Developing one’s belief in one’s own ability to complete necessary tasks to deal with Climate Change

Farmer’s intended and actual adoption of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies

Meredith T. Niles & Margaret Brown & Robyn Dynes

Abstract A growing body of work aims to understand the impacts of climate change on agriculture as well as farmer’s perceptions of climate change and their likeliness to adopt adapting and mitigating behaviors. Despite this, little work has considered how intention to adopt differs from actual adoption of climate change practices in agriculture. Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior we aim to assess whether different factors affect intended versus actual adoption of climate behaviors among farmers in New Zealand. Data were collected through mixed methods (37 interviews and a telephone survey of 490 farmers) in two regions of New Zealand 2010–2012. Through multiple regression models we test hypotheses related to the Theory of Planned Behavior around the role of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived capacity in affecting intended and actual adoption. Results suggest that there are different drivers of intended and actual adoption of climate change practices. Climate change attitudes and belief is only associated with intended not actual adoption. We find no evidence that subjective norms (climate change policy support) significantly influence either intention or actual adoption. Only perceived capacity and self-efficacy were important predictors of both

Very interesting, so can we develop the strength of one’s belief in one’s own ability to complete the tasks and reach such goals?

Where do we start? 

Here at Climate Vision, after 6 years of Climate Science we asked the valuable people that taught us, what shall we do? The answer?

Cut carbon and get people ready, click on the links to do just that and make a start today.

PIK PR: When sea levels rise, damage costs rise even faster

Check out our Flood Risk Snapshot, saving looming costs, get in the know in just 45 minutes. For a more complex look enjoy the following article from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) this morning:
“A large share of the world population lives in coastal regions,” says Jürgen Kropp, director of the RAMSES project. “In the light of limited funds for adaptation it is an asset to provide comparable cost assessments. While mitigation remains of vital importance to keep climate impacts on a still manageable scale, an adaptation perspective can help to limit damage costs in the right places.”
Article: Boettle, M., Rybski, D., Kropp, J.P. (2016): Quantifying the effect of sea level rise and flood defence – a point process perspective on coastal flood damage. Nat.Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 1‐18. [DOI:10.5194/nhess-16-559-2016]
Weblink to the article:

From Truro to Paris with the Carbon Logic Report & Pledges

The Fantastic Four will be making a presentation followed by a chat with a panel to include Carbon Ambassadors Thursday March 3rd 7.30pm in Truro Cathedral-please do join us


More details about the night to follow – cyclists will be cycling in at 7.20pm!

cyclists leaving

For once I struggle to find the words! It’s been a fantastic 9 months working on the Carbon Logic Project and what the cyclists have achieved is astonishing – to cycle 350 miles, taking our message from Cornwall to the heart of the debate in Paris, to inspire so many great leaders who might also be looking for an answer.

This is a genuine and significant legacy- so many people now have the toolkit and know we CAN cut carbon EASILY and cheaply. Thank you Ricky, Euan, Ewan & Roger you’ve been unbelievable. Ricky has been in Paris the whole time, and is currently travelling back as we write – he tracked down Environment Ministers Climate Vision had previously made contact with and many others, who were interested in our methods and delighted to meet up to receive our report.

We are delighted with the result in Paris. They have united, agreed and told the world what they will do. We must now help them, by encouraging our MPs and each of us to personally enhance the political will to make exciting and significant changes for a cleaner planet.

It was close, we cannot afford to get that close again if we wish to exist in the way we have known in the past. There will be a rocky road ahead, we must all learn a little about this subject to better prepare, and make the road safer by cutting carbon today.

Let’s not forget the report says, how easy it is to cut carbon, after a few hard habit changers – just like when we started recycling just over a decade ago, now it’s so easy and worth it. These 10 habit changes enable us to be healthy, save money, support the local economy, and become wiser regarding climate change and a little more relaxed about our children’s maturity.


From the cyclists
Euan McPhee

What it is like going by bike?
Cold, wet, windy – and exhilarating! However, when you are cold, wet and tired, food (especially French food!) tastes so much better, cafes are so much warmer and the cosiness of fellow humans also appreciating their lunch is heart (as well as body) warming. The entry into Paris on a bright sunny day was absolutely wonderful – it was one of the most natural ‘highs’ one could have had. Also, the hard cycling was more than compensated by the warm reception we had from mayors and councillors across Cornwall, our overnight hosts across France and the delegates and other representatives we met in Paris. They are all people of good will – and meeting them, giving them a copy of the Climate Vision Report and talking about our common concerns shows that basically most ordinary people want change. And they are prepared to be part of that change! It is time for governments to catch up with where people are at! And that, of course, was the main message of the report we were carrying.

Edwina Hannaford Carbon Ambassador sends off


What did you do?
When I announced nearly a year ago that I was going to cycle to Paris to support COP21, I could never have imagined how fulfilling it was going to be. To have the companionship of the other three stalwart cyclists, to meet so many good people along the way, and to catch some of that frisson of youthful expectation in Paris was quite magical. And, hey, Paris is a magical place, a magic that no terrorists can destroy. In some ways what we did was tiny; yet revolutions are made from the combined efforts of many tiny contributions. Was I mad to do it? Perhaps. But then as Fritz Schumacher said, he did not mind being called a crank, because “cranks do useful work and cause revolutions”.

En Route - Rest at Windfarm

What did you feel you achieved?
“One small pedal-push for a human, but a massive revolution for humankind!” (to paraphrase Neil Armstrong). I can only think of my own disappointment and frustration if I had not gone – it was just something I had to do. But what made it all the more meaningful was the sense that I was carrying with me the hopes and dreams of so many more people who, for whatever reason, were unable to make such a journey. And on reaching Paris to meet so many others who were similarly enthused.


Welcome breakfast at Béa & Pierre's after a 9 hour ride yesterday through the tail of Storm Barney



What do you think about what Paris achieved?
There was always a danger that another fudged result might have come about; but after the disappointment of Copenhagen six years ago, in a sense the stakes were higher than ever to secure a deal. And a deal has been secured. However, the proof of the resilience of what has been agreed to will be the actions that follow. And this is where the hard slog begins in every country, and especially here in the UK where we have a government that is still deeply committed to fossil fuels and ambivalent about renewables. Incessant pressure will now be needed to help ensure that our government follow through on their commitment in Paris with action on the ground at home. As Winston Churchill said “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Now let’s begin the work that needs to be done!

