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.
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
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
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
A passionate part of Dorset CAN’s vision for the future of Dorset is to have rivers and beaches clean enough to swim in. At the moment, many of the county’s rivers are fouled by run-off from farms, industrial effluent, poorly maintained septic tanks and even by emergency release of raw sewage by the water companies.
So we welcome the announcement by the government, on 2 August 2021, of a doubling of funds for the popular Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) programme, so that it can cover every farm in England. The programme – which is a partnership between Defra, Natural England and the Environment Agency – provides free individual advice to farmers to help them reduce water and air pollution through management of farmyard manure, soils and other material. In recent years, this scheme reduced the number of serious water pollution incidents by almost a fifth, and helped farmers access £100m in grants to help protect the environment.
The funding for the programme will now be almost doubled, with an additional £17m over the next three years. The extra funding will provide 50 new Environment Agency inspectors and more Natural England advisers to help farmers implement practical solutions to reduce pollution, including planting new grassland buffer strips to improve drainage, establishing riverside trees to reduce run off into rivers and using better slurry storage facilities to avoid accidental spillage. Currently around 40% of farmers are involved in the scheme: with the extra funding, Defra aims to have every farmer in the country taking part by 2023.
“Action has failed to keep pace with the worsening reality of climate risk”
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) is an independent, statutory body established under the Climate Change Act 2008. Its job is to advise the government on emissions targets and to report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
On 16 June, it published a report “Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk” prepared by the Adaptation Committee. This sets out the priority climate change risks and opportunities for the UK. More than 60 risks and opportunities have been identified, fundamental to every aspect of life in the UK covering our natural environment, our health, our homes, the infrastructure on which we rely, and the economy. The report offers the following key conclusions ;“Alarmingly, new evidence shows that the gap between the level of risk we face and the level of adaptation underway has widened. Adaptation action has failed to keep pace with the worsening reality of climate risk.
“The UK has the capacity and the resources to respond effectively to these risks, but it has not yet done so. Acting now will be cheaper than waiting to deal with the consequences. Government must lead that action.
“The Committee reports on the full set of 61 risks and opportunities. These must be considered in the next set of National Adaptation Plans, due from 2023.
“The Committee identifies eight risk areas that require the most urgent attention in the next two years. They have been selected on the basis of the urgency of additional action, the gap in UK adaptation planning, the opportunity to integrate adaptation into forthcoming policy commitments and the need to avoid locking in poor planning, especially as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Committee recommends ten principles for good adaptation planning that should form the basis for the next round of national adaptation plans. These are intended to bring adaptation into mainstream consideration by Government and business.”
Visit www.ukclimaterisk.org to find all of the outputs from the UK Climate Risk Independent Assessment.
Wildfires have become more frequent in Britain because of climate change, according to the London School of Economics. 2020r saw 75 large fires, each covering at least 6 hectares. This continues a trend in place since 2016. In 2014 one large fire was recorded. This increased to four in 2016, then 17 in 2017 and 74 in 2018. In 2020, 13,793 hectares of vegetation were burnt, compared with 85 hectares in 2014. There has been a corresponding increase in CO2 emissions from wildfires, from 4,000 tonnes in 2015 to 294,000 tonnes in 2090. Dr Tom Smith of the LSE said, “We need to be prepared for more flammable landscapes. This preparation has already started with specialist wildfires teams and tactical advisors being appointed in fire and rescue services up and down the country.”
Their 2030 Pledge Campaign calls on local councillors to pledge:
“… to do everything in my power to ensure our local authority works in collaboration with the local community to:
Their Climate Engagement Trello Board collects examples of community engagement by local authorities on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. You can view the board here.
Their LOCAL AUTHORITY CLIMATE PLAN CHECKLIST – developed by Climate Emergency UK, Friends of the Earth, Centre for Alternative Technology & Ashden. Community groups (that’s us) can use the checklist to assess the ambition of their local authority’s plan. Has anyone got time to use this to assess Dorset Council’s draft Action Plan? Please let us know if you have.
Climate Emergency UK Newsletter March 2021