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

1. Pete Masters, Truro City Football Club

“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.”

“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

“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.”

“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

“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!”

“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.”

4. Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council

“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”

“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

“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.”

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

6. Donna Birrell, BBC Radio Cornwall Presenter

“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”

“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, St. Austell Brewery

“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 o

“Steve Double MP has been sent our message”

8. Bishop Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro

“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.”

“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

“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.”

10. Kirstie Newton, Cornwall Today Editor

“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%.”

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


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