Ricky Knight Ewan Jones Euan McPhee Just arrived

Roger Creagh-Osborne

What it is like going by bike?
Simply the best way to travel. Make the journey part of the experience.
Yes it takes longer and sometimes the weather may seem bad when you are sitting inside looking at the raindrops, but once you are out in it and doing it then it becomes part of you, and you part of it.
We live on the earth and only by travelling under your own power and at a human pace across the face of the earth can you really feel the landscape you pass through. That connection is vital to give your journey meaning. To arrive knowing where you have come from and how you got there not only in your head but in your legs as well makes the journey far more intentional, far more part of you, far more connected, far more valuable.
The time that is spent travelling on foot or by bike is time well spent, and without doing it this way the project would have been far less meaningful.
I fully intend now to remove all fossil fuel based transport from my life over the next few years – it is possible and will be rewarding.
That is my new pledge by 2020 to no longer be using oil based fuels or carbon based electricity to travel.

What did you do?
We rode largely on back roads, we talked as we rode in different combinations, we spoke with people when we could, we stayed in amazing ordinary places and saw extraordinary ordinary sights. We connected with places and people even as we moved on. The medium of the journey became the message. The message passed by word of mouth and with the talisman of the printed report.

What did you feel you achieved?

Some changes in me that are still working through. New understandings and new respect for my companions. Maybe some of what we did had a small impact on those at COP21, but more important is the continuing impact that will be created by our lives henceforth. Ripples that will continue to spread.

We went with the flow. Connections and coincidences abounded. By taking the time to travel with intent we opened ourselves to getting energy from the richness of our world. It was a very powerful and strangely humbling experience.

Two random highlights, both oddly enough connected to the sea. On our first evening in Paris we were in a venue alongside the Tara – a research sailing vessel, just returned from an 18 month trans arctic expedition riding with the ice across the North Pole. Learning about the work of the team on the Tara and all of the other investigations of our oceans which are uncovering layers of complexity in our world about which we know next to nothing. Then on the final evening of the last weekend discovering the life sized model of a Baleen Whale on the banks of the Seine and realising the unfathomable nature of its life, and the lives of all the other threatened major species illustrated in photos around the model. Deep, dark and mysterious and totally demanding our respect. How can we continue to behave as we do towards the natural world
Luxembourg Environment Minister, Carole

What do you think about what Paris achieved?

After Paris the Climate movement is finally growing up and taking responsibility.

Old world leaders demonstrated that while they understand the science and agree with it intellectually by signing up to less than 2 degrees, they displayed terrible immaturity in failing to recognise the implications of this high level intention.

They have finally shown that they, as representatives of the system which has made them its figureheads, are incapable of accepting the solutions that are available. This is a failure of the system of governance and the economic system that drives it.

Just as the science is clear, so the solutions are clear, and there is no place in the solutions for exploitation of resources or people , just as there is no place for polluting without immediate consequences for the polluter.

Around the world it is people, like the 4000 Climate Visioneers in Cornwall, like indigenous peoples demanding control over their lands, like villages and towns and cities that are organising to

A new world is possible. We can leave it in the ground. We can get out from behind our screens and our steering wheels and onto our bikes and our feet and make the new world. We will live in harmony with the world or not at all. We travel as equals or not at all.

I’m going to quote a song:

Sometimes we live no
particular way but our own
Sometimes we visit your country
and live in your home
Sometimes we ride on your horses
Sometimes we walk alone
Sometimes the songs that we hear
are just songs of our own
Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the world
but the heart has its beaches
its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you
are the song that the morning brings
but the heart has its seasons
its evenings and songs of its own
There comes a redeemer
and he slowly too fades away
There follows a wagon behind him
that’s loaded with clay
and the seeds that were silent
all burst into bloom and decay
The night comes so quiet
and it’s close on the heels of the day

Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the world…

Make of that what you will.

I would like to finish by thanking deeply Euan for inviting me to become part of this, and Luci for providing the inspirations and Ricky and Ewan without whom the band would not have been complete, nor the music so sweet.

Deputy Mayor of Paris, Célia Blauel

Ewan Jones

What it is like going by bike?

Short answer: a little wet and windy to begin with. We did however find some sunnier and drier weather in the second week, a warm welcome wherever we went, and quite a lot of good French cheese (almost as good as South West England’s)

Cycling enables you to see, and feel, the French countryside at a pace that is not possible when travelling by car, or train. One of the highlights was on Monday 23 November, after departing Ricky’s friends Pierre and Beá, a line of wind turbines appeared in front of us, sunlit above the mist. We had seen these from Caen the previous day, but would not have discovered them so close-up if we were not on our bikes. We of course had to stop for a photo, and found a friendly French power worker to do the honours.

Demonstration 1

What did you do?

The below copy and pasted from my Nous arrivons à Paris 30 November blog.
We rode into central Paris in sunshine on Thursday afternoon. The French climate had been kinder to us since the weekend, and Thursday morning dawned brighter than any that welcomed us into Brittany and Normandy.
Françoise and Laurence, our hosts in rural Senneville, a mere 60 km from the centre Paris, had fed us well the night before. Françoise even filmed our departure and rode the first kilometre with us.

The Paris that we found was getting on with life with all of the insouciance that we would have expected, regardless of the criminal actions of a few bearing guns two weeks before. Barack Obama has today saluted the UN COP21 climate talks as “an act of defiance” – the Parisiens with whom we four British cyclists shared a Metro carriage, on the way to a (most) welcome dinner with SW Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, would not have had it any other way.
Friday morning brought the European Parliament Greens / European Free Alliance (EFA) group pre-COP21 seminar, in the Tara Ocean and Climate Pavilion:
• Rebecca Harms, Greens/EFA President, spoke of her grounded optimism in COP21’s bottom-up approach;
• Romain Troublé, Co-ordinator of Tara Expeditions, gave an overview of the #OceanForClimate campaign at COP21.
• Molly Scott Cato argued that public money creation must lead the way if we are to conquer climate change, as part of an expert debate on climate finance that included:
o Monica Araya of Cost Rica stating that “We need to switch narrative to co-operation & collaboration, and not apologise for it”, and identifying “the biggest and most difficult question” as “how to unplug dirty energy projects” – George Osborne really should have been there!
o Alix Mazounie of France saying that France, like many richer countries, needs to increase the political will, and focus more on funding adaptation to climate change.
o Claude Turmes of Luxembourg advocating de-risking energy finance via IRENA to shift solar power from where the money is, to where the sun is.
o Isabelle Lövin, Swedish Minister for International Development and Co-operation, warning negotiators not to let “the usual suspects” of vested interests make ‘best’ the enemy of the common good at COP21.
• In a discussion of possible outcomes and communication, Asad Rehman of FoE identified the strategic challenge as democratic: recognising that people do not currently have enough power to deliver the positive change they demand – while Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg’s President of EU Council of Ministers for the Environment, summed up the EU position with “we must raise our ambition – be courageous and take responsibility”.
• A concluding interview with Polish journalist Karolina Zbytniewska highlighed why we all need the EU if we are to conquer climate change, saying that the Polish Government “thinks its national treasure is coal”, but the positive future lays in the Polish diaspora wanting to feel included in the international debate. The Guardian’s Fiona Harvey had sent apologies at the last minute, when she secured an interview with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

The hardest thing was leaving Paris, not just because I had been reminded how much I love the city, but also because our train to Caen was an hour late – meaning that Roger & I almost missed the ferry back to Portsmouth.
Sunday’s Climate March in Bristol was universally good humoured, if a little damp.

