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  • susan640 10:47 am on January 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Extinction Rebellion When: 15th January, 7:30pm 

    Extinction Rebellion Discussion at Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX.

    2018 saw the birth of Extinction Rebellion (XR), which aims to rally support worldwide around a common sense of urgency to tackle climate breakdown. It has three key demands:

    The Government must tell the truth about the climate and wider ecological emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.
    The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
    A national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.

    Established with about one hundred academics signing a call to action and launched at the end of October, the movement staged various acts of civil disobedience during November. A large number of its activists have pledged to be arrested and are prepared to go to prison, inspired by the non-violent direct action tactics of Occupy, Mahatma Gandhi, the Suffragettes and Martin Luther King.

    To find out more and discuss ER’s approach, Camden Green Party are holding a public meeting with guest speaker Jayne Forbes, from Extinction Rebellion: 7.30pm, 15 January, at Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX.

  • susan640 10:32 am on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    EU relaxation of diesel emission limits was illegal, European Court of Justice – report in The Guardian on 13 December 

    As reported in The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/dec/13/eu-relaxation-of-diesel-emission-limits-was-illegal-court-rules

    The new generation of so-called “cleaner” diesel vehicles (Euro 6) can be banned from Madrid, Paris and Brussels after a ruling by European justices.

    City authorities can now stop Euro 6 diesel vehicles from entering their cities. The European court of justice has overruled a decision by the European Commission to allow new diesel vehicles to emit higher levels of nitrogen dioxide. The justices said the original limit of 80mg/km must be maintained and that a 2016 relaxation of car emission limits was illegal.

    This looks like a good EU decision, finally! Not sure how this ruling applies to the UK and London. Do we have Euro 6 diesels in town?

    • Sydney Charles 12:37 pm on December 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      The ULEZ programme is to allow Euro 6 diesels. Emissions Analytics, an independent testing body, has introduced the EQUA Air Quality index based on the level of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in grams per kilometre. It has specific models rated A (Euro 6 limit for diesels, Euro 4 limit for petrols) to H (roughly equal to 12+ times Euro 6 limits). London is aware of this database and should use it rather than arbitary Euro standards. eg ban all vehicles with more than 80mg/km regardless of fuel type.
      https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/cars?intcmp=54362 has TfLs info taking people to a list of which models won’t pay more. This should be revised to not allow ‘Euro 6’ diesels that are more than 80mg/km. This increases the problem of people who bought vehicles because they were told they were clean and now will be told they are not. We must not allow the GLA to just continue with the 120mg/km bar.

  • susan640 3:59 pm on November 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Tonight! Monday 12 November Transitition Crouch End is holding a discussion on climate change and showing a fracking film 

    An evening of films & discussion exploring a true picture of climate change & what we can do about it. Seen through the lens of inspiring social change movements, the latest science and research. Presentations by local environmentalist, Kate Allardyce & Rikki, local Film-maker & Journalist. Also featuring the new Extinction Rebellion. Food available from 6.30pm (Vegan) and drinks available in main bar.

  • susan640 11:43 pm on October 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ecolution, , Solar Action Plan, Solar Together   

    Solar Panel Installation under the Mayor's Solar Together Scheme 

    We are delighted to see our new solar pv panels being installed today on our house in north Archway, as part of the Mayor of London’s Solar Together project. They have only cost £3,500 plus £600 to connect to the hot water system. An absolute bargain, and the installation is proceeding smoothly with Solar Together’s chosen company Ecolution. I believe that the current round of installations is closed, but anyone interested should register their interest with Solar Together to build impetus for another round, website is here: https://solartogetherlondon.ichoosr.com/Product/index.rails The panels are very much cheaper than usual, and this price saving is achieved by bulk buying.

