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).