Transition Submissions

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Smiley, happy people making chutney

A chutney making session was held in October, to share ways of dealing with too many cooking apples. With some vinegar, muscovado sugar and spices, we turned 8 pounds of them into many jars of delicious chutney. Another Skills Share special in the bag!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Climate Change, carbon footprints and meat consumption

Finally I get round to posting on the issue which I started on the TT email list!

I suggested that in the flyer for the Food Fayre the TT group consider the suggestion that one way to cut one's carbon footprint is to reduce one's meat intake. The reason being is that meat production is very energy and resource intensive. It also produces a lot of methane. I don't believe this is an extreme or weirdly radical view to take. Many of the carbon footprint calculators have questions on diet and rate eating meat and fish with a higher carbon footprint.
For example:

"Eating a lot of meat, especially beef, results in a higher carbon footprint than eating non meat products. To reduce you carbon footprint, try to cut down on your meat consumption, or switch to a meat with a smaller footprint, like chicken"

Their first question is:
"How would you best describe your diet?
* Meat and/or fish eater
* Vegetarian
* Vegan"

Questions asked in these Carbon Calculators are asked because they are linked to increase in carbon useage.

For other sources of information about diet and carbon footprint & global warming see:
- article in the Lancet 'Slash global meat consumption to tackle climate change: Lancet paper', 13 September, 2007. At //
From the article: "Its authors point out that 22 percent of the planet's total emissions of greenhouse gases come from agriculture, a tally similar to that of industry and more than that of transport. ... Livestock production, including transport of livestock and feed, account for nearly 80 percent of agricultural emissions, mainly in the form of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas. ... According to a study published in July by Japanese scientists, a kilo (2.2 pounds) of beef generates the equivalent of 36.4 kilos (80.08 pounds) of carbon dioxide, more than the equivalent of driving for three hours while leaving all the lights on back home."

- article on Carbon Counted website

- article in the Guardian with reference to recent research on meat and global warming 'Meat production 'beefs up emissions'

- American article examining the greenhouse gas emissions of a cheeseburger " the greenhouse gas emissions arising every year from the production and consumption of cheeseburgers [in the US] is roughly the amount emitted by 6.5 million to 19.6 million SUVs."

And the UN's Report: 'Livestock, the long shadow' which also documents this situation
From the report: "Other points the report makes are that the world's livestock industry "generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2" and "that livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than that of transport."

So it's not just a lot of old hippys saying this! This is the UN, not famed for its revolutionary thinking.

Somehow though, despite the science and evidence, people seem unwilling to hear this evidence.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

No time to mitagate climate change

A report by the IPCC earlier this year warned politicians that they are not facing up to the imminent nature of the consequences of climate change. It explained that many are still refusing to see climate change as a present threat dispite the clear indications that regions of the planet will become uninhabitable within our life time.

This report was referred to by a number of the panelists on last nights 'any questions' in response to a question about the role of the individual in tackling our sustainability crisis.

This is relevant to the transistion movement as we will have a hard time trying to get individuals to act if the bigger problem of global climate change is perceived to be out of control and so imminent that we have no time to act. It was interesting that only one panelist suggested that as well as acting as individuals, that everyone concerned with environmental sustainability should also take a pro-active position in political lobbying.

Listen Again-

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Eco Dyfi Vacancy

Found this job advertised and thought that some of the transitioners might be interested in it.

Sustainable living officer with Eco Dyfi, 21 hrs per week.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Does anyone in Ceredigion grow garlic?

And on a completely unrelated note, following Albrecht's email this morning, asking us to keep down the traffic on the TTaber list, I ask you all for help with a quest! I need to source some locally grown, organic garlic, both to grow in my veg. plot and to grow with some children from the Llwyn Yr Eos Out of School group. I have looked in most of the usual places, Treehouse, Go Mango in Cardigan, Blaen Camel farm shop at Ciliau Aeron, the places in Lampeter, rung Mentro Lluest, and no-one has any to sell, or it is from France or in one place, "UK". I'd really like some local stuff, and am happy to pay. Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

Monday, 5 November 2007

Re: Meat and Two Veg

Ok, truth be told, I was promted to set up this blog in responce to the comment that the discussion over livestock welfare, vegetarianism and land-use (that has been had on the TT mailing list) was becoming indignant. I disagree that it was becoming indignant and I really want to see all of these issue being discussed, if anyone has any opinions, information or questions about this and related issues, I think it is very useful to hear them all.

I found the gaudian article (Holy Cow) from the orginal message very interesting and have used the thread of related articles to creatre a display at Coleg Ceredigion questioning the future of the British countryside, and I have also discussed the issues at length with two of my sisters and my father who are small scale livestock farmers. So thank you, it has all be very interesting, and I believe, very timely!!

As you may have gathered from my e-mails on the matter, I am of the primatavist view point, whereby I believe we should reap the bounty of nature, with very little manipulation in the form of either cultivation or livestock farming. Therefore, I am also a tradgic idealist. I do not live in the way I believe I should because I live in a flat in a terraced house in a town in Wales in 2008. I merely point out an ideal which I would like to see the whole of society partisipate in.

These issues are very closely realted to my own research which focusses on early agriculture and environmental change. In the past I have been very interested in the Neolithic Transition period and environmental change in the Western British Isles, now I study the origins of agriculture in Africa. I have found that hunter gather communities are generally much better at buffering the consequences of environmental degradation and that transition to agriculture is a cultural process rather than a way of harnessing and increasing natures productivity. Indeed, there are many examples that in times of environmental degradation communities will revert to hunter gathering as it provides a higher quality and more reliable sustainence.

Regarding the grazing/re-wilding aspect. many man-made environments are benifical to bio-diversity. I have had the pleasure of working on the Dyfi NNR, Borth Bog would not be there if it were not grazed. However, livestock are not the only things that graze. Rabbits do a very good job (Ynyslas) and exclosures (fenses to keep out rabbits) on Scomer Island have shown the dramatic effect they have.

Any comments?

Friday, 2 November 2007

Transition Submissions

I have created this blog site for use by the Transition Town movement in Aberystwyth. It is intended to be a forum for discussion of related issues (covers just about anything) that members would like to discuss in general or to a greater depth than might be possible on the excisting group e-mail.