Friday, September 30, 2011

Lucas leadership impact

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Look who is making her mark ! Again - previously ‘MP of the Year' in the Scottish Widows & Dods Women in Public Life Awards; ‘Best All Rounder' in the Total Politics End of Year MP awards; ‘Newcomer of the Year' by the Spectator...

Euro: no

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'Bailout for Greece' - but is it? Isn't it more a bailout for bankers who lent to them, a bailout for corrupt politicians who fiddled Greek national accounts, a bailout for those who have and still seek to protect their euro currency project and the closer political union across the continent...The idea of a common EU currency, the euro, was always a daft idea - poor economics and poor politics. Just look at the situation now. Greece is on the edge, perhaps already over it, economically and socially. It cannot devalue its currency as its in the euro and it is having its economic policy dictated to it by other countries. Its already very difficult in Greece and whatever they do there is going to be more pain but they would be better getting out of the euro - and it would be better if the whole euro project was brought to a controlled end or very significant scale down. But instead...

Greek PM presses EU leaders for new bailout tranche: The Greek prime minister is having a day of talks with fellow EU leaders to approve a new bailout tranche Greece needs to avoid bankruptcy in October.
George Papandreou is meeting European Council chief Herman Van Rompuy and others in Warsaw before seeing French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris.
International inspectors in Athens to decide whether Greece should receive the 8bn euros (£6.9bn; $10.9bn).
Protesters forced the rescheduling of a meeting on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, the expansion of a general bailout fund for the eurozone looks on track for approval...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Planning for...destruction

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Given the public's emphatic rejection of the plans to sell off our forests, you might have thought the government would tread more carefully with its reforms to the planning system.
But no. The proposed
new planning framework now out to consultation is, if anything, a worse threat to our countryside, because "economic development" (read "developers' profits") will override environmental protection...

Planning reforms are bigger threat to our countryside than forest sell-off Caroline Lucas Environment

BBC News - European Commission financial tax opposed by UK

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Our country is being shortsighted here, backing banks and preventing the EU from offering a lead to the world: The UK has said it will "resist" a financial transaction tax on EU members proposed by the European Commission.
The tax would raise about 57bn euros ($78bn; £50bn) a year and would come into effect at the start of 2014.
Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said banks must "make a contribution" as Europe faced its "greatest challenge".
The UK said it had no objection to a financial tax in principle, but it would have to be introduced globally.
A transaction tax would need the approval of the UK in order to be implemented across the EU...

BBC News - European Commission financial tax opposed by UK

Saudi woman to be lashed for driving car - Telegraph

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This apalling and outrageous news from the UKs 'ally': A Saudi woman has been sentenced to to 10 lashes for challenging a ban on women driving.

Amnesty International reported the sentence just two days after Saudi King Abdullah granted women the right to vote and run in municipal elections...

Saudi woman to be lashed for driving car - Telegraph

China population to become world's biggest polluters - Telegraph

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China's carbon emissions for each member of its population could overtake that of Britain as early as the end of next year, it has been revealed.

The prediction comes in a report which shows that the country's carbon footprint is expanding far faster than predicted.

A combination of an infrastructure building spree and the ramping up of carbon-intensive industries after the 2008 financial crisis means China is now being catapulted into the ranks of developed world countries when it comes to per person CO2 emissions.

China already emits more carbon per person than France and Spain and on current trends will surpass the United States in per person emissions as early as 2017, according to the report conducted by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment agency and sponsored by the European Commission...

China population to become world's biggest polluters - Telegraph

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

People's theatre encouraging interaction and community

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Show Of Strength Theatre Company warmly invites you to TRADING LOCAL: 54 live performances of 18 pieces of new work created especially for Knowles Broadwalk Shopping Centre. It all happens on Saturday 8 October. And its all free. Full details from the webiste below, where you can also view or download a flyer. It will be a great day out; Show of Strength very much hope to see you there.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Effective participation in planning: public information and workshop

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How we can get involved in Planning

Date: 27th September 2011
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Venue: Coniston Community Centre, The Parade, Coniston Road, Patchway, South Gloucestershire BS34 5LP

The Environmental Law Foundation invites you to a free public information event and workshop.

Our upcoming event in Patchway aims to educate and inform attendees about effective participation in the planning system. This will be a great opportunity to find out how you can be involved in the decision-making process.