At least we had been able to march to encourage the COP21 negotiators. In Paris itself, the local anarchists were always likely to defy any ban, and seek confrontation with the riot police – but the people of Paris won the day in coming up with the defining image…
…10,000 empty shoes, including those of Ban Ki-moon and the Pope, shining a beacon for democracy across the globe, and forward for future generations, who depend on a positive outcome from Paris over the next two weeks. We can only hope that they all receive the hope that they so richly deserve.


What did you feel you achieved?

People intuitively understood the personal commitment that led four people from the South West to cycle to Paris for COP21 – most people have cycled at some time during their lives, so the cycling was both tangible to them and seen as credible and relevant to the issues being debated in Paris – we were travelling using our own renewable resources, not fossil fuel power.

This has helped raising awareness of Paris COP21, and the issues debated therein, via local media – because the cycle ride made COP21 locally relevant to the South West. I have placed two articles in the Western Gazette, which was certainly not supportive during May’s General Election campaign, and seem to have secured an “In My View” column off the back of the Pedal2Paris ride – se below…

Others have of course achieved much similar via Radio Cornwall etc.

Demonstration 2

Demonstration 3

What do you think about what Paris achieved?

The below (and attached) my draft “In My View” column in response to our local WG reporter’s request this morning:

(Please excuse any typos – will proof read later before sending to the WG)
The conclusion of the COP21 climate talks were on my mind on Saturday, as I travelled to Truro and read updates from Paris on the train.
Fellow cylist, Euan McPhee and I were ‘closing the circle’ by meeting Labour MEP Clare Moody where the Climate Vision report, and our ride, began. Green MEP Molly Scott Cato had welcomed four hungry cyclists to Paris with pizza. We had offered similar meetings to all six South West MEPs.
I reflected that the bottom up pledge approach celebrated by Climate Vision had proved to work in Paris, whereas reaching agreement on top down national targets had so conspicuously failed at COP15 in Copenhagen six years ago.
We have a Paris climate deal – the hard work starts here. In business strategy terms, world Governments have agree “the what” (keeping global average temperature rises “well below” two degrees, while aiming for 1.5 degrees). They now need to work out “the how”.
The problem is that Governments today lack the tools. I identify three key levers without which it will not be possible to deliver what Paris has promised:
1. Macroeconomic: Change will not happen fast enough until using fossil fuels are more expensive than renewable alternatives.

We need a global redistributive carbon tax, or ‘fee’ (as former NASA scientist Jim Hansen prefers) – not today’s carbon ‘price’, where big polluters get their base emissions free, and trade at the margins. Carbon ‘pricing’ is a system designed for city traders, not to reduce harmful emissions.
2. Way of business: Businesses should do good. They feed us, cloth us, keep us warm and comfortable. But today’s global corporations are compelled by legal ‘fiduciary duty’ to place financial interests above people and planet – leading to tax avoidance, devaluation of workers’ conditions, and exponential growth in resource consumption. There were bizarre scenes in Paris where marketing departments were campaigning for a climate deal, while their companies via trade associations were lobbying against the same deal.

The UNEP Finance Initiative, working with Al Gore, have identified broadening ‘fiduciary duty’ for people and planet as the key to reclaiming democratic control of capital in the U.S and Europe. Today’s capitalism was designed when business was done in local towns and cities. The UK parliament fought to control the anti-democratic practices of the East India Company throughout the 17th-19th centuries. We can and must do the same today to make global business fit for the 21st century.
3. Democratic: The United Nations has struck a deal in Paris through democratic co-operation. In Britain, the majority support renewable energy, and think fracking reckless for both our countryside and climate – but our Government increases fossil fuel subsidies while blocking renewable energy. We are out of step with the world. Europe looks on us with pity, when the ‘mother of parliaments’ can return a majority on 37% of votes cast.

Writing this a month to the day after Paris attacks, there is growing realisation that environmental sustainably means peace. Nobody has yet fought a war over solar power. We must all protect the democracy we have won, and keep demanding more – remain a constructive part of the EU, return ten million unregistered voters to the electoral roll, reform our parliamentary representation (just as we removed ‘rotten boroughs’ in 1832), ensure all town halls have a democratic mandate, and give votes to the 16-17 year olds whose futures politicians in Paris were debating.
To paraphrase Al Gore, Paris COP21 has written the words – let us all now deliver the actions

Naomi Kline

Francesco La Camera

Euan & Ewan with Clare Moody MEP in Truro Sat 12th upon their return

Ricky Knight

Ricky was travelling back while this article was put together. As you can imagine, like all of these fantastic four, exhausted and in need of a rest!

Please do come along March 3rd and see him for yourself. 

Some Photos

In bold those who received a report

1. Edwina Hannaford Carbon Ambassador and Cornwall Councillor sees off the Cyclists from Looe

2. Nice ‪#‎Pedal2Paris‬ send off this evening in Plymouth – fuelled by tea & cake

2. Where Next?

3. Welcome breakfast at Béa & Pierre’s after a 9 hour ride yesterday through the tail of Storm Barney

4. Avranches,+France/@48.5784111,-2.4880418,8z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x480955150dfa9001:0x40c14484fb98470

3. The four cyclists and wind turbines on the Plain of Caen;

4. Arrived

5. Ricky Knight Ewan Jones & Euan McPhee Just Arrived

6. George Ferguson, the ‘independent’ [Green) Mayor of Bristol, who was meeting up with the Europe-wide ‘Covenant of Mayors’ last Friday at the Paris City Hall – at which point he would make every attempt to pass the report onto Mme le Maire Hidalgo – a VVIP!

