Dorset AONB is developing a Community Tree Scheme to support parish and town councils in the Dorset Council area who wish to improve biodiversity, build climate resilience and engage their communities through planting and managing trees on land accessible to the public.
The project will focus primarily on support for the planning stages (rather than directly on providing and planting trees) including training to build knowledge within communities.
They’d like to hear our views on the kind of support needed - so please complete a brief survey (8 questions in total). You can click through each page to review the questions and return to previous pages to complete or amend your answers: Dorset AONB Community Tree Scheme - Survey
The survey will be open until at least the end of October
Our economic system depends on the natural world. Growth that results in the destruction of nature will, in the end, cease
Tony Juniper's recent article on nature and economic growth begins:
"As we debate how best to integrate environmental and economic goals, it is perhaps worth remembering that even central bankers need to eat, drink and inhale clean air. Food and water security, protection from climatic extremes, the carbon cycle, public health and the replenishment of the very air we breathe all depend on nature. It is less that nature is part of our economy, and rather that our entire economic system is a wholly owned subsidiary of nature.
During recent years there has been a series of expert reviews revealing the scale of the social and economic risks that accompany the continued degradation of nature. Some interpret these findings as a reason to oppose economic growth. The key question is, however, not about growth per se, but the style and quality of growth that we pursue. Growth that results in the destruction of nature will, in the end, cease. Economic development that, by contrast, moves toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions and the recovery of nature is a very different prospect."
Read the full article
Climate change features in pioneering north Dorset event for young people
Young people’s ideas on climate change and the environment as well as social injustice, digital innovation, and wellbeing are the focus of a unique international event coming to the north Dorset area on 24th November 2022.
Organised by Sherborne Area Schools Trust (SAST) group of schools, the day-long ‘Louder Than Words’ event is both by and for young people and focusses exclusively on young people and the future.
Some 16 speakers mostly aged between 13 and 19 from six countries, including America, Canada and India as well as the UK, with six from Shaftesbury School and The Gryphon School in Sherborne, will present a series of short talks at Shaftesbury Arts Centre on 24 November.
Subjects include titles such as ‘We can't solve the climate crisis without cows’, ‘Is humanity doomed by its own creation?’, ‘Bodies are like biscuits’, and ‘Youth rebellion and Capitalism’.
Talks cover almost every topic, from science and business to global issues such as climate change, and are in more than 100 languages. TEDx events are local offshoots run independently.
Local lead organiser Alex More, assistant head teacher of Shaftesbury School and short-listed for the UK's Teacher of the Year 2022 award, said: 'This is a first for the area and it's unique and special because it's by and aimed entirely at young people.
‘A TEDx youth event is an event created for youth and by youth with the help of adult mentors. The audience is half young people and half adults so it's a platform for our youth to speak up about prevailing issues in a public arena. Giving a TED talk is career-defining for everyone involved.'
He said the event will be videoed and transferred to the global TED talk platform so hopes this ‘will shine a light on our little corner of the world and give our speakers a resonant voice on an international stage.’
The event, sponsored by Swiss company GF Piping Systems, consists of four 90-minute sessions or ‘chapters’ of four talks. Tickets, on sale via Shaftesbury Arts Centre, cost from £3 per chapter or £12 for the whole event.
For more details see www.tedxyouthshaftesburyschool.com, Instagram @tedxshaftesburyschool or https://shaftesburyartscentre.org.uk/events/tedxyouth-shaftesbury-school.
Dorset CAN Briefing on the review of ELMS and the scrapping of various retained EU laws, which the RSPB has called "an unprecedented attack on nature and the laws that protect it".
Dorset CAN Briefing 27/9/2022: The UK Government’s deregulation plans
Defra: ELMS (Environmental Land Management Scheme) & Subsidies
Government to scrap EU nature protection legislation
Response to Government plans
Three major Conservation Groups have come out against the Government plans:
Climate Psychology with Linda Aspey
Too often, ‘Climate’ seems to be the hardest word…
Please join us if you can for the latest...
Dorset Climate Action Network Zoom Open Event
with Linda Aspey
Wednesday, 25th May 7.30-9.00pm
We know that climate change, ecological destruction and species extinction are very real, but how often do we talk about them?
In this 90-minute event, Linda will share some key psychology around climate change, and share some ways of having climate conversations with people whatever their current level of engagement. We’ll explore:
This event is free. Please register for the Zoom link here.