    The Solar Together project is part of the Mayor’s Solar Action Plan, the first of its kind in London, and sets out how the Mayor (our Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan, a great improvement on his predecessor), will put London on track to achieving 1 gigawatt of installed solar capacity by 2030, and becoming a zero carbon city by 2050. With climate change becoming much more imminent (as per the IPCC’s latest report, and our own experiences) the Solar Action Plan is an encouraging step forward.

  • susan640 8:14 pm on October 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The Government’s GreenGB week is between 15-19th October 

    This piece has been taken, with thanks, from Transition Highgate’s website:http://transitionhighgate.org/2018/10/green-gb-and-ni-week/

    The Green GB + NI Week is a week of events (across England), arranged by the Government, with “announcements and media activity to promote the opportunities from clean growth and raise awareness of how businesses and the public can contribute to tackling climate change.” There are a series of events, ranging from small scale and local to global, including the official launch of the European Launch of IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C (invitation only). They have been arranged by local environmental groups, climate change experts, scientists and global businesses, including well respected organisations and people. Further details via the TH website; some of the events are staggeringly expensive.

    Transitition Highgate have also prepared a very line list of rebuttals which demonstrate that for all its fine words about tackling climate change, this government has been rolling back our national efforts in this vital direction. TH’s rebuttal table can be found here: http://transitionhighgate.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Green-GB-week-2018-rebuttal-table-10th-Oct.pdf

    To support the Fair4Solar campaign to get the Government to Uturn on its plan to stop supporting renewables download the #Fair4Solar Campaign Pack, go to the campaign page to sign the petition and tweet the message #Fair4Solar.

    • Sydney Charles 8:18 am on October 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I notice a lovely little vid on twitter from the Government full of sunflowers and meadows publicising Green GB week. Not a fracked earthquake or child with asthma in sight.

    • susan640 11:13 am on October 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I am so annoyed about this greenwashing! However, don’t think there was any coverage on R4 Today – maybe I slept through it, but think it more likely that no time could be spared from the deluge of Brexit problem coverage.

  • susan640 12:24 pm on August 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply  


    The Friends of the Parkland Walk have organised a Guided Tree Walk with Rebecca Harrison

    6.30pm on Thursday 9th August – start at the Holmesdale Road entrance in Highgate

    Rebecca will guide participants along the Parkland Walk towards Crouch End, touching on all kinds of arboreal aspects such as how to easily identify trees and how should we best manage them? Why are some trees more common than others? What trees attract the most types of insects? Do any trees have a negative impact on our green spaces? Rebecca has many years of experience working at Highgate Wood and grew up in Muswell Hill where the Parkland Walk was one of her favourite play areas as a child.

    Numbers are limited to 20 places and priority will be given to full members of the Friends. Remaining places will be allocated to non-members. The walk is free, but a non-obligatory suggested donation of £3 can be offered to help towards our work. If you are not a full member you can upgrade by donating an additional £2. Further information on membership can be found here.

    If you are interested, please email foparklandwalk@gmail.com with the message subject ‘summer tree walk’. Please indicate the number of places you would like and if you are already a member or would like to join on the day.

    The walk will last for 1.5 hours


  • susan640 12:47 pm on July 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    FOE Anti-Trump Climate Policy Protest March Friday 13 (appropriate!) July 

    The FOE is assembling marchers for this event, instructions below.

    The biggest march is planned for this Friday afternoon in London. If you’re coming along, join me in the climate change section at 2pm in Portland Place, W1A 1AA. Look for the Friends of the Earth flags. Our friends at Campaign against Climate Change are bringing some music too so it’s shaping up to be a fun day out – as well as a way to resist Trump.

    Not in London? There are marches planned all over the country, all weekend.

    Here are some ideas to help you make a powerful statement against Mr Trump:

    Placards: One of my favourite things about marches is the creative and funny placards. But if you don’t have time to make your own from scratch you can choose your favourite design from the Trump Action Pack. Just print it, stick it on some cardboard and you’re ready to go.

    Posters: Whether you’re marching or not you can make a powerful statement about Trump’s visit. Choose your favourite design, print it and pop it in your window.