7. Roger and I presenting a copy of the Climate Vision report to the Luxembourg Environment Minister, Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg’s President of EU Council of Ministers for the Environment

8. Ricky Knight “Today (10th December) was my last visit to the main Conference area, as tomorrow I’m stewarding at the alternative people’s summit (ZAC – Zone d’Action Climatique), so it’s unlikely now that I’ll be able to deliver the Climate Vision to any more VIPs! I’m afraid I have missed Bas Eickhout …….
BUT, see below, I did catch Nick Stern (left, next to Jeffery Sachs and Stephan Singer from WWF; not on photo: David King) at a pretty high-powered panel this morning.
Also on the panel was the Deputy Mayor of Paris, Célia Blauel – and mightily impressive she was too on pollution-free cities, not least when I ingratiatingly told her that I had cycled to Paris just to give her this report – you can tell from her expression that she might have feared I was someone to try and avoid – yes, I am looking a bit jaded, true! Maybe I’ve been away too long!”

9. Demonstration 1

10. Demonstration 2

The place de la Republique covered with shoes organized by Avaaz during the forbidden COP21 demonstration on November 29, 2015 in Paris, France.

11. Demonstration 3

12. Naomi Kline Naomi Klein is a Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for her political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization and of corporate capitalism. She is the author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate

13. Francesco La Camera is the Director General for Sustainable Development, Energy and Climate at the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land & Sea. He has led the EU and Italian negotiations teams at UNFCCC COP 20 Lima and is preparing Paris Climate 2015. He leads international affairs in the Ministry and the greening of EU Structural Funds

14. Clare Moody MEP

If you would like to hear more about getting to Paris an why they cycled 350 miles please click here…paris-nov-17th




Download the Top 10 Pledges Flyers

Please feel free to download the Top 10 Pledges Flyer, please use BOTH pages and make the document double sided.

Since this project began – we have many telling us they are saving money with pledge 2 now!

Top 10 Pledges April 2016 Side 1          Top 10 Pledges April 2016 Side 2

Do let us know how you get on!

If you would like the artwork emailed to you, please do get in touch.

What will you be doing in 2080?

Cornwall Community Flood Forum page at Cornwall Council can be found here

Cornwall Community Flood Forum NEW page can be found here

*SUDs LOBBY update 2nd February 2017 (see bottom of page)

November 3rd 2015 News Bulletin Radio Cornwall (55s)


Although it is clear that global warming is happening and largely driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, there are uncertainties in projecting when:

  1. the extra water vapour in the atmosphere will contribute to significant rainfall
  2. the ice caps will melt
  3. drought will occur

As a result meaningful policy in the face of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) needs to recognise the uncertainties that exist.  Problems in successful climate prediction are created by the non-linear nature of climate response, uncertainties in the emissions trajectory that are followed, and the role of feedbacks in the climate system.   As a result, we believe that integrated assessments should be made through the process of risk assessment and disaster prevention1.

One significant issue is the timescale over which AGW occurs.  There are problems with how time is imagined in the future, and the issue of delivering policy options to deal with a problem that might not have policy relevance until the 2080s. As a result, the inability to grasp the concept of time beyond our own lifetimes hinders responses to climate change and requires a closer look at the long-term concept of climate change2.

The Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) of the Committee on Climate Change has been asked by the Government to lead the next UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA). The summary comprehensively provides startling predictions for the 2080s. By the 2080s, with a 4° warming, with no population growth, it predicts annual costs for flood damages to be £2.8bn.

In January this year, experts told the Environmental Audit Committee3 , that the government were going to be building “20,000 houses a year at risk of flooding, 4000 at significant risk”.

Under the Flood and Water Management Act4 the Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDs) approval process was going to be closely linked to the planning process. Once commenced, the Act would have required that future construction which has drainage implications will not be able to take place until approval of the drainage system has been given by the SUDs Approving Body. It would have been the role of the newly established SUDs Approving Body (SAB), to approve, inspect, adopt and maintain sustainable drainage systems for new developments exceeding one property.

On the 18th December (2014) Mr Eric Pickles5 (formerly The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) from 6 April 2015, declared local planning authorities should consult the relevant lead local flood authority on the management of surface water; satisfy themselves that the proposed minimum standards of operation are appropriate and ensure through the use of planning conditions or planning obligations that there are clear arrangements in place for ongoing maintenance over the lifetime of the development. The sustainable drainage system should be designed to ensure that the maintenance and operation requirements are economically proportionate.

The question is how does the local authority/government expect to pay if the SUDs management company ceases to exist?

Funding of SABs is one of the many issues that might have contributed to the ‘Pickles U-Turn’. The CCRA predicts damages costs, that could be better defined, for the nearer term, also stimulating the much needed focus on funding and mitigation required.

A clear problem is understanding the baseline variability in climate change and climate impacts.  For example, it is not possible to assess the magnitude of a 1:300 year flood event when we only have around 50 years of river gauge data on average in the UK.  As a result, our long term perspective on climate impacts is poor, and certainly not detailed enough to build a resilient climate policy. More research on climate variability is therefore needed to provide policymakers with the insight required to drive adaptation.

What is the difference between the cost of running a SAB and the local costs for failed SUDs?

And how does that compare with future annual damage costs of predicted at £2.8bn?6

Click above to hear a BBC Radio Cornwall Article with Martyn Alvey from Cornwall Flood Forum, Dave Watkins from Cornwall Council and later joined by Daniel Johns Head of Adaptation for the Committee on Climate Change (below), November 3rd 2015.


Sustainable Drainage Update

2nd February 2017

Today the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) launched their report: A Place for SuDS? Is launched on 2 February.  The report is supported by Susdrain, University of Exeter Centre for Water Systems, Landscape Institute, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), The Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), the Construction Industry Council Champion for Flood Mitigation and Resilience and Cornwall Community Flood Forum.

The report proposes that:

1. Discharge of surface water to the sewer system should be conditional on the inclusion rst of high-quality SuDS in new developments.

2. A clear decision must be taken with regard to the adoption and allocation of maintenance responsibilities for SuDS. This should have a clear and established mechanism for raising funds to ensure the continued effective maintenance and eventual replacement of all SuDS they adopt.

3. New standards are developed aimed at optimising opportunity to achieve amenity, biodiversity and water quality bene ts as well as ood risk reduction. These should reflect the needs of the adopting authority so that they can set out an approval process and adopt with confidence.

4. The Government should undertake a follow up review of the barriers to retro tting SuDS in existing developments and make proposals on how retro tting might be incentivised.