Presentations will be given on the South Gloucestershire Local Development Framework, the planning policy that will shape the way the area develops over the next 15 years and on how the planning process works. Potential changes in the light of the National Planning Policy Framework and the Localism Bill will also be considered. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

If you would like to attend please RSVP

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any of your colleagues who may be interested.
If you would be able to advertise this event for us by displaying a poster please let us know.

For more information about the event or to book a place, please contact or tel 020 7404 1031.

This event is brought to you by the Sustainable Communities Project funded by
the Department for Communities & Local Government through the Empowerment Fund.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

UK children stuck in 'materialistic trap' | Society | The Guardian

This impact of our consumerist society is no surprise and has been discussed several times on this blog - British children are caught in a "materialistic trap" in which they are unable to spend enough time with their families and instead are bought off with "branded goods" by their parents, the United Nation's children's agency Unicef warns...

UK children stuck in 'materialistic trap' Society The Guardian

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Seligman: wellbeing, happiness, PERMA

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Looking over the views of Martin Seligman on the psychology of wellbeing and happiness today. His work is so valuable. Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., works on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, and on optimism and pessimism. He is currently Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He is well known in academic and clinical circles and is a best-selling author... See:

Mabinogogiblog: Extreme weather: is there a link with global warming?

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Excellent blog post by Dr Richard Lawson here - have a read! Some really interesting, useful and valuable facts, figures and trends...

Mabinogogiblog: Extreme weather: is there a link with global warming?

Monday, September 12, 2011

From a culture of war to a culture of peace

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Bruce Kent, Vice-chair of CND, will speak at a public meeting on Tues 4th Oct at the Central Quaker Meeting House, Champion Square, BS2 9DB on the subject: 'From a Culture of War to a Culture of Peace'. He asks why our society is dominated by military values and thinking and whether this leads to greater security and happiness. Refreshments from 6.30; informal conversation with Bruce from 7.00; Bruce's presentation at 7.30 p.m. followed by questions and discussion.Admission free but retiring collection. Organised by Bristol Quakers.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Seven billion of us

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Human population is currently 6.989 billion. It will reach 7 billion next month. You can see the statistics in real time here .

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday singled out sustainable development as the top issue facing the planet with the world's seven billionth person expected to be born next month.
Key to this was climate change, and he said time was running out with the population set to explode this century.
"Next month, the seven billionth citizen of our world will be born," the UN secretary general said during a speech at Sydney University.
"For that child, and for all of us, we must keep working to fight poverty, create decent jobs, and provide a dignified life while preserving the planet that sustains us.
"That is why the sustainable development agenda is the agenda for the 21st century.
"Above all, that means connecting the dots between challenges such as climate change and water scarcity, energy shortages, global health issues, food insecurity and the empowerment of the world's women."

Bristol Independents Day 17 Sept: buy local!

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The Bristol Independents campaign is asking all of Bristol to join them on Saturday 17 September to support Bristol’s independent food businesses and…

Try something local, from somewhere local on Bristol Independents Day!

On the 17th, the Bristol Independents campaign will launch a pilot project highlighting 8 of Bristol’s local shopping areas on recipe postcards featuring ingredients that can be purchased from local shops in each area. There will also be a competition where you can nominate your favourite local food business, and in turn, be entered into a free prize draw to win local goodies.

You can pick up the recipe postcards around the city, or download them from the website, where you can also email them to a friend. You can also make your competition nomination online at:

Please pass this on as widely as you can!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Climate change means a new economic model of development

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said ..."Climate change is not about tomorrow. It is lapping at our feet - quite literally in Kiribati and elsewhere."
..."The science has made it plainly clear that climate change is happening now and, unfortunately, much, much faster than you may think," he said.

"Having visited Kiribati and the Solomon Islands has strengthened my conviction that climate change is a distinct threat to humanity, it is even a threat to international peace and stability."

Ban said the rising oceans were sending a signal that something was "seriously wrong with our current model of economic development".

"We will not succeed in reducing emissions without sustainable energy solutions," he said.

Evidence and explanations on climate change are available from many highly reputable sources. Listed here are a selection from: the Met Office; the United Nations; the Royal Society; the UK Government's Dept of Energy and Climate Change; and NASA. (click image above to see a larger version).

