Is life predestined?

A few things have happened to me lately which make me wonder if my life is already mapped out, or pre-destined so to speak. I met Jacqueline today from Climate Rush, who are a growing group of suffragette inspired climate change activists. Jacqueline got me up to speed on what Climate Rush have been doing since the group was set up by 26 year old Tamsin Ormond in 2008. We chatted about what we could do down ‘ere in the west country to support the London based radicals who abide by the suffragette slogans “deeds not words” and “well behaved women seldom make history”.

So back to predestiny. During our conversation Jacqueline told me I was wearing the colours of the suffragette movement – teal green and purple, my two favourite colours at the moment, I am so into teal and purple. I just had to wear the clothes I wore today, they were a bit grubby, but something told me to wear them, and no others would do, so I guess that’s what I mean about predestiny. I was meant to meet Jacqueline, meant to wear those colours, meant to get more “active” in my involvement in helping to raise awareness of climate change and try to stop it basically.

I’m also quite into synchronicity – which I also find happens a lot when I feel my life is going in the right direction. Sometimes I feel there is a path mapped out and there are symbolic things in my life which happen every now and again which tell me I’m on the right path. Wikipedia explains that Swiss psychologist Carl Jung Jung (below) “was transfixed by the idea that life was not a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order. This deeper order led to the insights that a person was both embedded in an orderly framework and was the focus of that orderly framework and that the realisation of this was more than just an intellectual exercise but also having elements of a spiritual awakening.

Children of today will have to deal with consequences of climate change

My letter made it into the Midweek Herald this week…

It is such a shame that Geoff Powell thinks man-made global warming is a sham. It’s a shame for my children aged just five and eight who will inherit this world long after Geoff is gone and will have to deal with the inevitable consequences of climate change in their lifetime and that of their own children.

It’s also regrettable that people like Geoff are unhappy about wind turbines. Personally, I think they are beautiful and welcome them onto our land and into our seas. They are just one solution to the rising challenge of fossil fuel depletion. It’s unfortunate that there are such negative people around when we all need positive energy to move forward.

Luckily, there are many people all over East Devon who are rising to the environmental challenges facing us, and joining the East Devon Green Party. We are looking forward to success in the May elections, with councillors elected who will work hard to ensure we are all doing everything we possibly can to reduce climate change.

Sharon Pavey

Hazelwood Close

Honiton

‘In Cancún you can make history,’ celebrities tell the world’s politicians

Ian McEwan, Bill Nighy, Scarlett Johansson and Kristin Davis among those signing letter to Guardian ahead of climate talks. Writers, photographers, musicians and actors have appealed to politicians and diplomats to set aside differences and reach agreement in the UN climate change talks which resume next week in Cancún, Mexico. “Important progress was made in Copenhagen last year but not nearly enough. In Cancún, you can make history,” the celebrities write in a letter to the Guardian. The group includes the author Ian McEwan and actors Bill Nighy, Scarlett Johansson and Kristin Davis as well as others from Mexico, Benin, Panama and Denmark.

Read the full story here in The Guardian

ENERGY SAVING TRUST’S ENERGY SAVING WEEK 25 – 31 OCTOBER

See www.energysavingtrust.org.uk for more details. In the meantime if you are worried about paying your fuel bills this winter then you can call the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 – they can give you help and advice about paying your fuel bills. Here are some energy-saving tips for today:

  • Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.
  • Cutting food into smaller pieces often speeds up the cooking time
  • Make sure items that are not in use are unplugged or switched off at the wall (when was the last time you used your video recorder?!)
  • Only turn on the lights when you need them.
  • Don’t leave things on standby – this could save around £40 per year on energy bills.
  • Close internal doors to keep the heat in the rooms you are in and turn radiators off in unused rooms.
  • Towel dry your hair thoroughly to cut down the time you’ll have to use your hairdryer for.
  • Use a hot water bottle to warm the bed up, rather than an electric blanket.
  • During winter, set the heating to switch off a short while before you go to bed. It’ll still be nice and warm as you get ready for bed but the heating won’t stay on unnecessarily once you’re tucked up.
  • Likewise set it to switch on just long enough before you wake up for the house to be warm by the time you get up.
  • When cooking always use the right sized pan for the job and the right sized hob ring for each pan.
  • Keep lids on pans to reduce heat loss – turn the heat down when it reaches the boil.

T’internet Carbon Dilemmas

Every time you go online you increase your carbon footprint. Is it possible to be a green surfer?

Somewhere in California (and soon to be in India and possibly Iceland) there are vast tracts of hulking warehouses containing thousands of energy-guzzling servers – it’s farming, but not as depicted in The Archers.

Server farms provide the network to transmit websites. They are powered by electricity, predominantly from coal-fired power stations. Add in the energy required to make your PC in the first place and computing is responsible for 1bn tonnes of CO2 each year – more emissions than aviation. In pollution terms, using t’internet could be your equivalent of an Arkwright mill at full throttle during the Industrial Revolution.

Last month some headlines suggested that a Google search generated 7g of CO2 – the same as making a cup of tea. This left the eco-minded home worker in a real quandary: I chose the cup of tea. Later Google corrected this to 0.2g per search. But still, it all adds up.

The latest research suggests that you create 20mg of CO2 per second per visit to a website. The more whistles and bells on the site the higher this gets – up to 300mg of CO2 per second for one with video content. Running an avatar in Second Life uses more electricity than a live person in Brazil. Ask yourself: is this watt necessary?

Employ a spam filter, too. In 2008 an estimated 62 trillion spam emails were sent globally, creating the same greenhouse gas emissions as 3.1m passenger cars.

I know what you’re thinking: what’s wrong with a reference book? Well, US academics remind us that driving a mile and back to the library produces 100 times more greenhouse gas emissions than a web search. Remaining ignorant is carbon free.

This article is by Lucy Siegle

The Observer Features Sun 28 Feb

Can I be Green and surf the net?

Tumbling towards the Tipping Point?

According to National Statistics, almost 60% of households now own a tumble dryer. That means more than 14m households are using electricity to dry clothes, when they could save that energy by hanging them outside. This energy use is also contributing to climate change.

It turns out that the way we have been calculating the future impacts of climate change up to now has been missing a really important piece of the picture. It seems we are now dangerously close to the tipping point in the world’s climate system; this is the point of no return, after which truly catastrophic changes become inevitable.

The Energy Saving Trust says that across the UK, if everyone with a tumble drier dried outside instead of using their driers during the summer months, it would collectively save around £180million a year, and as much CO2 as would be saved by taking 240,000 cars off Britain’s roads.

Try drying your clothes outside during the summer months. You can save on average £15 a year on your electricity bill and 65kg of CO2 by drying clothes outside on a line instead of using the tumble dryer during the summer months.

The Guardian recommends drying your clothes indoors and outside. If you can’t dry clothes outside, invest in an airer to use inside your house. Ceiling ones work best because warm air rises. But if you don’t have a suitable lofty location, try a floor-standing or wall-mounted one. Most home heating systems run on gas, so it is still better to dry your clothes inside the house in winter than to dry them by machine. You’ll not only save energy and money by ditching the dryer but your clothes will last longer too.

Consumer Issues website Which also advises to Minimise use of your tumble dryer. Make the most of good weather by drying your clothes outside, and leaving the tumble dryer switched off. If you can’t live without your tumble dryer – click here to see which one Which advises but watch this short film first – http://www.wakeupfreakout.org/film/tipping.html