Archives

July, 2015

The Footsteps 2009 Data Analysis Survey (ends 31st July 2015)

Phew! It’s out!

The survey is now complete and in peoples inboxes awaiting the light!

Having completed pre-surveys to gauge the kind of answers people might provide when questioned about the Top Ten Pledges, we looked at how we were going to break down the answers to match the carbon saving data we have available in the time frame and within the budget. At this stage we could spend FOREVER looking into the many interesting aspects of the where’s and why’s but what we have to focus on now, for the good of the whole project is to find out what people really need to know – at what cost was it successful and establish it in a robust manner. So we capture what activity people DID as a result of the Footsteps 2009 Project, completing those Top Ten Pledges via the campaign that cost £6k and took 4 months.

So far, it is looking good. So much is  squeaking out of the data dying to be evaluated. We can later. This can be revisited. For now, we want to see if we can stand up and say “Give weight to behavioural change, it is possible, it just requires trusted messengers, easy requests and to be colourful and fun”. We think we can.

Risks: Our contact data is 6 years old! Our only problem is that some of the email addresses don’t exist anymore… If you remember anyone telling you they had done the pledges, please let them know, as they are GOLD DUST, we need them to complete the survey by July 31st too. Please do ask them to call 01872 241239 or email luci@climate vision.co.uk Thank you!

Crowd Funder Reward – Tour Of Arch Bishop Benson School & School Dinner with the Head

Mrs. Giblett warmly welcomed members from the Carbon Crowd at Arch Bishop Benson School.

This fantastic reward not only enabled everyone to have a look into a day in the life of a school head but to enable discussions to be had regarding each members interests. In the Head’s office, over a coffee a fascinating discussion took place and so many views on interesting topics were exchanged. A tour of the school to include new plans was followed by a sensational school dinner! I think 50% of the those in attendance came because of the school dinner opportunity! Feedback has been fantastic, an opportunity to have deep insight into a 5 year olds world and how that translates into growing and then being prepared for 11 onwards, was humbling. A great Head teacher, embracing the hurdles of cut backs, government changes, climate changes combined with demands on family life, yet managing to be amongst a sea of smiles and wonderful attitudes leaving us all wishing we could go back to school!

 

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Crowd Funder Reward – Cathedral Tour

Lovely Special Tour of the Cathedral as a reward for members of the Carbon Crowd who are supporting the Carbon Logic Project.

Suzie Greenslade  and Canon Lynda Barley conducted the tour with wonderful stories including the gorgeous stone screen arriving in carbon style via the river and noticing Truro Cathedral Cornwall is actually bent (to fit the original Chapel)!

Thanks to all those who came and special thanks to the Cathedral and the ladies for a great tour.

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Ten Carbon Logic Ambassadors

10 Carbon Ambassadors take Carbon Pledge Challenge 

Ten local personalities, including the Bishop of Truro, have agreed to take part in a five month project to lower their carbon footprints. The aim of the Carbon Logic Project is to show how possible it is to make a genuine impact on individual carbon consumption and thus on global issues like Climate Change.

The Ten people have been asked to take part by Luci Isaacson, Director of Climate Vision working with Truro Cathedral as part of the Carbon Logic Project. The ten include,

1.            Pete Masters, Truro City Football Club

2.            Ruth Smith, ZLC Energy

3.            Deborah Clark

4.            Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council (Cabinet Member for Planning)

5.            Arch Deacon Bill Stuart-White, Archdeacon of Cornwall

6.            Donna Birrell, BBC Radio Cornwall Presenter

7.            Robin Freight from St. Austell Brewery

8.            Bishop Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro

9.             Rev Steve Wild, President of the Methodist Conference

10.           Kirstie Newton, Cornwall Today Editor

Each of the Ambassadors have agreed to try and complete two pledges a month for 5 months using the pledge form found on the ‘Hot Topics’ page cathedral’s website

In July each Ambassador will attempt to change to a ‘green’ energy supplier and buy local seasonal produce for at least two meals a week. At the end of each month they will report back on their particular experiences, the successes and the failures, sharing what they’ve learnt.

Pete Masters, Truro City Football Club

“Being committed to cutting carbon in ten different ways could prove even more challenging than gaining promotion, but I’m determined to give it a go. But anyone who knows me knows I don’t take on simple tasks so I’m pledging to being greener and no doubt a lot leaner with all the cycling and running I’m expecting to undertake to do my bit to help the planet.”

Ruth Smith

“When I saw Luci’s pledge project, it seemed a really accessible, effective way to get people engaged with making carbon cutting part of their everyday lifestyle. It’s always been important to us to be aware of our impact on the environment, so we’ve made a lot of small changes to our lifestyle already. I think there are a lot of pressures on people these days, so the environment doesn’t always come high up in people’s everyday considerations. Hopefully this project can demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. When you’re faced with the huge potential impact of climate change, it can be hard to have the conviction that your small choices make a difference, so it will be great to see the end results of the project!”

Deborah Clark

“I have a deep commitment to supporting Cornwall in whatever way I can, if that local outlook translates into a more carbon efficient way of living then it’s even better”.

Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council (Portfolio Holder of Planning and Environment Strategy)

I am delighted to be asked to a climate change ambassador. Climate change is not just an abstract concept discussed by boffins and environmentalists, but is manifesting itself in direct ways here in Cornwall. Over the past few years in my division of Looe, Polruan and Polperro we have experienced this directly with severe weather events that caused flooding, extensive damage and disruption. I believe we all have a responsibility to do our bit to help address climate change and by making small changes to our everyday behaviours we can make a difference.

Archdeacon Bill Stuart-White, Archdeacon of Cornwall

“I learned the prayer long ago “Lord, change the world – and start with me”. It’s a dangerous thing to pray but it’s my prayer for this challenge.”