 Also today, Cornwall Community Flood Forum wrote to the Secretary of State and Cornwall’s 6 MPs asking:

Should the Government not me minded at this stage to fully enact Schedule 3 of the F&WMA, we would be keen to learn if it would explore the economics of the well-known barrier (how such responsibilities would be resourced and funded)? We ask what mechanism evaluates the predicted costs of flooding £2.8bn a year (UK Climate Change Risk Assessment), against the opportunities to fully achieve the benefits of water quantity and quality management, amenity and biodiversity?


*Read here to find out about today’s activity and responses in the House of Lords the letter Luci Isaacson MSc has written as Chair of Cornwall Community Flood Forum to the Secretary of State and notes on the debate there today (in the comments).

*Listen to the articles covered here by BBC Radio Cornwall

6 minutes in to the programme

Martyn Alvey CCFF explains the report, Suds and how they effect Truro. Paul Thomas Fowey Harbour Master described the need to be resilient on standby to use the Fowey Flood Barrier. “Irene” from Wadebridge enjoys telling Laurence about the flood work there to create a dam and utilise wetland sustainable drainage already in place.

1hr 42 minutes into the programme

Luci Isaacson CCFF responds after the House of Lords event with the next steps, Laura Grant CIWEM talks about the report and developers, Richard Benwell WWT talks about the history of suds and most importantly the rich biodiversity opportunity

*CCFF Letters

What can you do?


Peter Aldous MP, asks people to write to their MPs to get government onside over key points. Please write and say: “I’m concerned about development and flooding. I think to make development drainage sustainable is not expensive and will not slow down development, all of which this new report addresses. Please could you also ask government to enact the 4 policy proposals on page 32 Thank you”

Find your MP here:

Thank you 



  1. Rial, J.A., Pielke, R.A., Sr., Beniston, M., Claussen, M., Canadell, J., Cox, P., Held, H., de Noblet-Ducoudé, N., Prinn, R., Reynolds, J.F. and Salas, J.D. (2004). Nonlinearities, feedbacks and critical thresholds within the Earth’s climate system. Climatic Change, 65, 11-38.
  2. Brace, C. & Geoghegan, H. Human geographies of climate change: Landscape, temporality, and lay knowledges. Prog. Human Geogr. 35, 284–302 (2011).
  3. (Accessed 5/11/15)
  4. (Accessed 5/11/15)
  5. (Accessed 5/11/15)
  6. (Accessed 5/11/15)

Cycling from Truro to Paris Nov 17th

Dear all, 

Please do share the link to this post with your friends.

What an amazing bunch of fellas cycling from Truro to Paris?!

What an amazing bunch who funded the Carbon Logic Project and Report!!

Thanks all!!!!



From: RogerCO at Riseup []
Sent: 06 November 2015 13:40
Cc: Luci Isaacson
Subject: Remember Footsteps 2009

Hi All

(bcc’ing a lot of email addresses from around 2008 – 2009 and the Groundswell and Footsteps to Copenhagen events)

Of course you remember the amazing work that Luci did with the Footsteps programme and the Pledges you probably all signed and the team with Oliver taking a pilot gig to the canals of Copenhagen.

And you remember the disappointment with the outcome.

But it wasn’t the end. Five years on and COP21 is in Paris next month, again governments around the world attempt to find a way forward – at least they are still trying.

Meanwhile, as some of you know, Luci has been busy. Under the banner of Climate Vision she has followed up on those pledges and showed an amazing result. A report documenting it has been produced and this needs to get to delegates in Paris to show that not only are people, specifically 4000+ people in Cornwall, prepared to make changes in their lifestyles, but these changes come at remarkably low personal and economic cost.

Governments need to know this. They need to know that their citizens can to motivated if they would only offer leadership. And that is why we must get the report in the hands of Environment Ministers, MEPs and delegates who are swarming to Paris.

Luci has not rested – she is firing up contacts and making appointments in Paris – we are going to do the legwork for her.

“We” is Euan McPhee from Falmouth, Roger CO from Launceston, Ricky Knight from Barnstaple and Ewan Jones from Bruton.

We are going to carry the report to Paris by cycle and meet the representatives there. And along the way in every town we stop in we are meeting people, distributing the pledge cards, explaining to people why what happens in Paris is important and what they can do matters whatever the outcome.

So this is where you come in.

Euan and Roger depart from the steps of Truro Cathedral at 11am on Tuesday 17th November – can you be there to see us off?

Would you like to bring a bike and join us for a mile or two along the way?

We will be in Wadebridge that evening of 17th – come and join us in the Molesworth Arms, or in Liskeard the following evening in the Barley Sheaf.

Or get to Saltash for another crossing of the bridge on Thursday 19th – this time a mass of bicycles setting off from Fore Street at 4:30pm to ride into Plymouth for a departure rally before we board the ferry.

Or simply help us on the way by supporting our Crowdfunder to pay for rooms to hold meetings in, events to set up, places to stay, and all the other 1001 things that have come up to add value to every turn of our pedals.

For full details see our website – there’s a blog and details of the events are being posted as they get firmed up.

Find our Crowdfunder at

Find us on Facebook at

Download the Climate Vision Report at

Please do forward the details and links on to anyone you know in Cornwall who might be interested in what we are doing. Please share the Facebook page and website.

And if perchance you have any contacts in Normandy (from Avranches to Rouen via Saint Lo, Caen and Honfleur) we are looking for more contacts in those places.

Many thanks for your time, I hope you are all still well and not too many of these 5 year old email addresses have expired!

All the best


+44 7736 74 12 68

Help us get the Climate Vision Report to Paris COP21 this November

Pedal Power from Cornwall to Paris COP21

What can I do to help?

If you would like to help with the Carbon Logic Campaign please:

  1. Write to your MPWe are really pleased to say that with the help of one of the Carbon Ambassadors, Sarah Newton MP has agreed to do the 10 Pledges. You can read about it and see the pictures by going to the main page, scroll down to Ambassadors Pledge 3 & 4 Results. Ask them (or copy and paste the following sentence) to ‘Please follow Sarah Newton MP and enjoy doing the carbon cutting Ten Pledges, alongside the busy Carbon Ambassadors who have set aside a little time in their busy worlds to cut carbon’. Timing is really appropriate right now. If Sarah Newton is your MP, maybe you could send a positive message about this. 
  2. Our Crowd Funder has just run out. We are looking for further donations to fund some admin help and pay for display boards. If you can donate please do get in touch
  3. We would like to turn the ten pledges into something useful, funky, something like a kitchen sign or gift – a great idea from one of the Ambassadors. If you know of anyone who might help design it for free and a commercial potential partner to make/distribute, please do feel free to make introductions!
  4. Start doing the pledges! If you have already – invite people you know friends or those in authority to get involved and do the pledges too. Get them to click in the box when they make a pledge.