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Gaddafi and friends

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Gaddafi and his friends Blair, Brown, Obama, Sarkozy, Assad, Putin, Rice, Van Rompuy, Berlusconi...

Click image to see a larger version.

Proper planning prevents poor performance

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Proper, prior, preparation and planning prevents poor performance. Pity the coalition government intends to take us even further away from a proper planning system then - they talk of sustainable development but yet again we have a government that empowers development without sustainability. See this excellent piece by George Monbiot:

This wrecking ball is Osborne's version of sustainable development
Economic growth is not the purpose of a planning system. It should meet human needs while the environment is protected

Impervious to experience, strangers to reason: the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, and the chancellor, George Osborne, have learned nothing from the economic crisis. They claim that laxer town planning "is key to our economic recovery". But the European countries hit hardest by the economic crisis – Greece, Italy, Spain and Ireland – have weak planning controls and urban sprawl. The nations that have proved most resilient have tougher laws and compact settlements.

Strong planning is one of many factors, but it is symptomatic of a political culture that puts the national interest above the self-interest of the rich and the long view above the quick buck. Pickles and Osborne are seeking to rip up England's planning system for the same reasons that they want to drop the proposed new banking rules: corporate power, cronyism and plutocracy, the forces that got us into this mess.

Weak planning exacerbates economic problems because capital is diverted from productive uses into speculative ventures; cities decline as they hollow out; and badly sited businesses, disaggregated settlements and long travel times drag down economic efficiency...

Monday, September 05, 2011

Future Fit Bristol: please register your support

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From KWMC: Supporters help local environmental project through to second round of funding. Help to keep Future Fit Bristol in with a chance! The Future Fit Bristol project, which will support Knowle West residents and builders to make their homes more sustainable, is through to the next round for Energyshare funding. We couldn't have progressed this far without our online supporters and signatories and we’d like to thank everyone who has already supported the project. However, in order to be in with a chance of securing the funding we need more like-minded supporters.

Please support the group if you haven’t already and invite your friends to do the same. 'Likes' on Facebook aren't counted, so please visit and click the red 'Support this Group' button.

Future Fit Bristol will:

• 'retrofit' local homes - adding new features to existing buildings to make them more environmentally friendly
• support builders to develop skills in renewable and green construction
• work with residents to encourage more sustainable living

Future Fit will make a difference to Knowle West, a South Bristol estate that ranks highly in statistics for poverty, poor health and educational under-achievement, but where, through the Carbon Makeover project, residents have already shown a commitment and determination to become more sustainable.

Every supporter counts. Thank you again for your support.

The Future Fit Bristol Team

Somalia in crisis

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Somalia famine: UN warns of 750,000 deaths

Please send a donation to the East Africa Crisis Appeal organised by the Disasters Emergency Committee:

Friday, September 02, 2011


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FixMyTransport website has launched. In their words its 'a site specially built for public transport users in Britain who want to make public transport better for us all. We've worked hard to make the site work well, but we're sure there are plenty of things we won't have got quite right - so please do send us feedback if there's anything that's not right, or anything you'd like to see added or improved.

If you're here and you don't have a problem to report today, why don't you
look through the list of recent problem reports, or browse your local area. If you're feeling sunny you could even leave a compliment about a route or station that you think is particularly good - we're not all doom and gloom here.'

FixMyTransport: Report, view and resolve public transport problems

Avaaz - Australia: the next great hope for climate

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Right now, a major climate fight is blowing up in Australia -- the government is about to pass a law that would cut carbon emissions and get polluters to pay. But big businesses, backed by Rupert Murdoch, are trying to kill the bill.

This carbon pricing law is a win win measure -- it will push dirty businesses towards clean production and tax polluters, generating more resources for working families. If it passes, it will spur other major emitters to follow suit and could be the next best hope for climate. But Murdoch's megaphone of fear is massive -- he owns seventy percent of Australia's press. If together we can drown out his campaign to crush the bill with messages of hope from across the world, we could help it pass.

This battle is being fought on the Australian air waves now. Sign the urgent petition to back this bold initiative -- when we reach 250,000 signatures, we’ll run inspiring radio ads that deliver our global messages, lay out the benefits of the law and rouse public support:

Avaaz - Australia: the next great hope for climate