Donna Birrell, BBC Radio Cornwall presenter 

“It’s sometimes easy to think our actions as individuals won’t make any difference to the global issue of climate change. As an Ambassador, I’m looking forward to challenging myself to think differently and I hope my own small steps will help lead towards the much bigger pathway.”

Robin Freight, St Austell Brewery

“St Austell Brewery are proud to be Ambassadors of Carbon Cutting and doing our part to protect the unique and beautiful environment of this part of the world, we hope others will join us in making this extra effort. No matter how small every little bit helps and together we will make a huge difference.”

Bishop Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro

I’m really happy to be part of an easy carbon cutting project in Cornwall. We hope to share our experiences and encourage others to do the same. The Ten Pledges I will undertake over the next five months will help me to have a better understanding of the problems with carbon, support the local economy and become more resilient to climate change. I hope everyone will join us and have a go at the pledges too.

Revd Steven Wild 

I think this is a really good idea and wholeheartedly support the  project.

Kirstie Newton, Cornwall Today editor

Kirstie has signed up to complete 10 carbon-cutting pledges, and will be reporting back on her monthly challenges. “I committed to this project because while I’m aware of climate change and try and do my bit for the environment, I also know that I could think more about it and work harder,” she says. “Like a lot of people, I’m very busy, and that means that sometimes I’m lazy and take short-cuts. I hope this project will be not only good for the environment, but also good for my purse.

If members of the public would also like to join with this Carbon Pledge Challenge then they should go to http://www.trurocathedral.org.uk/hot-topics/hot-topics.php .

Luci Isaacson hopes to take the results of this project to the UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris at the end of the year.

The negatives of Carbon Capture and Storage

Earlier this months Aberdeenshire Council approved the construction of a Carbon Capture and Storage facility at Peterhead. one of the first of its kind. This facility will pump millions of tonnes of CO2 back into depleted gas wells in the North Sea. There was little protest, with many praising the project’s potential to create jobs in the area and reduce CO2 emissions. Leader of the SNP Nicola Sturgeon said it was a “big opportunity for Scotland”. There was however, little discussion about the potential negative effects of such a project and little debate as to whether encouraging continued use of fossil fuels is really a sustainable approach.

Plants fitted with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) capabilities require 15-25% more energy than conventional plants. This additional energy use can increase emissions indirectly, such as emissions caused by the extraction and transportation of this additional fuel. The technology used in CCS can also increase certain aspects of air pollution. Particulate matter and Nitrogen Oxide are both predicted to increase due to the additional fuel consumption. Ammonia is expected to increase by more than 3 times current levels from energy plants, due to the degradation of the solvents in the process of capturing Carbon. Ammonia can lead to acidification and Eutrophication as well as forming particular matter in the atmosphere. Particulate matter is considered by the World Health Organisation to be the deadliest form of air pollution due to its ability to enter the respiratory system. Some of the potential effects can include DNA mutations (which can lead to cancer), heart attacks, respiratory illness and premature death. The overall increase in Ammonia is likely to be small overall as the agricultural sector is by far the biggest emitter, however it is still important to consider these consequences when there are safer alternatives available.

CCS has also been linked with damaging the environment due to leakage of CO2 from the pipelines or storage reservoir. Leakage of CO2 underground has been shown to increase plant mortality, reduce growth and create potentially severe localised damage to ecosystems. The mining and transport of the additional fuel needed for CCS, usually Coal, produces its own environmental damages as well as the environmental cost of building such a plant and all of the required pipelines. Gradual leakage of CO2 or large scale leakage caused by catastrophic failure of the system could remove the benefits of capturing CO2 as well as producing additional environmental damage and damage to human health. The CO2 would need to remain stored for 100s of years or potentially indefinitely and the feasibility of this has been questioned. The built up of pressure underground may also lead to small seismic events.

Some have claimed that the environmental risks and risks to human health involved in CCS are similar to those already experienced in the oil and gas industry. But is that really acceptable? Surely we should be considering solutions that do less damage, not a similar amount.

The nightmare scenario associated with Carbon Capture and Storage is the threat of sudden catastrophic leakage of CO2, which would decimate human and animal life in the surrounding area. A good example of this is the sudden release of CO2 from Lake Nyos in 1986. This resulted in the deaths of 1700 people in rural Cameroon. Nuclear power has long been frowned upon despite having no direct carbon emissions because of the nightmare scenarios associated with it, so these events are worth considering. This situation is of course, unlikely, however this technology is new and untested and it needs to endure for extremely long timescales, which is a challenge unlike any Humans have faced before.

A more likely scenario is gradual leakage of CO2. This could occur if the incorrect site is selected or the site is not prepared correctly. Leakage of CO2 would remove the purpose of Carbon Capture and Storage and may also pose a risk to fresh groundwater resources if the site is incorrectly selected. Aquifers that are not connected with groundwater systems have been proposed as potential site for CCS. However it has also been argued that injecting CO2 into these aquifers can cause acidification of the water, increasing its ability to break down the surrounding rocks, increasing the potential for leakage into the soils or water table. Considering the fact the CO2 would have to be stored for 100s or 1000s of years, we cannot be certain what would happen.

Overall CCS carries a host of risks and unanswered questions, so needs to be carefully regulated and scrutinised. CCS may be useful in carefully selected sites however it is important it is not viewed as a panacea, as it doesn’t address the core problem of fossil fuel usage, it simply masks the main problem associated with it, which is carbon emissions. There are ways to reduce emissions which carry none of these risks and will be required when fossil fuels run out anyway, so is it really worth taking all of these risks for a technology which requires further use of fossil fuels, distracts from the adoption of renewable energy and doesn’t address the core issue of unsustainable fossil fuel dependence?