Friday, March 13, 2009

'Green' consultants fly off to plant some trees!!

This story in todays local paper ('Bristol Airport security detects toothpaste but not live bullets', Post, 13 March) raises the very serious issue of airport security, which must be got right of course. However, the fact that 'Four staff at green consultancy Carbon Managers were setting off for a tree-planting trip in Scotland from Bristol Airport...' is also most noteworthy to say the least! What are carbon managers doing flying like this?

These people should surely recognise that there is no substitute for reducing emissions at source. Its hardly taking all practical steps to reduce carbon emissions if they are flying off to Scotland is it! But that is what the best advice says should be done before considering carbon offsetting, which is what these 'four staff' would probably say they have done with their emissions from the flight.

Even at the offsetting stage one has to be very careful indeed about the scheme chosen because there are some very dodgy ones out there - you just can't 'magic away' our climate problems by handing over some dosh to a consultancy. If the solution was that easy the problem would have been solved years ago!!

Earth Hour 2009

Received a request to pass on the message below about Earth Hour 2009 - I hope many people will support this event!

Big changes start with small gestures; turn off to show you care about climate change

On 8.30 pm on 28 March an extraordinary global event called Earth Hour will take place and we would like to enlist your help to ensure that Bristol is a part of it.

Up to a billion people around the globe will switch off their lights for one hour to send a powerful message to our politicians and decision makers. Earth Hour 2009 is really set to ‘switch off the globe’. Already 377 cities and 74 countries are committed, including Bristol. Earth Hour 2009 is setting the platform for an unprecedented global mandate for action on climate change. This is especially important now because 2009 is a critical year for action on climate change, with the world’s leaders due to meet at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December to sign a new deal to supersede the Kyoto Protocol.

The initiative, which began in Sydney in 2007 as a one-city environmental campaign, has evolved into a grassroots action that has really captured the attention worldwide. In 2008, 371 cities across 35 countries turned their lights out in a united call for action on climate change.

The list of cities confirming their participation includes 37 national capitals and many of the great cities of the world, including London, Beijing, Rome, Moscow, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Athens, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Sydney, Mexico City, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Manila, Las Vegas, Brussels, Cape Town and Helsinki. We want to add Bristol to this list!

Along with the great metropolises of the world, Earth Hour 2009 will also see the lights go out on some of the most recognised landmarks on the planet, including Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Table Mountain in Cape Town, Merlion in Singapore, Sydney Opera House, CN Tower in Toronto, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the world’s tallest constructed building, Taipei 101. We hope that the Clifton Suspension Bridge will be in this list of iconic structures.Earth Hour by its very nature is the essence of grassroots action. This is the opportunity for individuals from all corners of the globe to unite in a single voice and demand action on climate change. Bristol needs to play its part in this global clamour for change; please help us to make a difference.

You can help by letting all of your members and contacts know that this is happening and encouraging them to participate, by turning off any lighting not required for safety reasons on the 28th at 8:30pm. We would be very grateful if you could feedback to us the response you receive and the likely numbers who have agreed to participate.

More information is available at

Many thanks

Alistair Sawday, Chair, The Bristol Green Capital Momentum Group