    T-shirts: If you want to wear your statement rather than holding it, we’ve teamed up with Teemill to produce some Make the Planet Great Again t-shirts. You’ll probably have to pick special delivery if you want to get it in time for Friday though.

    So get set to show you resist the dangerous policies Mr Trump stands for, and that you demand a better future for everyone. Make sure he gets our message loud and clear.

    Thank you for standing up for people and the planet with us.

    FOE Supporter Relations Manager

  • susan640 11:47 am on July 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Last weekend, as part of the Highgate Festival, Catherine Budgett-Meakin, founder of HiCAN, and now leader of Highgate Transition, gave the presentation below. Despite the UK political “elite” being fixated on Brexit, we need to keep the climate change issue in people’s minds, as it will not fix itself or go away. Indeed, The Guardian Leader article today (10 July) points out that our present heatwave is being caused by the jet stream being held in its current position by a warmer arctic (due to less sea-ice and more heat-absorbing dark water, and more methane and CO2 from melted permafrost). https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/09/the-guardian-view-on-climate-change-a-global-heatwave

    Catherine Budgett- Meakin: There is No Planet B: Change and Challenge

    Is it true that people won’t change their habits for the greater good?

    Surely not – just look at how the ban on smoking has changed habits. People were still smoking in restaurants only 11 years ago.

    And nobody would have expected to pick up dog poo in my childhood.

    But when it comes to thinking about future generations – that’s our children and grandchildren – we don’t seem to be able to get our heads round what needs to be done.
    We have to stop relying on fossil fuels in such a massive way;

  • We must stop emitting CO2 in the thoughtless way that is the hallmark of western (un)civilisation.

    We need some statistics:
    The population of the United Kingdom emits just under 10 tons per person per annum;
    • France – 6.5 tons,
    • Russia – 12 tons,
    • China – 4.5;
    • India – 1.1;
    • Kenya less than half a ton of CO2
    Americans emit nearly 20 tons – and their emissions are increasing.
    It is estimated that we should aim to reduce to three tons per person per annum. For those of us in the minority world, that’s quite a challenge.

    What really puzzles me is our inertia and our belief that someone else will sort it. Is this a moral issue?

    It is easy to do something about the ‘low hanging fruit’ – the modest changes to our lifestyle: recycling, composting, refusing plastic bags, eating less meat.
    Even making our houses more energy efficient is not too difficult, and it results in lower domestic energy bills.
    But most people don’t think it’s anything to do with them and, anyway, they question what difference their little action will make.
    Just remember the impact of a tiny mosquito in your bedroom…

    For some, a moment of awakening can come suddenly: The first and last verses from Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken:

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveller, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less travelled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    I’d like to assume we all want to ‘make a difference’ but most of us don’t know where to start.

    So what can we do?
    • Find out what is happening in our local area – in Highgate we have Transition Highgate, and in north London several other Transition groups;
    • We have the Highgate Society’s Sustainable Living group;
    • The Muswell Hill Sustainability Group is a source of much information and good practice;
    • Develop a more vegetarian diet and source food as locally and seasonally as possible;
    • Reduce waste – use of domestic energy, food – anything to reduce our heavy footprint on our fragile world;
    • Try to cut down on leisure air travel – say to one flight per year;
    • Have a go at lobbying politicians and policy makers – for example – to introduce fuel duty on aviation fuel = train v plane.
    Last year I made five journeys by train to Europe.
    For my journey to Florence I was informed that, by taking the train, my CO2 emissions were 38 kgs. If I’d flown, it would have been 228 kgs. That’s pretty stark…

    • But most importantly – we must address our minds and our hearts to the future and work out what changes in our life style we can make which, added to everyone else’s efforts, will really make a difference – without being ‘preachy’;
    • Feeling guilty is disempowering – it can lead to a sort of paralysis
    • But making a decision that ‘I want to do something and I’m going to find out what to do’ is empowering:
    it’s an opportunity not a threat

    I have one plea: please don’t talk about Saving the Planet – the Planet will be fine – it’s the human race and the natural world, on which we depend, that are challenged and threatened. Extinction is already being mentioned.