Thank you. 

0915-0036 PR4Photos - Truro Cathedral - Sarah Newton MP

steve pledge 2

2015-07-25 12.31.28



Carbon Logic Results are out!

We’ve finished the data analysis. I have to say we are delighted, the result is much better than we thought!

Cost per tonne to cut carbon = £1.98!

Summary Results

  • Footsteps to Copenhagen started in 2009, Truro Cathedral asked me to mobilise the people of Cornwall to cut carbon.

o   With a fantastic Steering Group we devised 10 carbon cutting pledges and one declaration

o   4488 organisations and individuals made pledges and signed the declaration

  •  The 2010 research asked why people made the pledges. They said trusted messengers asked them to, it was colourful and fun – but most of all easy.
  • In 2015 we Crowdfunded for expenses to do the data analysis to ask how much carbon did we cut and breathe life into the pledges again through the Carbon logic Campaign. 


o   Based on 65 people answering the 2015 survey, who took part in 2009, then scaling those responses up to the 993 we have evidence of pledging, we have cut 3029 tonnes of carbon since 2009.

o   The 2009 project cost £6k. 3 Pledges could not be accounted for, the 2015 report finds the cost per tonne of carbon to cut as £1.98.


What can I do now?

This enables us all to ask MPs and policy makers to not give up on behavioural change policy, to notice the added value of these pledges (including one that could not be accounted for but does lead people to think about resilience) and for everyone to adopt the Top Ten Pledges created – at home and at work



For us we want to enable policy makers to realise the value in behavioural change policy, not only added value in our pledges, but the value of working through with people and tricky policy making. Behavioural change policy is a challenge as people are ‘messy’ we all reposed in different ways, but having looked at behavioural change research in a big way in 2009, the 10 Pledges were devised to accommodate all our funny little ways, our different financial back grounds, upbringing, surroundings and find ways to make them colourful, easy and doable!

So the comments and questions people have kindly directed at us you might find interesting:

COP21 delegates are largely government representatives, who already know their position. It’s a huge and diverse audience which I think you would struggle to have any impact on, to be honest. There is also traditionally a vast amount of related material pushed out around COP, and there’s a danger that output will be overlooked in the stramash. Agreed, Euan McPhee is voluntarily cycling from Truro in Cornwall to COP21 in Paris November 17th and he is taking copies of the report with him. He will hand out the Top Ten Pledges on a card to people he meets en route (we are looking for sponsorship to print the cards).  

What sort of scale are you looking at – local, national, European, international? We would like to roll out the project across the South West, throughout the UK and to our neighbours. Footsteps 2009 is easily replicable, with the right Steering Group (Trusted Messengers), we just need funding to cut carbon – to organise next a way of making it sustainable. It could pay for itself, the power companies that benefit from Pledge 1 or the shops from Pledge 2. This is more work that requires funding. Or we source funding from those who seek to cut carbon – £1.98 a tonne is of course extremely efficient. Signposting and introductions are welcome. 

Who are you hoping to influence – the public, policy-makers, local government, community leaders? I think we have to realign everyone with “it can be done” first – so all of them. Its simple, we have 10 very, very busy Carbon Logic Ambassadors, who are managing to squeeze it into their lives, publicly and with great rewards breathing life into simple actions that make huge differences. We would like everyone to adopt the pledges at work and at home, clicking the tick box as they do them

It should be made clear that much carbon emission saving can be done without cost (e.g. turning down the thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees in winter) Great point

From your evidence, further reductions can be obtained at a very reasonable cost Great point – saving people even more money in the longer term at the same time

In addition some of these behaviour changes (e.g. active transport) will have health co-benefits: a more active population is a more healthy population, and of course less car miles means less local air pollution – this will mean savings to the NHS Thank you – I’m sending the report to The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP now, I have asked him to comment and invited him to do the Top Ten Pledges too.  We meet with my own MP tomorrow morning to ask her to do the 10 Pledges too.

Carbon capture and storage is unproven, no large scale demonstration has been carried out, also potential large safety questions; Thank you, we did spend quite a bit of time during our literature review seeking a consensus of opinion, but found a great deal of uncertainty in time scales, costs and abilities. While it is clear many believe having this volume of carbon dealt with is essential, I hope our 4 month set up enabling over 3000 tonnes to be cut over 6 years enables policy makers to do something with this model.

The government’s climate change mitigation policies are a mess This is the most common message we hear. We do understand how complicated it all seems to those tasked with the job, who might not have  a natural interest, but really hope by demonstrating this example they might take the opportunity to realise the benefits. For them it comes down to cost, £1.98 per tonne of carbon to cut. For us its how easy is it what the benefits to me. This Carbon Logic Project has ticked both of those boxes. We hope everyone involved will at least ask one person in authority to adopt the pledges and DO something with them. 

Will you be producing materials for people to use in their own communities? We aim to direct people to via our website, Facebook and twitter. We hope others will also do the same. We aim to create Top Ten Pledges items to gift and display for the home and workplace to build it into every day lives to provide a good route map for living – this is one of Carbon Ambassadors great ideas!

We have heard today about this group of people who would like to see more help from the bottom up;

Reinvigorating International Climate Policy: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Nonstate Action

(Global Policy, forthcoming in November 2015)

Sander Chan, Harro van Asselt, Thomas Hale, Kenneth W. Abbott, Marianne Beisheim, Matthew Hoffmann, Brendan Guy, Niklas Höhne, Angel Hsu, Philipp Pattberg, Pieter Pauw, Céline Ramstein, Oscar Widerberg

As countries negotiate a new climate agreement for the Paris climate summit in December 2015, a groundswell of climate actions is emerging as cities, regions, businesses, and civil society groups act on mitigation and adaptation, independently, with each other and with national governments and international organizations. The Paris summit provides a historic opportunity to develop a framework to catalyze, support, and steer these initiatives. Without such a framework, “bottom-up” governance runs the risk of failing to deliver meaningful results. Social science research highlights the need for a comprehensive approach that promotes ambition, experimentation and accountability, and avoids unnecessary overlaps. This article specifies functions and design principles for a new, comprehensive framework for sub- and nonstate climate actions that could provide effective coordination.

Download pre-publication (PDF) at:


Carbon Logic Ambassadors – Pledges 3 & 4 Results

1. Pete Masters, Truro City Football Club

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

“After reading various articles about climate change I have found that people are more likely to take action against climate change when they have had a direct experience.  Almost everyone that was affected by the recent UK floods are now more in tune with environmental issues and would say that climate change is one of their top three issues facing Britain in the next 20 years.  For people who have had no experience it will be more difficult to change their views.”

