Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The story of stuff

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http://www.storyofstuff.org/ really worth going here (watch the short film below).
Ok the examples are often American but the message is universal. So, just where does stuff come from, where does it go, and what effects does the coming and going have??

Sustrans' annual 'Change Your World' campaign

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Received the message below from Sustrans and signed up to support the campaign (although my travel by car and in general is already pretty low).

Sustrans' annual ‘Change Your World’ campaign kicks off today with the launch of www.changeyourworld.org.uk . To join in, tell us you'll swap a car trip during the first week of July and walk, cycle or use public transport instead.

Please consider doing you bit by supporting this campaign, perhaps committing to cut your car use even more if you can (the rising price of fuel and the spiralling of climate change impacts gives plenty of incentive for this!). What I really want from the government is concerted, significant and sustained action and investment into walking cycling, public transport (trains generally, light rail, buses...) and car clubs, to make minimising car use easier - let your PM, MP and local councillors know if you agree!!

The Green Party website says 'Re-allocate just a quarter of the road budget and in ten years we could build light rail systems in eight cities, create 10,000 people-friendly home zones, put £4 billion into cutting train and bus fares, £1 billion into rural transport and another billion into transport for disabled people. Add to that safe routes to all our schools and colleges and tens of thousands of new jobs and it's money well spent.' Eminent good sense given the twin problems of peak oil and climate change.

Money before quality of education for Bristol's primary schools??

So, 'Bristol City Council says that small schools do not give the best value for money for council tax payers.' ('Parents in school closures protest', Bristol Evening Post, 3 June 2008). Many, many teachers, parents and pupils will disagree with this very strongly indeed and may well say that it is financial considerations rather than childrens education that seems to be uppermost in the council's mind.

In a smaller school community all teachers, pupils and parents can get to know each other better and stronger, more educationally beneficial relationships can be established. This clearly adds to the quality of education for every individual child, as testified to by the parents protesting and indeed by Ofsted when they said last year that at Stockwood Green Primary 'everyone feels involved, trusted and valued'. I hope the council rethinks their plan to have fewer, bigger primary schools (see previous posts on this here and here).