in every single meteorological event. 
The fact remains that there is 4 percent more water vapor–and associated additional
 moist energy–available both to power individual storms and to produce intense rainfall from them. Climate change is present in every single meteorological event, in that these events are occurring within a baseline atmospheric environment that has shifted in favour of more intense weather events.



People invited to share their climate change ideas (in China…)
With examples of extreme weather apparently becoming more common around the world, China is working on legislation to tackle climate change and guarantee the country’s sustainable development.
“The legislation is at the stage where it is being prepared, assessed and where public opinion is being collected and we hope the draft will be finished by the end of 2011,” said Ma Aimin, a divisional director with the department of climate change under the National Development and Reform Commission. Ma said people had offered all sorts of opinions on a wide range of topics, including promoting advanced technologies, enhancing public awareness of climate change and low-carbon lifestyles and controlling greenhouse gas emissions.
Yang Fuqiang, a climate change and energy expert and former director of global climate solutions at the World Wide Fund for Nature, told China Daily the law will have significant meaning that goes beyond simply guiding policies. “China’s legislation in tackling climate change is showing the world our great attention and efforts in the climate change battle,” Yang said. He noted that the law could set mandatory targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and energy saving.
The National People’s Congress suggested drawing up regulations to tackle climate change in 2009 and the low-carbon economy became one of the top 10 issues in China for the first time in 2010, according to a report released by Renmin University of China in January.  The 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) sets goals to cut energy consumption by 16 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent per unit of GDP from 2010 levels and slash major pollutant emissions by 8 to 10 percent.
From China Daily – www.chinadaily.com.cn/usa/epaper/2011-03/22/content_12208158.htm

For news on windpower in China –
http://inventorspot.com/articles/chinas_first_highaltitude_wind_turbine_reaps_wild_wind
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The Time-Saving Service
Imagine for a moment …
You need to know something …

But the information you need is part of a 60 page document …

Or even several 60 page documents …

Or a website stuffed full of 60 page documents.

It’s Important. But those documents look a tiny bit dull and laden with jargon and you haven’t got enough time this week …

And then you discover …

A  Time-Saving service that does the trawling for you, in a loving and low carbon way, picking out the important stuff for YOUR needs. Simplifying, sorting and then rewriting in a digestible, jargon free form. At an affordable price, quickly, efficiently,  and … well … sustainably.
Find out more about this (and other things we do) at – www.sharpeningpencils.co.uk


Equilibrium Event
Members of Audlem transition group ADAPT are staging an exhibition called Equilibrium. It is about living sustainably and focuses on Climate Change, Biodivesity and Peak Oil over the period 28th May to 4th June.
The exhibition is running concurrently with Audlem Music Festival and Carnival over the Bank Holiday weekend 28th-30th May. It is being displayed in Audlem baptist Church between 12.30pm and 4.00pm each day.
Audlem is 6 miles south of Nantwich on the A529.
The Baptist Church is a pleasant 5 minute walk from the centre of the village on the A525 Woore road. Entry is free and refreshments will be served.

Renewable energy: getting the message across
Talk Action’s next course on Communicating Renewable Energy: Training Day is on the 12th May in London.
For details see – www.talkaction.org/CRE_May_FullDetails.pdf
Building LCCN – your help needed
This newsletter now goes out weekly to more than 600 people and groups, but we’d like to get it to many more. You can help!

If you find the newsletter useful , why not forward it to other people you know, either in your group or within  your network. Let them know it comes out weekly, it’s free and all they have to do to get it is to join the network…by sending an email requesting a membership form to – membership@lowcarboncommunities.net

Or you can download the membership form by clicking here.
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LCCN Facebook page
Please like the Low Carbon Communities facebook page here.
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Tell us your stories
We are very keen to get local news – reports, project launches, meetings etc… Send us the details!

Website: lowcarboncommunities.net                                                            03/05/2011

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