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

“I confirm that I have contacted my MP and asked three friends to do the pledges.  I am awaiting their response.”

2. Ruth Smith, ZLC Energy

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

“It’s fantastic news to hear that Sarah Newton chosen to take on the carbon cutting pledges. It’s promising to hear about local MP’s engaging on a personal level with the issues of climate change. Individuals making achievable changes on a daily basis really can make an impact, especially as our clean energy industry is under such enormous threat right now.

Many people of our generation believe acting on climate change is a choice, our children and grandchildren will not be so fortunate and we can but guess the kind of world we will be handing on to future generations.” 

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

“So, I wrote to both Sarah Newton and George Eustice, twice. Once about the pledges, and once asking them that as they had promised to show support for Cornish renewables industry when they visited Wattstor, would they address the issue with the recent FiT cuts. I haven’t heard from either yet.”

3. Deborah Clark, former PR Company Director

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

“I’ve been following the debate and reading articles about Climate Change for some time now and I’m personally persuaded that it’s something we all need to be mindful of.  Common sense says that an increasingly populated world consuming resources at a terrifying rate is bound to have long term consequences.  The scientific evidence appears strong to me, although I am not a scientist and find a lot of the information hard to digest.  My personal belief is that I should do my best to reduce my carbon footprint where ever possible.  The fact that it makes sound economic sense is a beneficial by product!”

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

“It was good to meet with Sarah Newton MP and to learn that she has been following the project and has already completed a number of pledges and intends to complete them all within the Ambassador’s timeframe.

We were able to stress to her the importance of carbon cutting at both the domestic and industrial level, but also the need for this topic to remain high on the government’s agenda.

It is a conversation we need to keep on with and have been invited to do so with Sarah again soon.

We have been undertaking 2 carbon cutting pledges a month with just 3 months left, ending just in time for us all to be better informed to understand a little more about the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris in December. There governments and global leaders will attempt to reach ambitious strategies for curbing carbon emissions and we can contribute to inspire individuals and communities to take climate change seriously and adopt alternative behaviours – such as these pledges. We hope individuals might inspired to join us. Please visit the Cathedral website, under hot topics and select your pledges.”


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0915-0038 PR4Photos - Truro Cathedral - Sarah Newton MP

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0915-0037 PR4Photos - Truro Cathedral - Sarah Newton MP

4. Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

“We often get told don’t look back look forward the future is what is important. True, but we can learn from what went before and it helps inform and shape out future behaviour and choices. Local knowledge is important. However if we don’t record that knowledge then it’s easily lost. In planning terms during the particularly heavy rainfall of November and December of 2012 Springs and watercourses that had long disappeared generations ago emerged. But, their courses have been built on, walls blocked their way and in a steep sided valley like Looe water will inevitably find its way relentlessly to the river and sea, it’s underground passage largely unseen. These long lost springs with the water table so high manifested themselves on Hannafore Lane, West Looe under a wall and bank that became so waterlogged it gave way, blocking access to Hannafore which caused great anxiety and distress for residents as this was the only access road.
If we had retained this knowledge would we have allowed development in this area?

Would Polperro have built a car park over the River Pol flood plain if it had known the consequences would be devastating floods in the village, not once but twice, a fatality and subsequently a multi-million pound flood alleviation scheme. We need to have better understanding of the role a piece of land plays both socially, economically and most importantly environmentally. I not saying there should be no car park as it contributes to the vitality of the village as a tourist location, but it might have been designed differently.
Recording this information and reminiscences is not only cathartic for the individual but useful for the community in its development decisions, as we adapt to climate change.
It’s clear business as usual is not an option.”

“Learn the last, watch the present and create the future.” – Jesse Conrad”

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

“I have received a response from my MP Sheryll Murray, but was disappointed that she thought it inappropriate to undertake the challenges. She says in her response she ‘thought it inappropriate to sign up for a campaign relating to my Department’
I’m not sure how well she read the request as we weren’t asking her to sign any for a campaign just undertake the pledges.
I also felt it strange that she sent me printed out pages from Government guidance about climate change when the fact I am concerned enough to undertake the challenge should have alerted to her that I may be quite informed already.
Our challenge is about reducing carbon which is not covered in the guidance.”

5. Archdeacon Bill Stuart-White, Archdeacon of Cornwall

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

“Another soggy August, and the fact that it wasn’t forecast, ensures that the weather is never far from our conversation. However, behind the eternal vagaries of the Cornish summer lie far more urgent and far-reaching issues. Our local climate is changing, as the research shows, but as a tiny part of a complex network of worldwide factors – caused, beyond doubt to some degree, by human behaviour. 

The most significant and life-threatening impacts of climate change, though, are felt by the poorest people on earth, and for me this is the main driver to want to make a difference. Huge swathes of the planet are turning to desert and are no longer usable for food-production, other places are destroyed by storms of (what appear to be unprecedented ferocity and frequency) and these factors lead to increasing drought, starvation, migration and social upheaval.

The reading I have done in response to Pledge 3 has included some of the science, which appeals convincingly to our human reason to act now to do what we can to mitigate the effects of our actions, but also some from a Christian perspective, including Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si” which stresses human connectedness with all life on earth and urges all people to come together to prevent catastrophic global warming.  

Put together, the arguments from scientific research, from our own observations of weather and climate phenomena, and from the mandate to care for the wonderful earth that has been entrusted to us, compel a response. For me, this response needs to be in how I seek to influence decision-making as well as in how I order my daily life.”

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

“4/9/15; I contacted Sarah Newton a couple of weeks ago and am awaiting a reply.”

6.   Donna Birrell, BBC Radio Cornwall Presenter

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

“I’m learning that minimising the effects of climate change is all about thinking differently. It doesn’t have to cost the earth but if we don’t all take responsibility at a local level, this article makes clear that our inaction will cost the earth”

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

“I have contacted George Eustice MP, awaiting response.

I have sent the link around to my colleagues here at BBC Radio Cornwall and am urging them to get on board too!”

7.  Robin Freight from St. Austell Brewery

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

“I have taken the liberty to post this on my LinkedIn page.  I have over 600 + professional friends (world-wide) so your post has now gone global! 

Climate Vision Article

By: Luci Isaacson MSc, Director, Climate Vision Summary

This article describes the complex climate system responsible for the challenges we experience in the weather today. By understanding its chaotic behaviour, combined with human intervention, we are able to understand the struggle to provide the robust predictions people need to make changes in their lives. It is time to prepare for an unknown future and to discover that which is unknown, by empowering people to make decisions today about how to act for tomorrow.