Linda Aspey works with individuals, teams, groups and organisations to help them to have better conversations and take positive action on climate, environment and social change. A psychotherapeutic counsellor and coach, she’s a founding member of the Climate Coaching Alliance and an alumna of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Linda writes on climate change and mental health and is climate columnist for Coaching at Work magazine.
We really hope to see you on 25th May...
Jenny Morisetti and Colin Tracy
Dorset CAN Coordinators
Question 3 & 4 – submitted by Dr Sandra Reeve on behalf of Dorset Climate Action Network (Question to be read by Giles Watts from Dorset Action Network)
Dorset Council needs to be seen to operate fairly and to set high standards in public office. Dorset Climate Action Network is therefore very disappointed at the way the motion on UK energy self-sufficiency (Agenda 13) was handled at the Full Council meeting on 14th April.
It was clear that there were strong feelings in the chamber about this motion which included the proposal: ‘Mindful of the current experience of global conflict and uncertainty, Dorset Council urges the Government to introduce an energy policy with the principal objective of securing permanent UK energy self-sufficiency from as early a date as possible, utilising whatever forms of energy generation sourced from within the UK are necessary to this end’. This proposal ignores both the recommendations of the IPPC report and Dorset Council’s own Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy.
Following the disruption by protesters, the meeting was moved to another room, where a vote was taken with no debate permitted, apart from the words of the proposer and the seconder which were delivered before the disruption.
We note the actions by the two protesters calling themselves Grannies for the Future. However Dorset Council's response to the protest was disappointing. By hurrying through the vote of such a key motion without public discussion and behind closed doors, the Council has stifled an important debate in the face of climate change and clearly failed to respect the principles of democracy, thereby damaging the Council’s democratic reputation.
We call on the Council to deem the vote on the motion Agenda 13 null and void and bring the motion back to a future meeting so that it can be openly debated in public before a second vote is taken. We gather that this is possible if 24 members provide notice of a revised motion.
Question 1: Will the Chair please give their reasons for moving to an immediate vote on Agenda 13 without debate, rather than adjourning the vote to another occasion, which they could have chosen to do?
Question 2: We hope Dorset Council agrees that our energy and climate security is important enough to require a proper public debate; if so will the Council bring the motion back to a future meeting as this appears to us to be the most equitable way forward?
Below is a summary of some parts of the contentious council meeting on 12th May where DorsetCAN asked a question about the Chair's refusal to allow a debate on a motion about energy security and fossil fuels.
You can see a video of the meeting here and a report by journalist Trevor Bevins on Planet Radio here.
Dorset CAN's summary:
There was a lively discussion with lots of noise outside from XR and a steel band while inside there was passion, insults, ineptitude, growling and some very decent speeches. Local democracy in action in all its tenuous glory.
The main debate related to the previous council meeting on 14th April and conflated three different issues together causing unnecessary confusion and providing plenty of wiggle room for the conservatives to dodge the main questions. The first issue was whether to condemn the actions of the two protestors. The second was whether Madame Chair (Val Pothecary) had made the right (democratic) decision to stop all debate and go straight to a vote and the third, the most important, was about why the energy security motion was passed even though it was in clear contradiction to the IPCC and DC’s own Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy.
The first issue was the subject a tabled motion. The Lib Dems/Green immediately tabled an amendment which was more conciliatory and would have toned down the wording to “regret” for the actions of the two protestors - but this was rejected and the original motion passed.
The second issue, on whether Madame Chair had acted democratically was debated hard along with the third issue on the climate impacts of increasing fossil fuel extraction etc. The second issue was the key point in our two questions. The conservatives did not like being told they were acting undemocratically and started barracking Giles Watts (who asked the question for DorsetCAN) - the barracking was led by the Councillors O’Leary and Lacey-Clarke - before the questions had even been asked. The reply from Val Pothecary was fairly predictable. First,s he admonished us for merely “noting” the actions of the protestors (rather than condemning them) and then went on to justify her actions as protecting the safety of the councillors.