    And the poor of the world who have done least to damage the global environment are the ones who are already suffering.

    Very roughly 20% of the world’s population – that’s us in the ‘minority world’ – consume 80% of the world’s resources.

    So please, start thinking about all this. Become curious and find out what’s possible and what you and your family might do. Don’t just leave it to others…

    Make it a priority to identify the three things in the way you live your life you can change before the end of 2018. And don’t feel you have to do it all alone.

    And most especially think about future generations and how they will view our inertia and apathy.

    Change is challenging – but is exciting too..

    As EF Schumacher said in the 1970s “Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology towards the organic, the gentle, the elegant and beautiful”


  • susan640 10:35 pm on April 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The Zero Emissions Network in Archway is almost one year old – progress report 

    At a recent meeting of the Archway Town Centre Group, in connection with Archway’s ZEN it was reported that the following steps towards reducing Archway’s air pollution and climate changing CO2 emissions had been taken:

    1 Electric cars: Fast chargers on St John’s and Giesbach Road are now installed along with a rapid charger on Pemberton Gardens (a rapid charger can give an 80% boost in just 30mins compared to a couple of hours using a fast charger) – one of the first of its kind in the borough. For details of other street-chargers in the Borough, and how to get access to them, please go to: https://www.islington.gov.uk/roads/electric-vehicles (although the list of locations does not include the new rapid charger!)

    2 Plans are underway to host an Electric Vehicle event on Navigator Square on Thursday 19th April, with further plans for National Clean Air Day (21st June) and World Car Free Day (22nd September).

    3 Air Quality: an AQ Mesh Monitor has been installed at the north end of Holloway Road (officially Sandridge Street) to provide NOx and Particulate Matter readings in real time and as of this week, a second monitor has been installed on Grovedale Road to provide an ‘urban background’ comparator of data.

    4. ZEN Grants: 12 businesses successfully applied for a ZEN grant ranging from Whittington Hospital (Dr Bike Sessions), several local businesses, and St Joseph’s School (walk to school comms and materials).


    5 Oriental Food on Junction Road is the first business in all of Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets (!!!) to apply for the e-switch grant (£200 to businesses and couriers who wish to switch to an electric bike or moped: http://archwaylondon.com/zen/scooter-switch ) and is now the proud owner of an electric bicycle for Zero Emissions deliveries.

    6 Ofo Bike partnership was available in early January, offering 5 free rides to any member of the ZEN. A further 10 codes are available to those interested for a very limited time.

    7 Winter Dr Bike sessions have been successful and ZEN will now run a Dr Bike session every 3rd Tuesday of the month in Archway’s new Navigator Square – over 100 bikes have been assessed since September.

    To find out more about the Archway ZEN, and benefit from its green opportunities please go to this website: http://archwaylondon.com/zen

  • susan640 2:57 pm on March 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: low energy; renewables   

    Here’s something good for Archway N19 – a step towards renewables by Power Up North London – good on you, PUNL 

    Power Up North London has been given funds from Islington’s Community Energy Fund for a replacement lighting project and feasibility studies for solar panels and battery storage at three other community buildings in Islington.

    It follows PUNL being awarded London Community Energy Fund grants for feasibility studies for three buildings in Camden.

    The buildings/blocks are: Caxton House, St Johns Way, N19, where LED lights will replace existing lighting, Elizabeth House, Elthorne Pride and Whittington Park Community Association which will undergo tests for solar panel potential, including storing the renewable energy in batteries onsite.

    The fund is provided by the borough’s carbon offset fund – money paid by developers to offset the emissions they generate while building.

    More details here: https://powerupnorthlondon.org/author/powerupnorthlondon/

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