History and local knowledge are extremely useful tools. Interesting stories can take us back to our catchments, help us look at the land, how it once was, and how it has reacted to centuries of human occupation. They help us paint a picture of what it will look like in the future, and enable us to re-connect with it and connect others who have drifted far from interest in it.

Placing ourselves in this better position helps us to make long term decisions, for ourselves and how we will adapt to the different climate we are experiencing now. We know we have to take action today, but we need to be better informed in order to be a part of that process, in charge of it ourselves.

To read more about please download the full article, Climate Change.”

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

“Steve Double MP has been sent our message”

8. Bishop Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

“I have read the article Climate Change and have read and absorbed various reports about the issue of climate change over the years.  Of course I do not understand all the complex science and can see there are competing arguments.  I do know that the presence of humans and our extraordinary ravenous appetite for using the earth’s resources are matters of real concern.

I do therefore think it is important to keep myself informed and to do so not only by reading the science but also by considering the relationship between humans and the rest of creation.  This is a theological issue above all.”

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

“Many thanks I have e mailed Sarah and will let you know what her reply is.”

07 September 2015 

Dear Bishop Tim,

Thank you for your email.

I met with Luci on Saturday and I am happy to commit to the ten pledges. I am aiming to complete them by December.

I agree with you that Climate Change is on the greatest challenges of our time.

Kind regards,

Sarah Newton MP

Member of Parliament for Truro and Falmouth


9. Rev Steve Wild, Chairman of the Cornwall Methodist District

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

“The article by Luci Isaacson makes fascinating reading.  It is extremely well researched and her message “Be prepared and Cut Carbon” are things we should take to heart.  I commend this article to everyone.”

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

10. Kirstie Newton, Cornwall Today Editor

PLEDGE 3: I pledge to educate myself about the science and impacts of climate change starting with reading Climate Vision’s article “Climate Change” or something else

Pledge 3 was an interesting one – to research climate change, with a particular emphasis on resilience. A handy internet link was provided, to a peer-reviewed article written by organiser Luci Isaacson. However, as I am far from being Luci’s peer in this field, I struggled to grasp some of the complex ideas, especially as they were couched in terms unfamiliar to the layman. My efforts were not helped by the fact that I only really get chance to read when in bed (too tired) or when my daughter is playing (too noisy).
A Google search for “climate change resilience” threw up a mixture of similar articles, and links to the websites of companies which I suspect had paid to come top of any search including the words “climate change”, and which were therefore not terribly useful. What I really needed was “climate change resilience for beginners/idiots”.

It would seem that resilience is still under discussion among academics and policy makers, hence the impenetrable language afflicting most papers. I did find some helpful websites, however, which offered information in plain English. quotes Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement, who explains how the idea of resilience comes from the study of ecology, and how systems stand up to change rather than unravelling. He thinks it’s a more useful concept than sustainability: “When supermarkets only have enough food for two days, sustainability seems to focus on the efficiency of the freezers. Looking through the lens of resilience, we really question how we let ourselves get … so vulnerable.”

I think I can just about sum it up: climate change resilience is the acknowledgement of the causes and effects of climate change, followed by adaptation to damage already done, and action to minimise future impact. While erecting a sea wall might have been enough a few decades ago, today we need a wider-reaching, joined-up approach.

An article entitled “What does it mean to be climate resilient?” at was very helpful, offering interesting examples from around the world – for example, how rural communities in Africa are preparing for future global warming by choosing crops and livestock to withstand extreme weather, and how households in Jamaica are being encouraged to reinstate water butts to harvest rain during rare downpours.

While browsing, I discovered a U.S. site containing some interesting statistics: 40% of greenhouse gases are produced by electricity use, compared with 30% from vehicle emissions and even less from big industry. It really drove home to me how the little things we do can make a big difference. That afternoon, I bought a waterproof timer for the shower – no more 15 minute showers. Better for my pocket, better for the planet.

The planet will find ways of coping, but will we, with our rigid ways of living and working, fare so well? Will our structures survive?

Another useful stat gleaned from my browsing session: sea temperature has risen by 1%, and if things don’t change, could increase by 4% over time, with catastrophic consequences. If we change our ways, we could limit the increase to a more manageable 2%.

PLEDGE 4: I pledge to contact my MP and my friends and make these pledges too

Dear Mrs Newton,

 I’m currently undertaking 10 Carbon Pledges alongside other Carbon Logic Ambassadors, and would like to invite you, as my MP, to do the same. We are undertaking two pledges each month in a bid to breathe life into the Top Ten Carbon-Cutting Pledges devised by the Footsteps Campaign in 2009. You can find the 10 pledges here:

I firmly believe that we can make a considerable difference to our environment by making even small changes to our lifestyles, from shopping habits to energy usage around the home. I can confirm that It takes a short time to carry out theses pledges. 

I would be delighted if you could let me know if you are on board. More about this campaign and why it is happening can be found here: 

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Kindest regards

Kirstie Newton 

Editor, Cornwall Today magazine


7 September 2015 

Dear Kirstie,

Thank you for your email.

I met with Luci on Saturday and I am happy to commit to the ten pledges. I am aiming to complete them by December.

I agree with you that Climate Change is on the greatest challenges of our time.

Kind regards,

Sarah Newton MP

Les dix premiers engagements

1  Je m’engage à appeler mon fournisseur d’électricité après 24h afin de voir si je peux passer à l’énergie verte (si pas je trouve un moyen).

2  Je m’engage à acheter des produits de saison le plus possible, commencer par deux repas par semaine.

Je m’engage à me renseigner à propos de la science et les impacts du changement climatique en lisant des articles sur les changements du Climate Vision “changement climatique”.

4 Je m’engage à contacter les politiciens locaux et mes amis à faire de même.

5 Je m’engage à marcher, à prendre mon vélo et à utiliser les transports en commun le plus possible sur une journée pour travailler.

6 J’ai travaillé à l’extérieur de mon empreinte carbone et d’utiliser la plus facile des calculettes carbones et

7 J’ai le gage de vérifier l’énergie de la maison afin de voir comment puis – je sauver l’énergie de ma maison.

8 J’ai le gage d’éteindre le thermostat ou de le diminuer dans le but d’avoir une température confortable entre 18-21°C et penser à mettre un vêtement plus chaud.

9 J’ai le gage de réduire mon voyage en vacances à 50%.

10 J’ai le gage de rechercher “conduire dans un environnement convivial” sur google ou appeler un instructeur de conduite ou apprendre quelques leçons à propos des idées conviviales environnementales.