It was a long and fairly brutal debate with excellent speeches by Caz Dennett, Cllr Belinda Bawden, Cllr Heatley and others from the Lib Dem and Green camps – with some reasonable speeches from a few conservatives, notably Ray Bryan. Sadly the debate was mainly on party pollitcial lines with some pretty gross political arse-licking at times. Luckily there were also some patient and thoughtful speeches by people who reminded us all that Climate issues are of major importance to us all, that we must all try to listen to the electorate (even when we don’t like what they say) and that historically direct action has its natural place in society when democracy is not working well (e.g. Suffragettes and Black Lives Matter)
It is unclear why the motion on energy security was put forward in the first place and why the conservatives were so keen to hold a vote immediately after the protest rather than delaying until later – which would have been much more “democratic”. Interestingly, it was admitted during the debate that immediately after the vote on 14th April, a letter had been sent to Greg Hands (Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth of the United Kingdom) saying that Dorset Council was completely supportive of the government’s Energy Strategy. It would be good to see the text of this letter to Greg Hands (there is no record of it on the Dorset Council web site).
The Devon Local Nature Partnership is running a climate-themed webinar on Tuesday 29th March, 9.30 – 11.30.
Booking is being managed through this link:
9.30 Welcome and LNP update – Professor Michael Winter
9.40 Devon’s Climate Emergency - Phil Norrey, CEO Devon County Council and Chair of the Devon Climate Emergency Resilience Group
9.55 How the Nature Recovery Network can help us achieve net zero – Harry Barton, CEO DWT and LNP Board member
10.10 Questions / opportunity for a break
10.20 Climate impacts on the marine environment – Dr Matt Frost, LNP Board Member & Deputy Director, The Marine Biological Association
10.35 A farmer’s perspective on soils and carbon – TBC
10.50 Questions / break
11.00 Trees for Devon - Ross Kennerley, Regional Director Woodland Trust and LNP Board member
11.15 Devon Youth Parliament
Neonicotinoid pesticides (also known as neonics) are banned in the European Union and the UK for use on all outdoor crops because of the high risk to bees and other pollinators. This ban was based on a thorough scientific assessment of the evidence and was backed by the UK government.
But in January 2022, as in 2021, the government gave temporary approval for farmers to use the neonic, thiamethoxam on sugar beet. This not only flies in the face of the recommendation of its own expert advisors but also undermines its promises to protect pollinators and to follow the precautionary principle in environmental decision-making.
See a Friends of the Earth briefing
Humanity has a ‘brief and rapidly closing window’ to avoid a hotter, deadly future, U.N. climate report says
Latest IPCC report details escalating toll — but top scientists say the world still can choose a less catastrophic path
In the hotter and more hellish world humans are creating, parts of the planet could become unbearable in the not-so-distant future, a panel of the world’s foremost scientists warned Monday in an exhaustive report on the escalating toll of climate change.
Unchecked greenhouse gas emissions will raise sea levels several feet, swallowing small island nations and overwhelming even the world’s wealthiest coastal regions. Drought, heat, hunger and disaster may force millions of people from their homes. Coral reefs could vanish, along with a growing number of animal species. Disease-carrying insects would proliferate. Deaths — from malnutrition, extreme heat, pollution — will surge.
These are some of the grim projections detailed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body dedicated to providing policymakers with regular assessments of the warming world.
Drawing on thousands of academic studies from around the globe, the sweeping analysis finds that climate change is already causing “dangerous and widespread disruption” to the natural world, as well as billions of people around the planet. Failure to curb pollution from fossil fuels and other human activities, it says, will condemn the world to a future that is both universally dangerous and deeply unequal.
Low-income countries, which generate only a tiny fraction of global emissions, will experience the vast majority of deaths and displacement from the worst-case warming scenarios, the IPCC warns. Yet these nations have the least capacity to adapt — a disparity that extends to even the basic research needed to understand looming risks.
“I have seen many scientific reports in my time, but nothing like this,” U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said in a statement. Noting the litany of devastating impacts that already are unfolding, he described the document as “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.”
“This abdication of leadership is criminal,” Guterres added. “The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.”
Yet if there is a glimmer of hope in the more than 3,500-page report, it is that the world still has a chance to choose a less catastrophic path. While some climate impacts are destined to worsen, the amount that Earth ultimately warms is not yet written in stone.
The report makes clear, however, that averting the worst-case scenarios will require nothing less than transformational change on a global scale.
Read the full Washington Post review
Read the summary prepared by Ralph Watts of Dorset CAN
Read the article by Belinda Bawden of Dorset CAN