COP21 and The Burning Question

One of the most helpful books we have read at Green Thinkers bookclub, for understanding the Climate Change debate, was ‘The Burning Question’ by Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark.

The Burning Question is essentially: ‘how will the world avoid extracting and burning the $20 trillion worth of fossil fuel reserves we are currently planning to burn, that will emit 2,795 gigatonnes of carbon emissions?’ – a figure that is five times greater that the potentially ‘safe’ limit of an additional 565 gigatonnes to stay below two degrees of warming.

There are some helpful clues in the book, one being the illustration of a train of three carriages: the first ‘consumption’, the second ‘combustion’ and with ‘extraction’ bringing up the rear.

Train image

Trying to slow the consumption and combustion carriages is futile unless the extraction carriage is also slowed down. The effect of was seen recently as the US switched from coal to gas, but continued to extract and export the coal, which was then sold and burnt elsewhere in the world.

Lets hope that any climate change deal today in Paris at COP21 acts on all three parts of the train.

Interested in discussing sustainability issues? Come along to a Green-Thinkers bookclub in your area, or set one up where you live.

By Marek Bidwell

marek@green-thinkers.org

 

‘Feral’ by George Monbiot, 3rd Dec, Nottingham

Feral

Feral

Nottingham’s next Green-Thinkers meeting will be held at The Tapastry, Heathcoat Street, Hockley on Wednesday 3rd December at 6pm.

We will be discussing  Feral : Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life by George Monbiot. For this book we will be asking questions such as:

  • What could you easily do to bring the wild into your life?
  •  How has the book changed your outlook on the British countryside?
  • How do you relate to wild spaces and creatures? Are they something you enjoy or would you rather avoid them?

Please feel free to invite friends and family to come along and join the discussion.

The meeting is FREE, so please email info@hostaconsulting.co.uk to book a place, or click here to join the Facebook group.

Support local business by ordering your book through us from Five Leaves Book Store to get a 15% discount.

Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air (7th Jan 2016)

Hot Air ImageOur next Green Thinkers’ discussion will be on 7th January 2016, hot on the heels of the global climate summit in Paris. We will be discussing ‘Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air’ by David MacKay, former Chief Scientific Advisor of DECC.

The book can be either be purchased in hard copy, or read / downloaded for free at www.withouthotair.com where there are also a host of video presentations by MacKay.

Energy is a technical topic and MacKay’s book contains plenty of facts and figures (albeit from 2009) – these will provide useful background information. In our discussion we will ask questions such as:

  • Which energy technologies have the brightest future?
  • Should energy efficiency take priority over air pollution (ref. VW)
  • What has changed in the energy world since 2009?
  • Is it a valid position to be anti-coal, anti-fracking, and anti-nuclear?
  • What ever happened to carbon capture and storage?
  • Where is UK government energy policy heading?
  • Where are global energy markets heading?
  • Your thoughts on the outcome of Paris 2015?

Date: Thursday 7th January (7-9pm)

Location: The Town Wall pub, Pink Lane, NE1 5HZ. (In the Library Room)

Cost: Free!

To Book: Space limited so book with marek@green-thinkers.org to assure your place.

Next Meeting: Is Regenerative Capitalism the Answer? (10th Sept 2015)

John Fullerton worked on Wall Street for 20 years and was a former MD at JP Morgan. In 2001 he resigned, disillusioned with a bank he no longer recognised. Over the next few years he did a lot of thinking and read books that most bankers don’t read! Later in 2010 he founded the Capital Institute to explore an alternative conceptual framework for capitalism – do you agree with his recommendations?

Resources: Regenerative Capitalism – How Universal Principles And Patterns Will Shape Our New Economy (April 2015) http://capitalinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/2015-Regenerative-Capitalism-4-20-15-final.pdf (free to download).

Short Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb1byFOAMRE

Long Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KDv06YOjxw

The meeting will be in the upstairs room at the Jazz Cafe (Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne), starting at 7pm (£3.75 entry on the door, food not included). The Jazz Cafe are keeping their kitchen open for us from 6-7, so please feel free to join me for a bite to eat downstairs before hand. I’ll be there from 6.15.

Please feel free to invite others and share this message by email or social media. Marek Bidwell marek@green-thinkers.org

Reminder – Sustainable Cities – 21st May

Dear Green Thinkers,

Just a quick reminder that our next meeting is next week (21st May) in the upstairs room at the Jazz Cafe (Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne), starting at 7pm (£3.75 entry, food not included).

The Jazz Cafe are keeping their kitchen open for us from 6-7, so please feel free to join me for a bite to eat downstairs before hand. I’ll be there from 6.15.

The subject for our discussion is ‘Sustainable Cities’click here for full details. Please feel free to invite others, and if you have not already done so please send me a quick email if you are intending to come along.

Marek Bidwell

marek@green-thinker.org

Vote for the Nature and Wellbeing Act on 7th May – here’s why…

Nature and Wellbeing ActWe discussed many of the benefits that nature provides at a Green Thinkers meeting last year after reading ‘What has nature ever done for us?’ by Tony Juniper. Studies show that people living close to areas of green space enjoy a range of health benefits – many of which were referenced in Public Health England own review’. Two medics who attended our meeting testified to these health benefits from their personal experience.

With the election coming up in May there is the opportunity to do more than discuss these issues – we can vote for an MP, or party, that supports theNature and Wellbeing Act’ set out in a Green Paper proposed by the RSPB and the Wildlife Trusts. Continue reading